Recession, Then a Boom? Maybe not this Time David Leonhardt

In decades past, the next step for an American economy in recession would be clear. It would boom. People would start spending again, and companies would quickly increase production, creating hundreds of thousands of jobs and fattening paychecks. In a quickly widening spiral, these developments would lead to even more spending. But the rules for recoveries may well be different today - not because of Sept. 11, but because of fundamental changes in the economy. Even after a year-end flurry of good news on home sales, consumer confidence and jobless claims, the recovery likely to start in 2002 could be…

Excerpts from Argentine President Rodriguez Saa’s Inaugural Speech to Congress Translated by Cynthia Rush

Today, we begin the transformation of our beloved country; starting today, nothing will be the same...we are perfectly conscious that, today, a new republic has been born.' Argentina's new interim President, a very confident Adolfo Rodriguez Saa, spoke these words to the national Congress today, after having been sworn in, and outlined the crucial policy areas to be dealt with as immediate priorities. He acknowledged that the demonstrations which led to the demise of the de la Rua government had a good and bad side. The bad side was the "vandalism, irrational lootings, and absolutely unnecessary deaths"; the good side…

How the IMF Messed Up Argentina Mark Weisbrot

Argentina's implosion has the fingerprints of the International Monetary Fund all over it. The first and overwhelmingly most important cause of the country's economic troubles was the government's decision to maintain its fixed rate of exchange: one peso for one U.S. dollar. Adopted in 1991, this policy worked for a while. But during the past few years the dollar has been overvalued, which made the peso overvalued as well. Contrary to popular belief, a "strong" currency is not like a strong body. It is very easy to have too much of a good thing. An overvalued currency makes exports too…

The Riddle of Putin Boris Kagarlitsky

There is evidently some kind of natural law at work: if the business press and the leaders of the financial world name some country or other as a success story, then this is precisely the country where you can expect things to go badly wrong. Not long ago the newspapers were full of rapturous accounts of the Argentinian economic miracle. We were urged to study and reproduce the "Argentinian model". Now Argentina is on the verge of bankruptcy, unemployment has become a national catastrophe, and the population no longer believes anyone. In the recent parliamentary elections, voters crossed out all…

Jubilee South Statement from Argentina

Defend Life The explosion of anger and hunger that has shaken our country is a long expected response from the depths of the degradation and betrayal that the people have been suffering. We join in that mobilization and share the pain, the anguish, and the indignation, in the face of so much unjustifiable repression and death. Dialogue 2000 demands the immediate halting of police repression and the repeal of the illegal state of siege. We call for the liberation and dropping of charges against all those detained for their participation in acts of social protest. We reject all forms of…

Momentum Returns to Movements against Corporate Globalisations Patrick Bond

I was glad to see Mokhiber/Weissman writing for ZNet last week on the durability of the anti-neoliberal movement. Here in Johannesburg, September 11 came and went, with linkages made between the Left peace movement's urgent agenda--anti-war demonstrations against US consulates in several South African cities--and the broader problem of imperialism's new form. I don't call it 'Empire,' as do some trendy intellectual friends, but I do recognise that the imperialist project is about more than a superpower bully acting on homegrown corporate interests. Imperialism today entails the penetration of neoliberal-capitalist ideology everywhere, as part and parcel of expanding the material…

The New Economy Mark Weisbrot and Dean Baker

In economic history, great myths are often made and sustained not so much by the difficulty of the subject matter, but by the failure of the discussants to look at the readily available data. America's longest business cycle expansion, which has now been officially certified as running from March 1991 to March 2001, is a case in point. In the folklore of the business press, a widely held explanation has already congealed for the upswing that led optimists to proclaim the emergence of a "new economy." The now conventional wisdom flows as follows: together with Congress, the Clinton Administration got…