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Currency wars: Another phase in the capitalist breakdown

category international | anti-capitalism | other press author Saturday October 09, 2010 20:44author by T Report this post to the editors

Breakdown in global economic relations

This report outlines how the currency wars now taking place represent another phase in the breakdown of the capitalist system.

Since the huge jolt to the capitalist system back in late 2008, nothing has been fixed and the internal contradictions and conflicts still exist and now the system stumbles forward into new crisis. As Leon Trotsky in the founding program of the Fourth International written in 1938: “The bourgeoisie itself,” he wrote, “sees no way out … it now toboggans with closed eyes toward an economic and military catastrophe.”

For those trying to gain an understanding of what is happening with the international system particulary the recent ups and downs of the relative strengths of the currencies this report on the World Socialists Website (www.wsws.org). It explains how the efforts to kick start the major economies with zero percent interest has failed and now the major powers are trying to stimulate their economies to grow by expanding their exports. For this to happen they would need to devalue their own currencies. But such a move puts the importers at a disadvantage and they in turn are trying to do the same thing.

Given that the problems go deeper, such moves cannot resolve any of the inherent conflicts within capitalism.

Some quotes from the report are: The semi-annual meeting of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank which convenes in Washington today is marked by the most serious breakdown in global economic relations since the trade wars and competitive devaluations that characterised the Great Depression of the 1930s.

As their economies continue to stagnate and the risks of further global financial turbulence increase, the major powers, spearheaded by the United States, are waging an increasingly open economic war against China, demanding that its currency, the renminbi (the yuan) rise significantly.

And Two weeks ago Washington Post economic commentator Robert Samuelson invoked Smoot-Hawley as he called for trade war against China. Ten days later Financial Times economics commentator Martin Wolf, who has issued many warnings in the past about the consequences of a lack of economic co-operation, declared that the time for a currency war against China had come as there was “no alternative”. What was unthinkable yesterday has become necessary today.

And further on the report explains the problem

However an examination of the origin and development of the currency wars shows why such co-operation is impossible.

In the early months of 2009, when governments around the world were carrying out stimulus packages aimed at boosting their economies, there was talk of global collaboration. But it was short-lived. By the end of 2009 new contradictions had emerged as the near-bankruptcy of Dubai and the Greek financial crisis pointed to the emergence of the so-called sovereign debt crisis.....

..... At the same time, the economic stimulus provided by the lowering of interest rates had run its course. In both the US and Japan short-term interest rates set by the central bank are so low that monetary authorities have resorted to “quantitative easing”—the purchase of government bonds—in a bid to lower long-term rates.

But these measures have failed to boost economic growth. In six of the world’s major economies—the US, Japan, Germany, France, the UK and Italy

..... With stimulus packages and interest rate cuts either ruled out or ineffective, national governments are seeking to expand exports, by reducing the value of their currencies, as the sole remaining measure available to provide an economic boost. But, by its very nature, an export stimulus cannot boost the world economy as a whole. Rather than providing a life raft, competitive devaluations are, as a comment in the Wall Street Journal recently noted, more like shipwrecked sailors trying to stay afloat by climbing on each other’s shoulders.

At present the conflict takes an economic form. But other, even more deadly consequences, are certain to follow.

The full report can be read at the link below

Related Link: http://www.wsws.org/articles/2010/oct2010/pers-o09.shtml
author by opus diablos - the regressive hypocrite partypublication date Sun Oct 10, 2010 15:51author address author phone Report this post to the editors

..for the Yanks to be throwing shapes at China when they are the main holder of US debt?
Are they just sore that their Project for the American Century is running into the sands of Iraq, Afghanistan(and maybe coming-soon Iran) and their general overreach busting the bank?
Time to learn Mandarin?

Dying empires and bunkers are a dangerous combination.Especially with Uncle Sam's nuclear throw-weight and all those pentagonal Strangeloves. And Zion juggling with the fucking detonators.

President Palin, anyone?Or would you prefer a Newt?

author by joe mcivorpublication date Sun Oct 10, 2010 16:47author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I find it interesting to see how the breakdown of the international credit system is mirrored in the breakdown of religious faith . The international system of credit , designed originally by Italian bankers with the papacy’s financial bureau known as the camera , made paper currency as good as gold with the church and ultimately god as the guarantor.

author by opus diablos - the regressive hypocrite partypublication date Mon Oct 11, 2010 15:42author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Same root.
Credit derives from the Latin 'credo', I believe.
Hence the 'recovery is all about 'the restoration of confidence'. Which they seem to think can be done by quantative easing, i.e. printing money(see Weimar for dangers).No real analysis going on of the roots of the problem, a falsly founded value system built originally with the sword and biblical righteousness.
And the dollar is emblazoned with the proclamation 'In god we trust'. But their god is gold and wealth rather than health.
I'm not sure religious belief is breaking down. Fundamentalism seems to be growing, from Christian America and Jewish Zion to Khomeini fanned flames of militant Islam which the West is feeding with its short-sighted holier and more civilised than thou self-certainties.
Religion without the proslytising is usually tolerant and tolerable, the sects recognising most of their differences are terminological: its when it goes evangelical and missionary the closed minds thrive and colonise the gullible and disturbed. Israel has become more theocratic by the year (even as it grows more strident in its claims of 'democratic island in a sea of autocracy'), and is probably more so than Iran.
And as for the born-again Blair/Bush axis and their still cascading collateral damage....They haven't gone too far away.

author by opus diablos - the regressive hypocrite partypublication date Tue Oct 12, 2010 16:12author address author phone Report this post to the editors

There's an excellent piece by Michael Hudson today titled

Why the US has Launched a New Financial World War-And How the rest of the World Will Fight Back.


hope I got that down right. Interesting site.

author by SLHpublication date Tue Oct 12, 2010 17:02author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Precise URL for that.


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