January 15 2009 show notes

Topics, guests, upcoming events, quotes, links to articles, audio clips, books & bumper music.

Thursday 15 January '09 show

  • How many people have been killed by Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, Milton Friedman and the whole gang?
  • Clip:
    [Leahy]: Do you agree with me that waterboarding is torture and illegal?

    [Holder]: If you look at the history of the use of that technique, used by the Khmer Rouge, used in the Inquisition, used by the Japanese and prosecuted by us as war crimes. We prosecuted our own soldiers for using it in Vietnam. I agree with you, Mr. Chairman, waterboarding is torture.
    Eric Holder Shows Some Sense, Says 'Waterboarding Is Torture'. Pat Leahy is one of the toughest and smartest men in the United States Senate, a total law and order and constitution guy.
  • Article: 'Shock therapy' sell-offs blamed for 1m deaths, Andrew Jack.

    " "Shock therapy", or rapid mass privatisation, in the former Soviet bloc in the first half of the 1990s was responsible for the early deaths of 1m people, according to a paper to be published today in The Lancet, the medical journal.

    An analysis of the 3m working-age men who died across the former communist countries of eastern Europe suggests at least a third were victims of mass privatisation, which led to widespread unemployment and social disruption.

    The study adds to a growing body of research in recent years demonstrating how far the economic transition led to widespread suffering through death and physical and mental illness. ...

    However, he said redundancies, particularly among the less well educated and those without forms of social support, was one of the main underlying reasons.
  • TV documentary series: The Trap by Adam Curtis (video).
  • TV documentary series: The Power of Nightmares by Adam Curtis (video).
  • "Shock therapy" was promoted by the Chicago boys. It means privatize everything. Redundancies are lay-offs/unemployment.
  • Article: More suicides under Conservative rule, 18 September, 2002.
  • Bumper Music: We'd Like to Thank You, Herbert Hoover, from "Annie". This song has been omitted from recent versions of the show.
  • History is said to be the story of rich people, such as kings and queens of England, Gilgamesh.
  • Article: Upper Classes More Likely To Commit Suicide In A Recession.
    "Recent weeks have seen a spate of suicides by some of the most financially powerful people in the world. German billionaire industrialist Adolf Merckle lay down in front of a train after huge investment losses threatened his family's business empire. Chicago real-estate mogul Steven Good shot and killed himself in the driver's seat of his Jaguar after the property auction business turned sour. Rene-Thierry Magon de La Villehuchet lost $1.4 billion to Bernie Madoff, went to work, took sleeping pills and slit his wrist.

    The deaths bring up two questions: Is this the start of a disturbing recession-induced trend? And will it spread to rank-and-file Americans? The answers to both questions are a matter of debate. New York Magazine this week questioned whether a suicide epidemic was really taking place on Wall Street. In the blogosphere, Greenspan's Body Count--named after the former Fed chief whom many people see as partly to blame for the current economic crisis--offers a macabre tally of people who killed themselves or close family members allegedly due to economic pressures (the current tally is up to 72).
  • Article: Depression ahead, prepare for stock rout: SocGen.
    "Societe Generale said on Thursday that the United States' economy looks likely to enter a depression and China's could implode.

    In a highly bearish note, veteran cross asset strategist Albert Edwards said investors should now cut equity exposure after a turn-of-the-year rally and prepare for a rout.

    He predicted that the S&P 500 index of U.S. stocks could be set for a fall of around 40 percent from recent levels.

    Edwards also raised the danger of a global trade war with China.

    "While economic data in developed economies increasingly reflects depression rather than a deep recession, the real surprise in 2009 may lie elsewhere," Edwards wrote.

    "It is becoming clear that the Chinese economy is imploding and this raises the possibility of regime change. To prevent this, the authorities would likely devalue the yuan. A subsequent trade war could see a re-run of the Great Depression."
  • Article: US retail sales show fastest fall on record, Alan Rappeport, Krishna Guha.
    "US retail sales plunged more than twice as rapidly as expected in December, new figures revealed yesterday, as consumers cut back sharply on spending in spite of deep discounts during the holiday season.

    Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve's beige book survey for the six weeks to January 5 revealed pervasive weakness across sectors and throughout the nation.

    December retail sales were 9.8 per cent down compared with the year before, the sharpest such fall since record-keeping began in 1992, according to commerce department figures. The 2.7 per cent month-on-month decline was also the sixth consecutive month of falling sales, the longest on record. ...

    Analysts predict that as many as 200,000 retailers could shut their doors this year. According to Ashraf Laidi, an analyst at CMC Markets, the 522,000 retail jobs lost in 2008 exceeded the number of all of the jobs lost in the sector from 2001 through to 2003. Consumer restraint has also led companies to shrink inventories.
  • The good news is that we know how this works, and why, and how to get out of this. FDR did it. But the right wing crazies in Congress and the media are calling it socialism. We socialist fire, police departments, etc. Economic history rant.
  • Economics. Ravi Batra. Small Business Administration. We have to push Obama. Tax cuts won't work. Free education, trade schools.
  • Bumper Music: What You Give Away, Vince Gill.
  • It is time for us to cover each others' backs, we are a nation.
  • Bumper Music: Crazy, Gnarls Barkley.
  • Article: Peru's top court says drunk workers can't be fired.
  • Small businesses give people experience, then they move to bigger corporations to get healthcare.
  • Article: First-of-Its Kind Study: Medicare for All (Single-Payer) Reform Would Be Major Stimulus for Economy with 2.6 Million New Jobs, $317 Billion in Business Revenue, $100 Billion in Wages. California Nurses Association / National Nurses Organizing Committee.
  • John Conyers introduced a bill for a single payer health system, and will reintroduce it. It would save 25-30% in expenses. Bush lost us 2.6m jobs, in one year national single payer would restore them.
  • Article: Ch

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