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 Book Club Suggestion - Michael Hudson's "Super Imperialism- The Economic Strategy of American Empire"

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PostSubject: Book Club Suggestion - Michael Hudson's "Super Imperialism- The Economic Strategy of American Empire"   Sun Jan 25, 2009 5:03 pm

I heard Michael Hudson interviewed on the economic crisis today on Presstv, and immediately after looked to see what he has written. His best known work is "Super Imperialism - The Economic Strategy of American Empire". This book, and the 2002 foreword on how the US got the rest of the world to pay for the Iraq war explains how the US can run a deficit of a trillion a year and the rest of the world be poorer for it.

I'll be reading the book and posting on it, but I am proposing the book as a Book Club read. Is there anyone else who would be interested to read it and post their comments?

The text is here in full:

http://www.michael-hudson.com/books/superimperialism.pdf

If there is interest, I'll get in touch with Michael Hudson and see if he has time to drop in and respond to the thread at some stage.

Quote :
Michael Hudson is president of the Institute for the Study of Long-term Economic Trends (ISLET) in New York and London. Among his books on the politics of international finance are Super-Imperialism: The Economic Strategy of American Empire (Holt Rinehart, 1972), and Global Fracture: The New International Economic Order (Harper & Row, 1979). He formerly taught international economics at the New School for Social Research, Graduate Faculty (1969-72), and has traced the development of international trade and financial theory in Trade, Development and Foreign Debt (Pluto Press, 1993. He is editor of the ISLET assyriological colloquia on Debt and Economic Renewal in the Ancient Near East (CDL Press, 2002), Urbanization and Land Use in the Ancient Near East ((Harvard: Peabody Museum, 1999), and Privatization in the Ancient Near East and Classical Antiquity (Harvard 1996).

In 1984 Dr. Hudson joined Harvard’s Peabody Museum to design a program in the financial origins of civilization. He has edited three colloquia in this program: Privatization in the Ancient Near East and Classical Antiquity (1996), Urbanization and Land Ownership in the Ancient Near East (1999) and Debt and Economic Renewal in the Ancient Near East (2002). A fourth volume on the Origins of Money and Account-Keeping in the Ancient Near East is in preparation.

Michael Hudson is a Wall Street financial analyst and Distinguished Research Professor of Economics at the University of Missouri (Kansas City). He has written or edited over ten books on international finance, economic history and the history of economic thought, and has been an economic advisor to the U.S., Canadian, Mexican and other governments and United Nations agencies, as well as to international corporations and money managers. He is president of the Institute for the Study of Long-term Economic Trends (ISLET). His books have been translated into Japanese, Spanish and Russian.
http://www.michael-hudson.com/biography.html

Auditor #9 - I've got my copy of "Globalism and its Discontents" back, and would be interested in reading that too - would you like to have a go at it with, or without, the Hudson book?
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PostSubject: Re: Book Club Suggestion - Michael Hudson's "Super Imperialism- The Economic Strategy of American Empire"   Sun Jan 25, 2009 5:59 pm

"2nd
edition 2003
1st
edition 1972) "

Sounds interesting. If I have the time I'll try and read it. I'm kinda re-reading "The Future of Money"* by the former currency trader and central banker Bernard Lietaer so I'm in the financial zone!

*
http://www.monbiot.com/archives/2009/01/20/a-better-way-to-make-money/
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PostSubject: Re: Book Club Suggestion - Michael Hudson's "Super Imperialism- The Economic Strategy of American Empire"   Sun Jan 25, 2009 6:49 pm

Hudson is an economist with "archaeological" knowledge of economics.

I'm looking forward to getting stuck into this.

If you have time, would you post your thoughts about the book on Money ?
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PostSubject: Re: Book Club Suggestion - Michael Hudson's "Super Imperialism- The Economic Strategy of American Empire"   Mon Jan 26, 2009 3:46 pm

"This Treasury-bond standard of international finance has enabled the United States to obtain the largest free lunch ever achieved in history. America has turned the international financial system upside down. Whereas formerly it rested on gold, central bank reserves are now held in the form of U.S. Government IOUs that can be run up without limit. In effect, America has been buying up Europe, Asia and other regions with paper credit – U.S. Treasury IOUs that it has informed the world it has little intention of ever paying off."

And there is little Europe or Asia can do about it, except to abandon the dollar and create their own financial system."

I am still trying to get my head around this dollar recycling business, and how it works. If anyone can help, it would be much appreciated.
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PostSubject: Re: Book Club Suggestion - Michael Hudson's "Super Imperialism- The Economic Strategy of American Empire"   Mon Jan 26, 2009 4:07 pm

It would be worth reading Emmanuel Todd's "After the Empire" (review here) - it sounds like this guy is borrowing rather heavily from him.
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PostSubject: Re: Book Club Suggestion - Michael Hudson's "Super Imperialism- The Economic Strategy of American Empire"   Mon Jan 26, 2009 4:32 pm

cactus flower wrote:
Hudson is an economist with "archaeological" knowledge of economics.

I'm looking forward to getting stuck into this.

To each their own, could I suggest a Graham Greene, The Quiet American or The Power and the Glory. Indeed most of his books are a good read.
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PostSubject: Re: Book Club Suggestion - Michael Hudson's "Super Imperialism- The Economic Strategy of American Empire"   Mon Jan 26, 2009 5:06 pm

Squire wrote:
cactus flower wrote:
Hudson is an economist with "archaeological" knowledge of economics.

I'm looking forward to getting stuck into this.

To each their own, could I suggest a Graham Greene, The Quiet American or The Power and the Glory. Indeed most of his books are a good read.

I haven't read The Power and The Glory, but I certainly agree about The Quiet American.
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PostSubject: Re: Book Club Suggestion - Michael Hudson's "Super Imperialism- The Economic Strategy of American Empire"   Mon Jan 26, 2009 5:14 pm

ibis wrote:
It would be worth reading Emmanuel Todd's "After the Empire" (review here) - it sounds like this guy is borrowing rather heavily from him.

This looks interesting, but the Hudson book is purely economics, I think. It is about the dollar as a reserve currency, and he is essentially saying that that mechanism has allowed the US to rack up a debt of 4 trillion in the last few years, that it never intends to repay to the foreign states and investors who funded it. He also talks about how the US has got the rest of the world to fund its wars. It explains why the US considers any move to stop trading in the dollar to be an act of war.

I don't really understand how the basic operation works, although people explained it before in our dollar thread. I'm hoping I will by the time I finish this book.

I heard this guy talking on television about the current crisis, and about how part of what is going on is a reconfiguring of wealth into even fewer hands. He also says there is no way that a crisis born of credit can be solved by pumping out more credit. He says this crash is going all the way to the floor.
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PostSubject: Re: Book Club Suggestion - Michael Hudson's "Super Imperialism- The Economic Strategy of American Empire"   Mon Jan 26, 2009 9:40 pm

Pax wrote:
"2nd
edition 2003
1st
edition 1972) "

Sounds interesting. If I have the time I'll try and read it. I'm kinda re-reading "The Future of Money"* by the former currency trader and central banker Bernard Lietaer so I'm in the financial zone!

*
http://www.monbiot.com/archives/2009/01/20/a-better-way-to-make-money/

A propos Monbiot / Lietaer, there was a piece on the BBC R4 Today programme at the weekend about the Lewes Pound, the local currency of the town of Lewes in East Sussex. This is a local currency redeemable in the premises of local traders (ie not in national chains) and is apparently proving very popular down there.

http://thelewespound.org/

I just loved the chap quoted on the R4 piece who, when asked why he was holding on to a Lewes pound rather than using it, said he hoped to sell it to someone outside Lewes who'd pay £2 for the novelty value. Currency speculation continues!

I believe there are now a few places in the UK and the US which have started their own local currencies.


Last edited by Atticus on Mon Jan 26, 2009 9:56 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Book Club Suggestion - Michael Hudson's "Super Imperialism- The Economic Strategy of American Empire"   Mon Jan 26, 2009 9:53 pm

Just reading about the abolition of money in the Soviet Union, for a relatively short period in the 1920s, but nevertheless very interesting.
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PostSubject: Re: Book Club Suggestion - Michael Hudson's "Super Imperialism- The Economic Strategy of American Empire"   Mon Jan 26, 2009 10:42 pm

Atticus wrote:
Pax wrote:
"2nd
edition 2003
1st
edition 1972) "

Sounds interesting. If I have the time I'll try and read it. I'm kinda re-reading "The Future of Money"* by the former currency trader and central banker Bernard Lietaer so I'm in the financial zone!

*
http://www.monbiot.com/archives/2009/01/20/a-better-way-to-make-money/

A propos Monbiot / Lietaer, there was a piece on the BBC R4 Today programme at the weekend about the Lewes Pound, the local currency of the town of Lewes in East Sussex. This is a local currency redeemable in the premises of local traders (ie not in national chains) and is apparently proving very popular down there.

http://thelewespound.org/

I just loved the chap quoted on the R4 piece who, when asked why he was holding on to a Lewes pound rather than using it, said he hoped to sell it to someone outside Lewes who'd pay £2 for the novelty value. Currency speculation continues!

I believe there are now a few places in the UK and the US which have started their own local currencies.

It's a fascinating concept these local currencies as is the whole demurrage system and the attending opportunities of using new technology with all of this....

with that in mind, see openmoney which is similar to the LETS system but tied to a social fiat.
http://www.openmoney.org/
http://www.openmoney.org/top/omanifesto.html
" Money is just information, a way we measure what we trade, nothing of value in itself. And we can make it ourselves, to work as a complement to conventional money. Just a matter of design."

But I think the great thing about that book, is how it acts as a good introduction to our debt based fiat monetary systems while highlighting alternatives.
It's also very easy to read.

The value of money is a social construct, a facet which works against the rugged gungho individualist notion of capitalism. Once the value is maintained within a community then the money can work. You could have a machine nation money for instance! It would be local to this site, but not local in the real world...

Of course money can be used to dominate such as with the US dollar. The US might con/cajole/or-threaten the Chinese and Saudi's into lending them a trillion dollars despite already lending them 2 trillion!
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PostSubject: Re: Book Club Suggestion - Michael Hudson's "Super Imperialism- The Economic Strategy of American Empire"   Tue Jan 27, 2009 12:52 am

We have the miniaudi, which is acceptable currency in the Sibin Reoite.
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