Pharmaceutical drug companies in the US are out of control, raising their prices for potentially life saving drugs to astronomical levels, in the process condemning millions of US citizens to suffering and earlier death.

Last week attention focused on the latest scandal by the renegade ‘Big Pharma’ industry, as a company called Turing Pharmaceuticals raised the price on its drug, Daraprim, by 5000%. The medicine is critical to prevent the life-threatening infection, toxoplasmosis, that kills women with pregnancy related infections and others with cancer and AIDs. Daraprim has been around for more than 60 years.

Turing Pharmaceuticals’ new CEO, Martin Skrelli, purchased the company, Impact laboratories that had previously owned the medicine. As part of the acquisition, Impact Labs had to agree to take all its product off the market to prevent the development of generic alternatives, to ensure that Turing would thereafter have a monopoly on the medicine. Once it purchased Impact labs and Daraprim, Turing jacked up the price 5000%, from the former $13.50 per pill to Turing’s new $750 per pill.

Big Pharma’s Political Power; Washington’s Political Indifference

Skrelli and Turing are not just a rogue example of practices in the industry. They represent a trend that has been growing, as the lobbying spending and election campaign contributions by US Big Pharma have also risen to record levels, and as US governments and politicians turn a blind eye to the practices that are condemning millions of US citizens to pain and earlier death.

Since 2008, the 1425 officially recognized ‘Big Pharma’ lobbyists in Washington D.C. have spent close to $2 billion on lobbying activity, making the industry among the largest of lobbying spenders, according to the source, ‘OpenSecrets.Org’. Since 2008, the industry has also contributed more than $150 million to political candidates as well—not counting the further amounts hidden by US Supreme Court decisions since 2010 allowing unlimited corporate campaign spending.

With government and elected politicians sitting on the sidelines, examples of Turing behavior have been proliferating across the industry in the US.

There’s the recent case of Gilead Sciences, a company with a prescription drug that effectively cures victims of the widespread disease, Hepatitis C. Its drug, Solvaldi, costs $1000 per pill. A treatment to cure the disease now costs between $50,000 and $100,000 per year.

Another recent scandal case is Rodelis Corporation, which bought a company and the drug, Cycloserine, one of the few antibiotics able to treat drug-resistant tuberculosis which is becoming a new worldwide epidemic. Once it purchased the company and Cycloserine, Rodelis raised the price by 2000%. A 30 day treatment for tuberculosis used to cost $500. Now it costs $10,800 for just one month. A full treatment costs $500,000. It is interesting to note that outside the US the drug costs $20 per 100 pills.

Other examples of out of control US Big Pharma companies abound, such as Alexion Corporation’s new drug for treating blood disorders which costs $500,000 per patient; Biogen Corporations drug for treating multiple sclerosis costs $55,000 per year; Valeant Corporation’s price gouging of its newly acquired heart disease drugs, and other drugs from companies that treat cancer that have surged in price and today cost typically $80,000 per treatment. The list is long and growing.

Big Pharma Now Morphing Into Big Finance

The problem with Big Pharma price gouging ‘out of control’ is not just that its companies have been allowed to operate as monopolies due to patent protection. Patent protection has been around for decades, well before the industry began its price gouging and profits at the expense of life practices.

A good part of the problem has become the growing ‘financialization’ of the industry by Wall St. and global finance capital in general in recent decades. That takeover has led to new ways to inject price volatility into the prescription drug market in order to manipulate pricing to extract excessive speculative profits.
This has transformed, and continues to transform, the pharmaceuticals industry into what is sometimes called a ‘rentier capitalist’ sector. By ‘rentier’ is meant the ability of the industry, or a company, to gain excess profits share at the expense of consumers and even other companies. Banking and finance, itself a ‘rentier’ industry, is thus successfully transforming ‘Big Pharma’ into its own image as finance increasingly penetrates the industry.

The connections between Wall St. and Big Pharma are strikingly evident, and not untypical, in the case example of Turing Pharmaceuticals.

Turing’s CEO, Martin Skrelli, is a former hedge fund manager who crossed over to the Pharma sector. He started the hedge fund, Elea Capital, back in 2006. Sued for shady practices during the 2008-09 crash, he started another hedge fund, MSMB Capital Management, and made millions by what is called ‘short selling’—i.e. speculating on falling prices of stocks. Targeting drug companies at the time, Skrelli clearly saw a new opportunity to manipulate prices and make millions. He bought a pharma company called, Retrophin, with older but obscure drugs that were priced low. He then jacked up the prices. Retrophin profits were then creatively redirected to his hedge fund. Leaving Retrophin, he then formed Turing Pharmaceuticals in 2014, and immediately began what is becoming increasingly a practice in the Pharma industry by shadow bankers like Skrelli who are taking over more companies—i.e. manipulate the price of what were once low cost ‘orphan’ drugs, like Daraprim, to extract excess rentier profits at the expense of consumer patients in desperate need of life-saving medicines.

The transition from speculating by ‘short selling’ falling prices of pharmaceutical stocks to speculating by ‘price gouging’ with astronomical price hikes is an easy transition for hedge fund and other finance speculators now penetrating the pharmaceutical industry. Their business model is all about manipulating prices to obtain excess profits. Pharma is thus an easy transition.

Wall St. is in effect transforming the industry for purposes of speculative profits in other ways as well. Pharmaceutical companies are now a prime global sector for Wall St. Investment banks mergers and acquisitions activity. Wall St. investment banks make big bucks in managing M&As.

The pharmaceuticals industry is also among the leading practitioners of what is called ‘tax inversion’, as this writer noted in a previous teleSUR piece published August 13, 2014. Tax inversions, simply put, are a way for US corporations to avoid paying US taxes by purchasing a small company offshore, moving its global headquarters operations to the new company and diverting its US profits there, and thereby avoiding paying US taxes on ‘offshore’ profits.

Big Pharma has become increasingly integrated with Wall St. and has been focusing on various forms of Wall St. driven financial speculation. Price gouging of life-saving drugs is but the latest trend.

Profits for the Few vs. Lives of the Many

The effect the price gouging on US health care is already devastating. According to the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 12.9% of US adults aged 18 and older, about 32 million, now don’t take medicines prescribed by their doctors because they can no longer afford the price of the drugs. At least 4 million are those in dire need of life-saving TB, hepatitis, heart, and cancer medication.
As more money buys more votes for the few in the US, it does so at the expense of even more lives of the many—especially the poorest and those least able to afford necessary medicine often needed just to survive.

Jack Rasmus is the author of the forthcoming book, ‘Systemic Fragility in the Global Economy’, by Clarity Press, 2015. He blogs at jackrasmus.com.

Yours truly was recently interviewed by RT-TV on the Volkswagen emissions scandal, where the biggest car company has been systematically cheating on its emissions for 11 million diesel cars. In the short interview transcript, I address the likely consequences going forward. (The interview was conducted Sept. 24, 2015). (For more of my TV interviews in video, go to my website, http://www.kyklosproductions.com, and the video tab).

“The emissions scandal involving the German automaker is an opportunity for governments to cash in on environmental law, said economist Dr. Jack Rasmus. Many countries are going to go after Volkswagen in order to protect their auto industry, he added.

The head of Volkswagen Martin Winterkorn resigned over a vehicle emissions scandal on Wednesday. The US Environmental Protection Agency found the German company had been rigging emissions tests. The world’s largest car maker could face fines of up to $18 billion.

RT: Volkswagen will be paying billions of dollars in fines, but where will all that money end up?

Dr. JR: Well, this whole scandal is the equivalent of Volkswagen’s Deepwater Horizon crisis. Remember British Petroleum [BP] was fined billions of dollars as the result of the oil spill in the Gulf. But this is going to be even bigger: up to $18 billion just on 500,000 cars in the US where Volkswagen has admitted the problem affects 11 million of its cars worldwide. So this is going to be an even bigger billion dollar event in costs to the auto company. It will spill over to other auto companies as well. We’re going to have the equivalent of bank stress tests now globally on all diesel vehicles. It is really a hard hit to the auto industry as it peaks now – its sales are peaking worldwide. So it is a major crisis and especially for Germany economically. .

RT: If the crisis does spread to other car manufacturers, presumably we’ll be talking about similar sums of money. Is this really about protecting the environment and people, or is it really a great opportunity for governments to cash in?

Dr. JR: It is a little bit of both. Already California, New York, and other states in the US with environmental protection plans are jumping in and suing Volkswagen. You are going to see class actions suits by consumers and law firms in which they are probably going to ask for something similar to what happened in South Korea. In other words – repay the consumers in the former debit cards, because now the value of their vehicle has dropped virtually to half probably of what it is in resale value. It is going to spread throughout the US, and I believe it will spread elsewhere, [to] South Korea. You can expect China to protect its auto industry by going after Volkswagen and others.

The second largest sales for Volkswagen are in China – about the same size as the US sales. So yes, they are cashing in, no doubt in these cases. But there is a consumer problem here as well. They have been very deceitful. And there is a long history of that with auto companies.
RT: What is the future for Volkswagen on the US market? Is the company in danger?

Dr. JR: I think so. Its stock has already fallen 40 percent… and it is going to drag out over a number of years, but it is going to be a big hit to Volkswagen and a hit to the German economy – 17 per cent of all the exports of the German economy are auto exports. So this is already being reflected in Germany as export numbers and in its stock prices, and so forth.

The global economy is slowing – from China to Brazil to South Africa and beyond. Currency wars initiated in 2013 by Japan’s introducing a ‘quantitative easing’ (QE) monetary policy, intensified in 2015 by Europe introducing its own ‘QE’, and exacerbated still further by Saudi Arabia initiating a global oil price war to bankrupt U.S. shale oil challengers – have together converged to drive emerging market economies (EMEs) like Brazil, South Africa, Indonesia and others into recession or stagnation.

Exporting Recessions to Emerging Markets

Actions in the past 18 months by Europe, Japan and Saudi Arabia have resulted in lowering their currency exchange rates. The moves represent desperate attempts to boost their weakening economies by trying to capture a larger share of a slowing global export pie. Once growing in 2008 at a rate of 12 percent per year, that pie today, in 2015, is virtually flat.

Money wars, price wars, and currency wars all reflect an intensification of competition between the advanced economies (AEs) of Europe, Japan, U.S., and the Saudis as the global economy as a whole grows weaker and slows – i.e. what amounts to an intensifying economic ‘cat fight’.

That cat fight is having a severe impact on EMEs, resulting in escalating capital flight, collapsing financial asset markets (stocks, bonds, etc.), slowing revenue from exports, import inflation, falling investment and employment, and rising real debt. In response, some have raised interest rates to try to slow the capital outflow, attract more inflow, and slow inflation. But that has only slowed their own economies even more.

Other emerging markets have tried to compete with the AEs for export share by cutting wages of workers and introducing ‘austerity’ policies to make their workers pay for the slowdown. But that too is a dead-end response. The false logic is that austerity will show AE investors that they, the emerging markets, are serious about imposing economic discipline. Somehow that will convince investors to send their capital back to the emerging markets again.

But austerity only lowers wage incomes and slows growth even more. It does not attract back foreign capital. And AE investors don’t send money capital into economies that are stagnating or in recession.

Raising interest rates and/or introducing austerity are both economic dead end responses to a growing crisis that is clearly marked ‘made in Tokyo, Frankfurt, Riyadh’, and, of course, in Washington which is about to raise interest rates that will accelerate capital flight from EMEs even faster.

Despite imposing austerity policies on their work forces and populace, everywhere AE corporate elites whine and complain about the deteriorating global economy they have been causing. True, economic conditions worldwide are going from bad to worse. Workers’ wages, benefits, and incomes have been falling in the AEs since 2009 in a so-called ‘recovery’ that still hasn’t reached AE workers and is now ending as well. Wage income decline is about to accelerate. But to hear the AE corporate elites whine and complain you would think they are doing poorly as well. But the facts tell otherwise.

US$7.3 Trillion Corporate Cash Pile

Various studies and reports show that AE corporations continue to pile up cash on their balance sheets.

According to a June report by the Bank of Japan, in Japan corporate cash hoarding now totals US$2.4 trillion. And somehow that was accumulated despite Japan having experienced four recessions since the 2008-09.

How about Europe? There corporate cash has risen 40 percent since 2008, to US$1.1 trillion, despite a double dip recession of 18 months in 2011-13 that was worse than 2008-09 and despite a stagnating Eurozone since 2013.

And the United States? Moody’s Analytics research estimates corporate cash for non-financial corporations at US$1.73 trillion today. Add another US$1 trillion for reserves held by banks. Then there’s the estimate by Moody’s that U.S. multinational corporations continue to hoard another minimum another US$1.1 trillion in their offshore subsidiaries, which they’ve parked there in order to avoid paying U.S. taxes on that amount. That’s a combined US$3.8 trillion cash pile for U.S. corporations alone.

In total, just the AE economies of the United States, Eurozone, and Japan are therefore sitting on a minimum of US$7.3 trillion in cash today!

That US$7.3 trillion still doesn’t count what additional ‘cash equivalent’ corporations stuff away in what are called ‘depreciation’ funds and other hidden funds which doesn’t get counted as cash; or cash they might have stuffed in offshore tax havens and don’t report; or have purposely underestimated as a result of widespread tax fraud by U.S. corporations. The US$7.3 trillion also doesn’t include the undoubted trillions of dollars more hoarded by the Saudis and their regional emirate friends in Swiss, Luxembourg, and Singapore banks. If we included that, and the hidden funds and havens, there’s probably as much as US$10 trillion in cash piled up in the balance sheets of AE corporations in the United States, Europe, Japan and Saudi and friends’ economies.

OK, but what about individual AE capitalists and investors? Perhaps their corporations are bloated with cash, but maybe they haven’t benefited personally? Think again.

US$8 Trillion Stock Buybacks, Dividend, & Interest Payouts

The US$7.3 trillion in corporate cash represents what is left over after trillions more has already been to their investors since 2008.

In the United States alone since 2009, more than US$4.5 trillion has been distributed in stock buybacks and dividend payouts by just the largest 500 U.S. corporations, according to Standard & Poor’s research. Another US$500 billion has been distributed in dividends to all businesses, corporate and non-corporate alike, according to U.S. government data sources. That’s US$5 trillion. But even that astounding number does not include distributions by U.S. private equity firms to partners, estimated at US$1.3 trillion in just the last three years, or additional amounts by global hedge funds, or by other ‘shadow banks’, to their member partners in what’s called interest payments.

How about Japan and Europe? While stock buybacks are not historically as large in Japan and Europe as in the United States, they are rising rapidly. Meanwhile, dividend payments have been more generous compared to the United States, and rose 15 percent in Europe in 2014 and 16.8 percent in Japan by latest estimate. That’s probably another US$1-2 trillion.

In other words, a minimum US$8 trillion or so in cash has been distributed to shareholders and investors since 2009, leaving US$7.3 trillion in a still undistributed cash pile on AE corporate balance sheets.

Notwithstanding this incredible pile of distributed and undistributed cash since 2009, it apparently is still not enough for AE economic elites. (It is never enough.) To protect and grow their cash piles still further, AE economic policies have been shifting since 2013 to ‘export’ their stagnation to emerging markets, on the one hand, and to squeeze even more out of their own workers on the other. The latest version of the austerity squeeze now in development in the AEs is called ‘labor market reform’. And it’s coming to workers in EMEs as well. But more on that another time…

Jack Rasmus is the author of the forthcoming books, ‘Systemic Fragility in the Global Economy’ and ‘Looting Greece: The Emerging New Colonialism’, both by Clarity Press, October and November 2015. He blogs at jackrasmus.com. His website is http://www.kyklosproductions.com.

This content was originally published by teleSUR at the following address:
http://www.telesurtv.net/english/opinion/Global-Corporate-Cash-Piles-Exceed-15-Trillion-20150921-0028.html”. If you intend to use it, please cite the source and provide a link to the original article. http://www.teleSURtv.net/english

To listen to this archived podcast of Jack Rasmus’ Alternative Visions radio show of September 18, go to:


or to:



Jack Rasmus discusses the US Federal Reserve’s decision to keep interest rates near zero and keep free money to banks and speculators flowing. Jack explains how free money from the FED keeps financial asset bubbles in stocks, junk bonds, forex, derivatives and the like going, and feeds ever growing profits from financial assets. Who were the forces and lobbyists behind the FED decision? What did they have to gain? How the FED decision will soon result in central banks in Japan and Europe expanding their own ‘QE’ programs further, intensifying global currency wars and slowing global trade. How global finance capital has become addicted to the free money from the FED and other central banks and is unable to wean themselves off of it. What it means for the coming next recession. In the second half of the show Jack reveals how cash on US, Europe and Japan corporate balance sheets still exceeds $7.3 trillion—after corporations have distributed to shareholders since 2009 more than $8 trillion in stock buybacks, dividend payouts, and private equity firm profit sharing distributions to partners. Jack explains how corporations in the three regions, north America, Europe and Japan, accumulated the $15.3 trillion—i.e. from free money, legislated tax cuts, and cuts to worker’s wages and benefits.

To listen to my 8-28-15 Alternative Visions Radio Show on recent US GDP April-June revisions, and Greece-Ukraine Debt Deals, on the Progressive Radio Network, go to:


or to:



Aug 28th, 2015 by progressiveradionetwork

Jack examines the big swing in the revised GDP figures for the 2nd quarter, and raises questions about the US Government’s ability to adjust for seasonality in the figures. How is it that every year for the past four years, the US economy (and GDP numbers) collapse to near zero or less in the winter and then surge above average in the spring-summer? Can it be just coincidence, occurring now four times? How reliable are GDP numbers, in the US and globally (China, India, Europe?). Jack then looks at the details of the recent revision, concluding that business inventories, net exports, and commercial building number swings have good reason to doubt the veracity or continuity of the numbers. In the second half of the show, the recent debt restructuring deals just concluded in Greece and Ukraine in recent weeks indicate a new kind of colonialism may be emerging in the periphery of Europe, where debt is used as the ‘product’ by the colonizers to extract wealth and an income stream from the ‘colony’ by means of financial asset transfer instead of direct low wage and low cost production of goods—as in the case of past forms of colonialism. Jack reviews in detail the recent Memorandum signed by Greece and the Troika, which not only reveals even more austerity but now a direct management of the Greek colony economy to ensure payments on the $400 billion plus debt continue to be made. Direct management is a new feature of the new ‘inside’ colonialism. Direct management is even more blatant in the case of the Ukraine deal, Jack explains, where former US and EU shadow bankers now run Ukraine’s economy on a day to day basis. Depressions will get worse in both countries and more debt restructuring are inevitable.

A new form of colonialism is emerging in Europe. Not colonialism imposed by military conquest and occupation, as in the 19th century. Not even the more efficient form of economic colonialism pioneered by the U.S. in the post-1945 period, where the costs of direct administration and military occupation were replaced with compliant local elites allowed to share in the wealth extracted in exchange for being allowed to rule on behalf of the colonizers.

In the 21st century, it is “colonialism by means of financial asset transfer.” It is colony wealth extraction by colonizing country managers, assigned to directly administer the processes in the colony by which financial assets are to be transferred. This new form of colonialism by direct management plus financial wealth transfer is now emerging in Greece and Ukraine.

Behind the appearance of the recent Greek debt deal is the reality of European bankers and their institutions — the European Commission, European Central Bank, IMF, and European Stability Mechanism (ESM) — who will soon assume direct management of the operation of the economy, according to the Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, signed August 14, 2015, by Greece and the Troika. The MoU spells out direct management in various ways. In the case of Ukraine, it is even more direct. U.S. and European shadow bankers were installed by U.S.-Europe last December 2014 as Ukraine’s finance and economic ministers. They have been directly managing Ukraine’s economy on a day to day basis ever since.

The new colonialism as financial asset transfer takes several practical forms: as wealth transfer in the form of interest payments on ever rising debt, in firesales of government assets sold directly to the colonizer’s investors and bankers, and in the de facto takeover the colony’s banking system and bank assets in order to transfer wealth to shareholders of the colonizing country’s private bankers and investors.

The Case of Greece

The recent third debt deal signed August 14, 2015, between Greece and the Troika of European economic institutions adds another $98 billion to Greece’s debt, raising Greece’s total debt to more than $400 billion. Nearly all the $98 billion is earmarked for debt payments and to recapitalize the Greek banks. Wealth is extracted in the form of Greeks producing more, or cutting spending and raising taxes more, in order to create what’s called a primary surplus from which interest and principal is to be paid.

The Greeks aren’t going to have their goods produced and sold cheaper to Germany to re-export at higher price and profit — i.e. 19th century colonialism. Multinational corporations aren’t going to relocate to Greece so they can pay cheaper wages, lower costs, and then re-export to the rest of the world for profit — i.e. U.S. late 20th century colonialism. The Greeks are going to work harder and for less in order to generate a surplus that will return to the Troika institutions in the form of interest payments on the ever-rising debt they owe. The Troika are the intermediaries, the debt collectors, the State-Agency representatives of bankers and investors on behalf of whom they collect the debt payments. They are supra-state bodies and the new agents of financial wealth extraction and transfer.

The Greek-Troika MoU defines in detail the direct management as well as what and how the wealth will be extracted and transferred. The MoU begins by stating explicitly that no legislation or other action, however minor, by Greece’s political institutions can be taken without prior approval of the Troika. The Troika thus has veto power over virtually all policy measures in Greece, all legislative or executive agency decisions, and by all levels of government.

Furthermore, Greece will no longer have a fiscal policy. The Troika will define the budget. It will oversee the writing of a budget. The MoU calls for a total restructuring of Greek taxes and spending that must occur in the new budget. Greece gets to write its budget, but only if that budget is the budget the Troika wants. And Troika representatives will monitor compliance to ensure that Greece adheres to the Troika’s budget. Every Greek agency and every Greek Parliament legislative committee will thus have its ‘Troika Commissar’ looking over its shoulder on an almost daily basis.

The MoU states the Troika also has the power to appoint “independent consultants” to the Boards of Greeks banks. Many old bank board members will be removed. Troika appointees will now manage the Greek banks on a day to day basis, in other words. Greek bank subsidiaries and branches outside Greece will be “privatized,” i.e. sold off to other Euro banks. The Greek banks are thus now Greek in name only. They will become appendages and de facto subsidiaries of northern Euro banks working behind the veil of the Troika and at the shoulder of their Greek banker counterparts.The several tens of billions of dollars allocated to recapitalize the Greek banks will reside in Luxembourg banks, not in Greece. Greece no longer has a monetary policy; the Troika has.

The World Bank will redesign the Greek welfare system and a new social safety net system. New appointees to run the Labor Ministry, after approved by the Troika, will “rationalize the education system” (i.e. teacher layoffs and wage cuts). The new, Troika vetted Labor Minister will implement the proposals of Troika “independent consultants” to limit “industrial actions” (i.e. strikes) and collective bargaining and will, following consultants’ recommendations, institute new rules for collective dismissals (i.e. mass layoffs). Pensions will be cut, retirement ages raised, workers’ health care contributions increased, Local governments made more efficient (layoffs, wage cuts), and the entire legal system overhauled.

The $50 billion Privatization of Greek Government Assets Fund will remain in Greece. However, it will operate “under the supervision of the relevant European institutions,” according to the MOU. The Troika will decide what is to be privatized and sold at what (firesale) price to which of its favored investors. In the meantime, privatization sales in progress or identified will be accelerated.

The Case of Ukraine

In Ukraine’s case, only once U.S. and Euro bankers were installed as Ministers of Finance and Economics last December 2014, were more loans promised to Ukraine. The U.S. and EU put in another $4 billion in January, and the IMF quickly announced the new $40 billion deal in February. After the $40 billion, Ukraine’s debt rose from $12 billion in 2007 to $100 billion in 2015. The new $100 billion debt will mean a massive increase in financial wealth extraction in the form of interest payments on that $100 billion.

Another form of transfer will occur in the accelerating of privatizations. No fewer than 342 former government enterprise companies are slated for sale in 2015, including power plants, mines, 13 ports, and even farms. The sales will likely occur at firesale prices, benefiting U.S. and European “friends” of the new US and European ministers. So too will the sale of Ukraine private companies approved by the new Ministers. One of every five are technically bankrupt and unable to refinance $10 billion in corporate junk bond debt. Many will default, the best scooped up by U.S. and EU shadow bankers and multinational corporations. What both Greece and Ukraine represent is the development of new more direct management of wealth extraction, and the transfer of that wealth in the form of financial assets. In past government debt bailouts, the IMF and other institutions set parameters for what the bailed out country must do. But the country was left to carry out the plan. No longer. It’s now direct management to ensure the colony does not balk or delay on the transfer of financial assets enabled by ever rising debt.

This content was originally published by teleSUR at the following address:
http://www.telesurtv.net/english/opinion/The-New-Colonialism-Greece-and-Ukraine-20150829-0012.html”. If you intend to use it, please cite the source and provide a link to the original article. http://www.teleSURtv.net/english

The following is a podcast recording of my radio show, Alternative Visions, of last friday, August 21. For follow up to events of this week, listen live to the forthcoming August 28 show at 3pm NY time at: http://prn.fm/category/archives/alternative-visions/

The August 21 show is available now for download at:


or at:



Dr. Jack Rasmus looks at today’s, and this past week’s, plunge in global stock markets from Shanghai to New York and beyond. What’s driving the rout, which recorded nearly 10% drop in stock values in just one week? Jack explains the causes behind the stock bubbles’ rise before this summer, focusing on China’s 120% bubble in 2014-15, now sharply contracting by 35%, and the bubble in US stocks that have risen 180% since 2010, and are now about to follow China’s stock contraction. Europe and other Asian markets are following the China-US connection in turn. Jack explains how the stock bubble in the US has been a consequence of the US central bank pumping $15-$20 in excess liquidity into the economy since 2009 via its zero rate and QE programs. In China, the shift to a monetary first policy in 2013 has caused excess liquidity on a similar scale. China’s real economy has been slowing since 2012. To offset the slowdown, China policy makers focused on stimulating stocks for various reasons: to quell other bubbles in housing and industrial debt, to shift toward more private sector driven growth, and to attract more foreign money capital. How China lost control of its stock bubble is explained, as well as the failed attempts since June to control the stock collapse and restimulate its real economy. Jack predicts the troubles in the global economy are about to get even worse in coming months.


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