Bank bailouts

What a load of bankers

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Another month and another scandal with the banks — now centred on HSBC. After seven years of being told that “reforms” had been made, a “new start” acted on, “fundamental changes in the culture” made, new “super clean” managers with “openness and integrity” brought in…and we are back to the same old corrupt world of British banking.

Global recovery fades

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The world suffered the economic equivalent of a heart attack in 2008-9, triggered by the collapse of the Wall Street bank Lehman Brothers. The current condition of the global economy isn't as acute. But a raft of bad economic data over the last couple of months point to a patient whose breathing is starting to become much more irregular.

Across the core of the capitalist system, economies are either slowing, stagnating or contracting. In the United States, the rebound from the crisis was already the weakest on record, hovering at around two percent annual growth. But this has weakened further, slipping to 1.7 percent in the latest set of GDP figures. This is despite four years of $1 trillion plus government deficits and huge injections of cash into the economy by the Federal Reserve, the central bank, on top of that. And it could get worse.

States and capital, the banks and the bailouts

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Right wingers usually argue that the state should get out of the way of private capital - that economic problems are caused by an overbearing state or regulation. Jack Farmer argues that the state actually serves to prop up the private sector, a role confirmed by the way that capitalism has evolved in recent years

Tories often say that they don't like the state. They say it's a drag on the economy, dampening the risk-taking creativity of the private sector.

The myth of crony capitalism

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Those who suggest that we are witnessing a crisis of "crony capitalism", rather than capitalism itself, are wrong, argues Jack Farmer

Suddenly everyone seems to be talking about the "crisis of capitalism". This matters - it's one thing to say that the current economic mess was brought about by a failure of regulation, finance, greed or state interference. It's quite another to admit that the system itself might be fundamentally prone to generate destructive crises.

Crumbling Pillars of the British Establishment

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The phone hacking scandal has rapidly spread to engulf the police, the government and sections of the media. Estelle Cooch looks at the crisis of legitimacy spreading through the British establishment.

A succession of scandals have engulfed British public life over the last three years, each one placing under the spotlight the entrenched corruption of a different institution that governs our lives. First, there was the banking crisis and the huge bailouts that followed, and then came the parliamentary expenses scandal. Now the phone hacking scandal has raised profound disquiet not just about parts of the press but also about the cosy relationship of sections of the media with both politicians and the police.

Follow Iceland

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Voters in Iceland have for a second time rejected the opportunity to help bailout the governments of Britain and the Netherlands.

When Lehman Brothers collapsed in September 2008, the black hole created in the global economy threatened to swallow Iceland, then described by the Financial Times as "a reasonably large banking system with a small country attached".

Icesave, the internet bank set up by Landsbanki, Iceland's privatised national bank, immediately collapsed. After weeks of protests at the parliament building in Reykjavik the government fell in January 2009.

The state of the global economy

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Bankers and bosses appeared cheerful at this year's World Economic Forum in Davos. But the state of the global economy remains precarious

Last month the global ruling class - the bankers, political leaders, the CEOs of top multinationals and their acolytes - met for the World Economic Forum at the luxurious Swiss ski resort in Davos.

Leap of faith: The ruling classes' "solution" to the economic crisis

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The media greeted the London G20 Summit as a great success and declared it to be "the day the world came together to fight recession with a plan for economic recovery and reform". Chris Harman looks at what lies behind the hype and the so called solutions put forward

According to Barack Obama the London G20 Summit was "historic" and "a turning point". Did it in fact represent an answer to the deepening crisis?

The economic crisis deepens

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Joseph Choonara looks at a new phase of the economic crisis that could see whole countries go bankrupt.

The global economic crisis is entering a new phase. The first phase came as concerns over subprime mortgages and the "toxic" assets derived from them spread, leading to repeated attempts by central banks to "inject liquidity" into the financial system to prevent it seizing up.

Mobilise against system

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The protests that have shaken Greece are a sign of things to come. Initially over the shooting of a teenager by police in Athens, demonstrations and riots spread across the country, threatening the future of the government and crystallising the depth of bitterness and anger among working class people.

A deep economic crisis of the sort not seen in most of our lifetimes, following from a credit fuelled boom which failed to deliver for many people, creates a highly explosive situation. Inequality has grown, workers are under greater pressure of exploitation, and there is an ideology which repeatedly blames those at the bottom for everything that goes wrong in their lives.

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