(openDemocracy) The myth of American recovery

trapped (Medium)By conceding that growing inequality is the main challenge facing the US, President Barack Obama finally admitted last week that the much lauded “recovery” is a myth.

In recent months, not a single day has gone by without reports of America’s impressive bounce-back and strong GDP growth. Financial experts and TV hosts have been very eager to emphasize surging stock market indexes and what good this brings to the world’s largest economy. Talk show guests have been underlining the strength of US economic crisis management, while pointing their fingers at Europeans who are just muddling through. More often than not, leading European voices appeared to agree.

Who would blame them? The US annualized GDP growth has reached 2.8% in this year’s third quarter – quite impressive when compared with the comatose 0.1% registered by the Eurozone. On the market front, Twitter’s IPO in November was a success even to the casual observer: at the end of the first trading day the company’s valuation peaked at $30 billion. Buyers of its stocks could cash as much as 70% in profit if they sold just 24 hours later. So, if the economy is growing and the stock market is booming, surely the recovery must be unquestionably here!

Or is it? What does recovery stand for? Should we cheer GDP growth and stock market performance, or should we rather look at household earnings, job quality and levels of poverty? What does really count, abstract statistics or people’s incomes, jobs?…

Read the rest of the piece on openDemocracy.

(Večer) Nedotakljivi

skyline4 (Medium)Mamilarska vojna na severu Mehike je v zadnjih letih zahtevala življenje več kot 60 tisoč ljudi. Zgodbe o množičnih pobojih, ugrabitvah, grožnjah še naprej pretresajo, poslovanje mamilarskih kartelov pa cveti.

Ameriška administracija ocenjuje, da se letno samo od prodaje drog v ZDA v njeno južno sosedo pretihotapi več kot 20 milijard dolarjev. Ta izjemna količina zelenih bankovcev seveda ne ostane skrita v nogavicah. Del gotovine se porabi za kritje stroškov delovanja kartelov, del se prečisti z večjimi nakupi, predvsem nepremičnin v turističnih središčih Latinske Amerike, kjer poslovanje z velikimi vsotami zelencev ni tako nevsakdanje. Del gotovine pa prek serije večjih in manjših pologov pristane na računih mehiških bank. Ena izmed njih je bila do nedavnega tudi britanska HSBC, po večini kazalcev še vedno druga največja banka na svetu, ki ima v svoji konsolidirani bilanci kar 2600 milijard dolarjev sredstev.  Continue reading