Professor William Black joins Greg McInerney to talk about his own background in fraud cases in the US and how the US and Europe are dealing with the financial crisis in different ways. As well as austerity in Ireland and Europe and Germany’s role in all of this.
Greg McInerney: This is Greg McInerney here for the meltingpress.com. This is episode three of our Alternative Voices series and we are joined today by Professor Bill Black. Bill is a former bank regulator, a professor of law and economics and also the author of the brilliant book The Best Way to Rob a Bank is to Own One. Bill thanks so much for joining us today.
The Irish economy contracted again last year on the back of a sharp fall-off in net exports linked to the so-called pharma patent cliff. Preliminary figures published today by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) showed gross domestic product (GDP) contracted by 0.3 per cent last year
The government continually talks about austerity bringing about growth despite the fact that any decent economist will tell you that growth through austerity is impossible, hence more stagnation for the Irish economy. Our GDP figures are misleading as huge multinationals like Google, Facebook and Microsoft book their international sales through Ireland but this type of transaction is not tangible wealth. GNP has been similarly distorted by foreign companies without operations in Ireland, locating their headquarters here for taxation purposes.
Amid fears of a Kremlin-backed separatist rebellion against Ukraine’s fledgling government, armed men in military uniforms took up positions at two Crimean airports as Ukraine’s interior minister warned of “a direct provocation,” but there was no sign of any violence.
Despite being described as “self-defence squads” by the Russian media, it is probable that these men are at the very least funded and armed by the Kremlin. Western media is of course quick to emphasis Russian involvement but paid very little attention to who was arming and funding pro-European paramilitary squads to date much more violent than Russian-backed militias.
This is the first episode of our new “Alternative Voices” interview series, where we talk to people who give us a different perspective on all manner of topics.
Our first guest is Professor Michael Hudson, a research professor of economics at the University of Missouri in Kansas City and the author of two books “The Bubble And Beyond” and “Super Imperialism: The Economic Strategy Of American Empire”. He talks to Greg about austerity in Ireland, how US economic policy has affected Ireland, Europe and the rest of the world as well as how the various political parties in Ireland have mishandled the economic crisis.
Without further ado the first episode, along with the transcript and a link to download the episode from soundcloud, is below.