Read Killing the Host: How Financial Parasites and Debt Bondage Destroy the Global Economy by Michael Hudson Online

killing-the-host-how-financial-parasites-and-debt-bondage-destroy-the-global-economy

The financial sector has succeeded in depicting itself as part of the productive economy, yet for centuries banking was recognized as being parasitic. The essence of parasitism is not only to drain the host’s nourishment, but also to dull the host’s brain so that it does not recognize that the parasite is there.This is the illusion that much of Europe and the United StatesThe financial sector has succeeded in depicting itself as part of the productive economy, yet for centuries banking was recognized as being parasitic. The essence of parasitism is not only to drain the host’s nourishment, but also to dull the host’s brain so that it does not recognize that the parasite is there.This is the illusion that much of Europe and the United States suffer under today. The aim of this book is to pierce this illusion and replace junk economics with economics based on reality. In Killing the Host, Michael Hudson argues that financial crises will continue unless we radically transform our economic and political structures, and reclaim the best ideas of classical economics.Ominous, yet clear-eyed and prophetic, Hudson provides viable solutions to our economic problems, at a time when politicians have shown themselves unable to understand our economy much less fix it....

Title : Killing the Host: How Financial Parasites and Debt Bondage Destroy the Global Economy
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781568587370
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 400 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Killing the Host: How Financial Parasites and Debt Bondage Destroy the Global Economy Reviews

  • C. Scott
    2019-05-10 17:32

    Hudson really gets it. I respect Michael Hudson more than any other economist (looking at you Krugman) because of his willingness to completely contradict the prevailing orthodoxy. The book's thesis that the FIRE sector is parasitic is easy to understand and I think well supported by the facts. One fact alone - that almost all growth since the 2008 financial crisis has gone to the One Percent - goes a long way toward proving Hudson's point.This book probably isn't for a wide general audience - some basic understanding of economics is necessary to get the most out of Hudson's arguments. However, the language is not technical and anyone with an interest in the broad economic global trends is sure to gain from reading this book.

  • Mark Hartzer
    2019-05-16 21:51

    Imagine reading a non fiction book where you have to stop every 3-4 sentences to digest what you've just read and contemplate the concepts. This is not a textbook; but I got a much more intelligent analysis of economics than anything I've previously read from von Hayek to Krugman. It took me much longer than I expected to finish this book because even though I'm very familiar with the topics, he offered insights that I had not expected.Paul Roberts, the former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury, of the Reagan administration said it better than I... http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2016/0...Sample passages include: "Saddling students and homebuyers with debt has turned their hopes and ambition into a road to insolvency. People can choose which bank to borrow from, which home to buy with a 30 year working life mortgage, and which college to take out an education loan to attend. But whatever their choice, they are subjected to a financialized version of the the Company Store, a deregulated and predatory economy." or"Ancient mythology asked how King Midas could survive with nothing to eat but his gold. This threatens to be a metaphor for today's finance capitalism-a dream that one can live purely off money, without means of production and living labor."2 quibbles:1.) There is zero mention of reenacting Glass-Steagall. This is a much simpler action than most of the suggestions that Hudson has helping to fix our broken system; and 2.) Easy does it on the fixation on 'classical economics'. While I understand that Hudson is an Economist, and these issues are truly ancient in origin, most people really don't care about classical economics any more than whether Liszt is a classical composer or is post classical. It's just too academic. But regardless of one's view of classical economics, this is an important book that is well worth taking the time to read and contemplate. I will read it again to dive a little deeper into the background into how rentier interests have been capturing our government and selling us into the debt slavery. A very powerful book.

  • Andrew Fairweather
    2019-05-11 15:57

    Michael Hudson’s ‘Killing the Host’ is a remarkable piece of work by someone with breadth of knowledge (with the details to back in up) and bold propositions. Though the sheer volume of concrete details from the 2008//Eurozone crisis brought forth all at once in parts II and III clog the stream of ideas from time to time (really, my only criticism) the salient points are never lost. The major point? Our debts will not be paid. The question is, *how* will our debts not be paid?Drawing from classical economic theory, Hudson distinguishes investment geared towards industrial enterprises from interest and speculation gained from assets. Essentially, this distinguishes productive income from unproductive income which pretty much just sets out to bid up prices on already existing assets and shares. The orthodoxy of global finance beats us over the head with the idea that we need to free up capital so that major players are able to have enough left over to reinvest in growth—the key is, there is a difference between productive growth and financial growth. In our current system, it is much more cost-effective (for the managers of finance, that is) to bid up prices of existing assets or strip public services of their assets in order to make a killing.The cost for the rest of us, needless to say, is massive given the fact that in the meantime unemployment/underemployment increases due to lack of investment in the real economy, and prices in the FIRE sector continue to rise since prices will always increase to whatever point that the “market will bear” (Hudson calls this phenomenon “asset price inflation”). Due to the emphasis on corporate profits for stock buybacks or paying higher dividends to shareholders, many companies undergo downsizing (or “streamlining” as they like to call it) simply to increase earnings at whatever the qualitative cost to the community, or even the company itself. These gains are most often short term only, the benefits reaped by the asset classes. The long term effects for the rest of us are more unemployment (which means less tax revenue) and a weakening of labor, coupled with the austerity song and dance about increasing taxes on labor and consumers to shrink public deficits. In the mean time, the horrendous amounts of debt taken on by the debtor classes leads to less goods being consumed, ultimately rendering a smothering of the real, productive economy. Let it be said in no uncertain terms:“Wealth is redistributed to winning bettors, *not created*. Indeed, ‘product' is a pool of toxic mortgages. Timing in such markets is based on the moody winds of the trading floors of New York and Chicago. This is the time horizon of bank robbers—and of robber banks.”Meanwhile, we are fed this utter crap that markets need further deregulation so that competition will bring prices down. The result is more monopolies and greater income inequality!This is creating a scenario for class warfare between debtors and asset holders. Hudson rightly reminds us that despite the cry of the middle and upper classes that income redistribution is an unfair practice, there is an *incredible* amount of income redistribution *already* going on insofar as all the money is floating to the top. This money is then gambled again on the market instead of being invested in productive enterprises which would create good paying jobs. As a result, indicators of “growth” are relatively meaningless since all of the growth is taking place in the FIRE sector—which is entirely unproductive.As an aside, I, for one, am tired of hearing conservatives denounce “social engineering” practices of the left when the right is constantly engineering the system to its benefit. And they will keep doing so as long as we let them. As much as the right denounces government regulation as “socialism” (as if that were such a bad thing) the 2008 bailout was, in Hudson’s own words, “socializing the losses, privatizing the profits."All of this flies in the face of the initial aim of classical economics to free itself from the legacy of an aristocratic *rentier* class. In the sense of classical economics, ‘free markets’ did not mean freedom to conduct business without government intervention, but freedom *from* exploitation by a land owning class.As it stands, government exists to redeem toxic assets and support financial bubbles with the mantra that there is simply no other alternative. Rubbish!But what makes this book so great is that Hudson provides the reader with an alternative to austerity. To put it broadly, financial systems must be set up to address the economy’s long term interests. Short term enterprise like predatory credit that exceeds reasonable terms of payment would be annulled at the cost of the creditor. Instead of bailing out banks and Quantitative Easing (which ultimately is not only an endorsement of criminal finance but does not attempt to address the problems that led to the crisis), Hudson calls for a writedown of household debt and the junk mortgages of the kind that let to the 2008 crash. Capital gains should be taxed, as well as economic rent so that it may not be capitalized into interest payments.Hudson criticizes popular “solutions” to the failure of capital to produce productive gains such as Thomas Piketty's suggested tax on inherited estates and progressive income taxation since they do not address the root of the problem—whether gains were earned productively, or by extractive, exploitative *rentier* practices. (I freely admit I have not read Piketty’s ‘Capital,’ but I have heard this charged leveled against Piketty before.) Instead, Hudson's recommendations run along the lines of creating public utilities like setting up a public banking option for retail banking, as well as making all naturally occurring monopolies public to prevent predatory rent extraction. Additionally, all government deficits would be funded by central banks. Hudson reminds us that these measures, among others, cannot be gradual. There is not “right time” for these reforms. We either demand them or let the 1% make their own demands—these are our only options.I have absolutely no background in economics (which probably shows in my review—I haven’t even the mental stamina to reread it!!). As a result, this book was very hard-going. Still, it was well worth the effort, no doubt. To not know what is going on is to believe (or accept) the slogans of financial orthodoxy that are allowing for the befuddlement that enables global finance to create a new class-system of debtors and asset holders (creditors). Despite the economic jargon, in ‘Killing the Host’ Hudson is able to tell the lay-reader just how they are being taken for suckers. For this, I commend him.

  • Noel Aldebol
    2019-05-01 20:44

    First a quote from the book to give you a good idea of what is presented --Fictitious economic models as tactics of deception"In place of classical political economy, today’s foundation myth is that all income and wealth is earned productively – as if there were no economic rent (unearned income) as a legacy of feudalism’s rentier privileges, and no inherited wealth or insider giveaways. Yet these have been the shaping forces of history. That is why they were the focal point of classical political economy – to free society from such privileges and bias. A society’s analytic concepts determine the kind of reality it creates. That is why parasites start by taking control of their host’s brain. Neoliberal enzymes aim to sedate the industrial host into believing that the financial sector is part of the real economy, not external to it and extractive. That is the first myth. Modern national income and GDP accounting formats treat tollbooth systems and other rent seeking as “output.” Bankers claim to obtain their salaries and bonuses by “creating wealth” (adding to GDP). But they demand to be rescued by taxpayer bailouts (or new central bank money creation) when the bubble that they finance bursts, dispelling the economic fictions they have created. The “service” that bankers claim to provide – managing the economy’s money in ways that increase prosperity – turns out to be a neo-rentier economy based on unearned wealth and income."____________________________________You want to know several books worth of economics ? Read this book.You want to know what is hardly talked about economics ? Read this book.You want to know economic history which is the base of all economic knowledge ? Read this book.You want know enough to instantly be able to feel what is fiction what is the truth or near the truth about economics ? Read this book.You want to corroborate the rumor that what the elites tell you about economics is BS ? Read this book.You think businesses are charging more because of wages they pay to the workers ? Do you want to know what motivates businesses more to seek automation to drive costs lower and lower? What is draining and reducing profits for our businesses ? Want to know? Read this book.Want to know so much that you feel like you have improved your value greatly ? Read this book.Want to know why Michael Hudson is considered by many to be the best economist alive ? Read this book.

  • Pedro L. Fragoso
    2019-04-25 19:41

    Surely, the most important book published this year in any language (and one would hope, the most influential). A masterpiece of intelligent reasoning. One of the books of my life, whose reading most resonated with me. (There is a leaning towards socialist values that I do not condone, and makes some arguments unnecessarily weaker, but all in all, these are indeed details that can be set aside; however, the socialist rhetoric herein should be the basis for the argument by the politically left in the countries crushed by public debt, as they are intelligently and compellingly presented.)"The truth is that today’s debt overhead can’t be paid. Today’s political fight concerns just how they won’t be paid. If government debts to foreign creditors are paid by forced privatization selloffs, the former public domain and infrastructure will be turned into rent-extraction tollbooth opportunities and economies will be impoverished by rentier austerity.""Under these conditions, more credit at lower interest rates has a different effect from what economics textbooks describe. Conventional wisdom throughout the 20th century described low interest rates as spurring new investment and employment by lowering the cost of borrowing, and hence supposedly the cost of new investment. But few bank loans or bonds are for this purpose. Instead, low interest rates provide easier credit for raiders to attack companies, or simply for mergers and acquisitions.""This has shifted the stock market’s role as an alternative to debt, to buying out stockholders by borrowing.""Adam Smith long ago remarked that profits often are highest in nations going fastest to ruin. There are many ways to create economic suicide on a national level. The major way throughout history has been by indebting the economy. Debt always expands to reach a point where it cannot be paid by large swaths of the economy. That is the point where austerity is imposed and ownership of wealth polarizes between the One Percent and the 99 Percent. Today is not the first time this has occurred in history. But it is the first time that running into debt has occurred deliberately, applauded as if most debtors can get rich by borrowing, not reduced to a condition of debt peonage."I could easily just quote the whole book, it is that good.

  • Ali Faqihi
    2019-05-11 17:44

    https://www.theguardian.com/business/...If you’ve read the recent Guardian article on 26th October that reads: “World's witnessing a new Gilded Age as billionaires’ wealth swells to $6tn, Not since the time of the Carnegies, Rockefellers and Vanderbilts at the turn of the 20th century was so much owned by so few.” And asked yourself why? and how? then this is definitely the book that you should read! This is one of the best books I’ve ever read on economics, Hands down. Piketty might have the data and the statistics on inequality, but Hudson explains the dynamics and root causes of inequality like no other. This book covers it all - rentier economy, financialized/bubble economy, debt/austerity/predatory tollbooth economy, dynamics between finance and industry, classical economists and economic thoughts of the 18th,19th and 20th centuries, debt deflation/unearned income and more…- to explain what’s really wrong with today’s economy. Hudson ends with a bleak (and historical) assessment on where we are headed if the unchecked forces of financial parasites and debt bondage are left to run amok –(debt neo-serfdom), and like his colleague Prof. Steve Keen, he proposes debt cancellation as the first step out of this mess. Hudson is President of The Institute for the Study of Long-Term Economic Trends (ISLET), a Wall Street Financial Analyst, Distinguished Research Professor of Economics at the University of Missouri, Kansas City and one of the few economists who predicted the financial crash of 2008.

  • Michael Hofschneider
    2019-05-01 16:40

    One of the most important books I have read in my life. This book is eye-opening. It answers so many questions people ask about what is going wrong in our economy. It offers a historic perspective about the development of debt and how it threathens the economic well-being of us and future generations. Michael Hudson provides a brilliant and sharp analysis about the financial crisis that started not in 2008 but many years before. He offers measures how states and society can take back control from the financial sector.

  • Idfaciamus
    2019-04-21 20:50

    A very interesting explanation of the role of debt in our economic system. Hudson gives a clear picture of how the financialization of our economy is wrecking it, as if anyone needed a reminder after the collapse of the housing bubble. He also tells us how, like Matt Taibbi and Michael Lewis, how the process works, and it's being played out all over the world in Europe as well as the developing world. It's results can be devastating: Greece, Latvia, and Ireland lost ten per cent of their population due to economic refugees, especially young people, leaving the country. Hudson reinforces what others have told us, that there are two systems of justice - nobody went to jail after the crash - and two economies: one for the one per cent and the other for the rest of us.

  • Derek Barnes
    2019-05-21 17:47

    Classical economics should be making a comeback and Michael Hudson is leading the charge. A must-read, IMHO, on how predatory finance and debt threatens democracy. If the Big Short piqued your interest, you will love it.

  • Brenno
    2019-04-22 17:48

    Unbelievably good! Every politician should be able to recite the principles found within this book... better yet, to govern by them. A reckoning approaches. Thank you, Mr Hudson!

  • Hana
    2019-04-22 20:35

    Hudson's book is previewed in this thought-provoking interview.http://evonomics.com/how-financial-pa...