What is a Crisis? A Retrospect on the 2008 Economic and Financial Crisis

by Walter Otto Otsch and Styephan Puhringer, 5/2/2019

What is a Crisis? Retrospect on the 2008 Economic and Financial Crisisby Walter Otto Otsch and Stephan Puhringer, May 2, 2019

The economic guild interprets crisis through an ideological lens. The financial crisis was redefined as a state debt crisis. Illuminating the systemic causes of crisis or discussing the crisis proclivity of the capitalist system as a whole is not possible anymore. Higher state debts are made problematic and identified as a cause of crisis in Angela Merkel’s mantra on “living above our means.”

Trump Refuses to Confer with Democrats
The David Packman Show, May 23, 2019


Audio: Ayn Rand and the Culture of Greed, 3 hr 19 min, Jun 3, 2019
Lisa Duggan, Mean Girl, UC Press, 2019


Ayn Rand’s novels The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged have been called gateway drugs to rightwing ideas for so many Americans. And while the works of the writer and philosopher have seen a resurgence since the global economic crisis, her influence has been undeniably huge and sustained since those books were originally published in mid-century. Historian Lisa Duggan examines what is at the heart of Rand’s enduring appeal.


Lisa Duggan, Mean Girl: Ayn Rand and the Culture of Greed UC Press, 2019

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3 Responses to What is a Crisis? A Retrospect on the 2008 Economic and Financial Crisis

  1. Marc says:


    Trump confuses promise and threat. Shutting down the government was a promise and never cutting social security Medicare or Medicaid was a campaign promise.

    Mending our own pockets is imperative, not raising a 25% tariff on 5700 products. Endogenous economic contradictions must be tackled. Calling all nations “cheaters” and Mexicans “rapists and murderers” makes you into a language-perverter.

    China gives us two weeks before the $60 billion retaliatory tariffs kick in (to counter the Trump $200 billion tariff).

    Quarantining the offshore economy or shriveling the financial sector and expanding the public sector should be mo-brainers! Taking on tax havens, tax flight and tax avoidance is a social project.

    Now the bull rages through the china shop. The “genius” can’t spell “hamburger” and says he inherited a disaster is Don the con. Who thought King Midas was an economic guru? Do we live under the rule of Hocus Pocus, the rule of Humpty Dumpty, “words mean what I say they mean”?

    Let us fight for the constitutional state against the security state! Caring, sharing and the social state must not be degraded as weaknesses! Amazon must pay federal tax since all personal and corporate success is based on state investments.

  2. Marc says:

    We are facing the crisis of democracy, the rise of right-wing demagoguery and fascist nihilism. Reconciliation means finding a new unity relativizing differences..
    1) Governments, states, and communities are facing drastic revenue shortfalls. In the 1960s, corporate tax payments amounted to 40% of federal revenue. Now, corporate payments amount to 8%. All personal and corporate success is based on state investment in schools, roads, hospitals, libraries, community centers, airwaves, water quality, and food safety.
    2) Combating the offshore economy, tax havens, tax flight and tax avoidance is a social project, not only a technical-political challenge.
    3) Regulatory capture means regulators adopt the mindset of the regulated. Tax havens continue because of lack of political will and the burgeoning tax flight and tax avoidance industry.
    4) Wall Street banks were deluged with $18 trillion as “too big to fail.” Private debts became public debts. Neoliberal ideologists who for decades said the government was the problem had to see their demagoguery. In 2018, corporations spent $1 trillion in buying back their own stock. Ralph Nader estimates stock buybacks at $6-7 trillion from 2005.
    5) The financial crisis was redefined as a state debt crisis.
    6) Trump’s two tax bills gave $8 trillion to corporations and households with over one million dollars. This was done without hearings, compromises, concessions or countermeasures. Procedural justice and fairness were violated completely.
    7) City and state governments should be pleading that the money is returned to HUD, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, WIC, Pell grants, Means-on-Wheels, the Legal Corporation, the National Endowment for the Arts and after-school programs. We must fight for the constitutional state and resist the security state where fear is generalized, people are depo0liticized and all power must be shifted to the foul-mouthed con man. Being a German translator makes you super-sensitive to lies and trickery. Hitler said repeatedly “International Jewry was exterminating Germany.”

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