13 Debt restructuring: the decisions of 21 July 2011 Owing to the IMF’s reservations over the sustainability of Greek debt, disbursement of the fifth instalment of the €110 billion loan, along with any further support, remained pending at the beginning of June 2011. It had not been determined how additional assistance would be provided; nor had it been clarified whether private sector bondholders would participate in this. Views continued to differ intensely. What was widely recognised, however, was that a solution was urgently needed. The prolonged indecision
This book describes the explosion of debt across the global economy and related requirement of political leaders to pursue exponential growth to meet the demands of creditors and investors. It presents a historical account of the modern origins of capitalist debt by looking at how commercial money is produced as debt in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. The book identifies the ways in which the control, production, and distribution of money, as interest-bearing debt, are used to discipline populations. It focuses on the histories of the development of the Bank of England and the establishment of permanent national debt with the intensification and expansion of debt, as a "technology of power", under colonialism in a global context. The book investigates the modern origins of debt as a technology of power by focusing on war, the creation of the "national" debt, and the capitalization of the organized force of the state. It addresses the consequences of modern regimes of debt and puts forward proposals of what needs to be done, politically, to reverse the problems generated by debt-based economies. The book utilizes the term "intensification" rather than spread or proliferation to think about both the amplification and spatial expansion of debt as a technology of power during the era of European colonialism and resistance. Finally, it also presents a convincing case for the 99" to use the power of debt to challenge present inequalities and outlines a platform for action suggesting possible alternatives.
The book examines the European debt crisis with particular reference to the case of Greece. It investigates its spillover from a Greek-specific problem to a Eurozone-wide crisis and chronicles the policy responses to combat it. The central argument of the book is that the principal cause of the Eurozone’s problems was, and still remains, the indecisiveness of European elites to tackle its underlying deficiencies. Leading Eurozone countries have been unwilling to commit to a common long-term plan which could deal convincingly with complex and inter-related problems affecting both its ‘core’ and its ‘periphery’. The guiding principle of policy responses thus far has been the pursuit of permanent fiscal discipline. Yet, fiscal discipline alone would not provide the long-term solutions required; a steady course towards economic governance and political unification is necessary.
Through the detailed tracing of the evolution of the crisis, the book provides valuable insights into the crucial interconnection between Greece’s own economic troubles and the wider European search for macroeconomic stability and sustainable economic growth. As such, the book appeals well beyond those with a narrow academic interest in Greece. This is very much a discussion about the future of the Eurozone and the European Union as a whole.
3 Debt, land and money: from Polanyi to the new economic archaeology Michael Hudson Inspiration for The Great Transformation in the post-war monetary breakdown Karl Polanyi’s formative years in the aftermath of the First World War were a period of monetary turmoil. The United States became a creditor nation for the first time, and demanded payment of the war debts that Keynes warned were unpayable without wrecking Europe’s financial systems. (Hudson,  2003 summarizes this era.) France and Britain subjected Germany to unsustainably high reparation debts
; and so the Conservatives will spend less to reduce the debt, thereby further retrenching the power of the market over the state. Although critics have consistently noted the flaws in the economics of this story, it worked by positioning fiscal consolidation as the only possible path. The myth thereby closed down debate over the issue and misled people into thinking austerity is right and proper. Why this would lead to people investing so much, emotionally, into the issue is, however, not addressed. By looking back with the benefit of hindsight, I
Incapacity and debt 109 4 Incapacity and debt Fortuna perit, virtus et fama manent.1 Many questions about the nobility’s economic capital have proved difficult for historians to answer for the post-revolutionary period. When David Higgs surveyed the historical literature in the 1980s it was not clear whether the maximum to minimum range of wealth found in noble families looked any different from the maximum to minimum range of wealth found in bourgeois families of the nineteenth century. It was debatable whether nobles were any less ‘capitalist’ or
This text provides the first full-length consideration of women’s economic roles in early modern Scottish towns. Drawing on tens of thousands of cases entered into burgh court litigation between 1560 and 1640 in Edinburgh, Dundee, Haddington, and Linlithgow, Women, credit, and debt explores how Scottish women navigated their courts and their communities. This includes a consideration of the lifecycle stage of these women, and whether those active in litigation were wives, widows, or singlewomen. The employments and by-employments that brought these women to court, and the roles these women had in the economy, are also considered. In particular, this book explores the roles of women as merchants and merchandisers, producers and sellers of ale, landladies, moneylenders, and servants. Comparing the Scottish experience to that of England and Europe, Spence shows that through the latter half of the sixteenth century and into the seventeenth century women were conspicuously active in burgh court litigation and, by extension, were active and engaged participants in the early modern Scottish economy. This book reevaluates what we thought we knew about women in the early modern period. As such, it will be of particular interest to those studying and teaching Scottish social and economic history and valuable to anyone studying the history of work and gender. It will also appeal to all feminists who have an interest in how women negotiate economic roles.
Debts are crippling because it’s so easy, so, so easy when you’re unemployed and you’ve got no money and somebody says to you ‘I’ll give you £200 today, you’ll pay me back about £400 at £20 a week’. You think ‘oh yes God, yes, I can run and go and get £100-worth of shopping in the food cupboard. I can go and get the shoes that the kids need’. And then lo and behold that £20 a week never ends, it never ends … They’ll say ‘we’ll top your loan up. We’ll give you another £200 and you pay £800’. And you think, yes! You never hear what you have to pay back
. They offered multiple ways of generating alternative forms of Treasury income while also encouraging wider economic activity. Almost all of these initiatives found ways of creating capital or capital equivalents to flush around the economy, many of which usually resulted in an accumulation of long-term public and private debt. The models of pseudo-Keynesianism used different forms of financial wheeling and dealing but the results were the same: short-term stimuli, long-term debts and a select group of super-rich beneficiaries. Squaring the
. Figure 8.1 Photograph of a brown envelope and the letter it contains, received by a parent with no recourse to public funds. The letter reads: ‘You owe £768.20 for school lunches … If the debt is not cleared further action will be taken to recover the debt.’ ‘ A brown envelope. When you see the brown envelope, you know what it means. Everybody knows what it is when they see the letter. They know you are owing. That's what the brown envelope means