In a desperate move to boost US growth, the Federal Reserve has launched QE2, a second round of quantitative easing. Its main effect will be to devalue the dollar, an attempt to boost its exports at the expense of its rivals, particularly China. This unilateral action by US imperialism can only intensify the currency wars and trade conflicts. socialistparty.net reports.
The last-minute rescue package put together by eurozone leaders on 21 July has averted an immediate Greek debt crisis. A default by Greece would have triggered a European financial crisis, with world-wide repercussions. The package, however, merely eases the Greek government’s cash-flow problem. It does little or nothing to reduce the unsustainable debt mountain or stimulate economic growth. While the eurozone leaders are heading for the beaches or the mountains, Greek workers continue to labour under the yoke of intolerable austerity measures.
The question of banks writing off mortgage debt of householders unable to pay has hit the headlines in the past weeks. Bank of Ireland, AIB and Bank of Scotland have stated they are considering some form of debt write-off. Ireland’s debt crisis is a major burden on the banks and the Irish economy. As part of their recent bank stress test the Central Bank estimated €9.5 billion in bad mortgage debts in the Irish banks between now and 2013. The high level of personal debt is adding to the economy’s deflationary spiral.