World financial markets have been rocked again in recent days. First came the US Fed’s announcement last Wednesday (19 June) that it could start to unwind its cheap credit policy of ‘quantitative easing’ by year-end. The following day financial markets were stunned as a liquidity crisis gripped China’s state-owned banking system, with major banks all but refusing to lend to each other. This ‘credit crunch’ reflects growing fears over the unsustainable surge in debt levels across the Chinese economy, and its growing reliance on the opaque and unregulated shadow banking sector.
The government, the media and various economists all trumpeted recently released figures that apparently show that the Irish economy came out of recession in the first three months of 2010. However for the unemployed, workers and their families this miraculous recovery has by passed them.
WE ALL have to share the pain” has become the mantra of the entire establishment, from right-wing economists and political parties to much of the trade union leadership, as working class people are made to suffer to protect the profits and power of the bosses. This article critiques this orthodoxy and argues that socialist policies offer the only alternative to the vicious attacks of capitalism.