Immanuel Wallerstein on the crisis; hat-tip to Arpita B. Here are some choice paragraphs; the whole piece is short and worth reading:
For the moment, the United States government, which is still in a position to borrow money and print money, intends to throw some new money into circulation. This might work if the government threw an awful lot, and threw it wisely. But quite probably, it won’t do it wisely. And quite probably throwing the amount that might work amounts to little more than creating another bubble. And the dollar might then really fall much faster than other currencies, pulling down the last important prop to the world-economy.
In the meantime, there is less and less money for daily consumption of all kinds for the bottom 90% of the world’s population (and it’s not so good for the top 10%). People are getting restless. Just in the last month, we have seen people in the streets protesting economic difficulties in a growing number of countries – Greece, Russia, Latvia, Great Britain, France, Iceland, China, South Korea, Guadeloupe, Reunion, Madagascar, Mexico—and probably a lot more that haven’t been noticed by the world press. In fact, it’s been relatively mild up to now, but the governments are all on edge.
What do governments do when their primary concern is dealing with internal unrest? They really have two choices—shoot the protestors, or appease them. Shooting works only up to a point. For one thing, the agents of force must themselves be well-enough paid to be willing to do it. And when there is a serious economic downturn, arranging this is not all that easy for the regimes.
Read the whole piece.