Paul Mattick Jr., author of "Business as Usual: The Economic Crisis and the Failure of Capitalism" and son of influential council communist Paul Mattick, who explains the nature of capitalist crisis. For more films by Brandon Jourdan
One fifth of British workers equal to 4.82 million people and their families get paid less than the living wage, struggling to make ends meet, a study has found.
According to the KPMG study, England has the lowest number of the worker earning below the living wage while Northern Ireland (24 percent) and Wales (23 percent) are home to the greatest proportion of poorer workers.
Elsewhere on the continent, the worsening debt crisis has forced many EU governments to adopt harsh austerity measures and tough economic reforms, triggering incidents of social unrest and massive protests throughout EU countries.
While Political Economy Research does not endorse the free market economic thinking that underpins much of Max Keiser's analysis, we do find him useful in explaining the contradictions in the current financial crisis eg Goverment Bonds verses Gold..
European Union candidate country
Iceland's economic resurgence continued this year as a result of "solid
policy implementation" and a stabilised krona currency, according to the
International Monetary Fund. The financial monitoring review conducted by the
IMF stated that the nation's outlook was "upbeat", providing
Eurosceptic nationalists with further ammunition to fight against Iceland's
proposed EU membership.
Outlining the economic
"rebound", the IMF said: "Following a deep and protracted
recession, the economy grew by 2.6 per cent in 2011, a performance that looks
set to be broadly repeated in 2012 and sustained over the medium term. The
output gap is closing, unemployment has decreased, and inflation - though still
high - is expected to converge toward the central bank's target of 2.5 per cent
in the medium term; if monetary tightening resumes. Public and external debt
ratios are on a downward path and financial sector conditions are improving.
The fiscal consolidation is broadly on track."
Iceland's progress towards joining
the EU club could yet stall if
the United Kingdom and Netherlands threaten to veto the country's accession –
due to its failure to repay €4bn to 400,000 British and Dutch investors, who
lost out when Landsbanki collapsed in 2008. Conflict with the EU over Iceland's
fisheries policies are also yet to be resolved. In addition, public opinion in
the country seems to be set firmly against EU membership - cementing the
However, since formal discussions
started two years ago - 18 chapters have been opened, of which 10 have been
provisionally closed. In total, there are 35 areas of EU policy and law with
which candidate countries have to align themselves. The EU's enlargement
commissioner Stefan Füle previously said
that Iceland's progress constituted a "very good achievement". It was
"proof of the firm commitment by the Icelandic government and the EU to
the accession process", he added. Iceland is a member of the Schengen
passport free travel area, and the European Economic Area – meaning it
participates in the EU's internal market without being a full member state. As
a result it already complies with many of the EU's entrance requirements.
But the IMF warned that the eurozone
crisis could still have a dramatic impact on Iceland's finances despite its
geographical and monetary separation from the EU. "An intensification of
the euro area crisis could harm exports, growth and market access," stated
the report. "A setback in fiscal consolidation could undermine confidence
and impede access to financial markets. Finally, growth could be reduced by
delays in investments in the energy-related sector or by an inflation-induced
"Banks' balance sheets have
strengthened but risks still need to be addressed. The three largest banks are
profitable and well-capitalised but nonperforming loan ratios are still high, though
well below their post-crisis peak. Although progress has been made, legacy
risks remain, including a reliance on deposits locked in by capital controls,
asset-liability mismatches, and loan and deposit concentration. There is also
still uncertainty in the face of Supreme Court rulings on foreign
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