As corporate icons like General Motors tumble – what will be left of the economy?
This is a bleeding edge show with 3 interviews plus media clips.
In the first half hour: our second interview with Dmitri Orlov, author of “Reinventing Collapse: The Soviet Example and American Prospects.” Our previous interview with Mr. Orlov was picked up by more than 40 radio stations. He predicted rapid economic collapse – and how right he was!
Now Orlov says we are hitting Step Two of a Five Part devolution common to other nations, in other times, including the Soviet Union. Step One is Financial Collapse, and we’re in that now. Coming up next: commercial collapse, as businesses fold instead of banks and investment houses. (Find a summary of the five steps in this blog’s November 12th entry)
That leads to Political Collapse, since the federal authorities depend on a huge tax base which cannot come from the foreclosed and bankrupt people and economy. Government becomes more irrelevant. In fact, Orlov says there is nothing much any government can do about our current economic crisis. In his words “I don’t think the financial levers of power are actually connected to anything real”.
So America’s $750 billion of future taxes, Canada’s newly announced $75 billion bucks for banks, and China’s phoney $600 billion announcements… will just fall uselessly into a deep and darkening hole.
If we can’t reorganize socially in time, Social Collapse is the next step. Gangsters and looters take over, post-Soviet style. The final step is Cultural Collapse, but Orlov doesn’t expect things to go that far.
It’s hair raising radio you won’t hear anywhere else.
In the second half of the show, we zero in to another type of corporate default: disappearing newspapers. The Christian Science Monitor shocked the news world by dropping their 100 year old print weekday edition, going online instead. The New York Times owes a billion dollars, and they are slashing journalists, as is Gannett, America’s largest news chain. One New England paper announced its own demise.
According to Paul Gillin, we’ll see newspaper disappear in some major cities over the next five years. Maybe even famous ones, in your own city. Advertising has tanked, due to the economic crisis. Papers depended to a large degree on SUV ads from American car makers. Guess what, those ad budgets are slashed. Ditto the shrinking classifieds as millions of people use EBay and Craig’s List instead. The publishers just finished a closed-door conference to see how they can survive.
Paul Gillin was editor-in-chief of the tech journal ComputerWorld for 15 years. Now he’s a consultant for new media. Not to mention his blog at newspaperdeathwatch.com. Join us for that interview.
We wrap up with a look at Canada’s media conglomerate called Canwest. In my city, they own both the dailies, several free giveaway news dailies, and one TV station. They are the news. Canwest bought out disgraced media baron Conrad Black, and then engineered a take-over of several cable TV channels. That was a controversial deal which saw, guess who, Goldman Sachs putting up most of the money. If revenues are poor, and they are, Goldman Sachs could end up owning more Canadian media channels than the law allows. And the Asper family, which owns Canwest, could lose control, as their stocks plummet from over $20 to just $2. Their empire is billions in debt, and revenues are slumping.
Oh yeah, Canwest owns Network Ten in Australia – and that company is hurting with falling revenues.
Canwest isn’t all bad – but they lost me when they continued to print global warming deniers as columnists, over and over again, long after Vancouver Sun editor Kirk LePoint said “we get it” about climate change. The icing on the cake: last August the Sun ran an editorial, expressing the views of the newspaper, that “Coal Is The Future.” Really? Well hopefully Canwest is not the future, or we’ll lose the planet.
We run a full analysis of Canwest and their money problems by the Redeye Collective from CFRO Radio in Vancouver. They talk with Mark Edge, academic, journalist and author of “Asper Nation” from New Star Books.
Now that the wild election spending is over in both Canada and the United States, it will be interesting to see what companies are left standing by 2012. Maybe some of the right wing magnates will lose their seats at the table. What a shame that would be.
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