"Notes from Killing The Host:
How Financial Parasites and Debt Destroy the Global Economy
by Michael Hudson

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Twelve Themes of this Book

"The balance-of-payments deficit stemming from foreign military spending pumped dollars abroad. These ended up in the hands of central banks that recycled them to the United States by buying Treasury securities -- whch in turn financed the domestic budget deficit. This gives the U.S. economy a unique free financial ride. It is able to self-finance its deficits seemingly ad infinitum. The balance-of-paymnents deficit actually ended up financing the domestic budget deficit for many years. The post-gold international financial system obliged foreign countries to finance U.S. military spending, whether or not they supported it." [emphasis added] - p. 6

"Most of these loans were taken on to subsidize trade dependency, not restructure economies to enable them to pay. IMF "structural adjustment" austerity programs -- of the type now being imposed across the Eurozone -- make the debt situation worse by raising interest rates and taxes on labor, cutting pensions and social welfare spending, and selling off the public infrastructure (especially banking, water and mineral rights, communications and transportation) to rent-seeking monopolists. This kind of "adjustment" puts the class war back in business on an international scale." - p. 7

". . . how interest-bearing debt first came into being -- in the temples and palaces, not among individuals bartering. Most debts were owed to these large public institutions or their collectors, which is why rulers were able to cancel debts so frequently: They were cancelling debts owed to themselves, to prevent disruption of their economies." - p. 7

"Spouting ostensible free market ideology, the pro-creditor mainstream rejects what the classical economic reformers actually wrote. One is left to choose between central planning by a public bureaucracy, or even more centralized planning by Wall Street's financial bureaucracy. The middle-ground of a mixed public/private economy has been all but forgotten -- denounced as "socialism." Yet every successful economy in history has been a mixed economy." - pp. 10-11

". . . what is at work is an Orwellian strategy of rhetorical deception to represent finance and other rentier sectors as being part of the economy, not external to it. This is precisely the strategy that parsites in nature use to deceive their hosts that they are not free riders but part of the host's own body, deserving careful protection." - p. 11

The Parasite, the Host, and Control of the Economy's Brain

Part I. From the Enlightenment to Neo-Rentier Economies

Part II. Wall Street as Central Planner

Part III. Austerity as a Privatization Grab

Part IV. There is an Alternative