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New Canadian International Labour 10-Minute

Understanding the Financial Crisis: Critical Approaches, Alternative Policies

Toronto, January 30, 2009

The financial crisis that has ripped across the world market over the last year has been remarkable in the chaos it has unleashed - and continues to unleash - on national economies, workers, ecologies and marginalized communities. Financial authorities, have admitted that whole banking systems may have to be nationalised. This is even after governments around the world have backstopped their loans and capital positions to the tune of several trillion dollars. The financial crisis is now spilling over into a wider economic crisis. The most visible casualty here has been the North American auto sector, with the Big Three careening on the edge of bankruptcy. As the crisis deepens, the impact on mortgages, unemployment, welfare rolls and so forth is likely to be devastating.

It is clear that mainstream neoliberal discourse has produced sheer nonsense in attempting to explain the financial crisis. The notion that 'excessive risk-taking' extending sub-prime mortgage credit to low-income earners in the U.S. could cause credit markets to lock-up and the world economy to spin into recession - and possible deflation - is absurdly na´ve. It is becoming clear that attempts by states at re-regulation, fiscal stimulus and monetary supports are at best patch-work Keynesian attempts to avoid even worse economic turmoil. It is necessary, therefore, to explore deeper explanations of the crisis within structuralist accounts of how capitalism generates cycles of 'financial instability' and how Marxian theorizations of the interaction between credit-money, accumulation and income distribution. These panels allow an opportunity to discuss some of the theoretical, political and research issues emerging out of the financial crisis and this major political turning point.

Panel 1: The Financial Crisis: Causes, Dimensions, Consequences
- Brenda Spotton Visano, Department of Economics, York University
- Erin Weir, Economist, United Steel Workers
- Katharine Rankin, Department of Geography, University of Toronto

Panel 2: The Global Financial Crisis: Developing Left Responses?
- Kanishka Goonewardena, Department of Geography, University of Toronto, Chair
- Laurie Adkin, Department of Political Science, University of Alberta
- Adam Hanieh, Department of Political Science, York University
- Leo Panitch, Department of Political Science, York University

Sponsors: Studies in Political Economy; Canada Research Chair in Comparative Political Economy, York University; Canadian Auto Workers.

Demonstration Against the Israeli Assault on Gaza

Toronto, January 10, 2009.

In front of the Israel Consulate in Toronto, Canada. Support the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign - www.caiaweb.org

Grasping the Financial Crisis

Toronto, November 26, 2008.

With Sam Gindin, Leo Panitch, Eric Cazdyn, Kanishka Goonewardena: MP3 audio

(event organized by Toronto School of Creativity & Inquiry)

Financial Chaos and the Crisis of Neoliberalism

Toronto, October 26, 2008.

With Greg Albo, Adam Hanieh and Tom Marois: video page...

After the Election: Neoliberal Crisis or
Neo-Conservative Advance? Strategies for the Left:

Toronto, October 21, 2008.

Part 1 - featuring:
• Tam Goosen, Research Associate, Asian Institute of the Munk Centre (University of Toronto).
• Judy Rebick, Sam Gindin-CAW Chair in Social Justice and Democracy, School of Social Work and the Department of Politics and Public Administration, Ryerson University.
• Grace-Edward Galabuzi, Associate Professor, Department of Politics and Public Administration, Ryerson University.

Part 2 - featuring:
• Bryan Evans, Associate Professor, Department of Politics and Public Administration, Ryerson University.
• Followed by Q+A session.

Battling Harper: The Left and the Canadian Election

Toronto, October 11, 2008 – A 10 Minute Production

As the Canadian federal election moves into its final days, the Canadian electorate is again demonstrating its historical volatility in voting. Yet, this is again occurring within the context of a very stable political system with extremely cramped ideological parameters. These parameters are noteworthy mainly for how successfully the political right has moved the centre of Canada's politics and policy regime to the right and made neoliberalism an all-embracing political framework for all the poltical parties in ideology and certainly in practice.

Bryan Evans and Greg Albo here discuss some of the ways that the election, in the midst of financial crisis, has opened up space for critiques of neoliberalism, how the election has unfolded, and the openings for the Left after the election.

Poverty And Healthcare:

Toronto, September 18, 2008.

With: Natalie Mehra, Director Ontario Health Coalition;
John Clarke, Organizer Ontario Coalition Against Poverty;
Laura Cowan, Executive Director Street Health;
Doris Grinspun, Executive Director Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario.
Hosted by Judy Rebick

Poetry and Socialist Politics:

Toronto, September 2008 – A 10 Minute Production

Poet and painter Joe Rosenblatt was a tremendously important icon of the Canadian cultural left in the 60s and 70s. Rosenblatt's poems have appeared in numerous anthologies and periodicals in North America. In his latest book, The Lunatic Muse (Exile Editions), Rosenblatt links poetry to the personalities of Milton Acorn and Gwendolyn MacEwen, among others. He pays a passionate tribute to his mentor Milton Acorn in a signature poem “The Natural History of Elephants.”

In “Poetry and Socialist Politics,” 10 Minute Production’s latest video, Rosenblatt discusses his past experiences as an industrial worker, relationship to socialist ideas, Al Purdy and Milton Acorn, the Allan Gardens free speech movement, Canadian cultural nationalism, and the politics of poets and poetry in times of social crisis (recorded June 12, 2008).

Neoliberalism and the State:

Toronto, July 26, 2008 – A 10 Minute Production

John Shields and Bryan Evans, professors of politics and public administration at Ryerson University, discuss neoliberalism and the State in Canada and the USA.

Challenges Facing the Labour Movement Today:

Vancouver, June 4, 2008.

Greg Albo: teaches political economy at York University in Toronto. He is also on the editorial boards of Canadian Dimension, Relay and Socialist Register. He writes on contemporary capitalism and the political economy of North America.

Sam Gindin: is a former Assistant to the President of Canadian Auto Workers (CAW), and is now the Packer Chair in Social Justice at York University in Toronto. He writes widely on the labour movement (notably on developments in the auto sector), and on the US empire.

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