In 2008 the world economy was struck by a severe systemic crisis with devastating effects comparable to those of the Great recession from 1929-1933. It started with a collapse of the subprime mortgage market in the USA and swiftly spread around the whole world in the form of the crisis of liquidity of the banking sector. This was followed by a sharp decline in economic activity, which pushed the central and peripheral countries of the world capitalist system into a serious recession. At that instant it became evident that the activities of capitalist banks, unrestrained in maximisation of profits and devoid of democratic control by the citizens, are opposed to the interests of the working people and have negative effects on the stability of the world economy. All over the world, the nation states responded to the crisis by recapitalisations of the banks with public money. The bill for saving the banking system was handed down to the citizens. Meanwhile, the banks were allowed to proceed with their business as usual.
In several countries, saving the banking system resulted in high public deficits. At the same time, a sharp decline in economic activity, accompanied by a swift rise in unemployment, contributed to a fall in tax revenues and a rise in public expenditure, culminating in additional pressure on state budgets. Along these lines, the capitalist crisis evolved into a sovereign debt crisis. Most severely hit were the weakest countries, such as the peripheral countries of the euro zone. By means of austerity measures and structural reforms, the capitalist states have rolled over the costs of the debt crisis to the working people. However, austerity measures have proven to be insufficient in mitigating the sovereign debt crisis, inasmuch as the public debts of peripheral Eurozone countries keep rising in spite of years of austerity.
At the symposium, we will tackle the question of causes and intertwinement of the banking and public debt crises in the peripheral countries of the Eurozone. Particularly, the specificities of the banking and sovereign debt crisis in Slovenia will be dealt with in detail. After that, the questions of the reform of the banking system and alternative solutions for the debt crisis in the Eurozone and Slovenia will be addressed. The main objective of the symposium is to compose a policy document consisting of concrete suggestions for the socialisation of the banking sector and saving the sovereign debt crisis in Slovenia.
Friday, March 14:
11:00 – 13:00 – Press conference
Speakers: Dimitris Liakos, Philipp Hersel, Mick Brooks, Michael Roberts (2 – 3 min statements)
Chair: Rok Kogej
13:30 – Lunch
14:30 – 16:30 – Workshop I. The causes of the banking and debt crisis in the periphery of the Eurozone and Slovenia.
Presentations (10-15 min): Mislav Žitko, Sašo Furlan
Chair: Sašo Furlan
17:00 – 19:00 – Workshop II. How to socialise the banking sector in Slovenia
Presentations (10-15 min): Philipp Hersel, Michael Roberts
Chair: Marko Kržan
19:30 – Dinner
Saturday, March 15:
11:00 – 13:00 – Workshop III. How to solve the sovereign debt problem in Slovenia
Presentations (10-15 min): Mick Brooks, Dimitris Liakos
Chair: Sašo Furlan
13:30 – Lunch
14:30 – 17:00 – Workshop IV. Collective work on the policy document