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  • Greek election – extreme left won
  • jambalaya – Member

    @derek, we’ll have to disagree on the role of NATO. Russia has been Assad’s major supporter and indeed blocked action which could have prevented the growth of IS. The Litvinyenko inquiry has alleged a direct link between Putin and funding Al-Q. We shouldn’t get too distracted with this or the thread will go off track.

    Ok I’ll accept we beg to differ.

    However it wouldn’t be a forum discussion if I didn’t remind everyone of the inbuilt fears of the Russian to what the capitalist west is capable of financing, right back to herr hilter. Now as far as ISIS is concerned it’s George Bushes friends the Saudis who are financing them as part of a general Sunni v Shia battle going on for control of Iraq, a mess I needn’t remind you who created.

    Now if you were them with their track record of creating messes when displacing formerly stable dictators like Assad with whom I gather they are now back pedalling what would you do given he’s your ally?

    But what has all this got to do with Greece? Well behind all this is the continuing war of currency not least which should be the stable ‘reserve’ currency which the dollar has enjoyed for some time until recently when it has been competitively devalued by the states as part of an export drive. So all these dollar holders where could they go with their huge volumes but the Euro?

    But now, thanks to the toxic debt which Greece is part of, now coming come to roost (you will recall Greek debt swap was part and parcel of the dodgy banking activities prior to Lehmans and paid handsome profits our dear friends Goldman Sachs when they fudged the entry of Greece into the Euro and set this whole charade in process) and you in Russia are being financially targeted with sanctions by these people, what are you going to do? Your assets and income is derived by petrol dollars, you have the EU wanting to bring your neighbour into the Euro, ‘they’ (the corporate capitol west) are quite literally at the gate and waging economic war and you spot a chink in their armour, what do you think they’re going to do?

    Gone sadly are the days when we in the west are the good guys, we’re run by banks and corporations from the top down, this is all about the money, currency and energy control.

    jambalaya
    Member

    “Austerity” was evidently not working – it was resulting in a mountain of debt that could never be repaid and the increasing destitution of a European country.

    The choice in 2009 was agree to the bailout (with its conditions) or go bust, the destitution would have been far worse had they gone bust. Had they gone bust they indeed wouldn’t have a mountain of debt now but they would have had a tsunami of creditors trying to obtain assets through the courts and an inability to borrow any more money which has been their lifeblood as they run large budget deficits.

    It is also wrong to say the Greeks are destitute, there are far poorer countries around the world for whom that description fits. Yes there is a lot of pain but its far from destitution and much better than they would be if they default / exit the euro, the people know that that’s why they want to stay part of the euro.

    The Greeks were offered a bailout for political reasons as well as to prevent contagion in the eurozone at that time, on a stand alone / merit basis it made no sense and to be honest it doesn’t make any sense financially today for the EU to continue with it as is, if they do so it will be for political reasons. It certainly makes no sense to agree a debt write off.

    DrJ
    Member

    The choice in 2009

    The choice they were given. Not the one they created themselves.

    it doesn’t make any sense financially today for the EU to continue with it as is, if they do so it will be for political reasons

    Of course. That is exactly what Syriza are saying.

    The choice in 2009 was agree to the bailout (with its conditions) or go bust, the destitution would have been far worse had they gone bust.

    Are you sure?

    Default, leave €, take 40% FX hit, recapitalize banks (fiscal hit), GDP hit of 5-7%?,

    Adjustment, cost competitiveness restored etc – typically 6 years You have a chance….

    Versus extended period with restructuring but no means of recovery plus massive wage deflation and unemployment.

    Neither are great, but the forbidden version is the least of two bad scenarios IMO.

    Premier Icon gofasterstripes
    Subscriber

    You guys are able to or take the time to post these things much more eloquently than I do, but yeah, dereknightrider, dazh, ernie_lynch, I think you’re about right.

    This obsession with growth, profit, loans and interest on those loans is part of the sick system of unfettered capitalism whose trust in “the unregulated market will find the most efficient way” is, in my view a lie, foisted upon us by those who stand to profit the most.

    So, while my little video above is not much of a contribution to the discussion as a whole, it’s another way of me pointing out the charade has been played time and time again…..

    The big plus we have in our favour these days is the unfettered access to information that the internet has given us… IF we manage to avoid the cunning dumbing-down of the masses ] and the disinformation spread [thanks, Putin and Farage etc]…. a brighter future awaits us.

    So – I am firmly against “Austerity” when it means depriving the lower wage earners of the facilities they need to grow and flourish and contribute to our society. We’ve had the place [here and abroad] run largely by the rich elite for the benefit of themselves and they’re screwing it up, for the people and the planet, and in some places we’re seeing people really getting pissed off with this…

    <NSFW>
    [video]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1NK8xQ7cl7s[/video]

    So, why would we take what they [the same people] have to say seriously any more?

    This would be interesting if related to unfettered capitalism in any way. The key issues here related exactly to the fact that markets have been prevented from working. The introduction of a fixed exchange rate without the ability or willingness to allow transfers of private sector surpluses across the region (Carney’s real point!) lies at the heart of Greece’s nightmare. Nowt to do with unfettered anything, in fact quite the opposite.

    Premier Icon gofasterstripes
    Subscriber

    I think you didn’t understand my point.

    It’s a lie.

    They’re all lies.

    I don’t believe them.

    Premier Icon binners
    Subscriber

    Got to agree with THM here (again – this is becoming quite disconcerting). We don’t have unfettered capitalism. Far from it. Greece would never have been able to get anywhere near this point if we did. Their lines of credit would have been pulled a long long time ago.

    The whole thing was propped up to sustain a deeply flawed political project (the Euro), for long after the point where it made any economic sense to do so.

    It was Eurozone politics that sunk Greece, not unfettered capitalism

    Premier Icon gofasterstripes
    Subscriber

    Okay.

    It’s just produced the same results?

    The rich get richer, the poor get poorer. The printed/quantitative money is transferred to those who already had plenty and the public get screwed over. The credit is leant at n% interest and cannot be extended beyond what is deemed “market average”, the rating is moved to “junk” when the terms are not met.

    I just think the obsession with profit behind it, whether you want to call it political, or in my case I think it’s the continuation of the movement to disenfranchise those who started out with less – the oldest trick in the book.

    I readily accept that this is not an area of expertise, but as I said, from where I stand it looks like a setup.

    Indeed, Greece was simply an extreme version of events that have taken place across the periphery. Hardly surprising that protest parties of both wings are having a field day. But even they can’t buck reality as Syriza are about to find out,

    Premier Icon binners
    Subscriber

    I wouldn’t dispute any of that. QE in all its forms only benefits the banks, and the top 5%. As does pretty much everything else we’ve witnessed since the world economy went tits up. All governments have pursued a corporatist agenda, at the expense of their populations. We’ve effectively all been asked to stump up to subsidise the very people who caused this whole mess, who of course have remained totally unaffected. In fact, most have benefited enormously

    Socialism for the banks, capitalism for everyone else

    Lifer
    Member

    Privatise the profits, nationalise the costs.

    Premier Icon gofasterstripes
    Subscriber

    Full disclosure: I’m not having a very good day – spent all of it being super-accountable and referencing everything for a paper/dissertation and also being ill.

    Maybe I just wanted to vent, don’t want to be the “a little knowledge is a dangerous thing” guy, but as I said, from my perspective it’s just the same old thing.

    Perhaps the “unfettered” description wasn’t the best, but it’s just really pissing me off. It’s greed and the waste of human capacity/evolution that seems so damn wrong.

    Premier Icon binners
    Subscriber

    gofasterstripes – if you want to see what is happening in Europe at the moment, its what was done in south America in the 70’s and 80’s. Read this…..

    Written before the crash, you’ll recognise everything being done. Its the dismantling of the post war settlement. Using the crash as an opportunity for rolling back the welfare/healthcare systems demanded by the working classes after WW2. And privatising what little remains. All for the benefit of the rich, who evidently still don’t think they’re rich enough.

    I’ll lend it you if you like

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Member

    All governments have pursued a corporatist agenda, at the expense of their populations.

    You sure you’re not confusing QE with the banking bailout?

    Premier Icon binners
    Subscriber

    All one of the same thing Molls. We’re effectively acting as guarantors to failed financial institutions. Who remain unreformed, and still ‘too big to fail’. Notts changed. Like I said: corporatist agenda.

    Pretty much none of the money from QA made it into the ‘real’ economy. It was all used to re-float the balance sheets of financial institutions (who if we had real unfettered capitalism would have gone to the wall) who’d completely over-leveraged themselves to a ludicrous degree

    Not really Binners. Income inequality has narrowed in UK with biggest hits at the top end since crisis. Bank employment has been hit hard as have returns – hardly any banks generate returns above cost of capital. Contacts that with Apple profits who show the consumer booming….

    GFS – waste of human capital indeed, that is why I am puzzled by LW voices that trumpet the benefits of fixed exchange rate that could only result in one thing – wage deflation and/or mass unemployment.

    The contradictions of Europe!!!!

    Premier Icon gofasterstripes
    Subscriber

    Premier Icon gofasterstripes
    Subscriber

    *

    binners – Member
    Got to agree with THM here (again – this is becoming quite disconcerting). We don’t have unfettered capitalism. Far from it. Greece would never have been able to get anywhere near this point if we did. Their lines of credit would have been pulled a long long time ago.

    Hmm looks pretty damned unfettered to me

    Premier Icon gofasterstripes
    Subscriber

    Yeah that’s the kinda thing I was thinking of, but it seems the terminology is troubling 😀

    Premier Icon imnotverygood
    Subscriber

    Strangely for STW, this is a very black and white discussion. Couldn’t it be the case that everyone in Greece is partly responsible for what happened, mega rich as well as yer’average taxi driver not paying taxes etc? You have to accept that the mega rich are coming out of it a lot better than the average Greek, but that doesn’t mean that the latter are blameless in all this.

    Nope, as far as I see it an entire country was wrapped and packaged for profit just like all the other toxic debt swaps of the period and the blame lays squarely with those who authorised the packaging as well as the bent accountants employed by Goldman Sachs to fudge the balance sheet and due diligence. The Eu eurocrats and the bankers, not the population, anyone with a lick of sense would never have allowed them in, not to mention half the Eastern European Countries. It’s turned what was once a trading block into a half baked attempt to federalise the unfederalisable, it’s a bloody mess and now to use a phrase of the moment they are being weaponised.

    chewkw
    Member

    Here we go …

    Left-wing party in Madrid mass rally

    Why don’t we just spend free money? Yes?

    Yea! Portugal (wonder if they have strong left wingers) next please after Spain

    … The beginning of the end? 😈

    Junkyard
    Member

    that is why I am puzzled by LW voices that trumpet the benefits of fixed exchange rate that could only result in one thing – wage deflation and/or mass unemployment.

    I am puzzled* as to why you keep claiming this and i ask every time you say it, but you have failed to substantiate the claim with evidence you know names, quotes etc.

    As for inequality , whilst true , it also a little disingenuous

    Inequality tends to fall during economic downturns, as benefits are uprated in line with inflation while wages are hit by rising unemployment. But experts expect the recent decline in inequality to be reversed, once the coalition government’s benefit curbs come into force.

    See also poverty where we can all be, on average worse off, and one of the effects of this is poverty falls. You need to look behind the statistics to see the true picture unless of course you just want to mislead with them.

    * I am not really its clear why you do it; AS esque levels of “facts”

    Intriguing last 24 hours. Eurocrats are showing increasing impatience and yesterday’s press conference starring Dijsselbloem and Varoufakis was quite something. Judging by Liikanen and Dijesselbloem, we are getting close to a dramatic end game. 28 days before the desperate liquidity required by Greek banks comes up for consideration. D-day for the drachma?!?

    Be long volatility and short €/$

    5thElefant
    Member

    Judging by the rallies in Spain I can’t see how they can do anything other than make an example of Greece.

    A European meltdown just in time for our elections. Dave is a lucky fella.

    Lifer
    Member

    Make an example of? Horrific.

    The body language said it all yesterday.

    http://cdnapi.kaltura.com/index.php/extwidget/openGraph/wid/1_8mmtygep

    jambalaya
    Member

    “Make an example of” means making them stick to the terms of the bailout they signed. The bailout that was a far better outcome than the alternative and TMH I don’t see a scenario where Greels are better off in 6 years. Argentina is still very poor and that’s what 30-40 years after their default.

    @derek I will try and dig out the face value of swaps etc but Greece was running an unsustainable amount of debt via the conventional means. It’s a bit like saying the financial crises was the result of swaps/complex products when it was fundamentally about an orgy of consumer debt in the same way many in the EU gorged on government debt

    Syriza are trying a divide and conquer strategy of speaking to all 20+ member of the EU (no mention of the IMF). Everyone is trying to appear “nice” on the surface but Syriza are going to get a dose of reality soon. That body language did say plenty, the troika are dealing with fantasists.

    chewkw
    Member

    What will happen now to EURO €? Devalue?

    Currency speculators’ opinion?

    😯

    Forget Argentina, look at Brazil.

    € fate determined by QE not Greece. Going lower…..

    Junkyard
    Member

    No evidence then ? Any chance you will stop saying it then ?
    Futile request but I can but dream.

    So am i best getting my euros now or in a few weeks .

    jambalaya – Member

    @derek I will try and dig out the face value of swaps etc but Greece was running an unsustainable amount of debt via the conventional means. It’s a bit like saying the financial crises was the result of swaps/complex products when it was fundamentally about an orgy of consumer debt in the same way many in the EU gorged on government debt

    Agreed, but it was precisely why there was no place for them within the EU but for Germany wanting to extend the reach of the Euro and it’s market place for exports and the Brussels Federalists just hell bent on creating a superstate and a currency base with which to challenge the dollar as reserve currency for international trade.

    Argentina is still very poor and that’s what 30-40 years after their default.

    You really need to be less casual with facts jambalaya. Argentina’s default was in 2001, not 30-40 years ago.

    And this is what actually happened to the Argentine economy after they defaulted :

    In fact according to the World Bank the Argentine economy has out-preformed the Brazilian economy (which is often offered as an example of a very healthy economy) since they defaulted in 2001.

    See here :

    http://www.google.co.uk/publicdata/explore?ds=d5bncppjof8f9_&met_y=ny_gdp_pcap_cd&idim=country:ARG:BRA:CHL&hl=en&dl=en

    Jambalaya – have you compared the hit to GDP, wage deflation and unemployment of countries that have defaulted/devalued versus the recent Greek experience?

    Which is worse?

    I predicted all along that social pressures rather than political or economic ones will bring this folly (€) to an end. That is exactly what we are seeing expressed through the ballot boxes and opinion polls. How much pain do Greeks have to tolerate before the example has been made? This is the text book example of what happens when you fix exchange rates across an area that does not fulfil the criteria for an optimum currency area. The pain and the example are real – the Greeks are lazy tag argument is absurd/inaccurate in relation to the real pain that is being experienced.

    Time to devalue and get on with it. The Eurocrats should be ring fencing the other nations but even then the dyke has now been breached. Three currency blocs or non at all, preferably. Then we might have some progress. France will enjoy being in the second division!!!

    Premier Icon gofasterstripes
    Subscriber

    I wonder, though, if letting Greece into the Euro was clearly a bad idea, why did it happen and who stood to benefit?

    Hence my comment about letting the unrestricted bastards play away.

    This is a good read and Ernie might like its comparisons with Argentina

    The looting of the Hellenic Republic by…….

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