Warning: Creating default object from empty value in /home3/tandem/public_html/golemXIV/wp-content/themes/canvas/functions/admin-hooks.php on line 160

Greece, China, and Russia – a Plan B for Greece

If the Greeks were to vote ‘No’ what would happen next?  Well no one can say. But here is a quick thought on what I hope the Greek government might have been exploring if they are excluded from the euro. It’s just food for thought nothing more.

They have to be prepared to have a currency that does not depend on Europe supplying Euros. So they will need another currency – hopefully their own.  I think we can be sure no western company has been printing them. There are few such companies and there is, I think, no possibility that they would be able to keep secret a contract from Greece.  But both Russia and China can print notes. So would it not have been prudent to ask Putin to print up plane loads of Drachma and be prepared to fly them in?

Who would back this currency?  Greece is not Great Britain with a long established reasonably trusted currency backed by a big slice of global financial trade. So I do not think they could launch an orphan currency which the drachma would be if it did not have some relation to a major clearing or reserve currency.

For all Obama has, apparently, lobbied the EU to be more conciliatory towards Greece I am not sure he would leap at the chance to help Greece with its debt. He might of course. A chance to reenforce US power in that part of the world. But he already has power there so I doubt he would be willing to ‘pay’ much. Russia and China, however would gain much more by having Greece as a beach head in to the EU and, more importantly, into Nato.

Russia  has already signed a large gas pipeline deal with Greece. The deal will make Greece the European terminal for the  so-called TurkStream which would be a southern counterpart for the NordStream which runs under the Baltic and has its European terminal in Germany. This pipeline would bring Russian gas to Europe cutting out Ukraine. A nice end run around the Western puppet government/influence in Ukraine (you decide which one you prefer).  It will also bring closer Russian ability to pipe gas from further east and from Iran. Which would also be an end run round the southern front of the Great Gas War being fought in Syria.

Earlier this year Russian also signed a deal with Cyprus to give Russian ships access to Cypriot ports.

So It would make sense to me that Russia might see advantage in helping Greece in the event of a ‘No’ vote.  But I do not think Russia is in much of a position to help financially. Their help can be practical and trade in gas and their reward is military. Greece and Cyprus together could perhaps get themselves a chip in the big game by being the key to allowing Russia to project military power in to Nato.

Which raises the intriguing possibility that Russia might ask Greece is they could station some military hardware in Greece. Not something Greece would lightly say yes to. BUT if there was a ‘no’ vote and then Europe tried to get really vindictive or even started sabre rattling about ‘radical’ possibly ‘illegitimate’ leftist governments (AKA Syriza) might Syriza gain some advantage by letting it be known they might consider letting Russia dock missile carrying warships in their ports, or allow certain early warning systems on their territory? Or if  the Great Gas War, which is surely the new Cold War, where Ukraine is the new Germany divided East and West (all we need now is a wall somewhere), heats up and the US does deploy missile systems there, would Russia think it advantageous to befriend Greece so they could ask an indebted Greek government to allow Russia to retaliate with missiles right in the heart of Europe?  

I realise this is pure speculation but it’s fun and I think it’s good to think the unthinkable now and again. Our leaders regularly do the unthinkable. We should at least think it.

Anyway, I can see reasons why Russia would think it to their advantage to help Greece and have favours to call in.

Then there is China.  China is too far away for military pretensions in the Med. Better to leave that to Russia. What China has is money. Just yesterday the director of the Quantitative Finance Department at China’s Institute of Quantitative and Technical Economics, Mr Fan Mingtao, said in an interview,

“I believe there are two ways to give Greece Chinese aid. First, within the framework of the international aid through EU countries. Second, China could aid Greece directly. Especially considering the Silk Road Economic Belt and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. China has this ability,”

I don’t know if this is pure kite flying but it’s interesting. The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is a China led rival to the US led World Bank. America was very against it and hugely put out when various European and other countries defied America and merrily joined it. Led by Britain which is a founder member. This is a major step in China’s policy of projecting power abroad but also a major step in its campaign to either have the Yuan as a new reserve currency or position a new currency in which China and the Yuan are constituent backers.

Again this is all speculation. But China is sick of America excluding it from governance of the World Bank and the IMF. Plus China will soon need – not just want – but need the Yuan to be at the very least a much more widely used settlement currency if not a full blown reserve currency. The reason I suggest this, is because of China’s ballooning domestic debt problem.  Back in 2011 I wrote about the way regional governments were largely outside of direct and effective central control particularly their issuance of debt (Making the New Sub Prime – Backdoor to China) and how that debt was going bad (China – 10.7 trillion Yuan of debt going bad).

That analysis is, I think, now vindicated. That regional debt has now blow up and is on the point of taking many of China’s banks down with it. The central chinese government now has, I think, little choice but to backstop all that regional debt.  The hope is that this will  save their regional governments from defaulting and also bail out all the banks that are holding that debt and would be bankrupted by such a default. Essentially this is a colossal bank bail out much like they were obliged to do back in the 90’s and we did a decade later. I am not alone in thinking this is the dynamic at play. As reported in the Wall Street Journal and ZeroHedge,

“The debt swap is effectively a debt restructuring for banks,” said Zhu Haibin, J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.’s chief China economist.

How big might this bail out get?

Because the central government is ultimately responsible for guaranteeing local government debt, and because yields on the new muni bonds are so close to those on treasurys, the newly issued local government bonds are really just treasury bonds, meaning that, in essence, the supply of Chinese government bonds is set to jump by CNY2 trillion in the coming months. If all of the local government debt ends up being refinanced, the end result will be the equivalent on CNY20 trillion in additional treasury supply.

What I foresee is that China’s new regional debt and bank bail out is forcing it in to what is essentially QE. The flow of Yuan is going to be vastly increased. A good idea would be to have lots of people ‘need’ these yuan and be keen to soak them up. That is what would happen if the Yuan becomes a new reserve currency or, failing that, if there is at least a greater use of the Yuan as a settlement currency for major international trades.

Which brings me to my speculation about Greece and the report quoted above about China helping Greece via the new AIIB.  Might it not suit China, with its coming flood of new Yuan, to offer Greece a hand with a few Yuan. Greece might offer to conduct all its foreign trade in Yuan rather than dollars or Euros. Greece would benefit because it would not be beholden to America or Europe for a flow of their currencies. It could look to China instead. Russian would be happy with this because it has a settlement agreement with China. Any gas pipelie work could be financed in Yuan with chinese government backed Yuan loans. The AIIB could help Greece out with a loan to allow it to operate. Such a loan would not be blockable from Europe or America. Greece could default and still have operating money. China could spin it as almost humanitarian aid: The Chinese people reaching out to the desperate, impoverished but brave Greeks when the wicked capitalist Europeans would not.

Greece would survive, have new powerful friends, have bargaining chips that neither Europe nor America could ignore , China would have projected the use of the Yuan right in to Europe and Russia would have more than a toe-hold for military power right inside Natio.

If I was Tsipras or Varoufakis I would be on the phone right now.

, , ,

89 Responses to Greece, China, and Russia – a Plan B for Greece

  1. Tomás Devine July 3, 2015 at 4:47 pm #

    Hey David its been a while since I visited the blog as always I love the way you write and how you portray your point keep up the good work !

    • Golem XIV July 3, 2015 at 4:50 pm #

      Thanks. Have a good weekend. Let me know about the Water Protests?

  2. The Happy Hobbit July 3, 2015 at 4:49 pm #

    Interesting speculative analysis David. I was wondering when you might put something out on Greece.

    I cannot for a moment believe that the EU, and more importantly, the US would countenance Russian/Chinese influence, much less military footholds in Europe’s back yard. That way lie levels of international tension not seen in generations.

    The idea of the Yuan circulating as currency in Greece is an entertaining one – the thought of British holiday-makers having to get hold of Chinese currency to pay for their ouzo is hilarious!

    Allow me to be hostage to fortune and declare now that the Greek people will vote Yes; to paraphrase ZH, less pain now, and not consider the longer term. Given all the measures of austerity that the Troika have already imposed, it baffles me how a large majority of the Greek population (according to polls) are still gagging to be beholden to the EU. I’m sure I heard a quote once, along the lines of ‘The best slaves are those who don’t even know they are slaves’. I’m desperate for someone to ask them why? What is it about the EU that they love so much? Or is it really that they are just more afraid of the unknown?

    If the vote DOES turn out to be a close ‘no’, I wonder whether we should not expect the same forces that were at play in the Ukraine 18 months ago to be whispering into the ears of army generals, with the Greek government being overthrown ‘in the interests of national stability’.

    • Golem XIV July 3, 2015 at 4:54 pm #

      Hello HH.

      Between 1985 and 2000 – so while Greece was hoping to join the EU and the EU was trying to help them get ready the Athens stock exchange increased by 4776% I suspect it is this that many Greeks assciate with Europe and joining the Euro.

      As for a parallel with Ukraine in the event of a ‘no’ I think you’d be about right.

    • Kavy July 4, 2015 at 10:30 am #

      The ruling class own the media and they use it to frighten people into voting for what they want. I used to read the Guardian and in the readers section it is amazing how many people defend neoliberalism. Their kids are knee deep in debt due to college fees. Their children often cannot afford to leave home. Parents often sell their houses to give their children enough for a deposit to put down on a home and then they will buy a flat(living in a flat it’s horrible as the sound proofing is often really bad.) Wages for young people are often very low. And yet people still keep voting for neoliberal parties.

      The ruling class have managed to blame the unemployed and the underclass for all the problems. The retirement age went to not because we are living longer -only the rich are living longer and this changes the averages – we are having to retire later because the ruling class wrecked the pension schemes and our economy.

      Voting for neoliberal parties might bring about the next world war, but it will be blamed on Russia and China. It makes me sick how the 1% get away with such blatant lies and propaganda. When I mentioned in the Guardian that will are living in an Orwellian state, the matrix, and we get fed nothing but propaganda, someone wrote in and told me to take some sleeping pills and get a good nights sleep. And lots of people ticked the box.

    • Kavy July 5, 2015 at 6:54 am #

      I was so pro EU once. I would argue with all the little Englanders who were xenophobic. One of my neighbours, who was a UKIP supporter, got all uptight about the Germans taking over. I said I wished that the Germans did run the UK because their engineers earn much better money than me and get more holidays. She got all frantic and I said what is the terrible thing that the Germans would do, and she said that they would close down our banks and put German ones in? I said that German banks are often public ones that work for the people, and that their banks support their industries and private business rather than squander it pushing up house prices.

      Anyway, a year later she sold her house so she could give her daughter enough money to put down as a deposit on a house. The British banks had served her well. She was a Tory supporter all her life until she went to UKIP.

      Anyway, I hate the EU now, it’s the land of the bankers. It’s social democracy under attack. Are their any good guys left, or has big money corrupted all of them?

  3. shaun o'hara July 3, 2015 at 7:03 pm #

    The worst of this situation? That a country is divided along old fault lines. There is a definite smell of the thirties wafting thro Europe. Beware what you hope for.

  4. Elspeth Crawford July 3, 2015 at 7:07 pm #

    Yep – why not – called thinking out of the box in other circles – I think. A great post but reminds me of crime stories of how gangs carve out territory and then someone defaults and someone else makes a takeover move and then there are a lot of bodies and it’s all a good bedtime read and it’s not really going to happen anyway. Except it is. The world is still working in competitive states of mind, cause and effect, moving pawns around and trying to outguess the flanking moves. What would it look like if Russia and China and US and the rest started to think that we are all on one earth and it is time we collaborated. It is not a game. Games/competition are part of our psychological development, they should have their place in sport and brain challenges like chess and bridge but it is time they were gone for good in social and political interactions – local national or world stage.

    • BobRocket July 3, 2015 at 11:38 pm #

      Well done Elspeth, it is one Earth, we only have one life, it is not a game.

      Competition for games, collaboration for gains.

      Golem, I fear you are becoming cynical with this post, what really needs to happen is a knocking together of heads (and possibly some slapped legs).

      Hard work, Positive money and LVT would go a long way to solving most of these problems.

      Open source IP, crowd funding and celebration of selfless acts will do the rest.

      There will be resistance, don’t engage – just ignore, when they don’t get the attention they crave they will embrace the new paradigm.

      To paraphrase

      ‘You know, if one person, just one person does it they may think he’s really sick’
      ‘And if two people do it, they may think they’re both faggots’
      ‘And three people do it, they may think it’s an organization’

      And fifty people doing it a day is a movement and movements change the world.

      • Golem XIV July 4, 2015 at 11:26 am #

        Hello BobRocket and Elspeth,

        Sorry if it came across as cynical. I don’t meant to be. But I do feel a bit weary and perhaps that comes across as cynicism.

        You’re right its not a game. Far from it.Lives are being lost. I spoke a a greek doctor not long ago who told me they had run out of cotton sheets and paper covers for bed and operating theatre. Then just a day ago I spoke to him again and he told me they had run out of syringes!

        So it’s not a game.

        All I was trying to do was suggest that there are alternatives to grovelling to the Troika. Eve Greece is not powerless.

        Sorry for any offence.

        • BobRocket July 4, 2015 at 6:31 pm #

          Hi David,
          you have every reason to be weary, this saga has been going on for far too long without any sensible solutions being proposed from the Troika.
          Even the IMF don’t think the solutions proposed are in any way sustainable (yet they keep proposing the same thing)

          I think Yanis Varoufakis is trying to save the Euro (and the very EU itself) not leave it.
          His blog is interesting
          http://yanisvaroufakis.eu/

          I sincerely hope the Greek people vote Oxi and give him a chance to correct (some of) the mistakes of the past, the alternative is to continue as before with the situation gradually worsening until some shock (internal/external) blows the whole EZ/EU apart.

          • Kavy July 4, 2015 at 8:14 pm #

            Looks like a good site, I like what he says about maths and economics. When I first came across the economics term utility it didn’t make sense to me. How could something so subjective as taste and enjoyment be scientifically measured I wondered? In the past during the time of classical economics you would never get anywhere unless the economics you taught suited the wealthy. The same goes today, it took Micheal Hudson ages to get a university to accept him.

            On a slightly different Professer David Healy got a top job at a top American university but just before he got the post he did a talk on the dangers of Prozac increasing the risk of suicide during the early part of the treatment. He then got notified that they had found someone more suitable for the post. The university was funded by the makers of Prozac. It was a big mistake, though, as now he is one of the biggest critics of the pharmaceutical industry. He had nothing to lose about spilling the beans about the dangers of psychiatric medicines after that.

      • John Day July 5, 2015 at 3:02 am #

        “‘You know, if one person, just one person does it they may think he’s really sick’
        ‘And if two people do it, they may think they’re both faggots’
        ‘And three people do it, they may think it’s an organization’

        And fifty people doing it a day is a movement and movements change the world.”

        Alice’s Restaurant is what you refer to, Bob.
        It’s a lovely and inspiring song from the Vietnam War protest era.
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m57gzA2JCcM

  5. nobody July 3, 2015 at 10:22 pm #

    It will not be euro, it will not be drachma.
    It will be yuan!

  6. John G July 4, 2015 at 1:36 am #

    I’d pondered whether Syriza had been getting new notes printed in Russia too.

    But they seem determined to stay in the euro at this point.

    I don’t understand their position at all.

    Gas pipeline, silk route, yes.

    Russian warships in Greece, no. They’d be overthrown in a heartbeat and they know that.

  7. EmilianoZ July 4, 2015 at 2:42 am #

    For cultural reasons, this is, for the moment, as you say “unthinkable”.

    But then, as a wise person used to say: “once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, however unthinkable, must be the solution.” (not an exact quote).

    But then, it is in fact possible that the Greeks will starve themselves to death rather than change their west-is-everything worldview (see for instance Jared Diamond’s “Collapse” about the failed Norse colonization of Greenland).

  8. steviefinn July 4, 2015 at 10:21 am #

    Lots of people out there who do think they know for sure what is going to happen & predict outcomes without there being anyway they could know all the facts, or how the unexpected might influence outcomes. Ironic that tiny little Greece should be the frontline in a showdown over the validity of modern democracy, a very shaky 2 of spades in a financial house of cards & at the moment, the possible centre of the present geopolitical readjustments.

    It’s all laid out in this Greek theatre – although the reporting of the unfolding tragedy is as usual manipulated to compliment the stereotype blame game – useful for the many who like life to be packaged in easily disposable parcels, that require little cognitive or moral consideration, but are useful in separating the undeserving from oneself as a surety against suffering the same fate.

    Hopefully though, lessons will be learnt by some from all of this, that might lead to a change for the better, meanwhile I just wish the Greeks the best of luck.

  9. Kavy July 4, 2015 at 11:22 am #

    There was a good article in op ed news the other day called, Who are the psychopaths? Throughout the centuries these people have caused countless wars and misery. In our modern society they have set up fake completion to make us fight against each other. Many people are traumatised because of the excessive struggle. Many people are permanently on antidepressants The ruling class have turned a lot of us into mini psychopaths, being all out for ourselves. And unless we work harder and harder, we might get left behind or have nothing.

    I had never heard of Ayn Rand until a few years back, but I remember in the 70’s how working class Tories would talk about being selfish and taking care of only number one. Or about pushing people out of the way and getting ahead in the queue. They were mini psychopaths and rank conservative.

    Who are the psychopaths?

    http://www.opednews.com/populum/pagem.php?f=Who-are-the-psychopaths-by-Duncan-MacMartin-COGNITIVE_Chaos_Competition_Competition-150531-63.html

  10. sALFORD lAD July 4, 2015 at 3:13 pm #

    Michael Hudson and Bill Black, Economists and Control Fraud specialists respectively , give a good perspective on the causes of Greek debt and also the possible cures.
    No mention of Russian or China support, which personally I believe is an option, without the complication of military overtones.
    A recent Greek /Russian agreement to route the Turkstream gas pipeline via Greece to Europe is a taste of things to come.
    The economic centre of the world is turning East with the New high speed rails ,connecting China to Europe via Central Asia, called the New Silk Roads. This is the USA’s biggest nightmare, as it negates the US domination/control of the maritime routes and bypasses the US dollar reserve currency. Thus consigning the US Empire to the dustbin of history..
    Going back to 1904 and a lecture by Sir Halford Mackinder discussing maintaining the dominance of the then British Empire.
    ‘ He who controls the Central Asian Belt,controls the World’.
    Referring of course to the vast mineral and land resources of this area , along with it bypassing the easily controlled sea routes.
    Greece is just a chess move in this new Great Game,

    http://michael-hudson.com/2015/06/greece-on-behalf-of-europe/

    • Kavy July 4, 2015 at 5:43 pm #

      Yes, I watched that the other day. Excellent. I’m waiting for Micheal Hudson’s new book to come out in Kindle.

  11. Margaret Eleftheriou July 4, 2015 at 6:14 pm #

    You might be interested in the point of view of someone who lives (most of the time) in Crete. While there, we spend half of our time in a very strong (till now) scientific community which was founded after the fall of the junta. Truly some world class scientists and excellent research, funded by successive Greek governments, international funding which includes of course EU funding. The remainder of our time, since we are retired professionals, is spent in a village halfway up a mountain, where we grow our own food and live as the locals do.
    Up in the village, most of the inhabitants have decided, whatever their previous political preferences, to vote NO. They say, with great feeling: at the end of WW2, the Germans killed out young people, they blew up our villages, they took all our food. Now we have our houses, many of our young people have gone. But we have our food. I f we survived the war, we will certainly survive this. For them, it is a clear NO. Question of sovereignty.
    In the scientific community, opinions are sharply divided, mostly in proportion as to the amount of external funding on which the research depends. I have never seen such deep divisions, and I really do not see how these can be resolved. Lifelong friendships are dissolving under the strain and extreme worry to which these scientists and their families are being subjected.
    And all so that the previous governments, that brought the nation to this pass, should be pushed into power without an electoral mandate?
    A payment of 3.5 billions to the ECB falls due on 20th July. If Greece votes YES, then technically it will still be in the eurozone, though without any access to bailout funds )and I don’t want to get into that – money due to Greece under the previous bailout was not paid, including interest which should have gone back to Greece, but who cares).
    However, there is absolutely no chance that Greece will receive any money whatsoever by 20th July. The German Finmin has said that he will be on holiday until 26th July, and any new agreement would have to wait until after that date. Heigh-ho!
    And Martin Shulz, good Social Democrat that he is, has already stated that he will not work with the duly elected government of Greece, but would work with a technocrat. Perhaps Stournaras, who last week authorised the withdrawal of 1 million euros from the account of a New Democracy MP from the Municipality of Heraklion.
    Regime change?
    Honestly, words fail me. I just can’t believe that all this is happening all around me. Except that it is. And I can’t bury my head in the sand and pretend that it isn’t.

    • diogenese July 5, 2015 at 5:19 am #

      I read that the EU wants ” regime change” in Greece , that is the most dispicable thing I have heard lately , The Greek government is duly elected NOT some banana republic dictatorship ! Words fail me to discribe my feelings , some UN elected bastard wishes to negotiate with some other UN elected bastard , its time these “public servants ” were / are slapped down or as most of the Greeks are UNEMPLOYED .

    • steviefinn July 6, 2015 at 12:13 am #

      OXI !!! – another Greek word echoing around the planet – Good luck to you & yours Margaret.

    • Mike Hall July 9, 2015 at 11:39 pm #

      Margaret

      Very interesting to hear a local view.

      I believe the last 6 months from the Troika has always been either complete capitulation or regime change… and if you think about, they are both the same (regime change)… capitulation would also discredit and likely remove Syriza.

      It has all been about the Power of the Capital owning elites to extract ever more from Labour classes.

      Likely by design (of bankers) the Euro structure itself is inherently skewed in favour of Capital interests – weakening the already corrupted government representation of of (majority) Labour class interests.

      Varoufakis 100% knows the Euro monetary system and correct macro economics implications. He knows the right thing has always been to challenge not just the treatment of Greece, but the EMU structure and institutions (mostly lack of) that made the crisis inevitable for one of the weaker EMU members. An EMU that is destroying 60+ yrs of European solidarity.

      The Euro, as limited by seriously absent ‘optimal currency area’ essential features, will not survive with many of its current members, if it lasts at all, if left unreformed. But that failure may take time. Greece’s unsustainable debt 5yrs ago (now admitted by the IMF research dept.) was pushed out 5yrs in order to loot the country to repay private German, French banks etc for their imprudent investments.

      As your country may soon discover, it is not debt repayment defaults that will force exit by the ECB freezing Greece’s external payments facilities. It has no political or legal basis whatever to withdraw ‘Lender of Last Resort Support’. And certainly not prior to a clear Eurogroup Ministers consensus (ie incl Greece) that it is leaving the EMU.

      Effectively, by withdrawing the Greek banks’ ELA assistance (LOLR) which automatically blocks all cross border transactions, the ECB brings about ‘constructive expulsion’ from the EMU with no procedure or basis to take such an act. Rather like ‘constructive dismissal’ in wrongful (employment) dismissal law.

      Like many attempts before, where a country elects a government that is actually serious about representing majority interests – as so obviously Syriza is (I’ve followed YV’s economics blog for years – he’s an incredibly moral/ethical/empathetic man) – this is a major propaganda threat to the establishment (where no mainstream politics represents citizens’ interests)…

      As they said about Nicaragua many years ago under the Sandinistas… ‘… the threat of a good exampl…. ” (cannot be tolerated under any circumstances).

      This is really what you face… but you are not alone.

      I can assure you that your resounding 61/39 % referendum OXI ! vote has resonated massively around Europe via social media networks. The result itself was proof that MSM fear propaganda weapons no longer hold sway :)

      Every time such a confrontation even takes place, let alone won, the neoliberal forces (Troika etc) reveal more of their real motives, and to more people.

      The information – in its broadest sense – to transform our world in the interests of ALL citizens is out there on the internet. And I do mean ALL we need, and right now. It is all there.

      Hows your Maths Margaret?

      How about… a bifurcating Chaos function describing the spread of truth, as a function of total information access by all citizens (the web) ?

      IMHO it’s not a matter of ‘if’ but ‘when’ a major bifurcation event – truth explosion – will happen…

      The only thing that could stop that is mass physical removal of citizens (assinations/wars) and/or shutting down most of the Internet.

      Neither of those is now very easy to do by the PTB.

      Humanity’s next massive enlightenment episode is thus almost certain. Hard to know when exactly (mathematically impossible of course!) but my gut says soon.

      Hang in there! Best wishes from Ireland (you have lots of support here on the ground) :)

  12. John Day July 5, 2015 at 2:25 am #

    Brilliant speculation, Golem XIV!
    I have missed seeing your thoughts since the Trillion Dollar Platinum Coin days (still an idea to consider for the future stage of debt repudiation at final end-of-growth).
    Thank you, Sir.
    Stir those complacent elites up with this hornet’s nest of ideas!

  13. Kavy July 5, 2015 at 7:03 am #

    This is the latest Paul Craig Roberts post. It’s not very long so I have reprinted in full.

    The latest report from Greece indicates that the privately owned Greek media have taken a stand against the Greek people and for the One Percent:

    Yesterday’s demonstration in favor of ‘No’ in Syntagma Square of Athens had gigantic proportions and great fighting spirit.

    Instead, the rally of supporters of ‘Yes’ was enormously smaller without breath and passion.

    Of course, with the exception of state television, all TV channels mainly or exclusively showed the second (Yes), saying that it is a big demonstration, exhausting every possibility to conceal and distort reality.

    A climate of hysteria and terror has been cultivated by all private media (the public ones consist an exception) , which present the ‘No’ vote as an emerging Armageddon. The same media produce a permanent stream of lies and distorted or even more nonexisted statements that nobody in reality manages to confirm or deny.

    Former prime ministers, senior military officers not on duty, the archbishop of the Greek Church, have come out in favor of ‘Yes’, saying the ‘No’ vote threatens Greece’s position in Europe and the national security of the country.

    The political discourse of SYRIZA remains at a level far beyond what is required by the situation and its practical mobilization is very weak. But there is a deep popular wave of peaceful revolt against the Mighty which is struggling against the fear and insecurity current.

  14. Kavy July 5, 2015 at 11:49 am #

    From Stephen Lendman’s site:

    Icelanders suffered hugely when economic crisis conditions hit in 2008. Many lost everything. A fourth of its homeowners faced mortgage default.

    Today Iceland is a modern-day success story. It rejected austerity and bank bailouts, imprisoned crooked bankers, devalued its currency to stimulate exports, maintained vital social services throughout troubled times and restored economic growth.

    President Olafur Ragnar Grimsson enjoys strong public support – reelected for a fifth term in 2012.

    In 2013, he asked “(w)hy are the banks considered to be the holy churches of the modern economy? Why are private banks not like airlines and telecommunication companies and allowed to go bankrupt if they have been run in an irresponsible way?”

    “The theory that you have to bail out banks is a theory that you allow bankers enjoy for their own profit, their success, and then let ordinary people bear their failure through taxes and austerity,” he added.

    “People in enlightened democracies are not going to accept that in the long run.” Western leaders aren’t like Grimsson. Instead of governing responsibly for all their people, they serve monied interests exclusively at the expense of their own people.

  15. Frankie July 5, 2015 at 5:21 pm #

    Hi David,

    Glad to see you back, here’s a bit of humour in this sad situation

    German fat cat vs Greek punter

    http://i.imgur.com/C7UaWrs.gif

  16. JayD July 5, 2015 at 8:11 pm #

    OXI !!!

    • BobRocket July 5, 2015 at 9:40 pm #

      OXI, nai :)

  17. steviefinn July 6, 2015 at 1:07 am #

    Enjoy the moment :

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ur5fGSBsfq8

  18. Kavy July 6, 2015 at 1:11 am #

    I thought this Paul Craig Roberts post was worth reprinting in full again. Could the 1% have France and Germany in the crosshairs for looting.

    Greeks Vote NO To EU-Imposed Austerity

    Paul Craig Roberts

    With 90% of the votes counted, the Greek people have voted 61% to 39% against accepting the latest round of austerity that the EU is trying to impose on the Greek people for the benefit of the One Percent. What is amazing is that 39% voted for the One Percent against their own interests. This 39% vote shows that propaganda works to convince people to vote against their own interest.

    The vote was not a vote to leave the EU. With the backing of the Greek nation, the Greek government hopes to reopen negotiations with the EU and to find a solution to the debt problem that will actually work. The EU objects to the Greek people having a voice in their fate, and unless common sense prevails is inclined to disregard the vote and to maintain the EU’s inflexible position that the debt issue can be resolved only on the EU’s terms. As has been made perfectly clear, these terms are more looting of the Greek economy by the One Percent.

    As the Greek banks are closed and evidently cannot reopen without a resolution of the issue, EU inflexibility would force Greece to leave the euro and return to its own currency in order to reopen the banks. This would not require Greece’s departure from the EU as the UK and one or two other EU member states have their own currencies. However, most likely the EU and Washington and Washington’s Japanese, Canadian, and Australian vassals would attack the new Greek currency and drive its value in exchange markets to such a low value that Greece could not import and wealth held in Greek currency would be worthless abroad.

    An inflexible EU creates conditions for Russia and China to act. These two powerful nations have the means to finance Greece and to bring Greece into the economic relationships established by these two countries and by the BRICS.

    Alexander Dugin, a Russian strategic thinker who has the ear of the Russian government, has said:

    “The Russians are on the side of the Greeks, we will not leave them alone in their suffering. We will help them and give them every possible support. Brussels and the liberal hegemony seek to dismantle Greece. We want to rescue it. We took our religions faith from Greece, as well as our alphabet and our civilization.”

    Dugin said that the Greek referendum is the start of “the fundamental European liberalization process from the dictatorship of the New World Order.” He says this also is “our own endeavor.”

    The Greek drama is far from over. Pray that the Russian and Chinese governments understand that rescuing Greece is the start of the process of unravelling NATO, Washington’s mechanism for bringing conflict to Russia and China. The One Percent have Italy and Spain targeted for looting, and eventually France and Germany herself. If the Greek people rescue themselves from the clutches of the EU, Italy and Spain could follow.

    As Southern Europe departs NATO, Washington’s ability to create violence in Ukraine is diminished as the world realigns against the Evil Empire.

    Washington’s power could suddenly diminish, thus saving the world from the nuclear war toward which Washington’s neoconservatives are pushing.

  19. Kavy July 6, 2015 at 11:03 am #

    Everyone here should watch this video: John Perkins, Confessions of an Economic Hit Man. But it is much more than that, this has to be the most concise video I have ever seen showing how the one percent rule and how facist and cruel they are. It left me shaking as I saw how ruthless they can be and the mass murder they are capable of.

    None of us are safe. The only way I can speak explain it is that the corporations are run by psychopaths. And they don’t care how much they ruin the planet either, or the future of our world, or our children’s future. This is inhumane greed off the planet.

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?t=1384&v=RVsB07CcSNw

  20. Whitney@Survive&Thrive July 6, 2015 at 3:07 pm #

    Looking forward to seeing the developments over the next few days. Forex markets is likely to be hit very hard!

  21. ahimsa July 6, 2015 at 9:16 pm #

    Having lots of freshly printed notes (from Russia or otherwise) is all good and well for small and relatively small interpersonal transactions. But clearing international electronic payments, which is essential for industry and trade, is quite another level of complexity. Although it sounds wacky, I suspect introducing the Chinese Yuan would in fact be easier than reintroducing the Greek Drachma.
    See an interesting article here from NakedCapitalism on some of the nitty gritty of an electronic payments system (it takes an absolute minimum of several months to set up and transition to).

    • John G July 6, 2015 at 9:51 pm #

      Easier just to keep issuing Greek euros. Which, once the ECB turns off access to Target2, the Greek National Bank would be perfectly entitled to do.

    • Kavy July 7, 2015 at 8:30 am #

      Crikey! That was complicated, I thought currency change would be straight forward and simple, that it would be a matter of just reprograming some software. I never thought for a moment that every ATM ‘s hardware would need to be changed.

      Incedently, the banks are trying to move us to a cashless society. Governments print notes and coins and this constitutes 3% of our money supply. If banks can get that last 3% then all money will have to be borrowed from them. Mega profits for banks, and more debt bondage for us. Years ago the government might have created up to 35% of our money supply as notes and coins. Most workers got paid cash in wage packets, and many transactions took place in cash. All that money was debt free, and earned our government loads of income. It lowered our taxes enormously.

    • Mike Hall July 9, 2015 at 11:53 pm #

      ahimsa

      You are right – Payments Clearing (cross border) is precisely the KEY issue, trumping all others – Financing is subsidiary to this.

      It’s why Russia & BRICS are trying to set up an alternative system.

      But the payments system and trade volumes are inextricably linked.

      Greece’s main trade is with EU/EURO members, so any BRICS system is of little use in the short to medium term.

      Note that it is not Net Export value that is hit by the ECB payments freeze, but all transactions in both directions.

      That is a huge chunk of Greece’s economy and will precipitate a rapid fall in activity, with the knock on effects. Any new Drachma system would also take time and still require Euro co-operation to get up and running.

      The EU and Euro areas will also lose substantial GDP activity, growth and unemployment knock on effects. But the Big Capital interests, that won’t be paying much if any of the costs, won’t care about that. Another opportunity to squeeze Labour interests, privatise and downsize government, and pick up cheap assets for future rent gouging.

  22. Kavy July 7, 2015 at 7:50 am #

    This extract is from Op Ed News. That fantastic liberal site. (liberal in the US means left, and I use the term to cover left and centre progressive politics).

    Greek journalist Michael Nevradakis and US investigative journalist Greg Palast have a different take on the Greek ‘No’ vote against Europe’s cruel austerity demands.

    But, so what if we lose the euro? The best thing that can happen to Greece, and should have happened long, long ago, is that Greece flee the Eurozone.

    That’s because it is the euro itself that is the virus responsible for Greece’s economic ills.

    Indeed, the sadistic commitment to “austerity” was minted into the coin’s very metal. We’re not guessing. One of us (Palast, an economist by training) has had long talks with the acknowledged “father” of the euro, Professor Robert Mundell. It’s important to mention the other little bastard spawned by the late Prof. Mundell: “supply-side” economics, otherwise known as “Reaganomics,” “Thatcherism” — or, simply “voodoo” economics.

    The imposition of the euro had one true goal: To end the European welfare state.

    For Mundell and the politicians who seized on his currency concept, the euro itself would be the vector infecting the European body politic with supply-side Reaganomics. Mundell saw a euro’d Europe as free of trade unions and government regulations; a Europe in which the votes of parliaments were meaningless. Each Eurozone nation, unable to control neither the value of its own currency, nor its own budget, nor its own fiscal policy, could only compete for business by slashing regulations and taxes. Mundell said, “[The euro] puts monetary policy out of the reach of politicians” Without fiscal policy, the only way nations can keep jobs is by the competitive reduction of rules on business.

    http://www.opednews.com/populum/pagem.php?f=GREECE-D-We-Voted-No-to-by-Greg-Palast-Austerity_Euro_European-Union_European-Union-150706-62.html

  23. BobRocket July 7, 2015 at 5:29 pm #

    There is no need for the Greek government to print Euros/Drachma or any other currency.

    The Greek banks are running short of Euro notes because people are withdrawing them and stashing them under the bed, but there is no need.

    The banking system works just fine, if I have a positive balance in my account and a debit card I can buy things in any shop that accepts debit cards just like cash, numbers just move from one entry to another (and I’m sure that their are enough numbers).

    The Greek government could put a cap on the merchant fees of 0.3% per transaction (ApplePay is 0.15%) with no minimum spend. This would make debit transactions equal to cash, they should also mandate that every citizen can have a basic account with a debit card.

    For rural areas where they might not be able to accept cards, the local mayors office (which has merchant facilities) could provide local tokens (like a Brixton Pound) that tourists could buy using their debit card, and crediting their card for any unused tokens returned.

  24. Joe Taylor July 7, 2015 at 10:19 pm #

    Hi All

    Would really appreciate you views on this blog post.

    http://aworldtowin.net/blog/Greek-defiance-deepens-crisis-of-the-system.html

    A lot of this stuff goes over my head and I value opinions form people on this blog who understand things better that I.

    Thanks, Joe

    • steviefinn July 7, 2015 at 10:50 pm #

      I wouldn’t consider myself an expert Joe but what struck me was that the exhibit 1 graph shows growth of financial debt pre- 2007 to be at 9.4%, which then in the post-2007 column is almost mirrored at 9.3% but seems to have been shifted over to the government – tells a story on it’s own I think.

      Found this today which I thought excellently explains how Germany is actually the main problem in Europe & is dragging the EU down with it. I think I finally have got my head around the German trade surplus conundrum:

      http://www.economic-undertow.com/2015/07/03/euro-margin-call/

  25. SavvyJames July 8, 2015 at 4:49 am #

    These are definitely interesting times, particularly for those on the other side of the pond. Like everyone else – at least those with an interest in finance/business/the economy – I will be watching to see what happens next.

  26. backwardsevolution July 8, 2015 at 9:34 am #

    A post by Karl Denninger entitled “Dear Frau Merkel, Herr Tusk and Herr Juncker”:

    “The debt which you seek to collect was, in the main, unlawfully contracted. Many international banks conspired together with the previous administrations to unlawfully present a false view of the nation’s finances. Further unlawful and fraudulent acts occurred thereafter, including during the bailout a few years ago when Merkel herself, it has been revealed, knew she was negotiating a loan that could not be repaid under any reasonable commercial terms.

    Fraud vitiates all contracts and this is no exception. As such the debt you seek to collect is, under both Greek and International law, invalid, never mind that the present administration cannot be compelled to honor it even were it to have not been fraudulently contracted.

    We therefore present the following:

    While we are obligated to honor none of the outstanding debt, as a gesture of good will we will honor one-fourth of the approximately €330 billion owed on a renegotiated basis, or €82.5 billion. These old bonds shall be tendered to our Treasury in exchange for new Greek bonds with a 10 year maturity at 17 basis points over the current yield of German Bunds, or a 1% rate of interest. We shall pay said interest in the amount of €825 million euros due annually in fourths on a quarterly schedule, with the first payment to be made on September 30th and then quarterly thereafter, as is standard in the international community. We further reserve the right, but do not have the obligation, to prepay and extinguish up to 1/10th of this remaining indebtedness (€8.25 billion) at any time during each of the next 10 years.

    With the rest of the alleged debt certificates we will hold a ceremonial bonfire on the steps of Parliament tomorrow morning at 08:00.”

    https://market-ticker.org/akcs-www?post=230325

    Read on. It’s quite the letter.

  27. Kavy July 9, 2015 at 1:47 am #

    I’m getting right into Peter Joseph at the moment. In this video below he is being interviewed by the amazing Jessie Ventura. Have you ever seen Jessie Ventura in action, it’s awesome? Fox News likes to get really nice woolly liberals on its programs and then outnumber them with right wing hard nuts who then blow them to bits, but Jessie can take all of them on single handily so that they end up ducking for cover all over the place. I might put a Jessie Ventura video out here sometime. Anyway, Peter Joseph is my man at the moment, as well as Jessie, of courses.

    Peter Joseph: Zeitgeist Movement Founder Goes Off the Grid | Jesse Ventura Off The Grid – Ora TV

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q6F1ZAncqM8

  28. Sheepshagger July 9, 2015 at 3:13 am #

    I’m seeing a few parallels between Greece and Scotland. Newish popular movements threatening the old order, very savvy political leaders and a very hostile mainstream media are three examples.
    Calling a referendum was a masterstroke that is showing up other EU governments who ram through unpopular EU measures. It has also left the forces of reaction as naked as the emperor which in turn will make any attempt at regime change very risky.
    I think/hope that Syriza have thought this out and are capable of facing down “The Man” and with any luck will encourage the Spanish and Podemos which in turn will inspire the Irish to cast their votes in 2016 with James Connolly in mind.

    • Mike Hall July 10, 2015 at 12:05 am #

      Yes, exactly Sheepshagger (!)…

      With every confrontation the neoliberals expose more of their true motivation (and its not democratic interests, rather Capital interests).

      This is the real value even tho’ you lost your referendum in Scotland, and Syriza won theirs – makes little difference to our collective progress.

      It’s the massive spread of truth (mostly) thru’ social media networks, precipitated by the referenda events themselves – opening the mass public debate – that is forging progress.

      The establishment are presently losing the ‘war’ whether the mainstream sees battles won or not.

      And that ‘war’ is basically the class war that dare not ever speak its name in MSM – tiny minority Capital vs majority Labour interests.

      Where ‘democracy’ should be the tool that prioritises Labour interests, but has been entirely captured by Capital interests for many decades, steadily rolling back the share of production won by Labour following the nasty 19th century industrial slavery.

      • steviefinn July 10, 2015 at 3:53 pm #

        I think you are correct on all points Mike & meanwhile the UK Labour party seems to be tying itself in knots with Blairites & Mrs. Thatcher impersonator Liz Kendall vying for the leadership with a real leftie Jeremy Corbyn as the dark horse contender. He seems to have the majority of support from the grass roots & judging from the comments on the New Statesman FB page – most of the support there too.
        I imagine that the become the Tory party MKII might win out in the end, which will give the UK a similar set-up to FF & FG in the republic, & I think will lead to many of the left looking elsewhere. There does as you say seem to be much more awareness of what is really going on though. Personally I don’t know why they don’t cut the crap & assemble Murdoch & the other media owners in a room & get them to pick the leader. I do think more people will become radicalised as the shit increasingly hits the fan & a Tory -lite LP will be left dangling in the wind.

  29. Kavy July 9, 2015 at 3:56 am #

    I’ve just found this new site called Brave New Films, most of you here will love it. I have just watched some more Peter Joseph stuff and I feel I am making the right decision to give up work on ill health grounds.

    I did too many hours at work for too many years so that I afford to buy a flat and then a house. Having massive mortgage has always left me dead poor. I have been doing 65 to 70 hours a week for the last ten years now, sometimes more. I’m now burnt out and might even have Fibromyalgia. My doctor is sending me for tests.

    I might just be able to survive on my meagre pension as I’m gong to take it early. I will be poor, but I would sooner that than be a slave to the system that has sucked me dry for years, and left me drinking too much at the weekends. So I’m saying, up yours, I’m getting out. I will be able to spend hours at my piano and guitar, and learn some maths for fun. I never had time for my hobbies before.

    Brave New Films:

    Koch Brothers EXPOSED: 2014 • FULL DOCUMENTARY FILM • BRAVE NEW FILMS

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2N8y2SVerW8

    Brave New Films, home:

    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCy1UzIJf_Dog0vzLJUPLXHA

  30. steviefinn July 10, 2015 at 3:38 pm #

    I was kidding myself about this, but it does look like Tspirus has sold Greece down the river. A very in depth article from NC which doesn’t bode well :

    http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2015/07/tsipras-has-just-destroyed-greece.html

  31. desmond July 10, 2015 at 8:45 pm #

    it seems maybe the USof A could be underwriting some deal… hence new noises coming out of the EU..

  32. steviefinn July 11, 2015 at 12:43 pm #

    I think Steve Keen nails it here, unless as he says Tspirus has a card up his sleeve. He also echoes David’s concerns on frustration turning to extremism.

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/stevekeen/2015/07/11/its-all-greek-to-me-the-politics-of-syriza-and-the-troika/

  33. steviefinn July 11, 2015 at 2:52 pm #

    As with Mish I don’t agree with Gurdjiev’s economic prescriptions but in this article he lays down the truth as to a worsening economic situation in Greece & warns of the oncoming federalisation strait-jacket, which will further add to the Troika’s squeeze on Democracy. I don’t suppose Ireland will get one vote on this, let alone two.

    http://www.independent.ie/opinion/comment/expect-a-harder-default-for-greeks-and-less-democracy-for-the-rest-of-us-31368677.html

    He also keeps a good eye on the NAMA bandits :

    http://trueeconomics.blogspot.co.uk/2015/07/11715-for-nama-karmas-generous-bitch.html

  34. sALFORD lAD July 11, 2015 at 7:24 pm #

    This Thierry Meysann article goes to the origins and heart of the European Project.
    Unsurprisingly the usual suspects are behind it. Its intention was a continuation of WW2 against the Soviet Union and now directed at Russia, using the EU states as cannon fodder. (Similar to Ukraine)
    This explains why Greece has swallowed the bitter pill of more austerity and continues in the Euro, EU and NATO.
    Shades of Hotel California, ‘ you may checkout ,but you can never leave.’
    Deep Machiavellian politics in play since 1945.’

    http://www.voltairenet.org/article188082.html

  35. Kavy July 11, 2015 at 9:42 pm #

    I’m back writing on the Guardian’s CIF under a pseudonym. But I wonder what has happened to the paper? George Monbiot, Seumas Milne, and Paul Mason, and a few others do their best, but what exasperates me is the readers section.

    A paper that was once read by the thoughtful left, like the New Statesman, but it now seems that the majority of its on-line readers are raging Right wingers. The left who do write in lack passion and commitment, leaving only the obnoxious Right to be loud mouthed and blatant. The left are just too polite, except me. It’s as if the left has gone belly up and given in, or given up reading the Guardian. Sadly, if I attack the Right with too many facts and take them out, the Guardian moderators remove my posts, and I’m so angry about it. They have tied my hands behind my back.

    George Monbiot once wrote an article describing how the Right, i.e., the ruling class, are highly organised and that they pay hundreds, or even thousands, of people around the world to write into newspaper sites and flood them with obnoxious Right wing views, and this is to give the impression that the majority of the population are on the Right.

    Whenever Polly Toynbee writes an article you can bet the first three or four responses will be from raging Right wingers completely dismissing her article, and often with just a few words or sentences (quickly written) . And sometimes these posts may have about 500 recommendations already ticked and yet it will be only about 5am in the morning (i get up early). But how do these raging Right wingers always get in first? Well, they must just sit up all night waiting for her posts to come out and then they pounce? I wrote to her about it and she agreed that this seemed to be what was happening.

    • old dog July 12, 2015 at 10:29 am #

      Yup since the election cif has gone to the rabid dogs, not even sure that Polly can be relied on these days.

      Heard that the graun online market is split equally 3 ways – uk, usa, & rest of world, so maybe the good old boys influence, keep on plugging away

      • Kavy July 12, 2015 at 12:43 pm #

        We all have different opinions but to me the most of the right are so obnoxious I don’t know so many people fall for it. Most people, including most conservatives, are being conned.

        My girlfriend watches game shows and celebrity big brother. She has never watched any of the political videos that I have. To her the Ukraine, and even the US are on another planet. Most people have no real interest in politics or current affairs, or even how bankers steal most of their wages, so they are easily brainwashed with right wing propaganda.

        There’s a new book out called, How Corrupt is Britain? By David Whyte. Most people are told that the Middle East is corrupted, and that Russia is run by corrupt oligarchs and crooked Putin, and that Britain is the bastion of fair practice. But really we are just as corrupted too. And in fact, The City of London is considered to be the financial crime centre of the world.

    • Patricia July 12, 2015 at 11:19 pm #

      I agree Kavy. I live in New Zealand and each morning I eagerly opened my iPad to read the Guardian. But not now. It is getting more and more trivial. Same with the Guardian Weekly which I also used to subscribe to. No more. Same reason. The one I like now is the English version of Le Monde diplomatique. It is so so good. The writing and analysis is superb.

  36. Kavy July 11, 2015 at 10:53 pm #

    JFK to 911 Everything Is A Rich Man’s Trick.

    60 million people died in the Second World War but it made a small number of people very rich indeed. Since then the world has been filed with wars started by western democracies, i.e., the ruling class.

    The libertarians and the ultra conservatives say that public intervention, or goodwill, or charity, won’t feed the hungry, but the profit motif will. So if we leave the free market alone – as the conservatives and libertarians say everything should be – then the pure free market and pure capitalism will do its magic. But God help us because nothing is more profitable than war. Or building loads of hydrogen bombs and stockpiling them as many of them up as possible, although there’s enough of them now to blow the world completely to smithereens thousands of times over.

    Nowadays one convectional missile might cost as much as a $million, so firing off as many as possible is something that the free marketeer’s would love to happen much as possible.

    JFK to 911 Everything Is A Rich Man’s Trick

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U1Qt6a-vaNM

    • Kavy July 12, 2015 at 8:25 pm #

      I was surprised to see this article on MSN – Microsoft News – when I turned my tablet on just now. It was an article on how extensive the British were involved with slavery before it became abolished. When it finally got abolished slave owners were heavily compensated for it.

      On The Guardian readers section many conservative defend the by rich saying that they earned their money, but I usually come back and say that most of the obscenely wealthy today made their money out of 400 years of the slave trade. This MSN article identified David Cameron and his wife who had ancestors who made their fortunes out of the slave trade and who then got compensated for the loss when it got abolished..

      David Cameron stands for the party that says that we should all work for our living and it will not tolerate skivers and the workshy. And millions of people believe him, but his family made their fortune out of slavery, the ultimate living off the backs of others – the ultimate free riders – the ultimate good for nothing scroungers.

      From MSN:

      Vast scale of British slave ownership revealed

      The shocking scale of British slave ownership has been revealed in scores of official records which have found that thousands of modern-day Briton’s are related to owners who received huge sums in compensation when the trade was abolished.

      A five year project by University College London has compiled the identities of 46,000 Britons who owned slaves, mainly in the West Indies, on the day that slavery was abolished in 1833.

      Prime Minister David Cameron and his wife Samantha, Benedict Cumberbach, Ben Affleck and author George Orwell are just some of the high profile ancestors of the slave owners revealed in the files.

      Records from the Slave Compensation Commission show that some 800,000 Africans were freed upon abolition after being kept as legal property.

      Upon their liberation the Commission paid out the modern equivalent of £17 billion in compensation to the UK’s tens of thousands of owners – the largest government pay-out since the 2009 bank bailout.

      The colossal sum represented 40 per cent of government expenditure in 1834.

      Researchers from UCL led by Professor Catherine Hall and Dr Nick Draper have published the files into an online database which is available for the general public to access and search for the names of all those who received compensation.

      http://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/other/vast-scale-of-british-slave-ownership-revealed/ar-AAcSPY5?ocid=iehp#image=1

  37. steviefinn July 12, 2015 at 11:59 pm #

    Neoliberal wet deam shopping list, courtesy of Mish :

    Greece has Three Days to “Rebuild Trust” and Do the Following

    Streamline VAT and broaden tax base to increase revenue.
    Upfront comprehensive pension reform
    Adopt Civil Procedure Code with major overhaul of civil justice system
    Safeguard full legal independence of ELSTAT
    Fully implement Treaty on Stability, make Fiscal Council operational before finalizing Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)
    Introduce quasi-automatic spending cuts in case of deviation from targets after seeking advice from Fiscal Council and subject to the approval of the institutions
    Transpose the BRRD within a week with support from European Commission

    MoU Highlights

    Carry out ambiotious reforms to fully compensate for the fiscal impact of the Constitutional Court ruling on 2012 pension clause
    Implement a zero deficit clause or mutually agreeable measures by October 2015
    Adopt more ambitious market reforms with a clear timetable for implementation ofall OECD toolkit recommendations including Sunday trade, sales periods, pharmacy ownership, milk, bakeries, ferries, etc., etc.
    Privatize electricity network
    Undertake rigorous reviews of collective bargaining, industrial action, and collective dismissals
    Modernize framework for collective dismissals
    Strengthen financial sector including decisive action on non-performing loans
    Eliminate political interference in appointment process and governance of HFSF

    On Top of That (Mish note: those were the exact words)

    Develop a significantly scaled up privatization program with improve governance
    Invite an independent body to assess price of assets sold with involvement of the Commission OR transfer 50 billion to an existing external and independent fund like the Institution for Growth in Luxembourg to be privatized over time to reduce debt.
    Modernize and significantly strengthen Greek administration and put in place a program under the auspices of the European Commission, a capacity-building and de-politicization of the Greek administration. The first proposal needs to be provided by July 20.
    To fully normalize working methods with the institutions, the government needs to consult and agree with the institutions on all draft legislation before submitting to parliament or the public. The Eurogroup stresses implementation is the key and welcomes Greek authorities to request by July 20 support for technical assistance.
    Amend or compensate for “roll-back” legislation adopted during 2015 that is counter to the framework of the February 20, 2015 Eurogroup statement.

    Read more at http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com/#fAiTsk8jAMElJQfU.99

    This is a coup hash tag is trending :

    https://www.facebook.com/hashtag/thisisacoup?source=feed_text&story_id=10152928063860824

  38. steviefinn July 15, 2015 at 10:10 am #

    Well Greece appears to be working out very well for the financial equivalents of those that unleashed the bombers on Spain during the Spanish civil war. An event the majority of populations in Europe ignored – believing perhaps it would never grow to darken their own days. The weapons of financial destruction it seems are now finely tuned, ready for the big one – which is likely to fully commence after the next crash ?

    Nobody ever seems to learn – you would think the Germans especially would be cautious about designating whole people’s as unter-mensch.

    • Phil T. July 21, 2015 at 4:00 pm #

      “… This in-built need to expand, sometimes to the scale of an imperium in the search for new territory, means that the process is grounded in ponzi dynamics. Expansion stops when no new territories can be subsumed, and contraction will follow as the society consumes its internal natural capital….

      ….A foundational ingredient in determining effective organizational scale is trust – the glue holding societies together. At small scale, trust is personal, and group acceptance is limited to those who are known well enough to be trusted. For societies to scale up, trust must transcend the personal and be grounded instead in an institutional framework governing interactions between individuals, between the people and different polities, between different layers of governance (municipal, provincial, regional, national), and between states on the international stage.

      This institutional framework takes time to scale up and relies on public trust for its political legitimacy. That trust depends on the general perception that the function of the governing institutions serves the public good, and that the rules are sufficiently transparent and predictably applied to all. This is the definition of the rule of law. Of course the ideal does not exist, but better and worse approximations do at each scale in question.

      Over time, the trust horizon has waxed and waned in tandem with large cycles of socioeconomic advance and retreat. Trust builds during expansionary times, conferring political legitimacy on larger scale forms of organization. Trust takes a long time to build, however, and much less time to destroy. The retreat of the trust horizon in contractionary times can be very rapid, and as trust is withdrawn from governing institutions, so is political legitimacy.

      This is the predicament facing what is essentially a European imperium today – the twin threats of financial crisis and concommittant loss of trust and political legitimacy…”
      – Nicole Foss

      http://www.theautomaticearth.com/2015/07/the-death-of-democracy-in-a-byzantine-labyrinth/

  39. sALFORD lAD July 24, 2015 at 9:46 am #

    Apologies for being off-topic, but I feel this merits action on behalf of all internet armchair warriors. The vote for leadership of the Labour Party is about to be taken, If you wish to elect a Leader who is anti-austerity and is head and shoulders above all the other neo-liberal clones, vote for Jeremy Corbyn.
    Obviously he does not tick all boxes and expect a lot of vested interests and MSM demonisation in the coming weeks. For the price of a beer/£3 you can make the difference.
    I am in. A small step for the representation of ‘we the people’.
    We have to make a start.
    Here is the means to support Jeremy Corbyn for the Labour Party Leadership. i am in.
    http://www.labour.org.uk/w/labour-party-supporters

    • Joe Taylor July 26, 2015 at 8:40 pm #

      Me too, paid my £3 day one and trying to get others to do the same.

      • keith hussein July 28, 2015 at 8:06 pm #

        Me too – I’ve joined again after 25 years.

        Time to re-engage the 15 million who didn’t vote in May.

        Leave second choice blank, or, better, go for Kendall is she has no chance whatsoever and it will counter the second choices for Burham and Cooper.

        A Cooper activist was shocked to hear this earlier today when I was selected for a telephone poll. After I insisted to explain why she merely tied herself up in knots trying to square the New labour circle and insisted they go for the 250,000 swing voters instead of the disenfranchised millions . She also hadn’t heard of Keir Hardie or Nye Bevan either.

        If Corbyn wins, I’ll actively campaingn for Labour too.

        • harold wilson's pipe August 8, 2015 at 3:54 pm #

          “better, go for Kendall is she has no chance whatsoever and it will counter the second choices for Burham and Cooper.”

          I can’t work out how this works. No implication that it’s wrong, just that I’m being dimmer than usual. Suggestions welcome, worked example if necessary.

          Meanwhile, if you’ve got a couple of quid spare, have a look at
          https://jeremyforlabour.nationbuilder.com/donate
          Currently £110K in small donations. When did that last happen from ordinary people?

          Unlike the Tories, and unlike the party-witihin-a-party Progress Ltd (aka the Blairites [2]), no donations from financial institutions, no retail magnates, no venture capitalists, etc.

          Yours, in a spirit of solidarity, tolerance and respect [1].

          [1] That’s from the Labour Party Rules: Clause IV: Aims and Values”. Do you think the Burnham/Cooper/Kendall folks are unaware of it (they should be aware, it was introduced by His Holiness Saint Anthony), or do party rules etc come second to their personal ambition? JC seems to be aware and be following the compulsory rules (and/or he’s a decent sensible politician). Amazing.

          [2] http://www.progressonline.org.uk/about-progress/how-progress-is-funded/
          Two largest donors in recent years are Lord David Sainsbury (hundreds of thousands of pounds each year) and Lord “Two Resignations” Mandelson (a few thousand pounds most years). Also the British Venture Capital Association, and, well, go see for yourself. Edit: And before Sainsbury started funding the entryist Progress group, he used to support general Labour Party funds. Now he specifically funds the Blairites. Source: Electoral Commission website.

          • steviefinn August 8, 2015 at 4:33 pm #

            What I find heartening about the above is that it has shown that there is a seeming large group of people out there who are looking for a truly progressive peg on which to hang their coats. I am just supposing here, but if Corbyn is unsuccessful, that this force will have to go somewhere & I think that the continuation of a labour party of Tory-lite Blairism, will be & largely reaslised as largely pointless.

            It also appears that the young who are being hit hardest are a large part of this & I imagine as the screw tightens & more become of voting age – their nunmber will only increase. Apparently many small local movements who were previously ignored by the major parties are also involved in this. Maybe the numbers will be added to as austerity futher bites, cutting into other than those at the bottoms standard of living & things like fracking effecting house prices, never mind the always unexpected.

            According to one survey the majority are still convinced that all that matters is the defecit, a perception that would be good to change. The above is I think a sign of hope, but fingers crossed that all of this energy doesn’t end up being wasted.

    • Joe Taylor August 10, 2015 at 7:15 pm #

      Seeing as how Blair groaning from the shadows didn’t work, now Alastair Campbell has had to crawl out from under with his two-pence worth of bile
      http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/aug/10/anyone-but-jeremy-corbyn-labour-leader-alastair-campbell?CMP=share_btn_tw
      Check the comments.
      People aren’t has easily fooled these days, eh?

  40. Mike Hall July 24, 2015 at 10:45 pm #

    Evening Golemites … :)

    This book by former Reuters journalist Patrick Chalmers is a must read :)

    Fraudcast News : How Bad Journalism Supports Our Bogus Democracies

    Lots of interesting stuff about finance and economics, with a fairly global persepective.

    http://fraudcastnews.net/

  41. steviefinn July 31, 2015 at 5:18 pm #

    Excellent summation of a dysfunctional family that has sold it’s weakest child into slavery :

    http://harryshutt.com/2015/07/30/the-graveyard-of-western-civilisation/

  42. old dog August 5, 2015 at 9:47 am #

    thanks for the link, liked his piece on the withering away of the finance industry, nearly optimistic.

    • steviefinn August 8, 2015 at 4:34 pm #

      You are very welcome.

  43. Jesse August 16, 2015 at 5:38 pm #

    Jeb Bush to Gathering of Defense Contractors: Iraq War Was a ‘Pretty Good Deal’

    https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2015/08/13/jeb-bush-hosted-defense-contractor-backed-group-calls-iraq-war-pretty-good-deal/

  44. Adele Bailey August 17, 2015 at 2:35 pm #

    Hey David & Others,

    Quite some time ago you wrote a piece on the Insurers and how you felt they were the next possible bubble.

    Ive just found this in the FT and wondered if any one wanted to comment on it?

    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/82e27d0c-44b8-11e5-af2f-4d6e0e5eda22.html#axzz3iz2UzozK

    • steviefinn August 23, 2015 at 11:18 am #

      I think that could be part of what they describe as the froth – in what I would imagine is a rising crappuccino.

  45. Jesse August 17, 2015 at 6:32 pm #

    Larry Wilkerson Talks Frankly About the American ‘Empire’ and its Global Overreach

    http://jessescrossroadscafe.blogspot.com/2015/08/lawrence-wilkerson-travails-of-empire.html

  46. Joe Taylor August 19, 2015 at 8:04 pm #

    Here’s Jeremy Corbyn talking straight about TTIP (5 minutes)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VbziSM9__Og

    And by way of complete contrast (30 seconds)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nwEEunEgSeY

    • harold wilson's pipe August 24, 2015 at 7:29 pm #

      “Here’s Jeremy Corbyn talking straight about TTIP (5 minutes)
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VbziSM9__Og

      Must be seen. So much sense in so little time. Straight talking, honest politics.

      It’s Jeremy, and maybe a couple of dozen MPs, in the House in January. Two dozen MPs discussing an issue of this magnitude? No wonder most politicians are regarded as little better than scum.

      Blatant plug follows (remove if inappropriate):
      https://jeremyforlabour.nationbuilder.com/donate

      David, you’ve gone quiet again. I hope all is OK.

  47. sALFORD lAD August 21, 2015 at 5:19 pm #

    Pepe Escobar, the travelling Latino reporter of the Asia Times gives his usual rivetting report and connects the dots of the ongoing wars in the Middle East and Ukraine. Usual suspects at play and screwing up the world.

    http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/175050/pepe_escobar_welcome_to_pipelineistan

  48. Terry August 25, 2015 at 2:12 am #

    We need the Golem to make sense of this market! Very curious to hear your take from across the pond.

  49. steviefinn August 25, 2015 at 4:21 pm #

    A half hour video in which Steve Keen explains why mainstream economics fails to see coming financial storms. Helped me to understand more – but I had to watch it twice.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JKy6_yy3C3U

  50. steviefinn September 2, 2015 at 10:46 am #

    Interesting assessment : Is the US stock market now too big too fail :

    http://www.oftwominds.com/blogsept15/TBTF-stocks9-15.html

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. 希腊B计划:我们还有中国和俄罗斯 - 倾听华尔街 - July 5, 2015

    […] 英国BBC编辑、导演David Malone认为,希腊政府很可能已经有了一个应对“退欧”的B计划,而中国、俄罗斯将在其中扮演重要的角色。 […]

  2. Are Russia, China Greece's Plan B? – David Malone | Timber Exec - July 6, 2015

    […] article originally appeared at […]

  3. Greece, China, and Russia – A Plan B for Greece | Raging Bull-shit - July 6, 2015

    […] By David Malone and cross posted from his economics blog, Golem XIV […]

Leave a Reply