Bail-Out or Sell-Out? 112

The resignation of the Greek Finance Minister is the clearest possible indication that my last posting was correct and that Greece is ready to climb down in negotiations, in exchange for any sliver of a fig-leaf. The “Troika” is very keen that there will be another bail-out because of course the money goes to the bankers to whom the political elite are beholden. It is increasingly plain that Tsipras does not have the balls for debt repudiation. Yesterday’s choice was meaningless; debt repudiation is the only real alternative.

No bail-out will make any difference, we will be enmired in the same issues again every six months, but with less drama. The Euro will survive because it is the resilient currency of the World’s largest economy. Merkel will continue to manage it cleverly – she has just demonstrated that Germany can determine who is Greece’s finance minister. Greeks will suffer through more austerity, comforted by yesterday’s meaningless shout of defiance, and large corporations and banks will get their hands on Greece’s remaining state assets.

I think the lesson from this is that the 21st Century corporate and banking state is beyond amelioration. Any change needs to be a fundamental challenge to the system. It will seem strange to future generations that a system developed whereby middlemen who facilitated real economic transactions by handling currency, came to dominate the world by creating a mathematical nexus of currency that bore no meaningful relationship to real movements of commodities.

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112 thoughts on “Bail-Out or Sell-Out?

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  • glenn_uk

    Alcyone: “I hear the Greeks are quite lazy?”

    A lazy lie, put about by the Germans and the Greek’s other creditors (aka loan sharks). The OECD (referenced in the BBC article mentioned above) puts Greek working hours considerably above anyone else in Europe – 2,017/year, compared with Germany’s 1,408, for instance.

    There are quite some differences in the types of employment. All the same, the idea that a Greek worker is “lazy” compared the “hard-working family” type so apparently beloved of our ruling classes, is utterly false.

  • lwtc247

    Craig . It’s quite a stretch to say Germany dictated who Greece’s finance minister is.

    “Soon after the announcement of the referendum results, I was made aware of a certain preference by some Eurogroup participants, and assorted ‘partners’, for my… ‘absence’ from its meetings; an idea that the Prime Minister judged to be potentially helpful to him in reaching an agreement. For this reason I am leaving the Ministry of Finance today.” – Yanis Varoufakis, ex-Finance minister of Greece.

    You don’t seem to understand what Syriza was about. It wasn’t – as I wanted – about totally ignoring/rejecting the debt-bondage, it was about rejecting measures they found too unbearable in relation to austerity demands of its creditors. They have always stated that the intention was to restructure/renegotiate. Tsipras has called “liars” those who said he wanted to to just walk away from the debt. And you think he called a referendum so that he would just betray it soon afterwards?

    Varoufakis is an academic, not a politician. He is still totally supportive of his boss, Tsipras, and will doubtless be advising him behind the scenes.

    You’re not right on this one.

  • lwtc247

    Bitcoin / Litecoin / Startcoin / ABCoin /FredBloggsCoin….
    Are “beyond-ridiculous beyond-fiat”. A psudoStrawberry waiting to putrefy before our very eyes. Even conventional fiat offers anonymity. Bitcoin offers total surveillance.

  • lwtc247

    Habbabkuk (la vita è bella) 6 Jul, 2015 – 2:14 pm
    Simple solution…. Don’t overspend.

  • Daniel

    “The high percentage indicates the perceived elevated risk in making the loan (or investment, if you will). There is a large return (18%), but a correspondingly larger risk that it won’t be returned at all. If there was perceived to be negligible risk, the percentage would be near zero.

    So the banks can’t scream “Foul!” because they might not get back their usurious loans (much of which was to pay back their own interest from previous loans – in effect money straight back to themselves), no more than a loan shark is entitled to whine should their indebted victim default.

    That’s just business.”

    Glenn_UK, that’s an extremely refreshing take that I have yet to hear from any mainstream TV commentator.

    “The Maastricht Treaty from the 1992-95 period brought in an unaccountable central bank and a free market economy across Europe. We’ve seen the price of this lack of accountability and bankrupt economic thinking in relation to Greece.”

    (Jeremy Corbyn on Sky News yesterday).

    “Greece should never have been allowed to join the EU in the first place. Less than 10% of our money has actually gone to the Greek people. The banks who lent to Greece got bailed out because the bankers are always in the front of the queue when the money is repaid.

    What has happened in Greece is effectively a banking coup. The banks didn’t lend to Greece out of the goodness of their hearts but because of the risk given that interest rates were so high. But this is the thing: There is no real risk as far as the banking racket is concerned given the fact that it’s us poor tax-paying dopes who are the ones who invariably end up picking up the bill in the event that the loans don’t get repaid. Heads the bankers win, tails we lose.

    Since 2010, the troika have lent 252 billion euros to Greece. Over that same period 232 billion (90% of the total) was spent on debt payments bailing out the Greek banks and speculators. So 252 billion of our money was given to the banks because the bet they made on Greece failed.

    In 2010 virtually all Greek government debt was owned by private entities such as banks. Today, almost 80% of it is owed to us – the public sector – primarily the public sectors’ of eurozone countries, but also throughout the world through IMF loans. Who pays the IMF? We do.

    So they took the money from us and they paid it to the banks. And so the Greeks now owe us money – not the banks, because the bankers got paid off first. Consequently, they are currently laughing so hard that all their cocaine is blowing off the backs of the prostitutes they hired to hang around the poop decks of their solid gold yachts.

    The debts have been turned from private to public because the bankers don’t accept the concept of losing money no matter what bets they make. And the state institutions go along with this gigantic criminal conspiracy against the other 99.9% of the human race because they have been bought and paid for by the finance racket.

    Just look at the revolving door culture where former parliamentarians’ have been taken on as directors, advisers and executives by the banks and then draw your own conclusions. The combination of the crashing of the economy and the bailout loans has meant that Greek government debt has gone from 3% of GDP to 174%. The Greeks have therefore become effective slaves to the banks unless they give the finger to the IMF.”

    (Nick Abbot, LBC Radio, 19th June).

  • Mary

    Oss Terri Tee for the Greeks

    Likewise the UK.

    The £55billion government heist you didn’t hear about
    July 7, 2015

    1.Budget this week with anticipated £12 billion of welfare under the axe

    2.2010 emergency budget had tiny condition changing the benefit calculation method

    3.The ‘tweak’ saved the government £15 billion over last parliament

    4.Over the course of this parliament another £40 billion will be taken from the poor and vulnerable


    The election was held just eight weeks ago. The plan for this massive assault by Cameron and Osborne’s crowd was planned way back.

  • House bara

    @Mary – 11 pollsters cant be wrong, the hidden state somehow managed to rig the Libdem votes into tory votes in the 50-60 key marginal constituencies (except for their homeboys clegg,alistair)?That van which crashed with 70k ballots? somebody needs to make a statistical inquiry into the voter turnouts too?

  • deepgreenpuddock

    Bevin-I liked your comment. I, too, think the no vote has more importance than Craig thinks. We will just have to watch and see how it develops. there ares some fundamental questions being asked about democracy and in particular that missing element of democracy in recent times-accountability .
    The essence of the problem, as i see it, is that the entire population of a ‘country’/nation state, are held accountable for the ‘errors’ of a relatively small proportion of the population, who have acquired both the power to make far reaching decisions, and to control the ‘direction of travel’ of the country bit at the same time acquire immunity to censure and responsibility. This occurs for several reasons One of these is a certain need for capacity to act so that government can be responsive to circumstances. People who are elected to carry the weight of heavy decisions also need some indemnity if they are to be able to function at all, where actions and decisions don’t have a predictable outcome. The third aspect of this is the capacity to operate supra-nationally and enter into alliances and financial arrangements which are sometimes necessary to being held obscure/secret. This creates the capacity to operate corruptly without full exposure of these corrupt dealings.
    In the case of Greece there surely isn’t any doubt that previous governments have behaved corruptly and inefficiently.The inordinately large Defence assets were apparently acquired at huge cost due to the level of corruption at all levels. The decision to pursue a large defence system is also a matter of providing a vehicle for personal enrichment. i.e. the decision to buy such systems is highly skewed by the potential this creates to become enriched by the process.
    ‘Inefficiency’ is also not an accident but often a shroud for greater misdeeds.The invitation/opportunity for small players to act corruptly provides the justification for the large players to act on a much larger scale. Such inefficiency creates the environment where larger and more significant corruption becomes obscured.
    If the tax system and pension system was so lax (a common criticism levelled at Greece) it seems to me that is was no accident. It almost certainly suited those who had control of the processes that governed that laxity in the time before the current crisis.
    It is also quite clear that supra-national arrangements carry supra-national responsibilities. It is perfectly obvious that there is no possibility of the Eurozone escaping a wider responsibility since they were actively engaged in the ideologies, and interventions (and probably in many cases complicit in corrupt practise) that have caused the development of the crisis.
    Greece is of course a ‘special case’ in that it lies on a position of this matrix of economic,financial and political that has left it more exposed than other nation states. However Ireland is another case where deeply corrupt and improper decisions were made on behalf of a population. The exact ‘flavour is a little different but the principle is the same

    I suspect that what is happening , in a rather complex and protracted way, is that the real quality and nature of our creaking systems of representation, which have evolved very haphazardly over the last few hundred years, carrying with them the accretions of past inadequacy and corruption-even now we still have remnants of feudalism inordinately empowered out of all proportion to value-is being revealed.
    Although t may be that Craig is right in a limited sense in his post, I think that the cat is indeed coming out of the bag-it just has not quite go there yet.

  • Mary

    Do NOT watch Politics Today on BBC2 this morning. They have had Blair (looking hypertensive) and Blears on ref 7/7. Blair is perplexed why there are so many terrrrist training places in the ME. He has obviously not heard of the word ‘blowback’. Blears, the well known in the expenses scandal, backed him up and recounted her experiences of that day.

    Before that, Danny Alexander was analysing life for the LDs post coalition. He is so unmemorable that it has took me a time to remember his first name. I could think of Wee Duggie though. He thinks Cleggover was a great servant to the people and that the LDs did a great job in coalition. He is speaking to many people on what comes next, implying that he is getting job offers. As if!

    Greece has not been mentioned. The news has moved on to 7/7 and tomorrow’s budget.

  • OldMark

    ‘Perhaps the real problem was that when the loans were originally made they were at interest rates that were too low for the risk that they entailed – and as a consequence Greece was able/emcouraged too borrow much more than it could actually do so.’

    Res Diss- your comment here does not state explicitly that the ‘loans originally made’ were from commercial banks and not the ECB or IMF. The latter, led by the then ECB head Jean Claude Trichet, took the ‘socialise the losses’ line, thus allowing Goldman Sachs et al to get off the hook for the original loans, which they, and not the ECB, so disastrously mis-priced.

    The ‘austerity’ the western world has been experiencing since 2008 is a direct consequence of central bankers acting in the interests of commercial bankers, and not in the interests of the national or supranational organisations who nominally employ them. In this regards, Trichet can be seen as following in the footsteps of the master of ‘socialise the losses’ central banking, Hank Paulson-

  • lwtc247


    “The essence of the problem, as i see it, is that the entire population of a ‘country’/nation state, are held accountable for the ‘errors’ of a relatively small proportion of the population”

    – It could be argued: that’s what you get with Democracy. You pay people to act on you behalf, and irrespective of whether they actually do or not, you are accountable for their actions. I believe this is partly why the “Not in my name!” ‘campaign’ sprang up when bLiar lied and decided to outright attack Iraq and its people.

  • Daniel

    “The priority of government is to protect the bankers from their own incompetence, as opposed to protecting depositors in the event of a run on banks. As far as the banking racket is concerned, losses are ‘socialized’ and profits ‘privatized’. So for them, it’s ‘win-win’ situation.

    Due to the close knit ‘revolving door’ culture that exists between leading parliamentarians’ taking their places on the boards of financial companies’ following their “retirement”, and the irresponsible actions of bankers continue to be underwritten by the tax payer, there is no incentive for either the politicians or the the bankers to change their destructive course. The continued suffering of the Greek people resulting from austerity in which their government is implicated, cannot be divorced from this kind of close knit relationship.

    It was, for example, no accident that Greece didn’t do the rational thing by defaulting on its debt but has instead decided to continue with the ‘negotiation process’ predicated on further bail-outs. As Craig Murray succinctly put it, “the ‘Troika’ [of creditors comprising the EU, ECB and IMF] is very keen that there will be another bail-out because of course the money goes to the bankers to whom the political elite are beholden”(7).

  • Mary

    Iain Duncan Smith’s reaction, shown bottom right, says it all about the budget.×900.jpg

    and this article confirms it

    What’s this? Is Iain Duncan Smith visibly excited by prospect of hurting the poor?
    The work and pensions secretary cheered on the new “living” wage, which turns out to be nothing of the sort.

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