June 8, 2015

Greece’s downfall, Europe’s disgrace

Posted in Sunday Business Post · 101 comments ·
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It is regularly pointed out that Greece is only 2 per cent of eurozone GDP, but maybe we should consider that the plughole is also only 2 per cent of the bath. Greece matters not just politically and financially, but morally too and this is why the behaviour of Brussels – and by extension our own finance ministry – in this sorry tale has been appalling.

Ghandi once observed that the weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.

Greece is weak. And efforts now to humiliate its people further in the name of Europe risks not just a bank run in the next few days, but undermines the entire thrust of the EU which claims to be a community of countries.

Greece is a battered economy, a fractured society and one where incomes have fallen by a quarter in recent years. It is destroyed.

And it wasn’t destroyed by Syriza, its present government, but by a series of centre right and centre left kleptocrats who governed Greece with Europe’s blessing for decades.

The radical Syriza is the consequence not the cause of Greece’s problems. This is the simple truth.

Greece doesn’t have a debt to GDP ratio of 180 per cent because some radical bunch of Marxists seized power. It has a massive debt ratio because the centre pro-EU, middle ground destroyed it, borrowing from European banks and blew the cash.

These are the guys who hang out together in Davos, high-fiving each other in the corridor of power. I know this because I have seen it.

Last Friday, Greece said it wouldn’t pay the IMF this week and it would roll up its debts to the IMF with those to the EU and pay them all at the end of the month.

Syriza leaders say they are unwilling to burn any more of the country’s dwindling cash reserves to pay creditors until there is a credible offer on the table. They have, not surprisingly, insisted on paying pensions and salaries. If they have to default on creditors so as not to default on their own people, so be it.

Can you blame them?

The idea that Greece might be either forced to (1) leave the euro or (2) raid the savings of its own people to pay part of the creditors’ bills, has prompted ordinary Greeks to take their euros out of the banks.

Deposit flight was already running at €400 million a day. Once this starts, you are in full bank run territory. A country I visited two weeks ago, Argentina, experienced this in 2002. The Argentinians introduced limits on the amount of money people could take out of the banks every day as well as capital controls which sought to stem cash leaving the country.

This was called the Corralito – which is Spanish for a type of playpen. So the idea was that your savings are corralled into a playpen, just like a baby, and you can’t get out without the permission of an adult.

They did this to stop a massive bank run. It is not inconceivable that Greece might have to do something similar over this weekend. Otherwise, it will simply watch Greek deposits flee. Why would you keep your money there now?

At the moment, the ECB is just about keeping Greek banks open, however, if there is no deal on Greece restructuring its debts, there is every reason to worry about the banking system.

In its most basic form, the EU wants more austerity in return for a Greek deal. Up until last Thursday, this give and take was understood by both sides and it seemed that there was a good chance of a deal with the Greeks giving just enough and the EU accepting a victory.

But on Thursday, the EU upped the ante in terms of how much austerity the Greeks had to stomach and this seems to have been a final straw for the Greeks, prompting them to miss their IMF payment.

What we now have is the prospect of a Carthagenian peace. This is what Keynes perceptively termed the Versailles Treaty, warning that destroying Germany with reparations would lead to disaster.

The expression comes from ancient history which also won’t be lost on the Greeks. In the final Punic War between Rome and its great enemy Carthage (Hannibal and all that), the Romans won and destroyed the city, knocking down every building and selling the citizens into slavery.

Such total devastation of the enemy is what the Romans called peace.

The EU seems to be on a similar path. The Greek economy simply can’t recover under these terms because it will raise taxes to pay off debts and this money will just flow out of the country, making it weaker still.

One of the other Greek concerns is that the IMF – supposed to be an even broker – is singing from the creditors’ hymn sheet.

Ashoka Mody, the IMF lad who was knocking around here a few years ago, observed last Friday: “Everything that we have learned over the past five years is that it is stunningly bad economics to enforce austerity on a country in a deflationary cycle. Trauma patients have to heal their wounds before they can train for the 10K.”

The position of Ireland in all this is egregious. There was a time when we used to have a moral side to foreign policy, when the Department of Foreign Affairs stood up for the weak. It may have only been ceremonial as with the Palestinians, but it is an expression of a national position.

The EU is about to turn the Greek economy into the financial equivalent of the Gaza Strip, devoid of capital, hope and the potential for growth, left to fester in the south-east of the Balkans.

And then the EU expects these same Greeks to man their borders to turn back desperate refugees who want to live in the EU? If I were a Greek minister, I know which way I would look. I would, like the Department of Foreign affairs, look the other way.

David McWilliams hosts dalkeybookfestival.org next weekend


  1. SMOKEY

    The Good Room may be an apropos analogy here. Or, you like to use school yard stuff too, like the guys who would hang with the truly strong and become majestic by association. We knew without the aid of the big guy, these other little turds would be nothing, this is Mick Noonan, an utter gas bag piece of tripe. And smegma breath Enda, a weak vicious bully. They want to be in the good room, at the top table, and will sacrifice all of their collective moral compass to lie, cheat, degrade ohters, and steal their way to the top. Sickening. They are starry eyed little manboys, wankers of the highest order. I hate there rotten stinking guts.

    • SMOKEY

      I hate “their” stinking rotten guts…….how did this post with the wrong spelling? AHHAHHHHHHHHHGGGGHHH!

    • Mike Marketing

      Hi Smokey.

      A good Leaving Cert Math Question?

      Re the €210 Billion Ireland owes.

      * If it takes 1 person more than 1.5 years to move €1 billion in €1 coins from one part of a warehouse to another by hand. And 333 years to shift €210 billion, how long will it take our great, great, great, great grandchildren to pay it all back?

      Or like the “Best Boy in the class from Mayo” do we revel in our indebtedness and live high on the hog off the Irish taxpayer?

      • SMOKEY

        Should have only taken 315 years to shift the €210, that said the question is: How long does it take for a politician to abandon any sense of decency after he is in goverment? A: He is and always was, a whore. In the case of the 31st Dail, a “cheap ugly whore” And dont forget the words he used about Patrice Lumumba. Lenny Bruce? Enda Kenny Bruce………

    • juniorjb

      Noonan is a wretched little bully. My aunt was one of the victims of the blood transfusion scandal of the 80′s. I will never forget Noonan’s aggressive and adversarial attitude towards the victims – this kind of soi-disant hardman nonsense seems to answer to some lack within him.

      • DB4545

        juniorjb

        What did you expect? It’s in the FG DNA. They were aligned to fascists and they’ve barely evolved from fascists. It’s the tale of the frog and the scorpion. I was one of the frogs that voted for them and Labour because of the way FF betrayed the Country. I felt I had no other choice.You can’t appeal to their better nature because they don’t have one.

        DB

        • juniorjb

          You felt you had no choice but to vote and thereby endorse political parties you have no faith in and (I expect) disagree with? I hear this one all the time – I don’t know if anyone that uses it realizes what an illogical and fundamentally slavish mentality it reveals. Ye don’t deserve any sympathy nor will you ever receive any that can help you, for you are your own worst enemies and have sealed your own doom. They don’t respect you and see you as no more than pliable, exploitable cattle, shift and swaying with whatever gentle push cliffwards that they give you.

  2. SMOKEY

    The Good Room may be an apropos analogy here. Or, you like to use school yard stuff too, like the guys who would hang with the truly strong and become majestic by association. We knew without the aid of the big guy, these other little turds would be nothing, this is Mick Noonan, an utter gas bag piece of tripe. And smegma breath Enda, a weak vicious bully. They want to be in the good room, at the top table, and will sacrifice all of their collective moral compass to lie, cheat, degrade ohters, and steal their way to the top. Sickening. They are starry eyed little manboys, wankers of the highest order. I hate their rotten stinking guts.

  3. Just why is the EU doing this to Greece?

    Every sensible economist that I have read in the past few weeks has rationally pointed out that it’s not going to work, it’s going to make things worse and as David points out – it’s not just technically the wrong approach – it’s also morally repugnant.

    So why are they doing it? What is wrong with these people?

    • Here is Greek Finance Minister, Yanis Varoufakis’s latest blog post calling for a speech of hope from Angela Merkel.

      I don’t fancy his chances of being listened to:

      http://yanisvaroufakis.eu/2015/06/07/a-speech-of-hope-for-greece-a-project-syndicate-op-ed/

    • Antaine

      Psychopaths and Sociopaths. They dont really care about the poor, needy, afflicted etc. They care about their own nests and nothing more. When I hear our dearest leaders talking about Us and We I firmly believe they are talking about their own cliques and not the total population.

    • michaelcoughlan

      Hi Adam.

      “So why are they doing it? What is wrong with these people?”

      The answer is simple but so adverse to the thinking of a healthy moral mind that when someone tells the truth they are written off as a lunatic or conspiracy theorist.

      It hasn’t been about economics for years now the issue is about morality and McWilliams highlighted this in his reference to the dept of foreign affairs. McWilliams also started his evidence to the tribunal with something along the lines of “I consider it my moral and patriotic duty”.

      Such laughable niaveity from an irish politican’s perspective. So it’s very simple.; The politicans in the EU serve a banking agenda. Where I don’t agree with conspiracy theorists is that the banks are the Orwelliand controllors in all this. What I really think is that the derivatives bubble is out of control and what the politicans really think is that “oh my Jeasus we gotta do something to stop it blowing up” so better to evisigrate Greece in the hope that by cutting off the gangerous limb Of Greece it may save the body (EU).

      Trouble is that diabeties is the problem “too much sugar in the form of too much debt) NOT the gangereen (Greek trajedy).

      The same thing is happening here and no one is raising the issue but just to show you; The Irish politicans are doing the same thing serving an EU agenda of trying to stop the derivatives bubble from blowing up by allowing all and sundry asset strip the country. Example; The four seasons hotel was bought about 3 or 4 years ago for 11m and sold about a year ago for 41m approx. I suggested before that if the government really wanted to stop speculation they would tax this type of activity at 80% where no value had been added by the property owner”. Hone-a-scam did nothing.

      However Hone-a-scam puts in a 20% deposit requirement for the second purchase of a house. He did this in my view because he knew that the reason a young family would buy a bigger house would be the need to provide for a growing family. He knew once the second child would come along that the chances are one parent would stay at home to mind the children and he would lose the paye tax on that persons salary.

      So because morality got shafted long ago he sees nothing wrong in fucking one young family after another in the ass preventing them growing their families meanwhile allowing large speculators make obscene returns on capital in 3 years and then tries to convince the Irish population he is trying to stop the bubble from forming again!

      I am finished with Ireland. I have started applying for jobs in the UK. I though that I would have an opportunity by now to seek decent employment here having sat out the recession minding my very young family but always looking for a job that pays a decent wage here but I know I am only pissing in the wind. The policies the Government are pursuing are copper fastening min wage min hour contracts, mass emigration for decades to come.

      Michael.

      • Deco

        England is a meritocracy.

        Ireland is a great place for making money if you are Denis O’Brien, Dermot Desmond, Michael Lowry, a hereditary politician in the FF/FG/LP spectrum of obedient traitors.

        You cannot have a meritocracy, and at the same time be doing debt write downs for your party’s main financial and media backer….

    • savagepeter

      Why are they doing this? The ECB is led by Germans. Austerity makes sense for an export driven power house such as Germany. Keep wages down make exports cheaper. But this will not work for periphery Europe where exonomies are set up differently.

      The best explanations of how the Euro is in the mess it is are from Mark Blyth. Particularly the bond chart.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B6vV8_uQmxs

      The problem is we’re half pregnant with the Euro. We will have to move a more Federlised Europe with the collectivisation of national debt and grant more power to the EU institutions or the whole thing will collapse. I dunno which would be worse.

      • Deco

        “led” or “owned”.

        By the way, one cannot blame the Germans for wanting to own the ECB. Weimar had serious consequences.

        I mean would you want to see the lugs that regulated Anglo Irish bank running the ECB. Eh no thanks.

        Patrick Neary types in charge of the Euro would end Western civilization.

        • savagepeter

          The ECB did not regulate anything any better than Neary (not exhonerating Neary). The worst of the American mortgage derivatives were sold to German LandesBanks. They believed the triple AAA ratings and bought mountains of the stuff.
          http://www.theguardian.com/business/2007/sep/06/germany

          Also German, French and Dutch Banks bought up periphery government bonds with high interest rates before the Euro arrived under the belief that the EU would always back them. And then used these bonds as collateral to lend to the citizens of the periphery.

          Also consider the sheer size of European bank assets as percentage of GDP!
          http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-05-18/spot-odd-continent-out-total-bank-assets-gdp
          There isn’t enough money in the Eurozone if/when things go t!ts up! If american banks were over-levered where does that leave Europe!

          This euro problem has NOTHING to do ‘Lazy’ Greeks. All european banks bought into the ponzi.

        • savagepeter

          Also the Weimar Hyperinflation may have been a deliberate ploy to avoid WW1 reparation payments to France.

          http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/millions-billions-trillions-germany-in-the-era-of-hyperinflation-a-641758.html

        • Grzegorz Kolodziej

          “By the way, one cannot blame the Germans for wanting to own the ECB. Weimar had serious consequences.”

          I actually agree with that statement. Regardless whether Weimar was a plot to avoid paying debts (I would argue it was not because it was the Allies themselves who diluting their demands on Germany), let’s try to look at Greece from 3 points of view: German, Greek and Polish (as an Eastern European periphery) and you tell me what the Irish point of view on Greece should be.

          1. German point of view.
          1.1. Germany did not want Greece in EEA in first place – France wanted it and forced it on Germany. Read about Giscard d-Estaing lending his plane to a guy who he then planted as the Greek first non-dictatorial minister because France wanted to have a Greece satelite.
          1.2 Germans do not want Greece in the euro and again this was forced by France. German point of view would be that eurozone troubles would have been less severe had cheating countries like Greece were not admitted
          1.2. German wages went up by 25% for the first 8 years after Greece joining the euro while Greek went up by 140%. Germany did painful Hartz IV reform while Greece went on a spending spree
          1.3. Greek got 3 times more subsidies than any other EU country – and what did they do with all that money?
          1.4. Greeks were cheating like no one else. If there was a German ECB boss and not Greek, they would have not got away with that

          2. Greek point
          2.1. That’s rich for Germany to say we owe them money. Let’s first Germany pay money they have stolen from Greece in WWII and then do calculations.
          2.2. Saying Greeks are lazy is both racist and untrue. It’s Germans who are lazy, Greeks work the longest hours in the EU.
          2.3. Greeks were cheating? They did a deal with Goldman Sachs under Eurostat’s supervision and were even given an award from the EU.

          3. Polish point.

          3.1. Greece was already privileged getting the best military equipment from the US for less than Poland obsolete US equipment and did not even have to fight in any war.
          3.2. Poland had to spend more percentage of its budget than Greece for debt repayment and had more austerity and did not complain. Why should poor Poland subsidize rich Greece?
          3.3. If people in Greece suffer so much from unemployment, why do we not see them working hard in places like the UK, as we see so many Irish?
          In the last decade up till 2012 less than 3,000 Greeks have immigrated to the UK, compared to 35,000 from small Nepal – and Greeks have infinitely more opportunities to work in the UK than Nepalese.

          3.4. Austerity? What austerity? In the austerity year 2012 car sales in Greece increased by 16.5% compared to a nearly 20% decrease in Poland, a country which struggles to pay pensions and has much higher income taxes than Greece, but which nonetheless volunteered to contribute to pay Greek pensions – even though Poland is not in the euro zone.

          Now, do not get me wrong – I know that most of that financial help was recycled back to German and French banks. However, when I read that Syriza’s government has rehired 600 cleaners to clean one building while less than 15 part-time workers are able to efficiently clean the operation and IT centre of BOI in Cabinteely, then I start thinking that the learned Greek Finance Minister has not learned yet that you cannot solve the debt problem by incurring more debt. After all, it was the Greek philosopher Aristotle who said that nations are destroyed ‘not by those who murder their representatives, but by those who shower them with privileges they do not deserve’.

          • Aristotle who said that nations are destroyed ‘not by those who murder their representatives, but by those who shower them with privileges they do not deserve’.

            LIKE

    • Deco

      The EU is doing it because the EU has “zero tolerance for insubordination”.

      There is a concerted effort by the EU, and the richest in the EU to drive the Greeks to throw out Syriza, and bring back in the same centre-right/centre/centre-left kleptocrats that dominate the rest of the EU.

      The people of Greece are suffering. And the EU is playing games of denial, self-preservation for the rich, and preaching to the Greeks about the need to reform/push more austerity.

      How much austerity is there in Brussels these days ?

      What about reform of the EU, which still has not produced a signed off set of accounts in two decades ?

    • Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely

  4. Patrick

    The Greeks still want to retire at 50. Changing that is not “Austerity” & they should get no bailout until they stop freeloading.

    • savagepeter

      You can’t tar all greeks with this brush. Things, as always, are more complex. The one’s who get the early retirement are the corrupt civil service which obviously needs reform. Regular Greeks work long hours. The longest in Europe. German’s work the least.

      https://stats.oecd.org/Index.aspx?DataSetCode=ANHRS

      This austerity carry on by the EU will only serve to hurt the hard working Greeks and not the privileged.

      The EU surely knew all this before Greece was allowed to join the Euro and failed to enforce any change in Greek society. So it is a failure on all sides.

      • sdempsey

        I worked with Greek companies and civil servants for 10 years. This idea that they all want to retire at 50 is utter BS. They wanted to retire at about 61. The retirement age has gone up to 63 which seems about right. Few have complained as there as a practice of staying beyond the 61 years anyway. They’re much more concerned about take home pay down by 35%. This is understandable. The other myth is that they’re lazy. Their work-social balance is difference to ours. They tend to break a longer work day up with meals with friends and family. I’ve seen work days that go from 8:30 to 10:00 with trips home or to restaurants for meals with family, colleagues etc. This is necessary because of the climate and the siestas (a long lunch) they take in the middle of the day. I observed no inherent laziness, just a difference in work style. It’s awful that these anti-Greek myths are being believed by people so they can feel good about draconian austerity policies. It’s just racism. Remember that the German tabloid press said all the same things about the Irish, lest we feel too smug and clever to scoff at the Greeks. Bild called us lazy, stupid, feckless etc.

        • Mike Lucey

          @sdempsy [quote]

          “The retirement age has gone up to 63 which seems about right”

          I don’t know about 63 being about right for state pensions. I agree that it would be nice, btw I’m over 63.

          In 1889 Chancellor Bismarck introduced pensions for workers over 70 years of age. At the time life expectancy was around 50 for men and 53 for women.

          The age requirement was lowered to 65 year in 1916 and as we know continues to this day with men living on average to 76 and women to 81.

          It appears Bismarck’s goal at the time was to purchase social peace through a limited redistribution of income and he believed that as long as a person was fit enough to work they should in principle arrange for their own protection regardless of age.

          I’ve read ‘How old is old? Is 80 the new 65?’
          http://statchatva.org/2012/04/12/how-old-is-old-is-80-the-new-65/ and I think it might be. There is no way old age pensions will be paid at current rates in10 years time or even less.

          It would make more sense to grasp the nettle now. Retirements, I feel, should be phased in. Full 40 hour week up to 60 years of age, 30 hours per week 60-65 years with quarter state pension, 20 hours per week 65-70 years with half state pension and 10 hours per week 70-75 with three quarters state pension. After 75 full state pension and no requirement to work.

          As far as the work element goes there are many social areas that could be manned and womaned for the general wellbeing of society.

        • Antaine

          Goood to hear someone with some actual experience tell it like it is instead of listening to biased reporting. Thanks

    • Deco

      Irish politicians also want to retire at 50, if they get kicked out off office for being useless, and never elected again.

      And guess what – they get away with it

  5. CREST

    All that the Greeks have to do is, Get on the phone to MR Putin, and just ask him if his help is still available, and stuff NATO, it wont be long till, the EU and the good old Island of saints and scholars , will be swamped with African Refugees, as a direct result of NATO’S actions in Africa. EU the greatest disaster that the people of Ireland had ever gotten themselves into.

  6. CREST

    Yes, Mr Noonan, and Mr Kenny, vote for more sanctions on Russia, thats the way to go.

  7. technopolitics

    “There was a time when we used to have a moral side to foreign policy…”

    When, exactly? You seriously think that if Britain had been staunchly pro-Israel, that a pro-Palestinian stance would have been countenanced? Just as we took that position, planes flew through Shannon with kidnap victims en route to Guantanamo bay. Did our foreign policy show some morality then?

    Give me a break. Irish foreign policy – like the foreign policy of every country in the world – is entirely and absolutely based on self-interest. Anything else would be a derogation of its mandate.

    • StephenKenny

      As a guide to how societies work in this area, look at Maslow’s Hierarchy of Need. Of course it’s a balancing act to some extent, but without a reasonable system of ethics, societies (all the way from villages upwards) decay into savages.

      All of European history is a struggle to find, understand, and agree such systems, at an international level. A million small agreements evolved – chivalry evolved to enable conflict to occur without mass slaughter. The US & USSR evolved an escalation methodology to enable the path to war to be cut out at any time.
      Even the current meaning of the word ‘civil’ indicates our intentions – after all it

      Every religious leader I can think of has been viewed as some sort of outlaw because they were suggesting that we move to a higher level.

      Just look at the words we use, politics, civilization, and so on. They come from the Greeks and Romans, and refer, in various ways, to the common good.

      Without morals embedded in our state, we are savages and barbarians.

    • DB4545

      technopolitics

      Couldn’t agree with you more. We don’t have a moral side to foreign policy because we can’t afford it or more honestly we won’t pay for it. Here’s the choice at the moment:

      1. Send a naval service vessel to assist with the refugee crisis in the Mediterranean. Rescue the victims and offload them in a European port. Make sure your “good deeds” hit the evening news and bask in the reflected glory.

      2.Send a naval vessel and machine gun every man woman and child in the water.

      Barbaric? The reason we’re doing the former at the moment is because there’s no cost to us at present.The European ports where we offload refugees will eventually become overwhelmed and unable to cope. There’s approximately half a million people trying to reach Europe. These Countries will eventually tell Irish Naval personnel to go f**k themselves. That’s when we find out that we no longer get to play superhero for free. They’ll simply tell us that as the refugees are on an Irish vessel they’re now on Irish soil and hence our responsibility. Realpolitik will kick in and the ship will be heading back to Cobh. We weren’t particularly kind to the Jews fleeing from the Nazis. James Joyce said we were the only Country who didn’t persecute the Jews because we didn’t let them in. When we were helping the UN in Lebanon some years ago we didn’t exactly get swamped with Palestinian refugees either. Lebanon is a perfect example of a Country that was kind beyond it’s ability to cope. The result? It was swamped with refugees became destabilised and this was one of the factors which contributed to its civil. So what’s it to be folks moralising, the usual hand wringing, plenty of crocodile tears or a 1000 refugees being offloaded in Cork every two weeks? Or engine failure and the ship returns to port?

      • StephenKenny

        Ill thought out, unaffordable ‘Good Deeds’ are nothing to do with morals – they’re a cross between PR and a brand of brainless liberalism that’s affecting everything at the moment.
        Similarly, doing things badly is not a reason to stop trying to do things well.
        Without a moral side to our state, we won’t even ask the questions. We should be working for the common good – and no one ever said it was easy.

        • DB4545

          StephenKenny

          And there’s the key word Stephen, should. If boatloads of refugees turned up on our southern coast watch liberal posturing turn to xenophobia. We play the superhero when it suits us and because it doesn’t cost us.

          DB

  8. Greco Roman Baths

    Greece is only 2% of the Eurozone so is the plughole 2% of a bath .We need to understand that we do not know how many taps the bath has .It may be endless .

    • The IMF has practiced austerity on every nation having a problem keeping up with the payments on the “friendly” loan offered a short time before.

      Bankers aquiring solid assets converted from paper mythical money which cost them nothing to produce. That is the name of the game. No conscience. No morals. They want it all at no cost to them regardless who is enslaved to obtain it.

      Pick off the weakest first. Who complains?

  9. Mike Lucey

    As ‘Savagepeter’ suggests, the whole thing is designed to move on to the next step, a Federlised Europe.

    It looks to me that this has been the Bilderbergers plan for quite some time and they are gradually achieving their aims bit by bit.

    The vast majority of the Irish population would appear to be totally unaware and disinterested in what is going on with the exception of a few people that can clearly see the writing on the wall but they may as well be banging their heads against the same wall!

    A case in point that came to my attention! The other day I was wondering if anyone had in the past tried to use an Internet ‘petition site’ to garner support for the reintroduction of citizen initiated referenda. Low and behold I found such a campaign on Avaaz, ‘Allow Irish Citizens To Call For Referendums In Ireland’ https://secure.avaaz.org/en/petition/Irish_Citizens_Initiative_for_Democracy_and_Collaborative_Governance/?pv=32&rc=tagging&fb_action_ids=10207337246097207&fb_action_types=og.shares

    When I saw the number of signatures (244) I thought this was a fairly new campaign but as I read through to campaign I noticed that it was first posted on August 1, 2012! I have no idea if the campaign proposer is still interested but I stuck my name to it anyway.

    I will remain optimistic but at the same time realistic. It will be interesting to see if this campaign can gain some momentum and get close the a 75,000 figure which I understand is the number that used to be required for the citizens of Ireland to force a referendum under the Free State Constitution.

    Maybe this is a topic that DMcW might consider in the future?

    Mike

  10. dwalsh

    Good article David.
    The way Greece is being treated is appalling; and our own lot are a disgrace.

    Many argue that austerity policies have failed and are only making things worse. The implication is that the policies of austerity are an error made in good faith.

    This is similar to the manner in which the crimes of the Washington Regime are usually treated in the Western corporate media cartel. For instance the indirect murder of 500,000 children in Iraq by means of sanctions is viewed as a foreign policy error made in good faith. The Washington Regime itself regarded it as “a price worth paying” to realise its strategic interests in the region.

    My point here is to suggest that the people enforcing and running the austerity policies being imposed on the weaker European nations are not stupid. They understand the simple economic mechanisms which ensure that austerity policies cannot produce the publicly stated intended outcome of recovery. They know very well that the policies cannot do what it says on the tin.

    So what are their real intentions?

    One way to possibly estimate the real intentions behind these draconian policies is by reverse engineering, from the actual results of the policies, back to the possible true intentions. The obvious outcome of the policies is the destruction of the social and economic fabric of the targeted nations, and the creation of a vast pool of desperate people who will be willing to work for sweatshop wages just to survive. Is it possible that the Euro elites are implementing a program of social engineering to create a low-wage European hinterland?

    • Sounds very plausible. Good post dwalsh. Thanks.

    • michaelcoughlan

      “The obvious outcome of the policies is the destruction of the social and economic fabric of the targeted nations, and the creation of a vast pool of desperate people who will be willing to work for sweatshop wages just to survive. Is it possible that the Euro elites are implementing a program of social engineering to create a low-wage European hinterland”

      That’s correct. I keep explaining the reason so sorry in advance if you are miffed; MCwilliams has accurately pointed out that the Euro economy is in deflation. Deflation is the result in my view of economic contraction.

      The people who control the worlds hedge funds know this. In order to preserve or increase the size of their share of the pie everyone else’s has to get smaller including the size of people families. Less pay for the workforce means more of a share of the wealth produced going into the derivatives bubbles to keep it inflated.

      When the bonbon’s were posting here they accurately (it seems with hindsight) were writing about world population reduction agendas and now we are seeing it playing out before our very eyes.

      Michael

      • dwalsh

        Yes I agree Michael.
        The global economy – the real economy – is in contraction and deflation. And as it proceeds the elites are literally sucking the lifeblood out of it. Derivatives and other financial instruments are the fangs they use. Derivatives are designed to extract wealth from the real economy. They have no other useful or productive purpose.

        One possible analysis is this is unfolding involuntarily, due to the inner logic of late stage capitalism driving for what they call growth – meaning constantly increasing profits.

        Another possible analysis is this is happening by design, to bring about fundamental changes in the world; and population reduction may be part of that agenda.

        • michaelcoughlan

          “One possible analysis is this is unfolding involuntarily, due to the inner logic of late stage capitalism driving for what they call growth – meaning constantly increasing profits.”

          Yes. Most likely explanation. These guys are too one dimensioned and amoral to make the connection that there own behaviour is the source of all the trouble.

          The snake is eating it’s tail and there will be some smell when he starts digesting his own colon.

          Michael.

          • The snake is not eating its own tail. It is eating your tail.
            They do not care about the size of population. Irrelevent.
            What they care about is control and power. 500 million slaves or 5 or 10 billion do not matter.
            It will not matter how many die in the process either or how many live. The number of people “living” will simply be the result. Numbers are not preordained.

        • “One possible analysis is this is unfolding involuntarily, due to the inner logic of late stage capitalism driving for what they call growth – meaning constantly increasing profits.”

          Free market capitalism has not existed for over a hundred years. It is replaced by Crony capitalism where political favours are pulled to advantage of one and disadvantage of another. And corporatism where corporations buy and sell the votes of the politicians.

          Recently the politicians are making trade pacts where corporations are able to sue for losses as the result of negative government sposored policy.

          All markets are manipulated and the regulators fail in all respects to protect the public interest.

          Blaming capitalism for the current ills of the economy is a complete mis-diagnosis of the deadly sickness. The patient (economy)is actually dieing in front of us all as nobody understands the cause of the illness.

          We resort to voodoo economics.

      • Economic contraction yes
        Deflation no.
        Inflation is busting out all over the with the double /triple /quadriple amounts of money in existance. QE nth.
        It shows in the bubbles of bonds and stocks. Finacial assets.
        In the real world prices of food,energy, insurance and most necessaries are at all time highs.
        Art and antiques at mega prices.
        Bonds at 600 year highs.
        Interest rates at 600 year lows.

        As the currencies become devalued (continue to be) the inflation will show everywhere.
        If the currencies collapse there will be instant hyper inflation and Ecomonic contraction will convert to economic collapse. See Greece except that Greece’s currency is still the Euro supported by Germany. Give it time!!!!!!

        Around here, electricity is up, gasoline near highs, car insurance, boat insurance, house insurance, rental housing are all near record highs. (some fluctuations.) Debt levels are at all time highs. personal, corporate, municipals, states, provinces, national causing the economic contraction.

        • dwalsh

          Hi Tony
          Inflation in Europe in the real economy is relatively low. well within normal ranges. I had a recent small reduction in the cost of my electricity (2%). Petrol prices today (~143) are below those of this time last year (~154) and three years ago (~164).

          What you are referring to is the apparently logical argument put out by gold bugs and real money people about fiat currency and QE and inflation. The type of thing Ron Paul has been going on about for years. If I recall rightly you are a gold money person?

          QE is not directly affecting inflation in the real economy because it doesn’t ever reach the real economy. Or at least very little of it does. QE is basically credit operations carried out on central bank accounts. No actual money or cash is printed. These credit operations are going into the virtual economy of fictitious capital. The largest bubble in human history. The realm of derivatives and stocks and bonds. And yes, there is massive inflation in all those markets. They are all essentially highly inflated bubbles completely disconnected from the real economy.

          There is also inflation is some real markets affected by the laundering of the siphoned-off ill-gotten gains and the spending of the spoils of the financial looting. So high end goods such as property and art markets etc. and precious metals such as gold, are all highly inflated. Gold is highly inflated.

          Everything I have said can be checked easily. The AA for reg unleaded prices. Any good historical chart of gold prices etc. But I expect you wont agree because the facts defy the apparently simple logic that fiat currency is evil and printing it causes inflation.

          • savagepeter

            Great post dwalsh,

            Most of the money in circulation is in fact electronic and conjured into existence with a double book entry when a loan is extended.
            Private citizens in Ireland are already over borrowed and not in a position to taken on more debt.
            If Morgan Kelly is correct Irish SME’s are also over borrowed.
            https://youtu.be/8LCofepdUzE?t=13m16s

            So not alot of credit creation is going to take place and deflation will continue.

          • Hi Dwalsh

            There seems to be a confusion in defining deflation and economic contraction.

            Inflation and deflation strictly speasking refer to the expansion and contraction of the money supply.
            for ions inflating the mononey supply resulted in increased economic activity. It created more money in circulation chasing the same amount of goods and services. This diluted the value of the money and prices apparently rose.
            Thus the incorrect statement that inflation is rising prices.

            As the money supply increases it also increases the amount of debt in the economy and soo increases the amount of interest payable.

            First infusions of money had a 4 hundred percent increase on the growth of the economy. Later infusions were subject to the law of deminishing returns. Today there is a negative return.

            People are unable to use more credit and so the economy slows even as inflation increases. This is shown in the amount of accumulated debt. since 2000 the US national dbet has grown from 1 trillion dollars to 18 trillion dollars and in now expanding at more than one trillion dollars per year.

            One of the major programs initiated by central banks was to destroy the barometer of inflation. That being the gold price.

            Consequently the price of gold is a long way below its natural price as denominated in any fiat currency. There is no doubt that there is no standard as all currencies are weighted one against another.

            All currencies can rise or fall measured by the US dollar but the dollar is not regulated or measured by anything other than the other currencies.

            The only other measure is the cost of goods and services. today the economy is faultering because of debt and usury and only financial assets are increasing in price. The rest of the economic reporting is distorted by hedonic adjustments and outright lies.

            Gold is the true measuring stick of all currencies and is being attacked daily by a concerted effort using high intensity algorithmic trading of illegal detivitives that the regulators refuse to address.

            See a multitude of postings at http://www.gata.org.

            to say that gold and silver is overpriced flies in the face of reality. What the real price is on an open market is a guess presently but is likely multiples of the current price.

            It is one of the reasons China, India and Russia, the middle east and asia are on a buying bing. Gold mining production is 2800 tonnes a year. Gold buying is over 4000 and probably 6000 tonnes a year. The shortfall has to come out of western central bank vaults. Gold is flowing rapidly from west to east.

            Premiums are rising as the physical shortage is becomming apparent. There is not a lot left. Rising prices will be the result as the bond market collapses and the money looks for a new home.

            They are getting ready for the great reset. Gold is the money of rulers. He who has the gold rules.

        • Grzegorz Kolodziej

          Could not agree more with you, Tony. I look at stock assets prices, house prices, salaries in public sector (€904 compared to €634 in private sector, without perks like pension benefits and job security),

          http://www.cso.ie/px/pxeirestat/statire/SelectVarVal/Define.asp?Maintable=EHQ08&PLanguage=0

          Russian-mafia style Dublin Bus price increases, shrinking packages in supermarkets and I do not see any deflation. Yes, you can argue that the real wages in private sector has been flat for more than government paid statisticians would like to show us, but that’s not deflation: that’s more like saying that you have cancer but you are getting slimmer, so all in all you are losing fat and therefore you need to fatten your body

        • Grzegorz Kolodziej

          “As the currencies become devalued (continue to be) the inflation will show everywhere.”

          Everywhere or not everywhere:

          http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-11-28/netherlands-germany-have-euro-disaster-plan-possible-return-guilder-and-mark

          Bear in mind that the Polish government – even though it is by large on oppressive occupying force – did one good thing: they did what they could to resist the pressure of getting Poland involved in the euro. Results? Czech Republic and Slovakia, which had always, even in socialism, had been cheaper place to go shopping, now have coaches hired to go to Poland for shopping (oh, they did a nice trick in Slovakia – because they did not want to spoil Eurostat statistics saying that their prices when up by 50% after introducing euro, they (they means Brussels, but Brussels now means Germans) forced Slovakian supermarkets to raise their prices before the night of the euro change so that it would be good for statistics.

  11. Deco

    Irish Foreign policy is a farce.

    Long gone are the days of Frank Aiken, when Ireland was the balcony of Europe aloof from the imperialism, militarism, exploitation, and power centralization running amock elsewhere.

    Since the 1980s Ireland has become another proxy for bigger more powerful neighbours. In other words the DOFA does whatever pleases the thinktanks in Washington (who are not even suggesting policies that advance American interests, but rather looking after their sponsors).

    Irish Foreign policy is a series of PR stunts.

    It’s only “achievement” is keeping Uganda sweet for an Irish hydrocarbon extractor.

    • DB4545

      Deco

      See my comment above regarding Irish naval personnel helping refugees in the Med at the moment. We weren’t on the balcony of Europe we were in the basement staying quiet and hoping that anyone who came knocking would f**k off. We don’t have morals because we won’t pay the cost of having morals. We leave that to other Countries.

      DB

    • Grzegorz Kolodziej

      Deco,

      To a certain extent weak post-colonial countries like Ireland and Poland HAVE TO form allies with more powerful neighbours in order to fight for their political interests that cannot be forced on their own (say you have the British/US/Chinese/Russian/Polish/German political interest on the one hand and Irish political interest on the other hand and there are two different sets: Ireland should look for the intersection of these two sets and see in which alliance that intersection would be biggest for Ireland).

      The tragedy is NOT when Poland becomes a proxy for more powerful Germany and Ireland becomes a proxy for… well, more powerful Germany too, probably, but when Ireland and Poland become proxies AND GET NOTHING IN RETURN; worse than that, when not only they get nothing in return, but when the Irish alliance with the Germany/France puts Ireland in a WORSE position than it would be without that alliance.

      At the moment both Ireland and Poland have governments which do NOT look at where that intersection is biggest for Ireland, but put German/French interest first and are grateful for whatever ACCIDENTAL intersection there is.

      Why is this?

      There is a columnist in Poland, Rafal Ziemkiewicz (the same who won a court case against the Trotskyite Adam Michnik) who has sort of conservative-nationalist views and a great sense of humour – he actually started a science-fiction author and I remember him from the 90s as a conservative-liberal like me – and he wrote multiple columns and a book in which he claims that the problem of countries like Poland is that in Poland’s colonial past (the last 200 years, before that Poland was a coloniser) people in power had been given their status not from a Polish king or as a result of the election (in Poland it was the same as kings were elected), but by being appointed by the coloniser (in Poland it was Prussia, Russia, Austria, Soviet Union and now – unofficially – Germany – 90% of Polish media is German-owned).

      As a result the ruling elite did not look at the nation as a source of legitimization of their power (regardless if it a democracy or a monarchy, provided it was your own monarchy), but rather they looked outside, towards foreign capitals like Paris, Berlin or Moscow as a source of legitimization of their power and therefore they did not need the approval of the nation because all the approval they needed was from more powerful neighbours.

      Please read the whole page 100 of that book starting from the beginning (the word “moreover”) all the way down to “from Russia” and substitute “Ireland” for “Poland” and “England” for “Russia” so that you have a better intuition of what I mean:

      https://books.google.ie/books?id=ygAkAwAAQBAJ&pg=PA100&lpg=PA100&dq=rafal+ziemkiewicz+postcolonialism&source=bl&ots=FwyH8ciR9X&sig=58WTlbkNxBH5jfAgjcnxLUp8Zq8&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0CCAQ6AEwAGoVChMI-pGwx4CDxgIVo4_bCh02HwCO#v=onepage&q=rafal%20ziemkiewicz%20postcolonialism&f=false

      In my opinion, someone should write such a book in Ireland but the problem is that there is no political elite which would not look abroad for approval – perhaps the last such person was Michael Collins.

      FF/FG look at Germany and France for approval, the Workers Party part of Labour has a nasty history of being financed by Soviet Union (Messrs. Gilmore and Pronsiais De Rossa), Sinn Fein looked at the Nazis for approval and then at Soviet Union (IRA was getting sentex from the Czech Republic) and there is no one else left (People Before Profit and the Socialist Movement are not even worth my comments) if you exclude Renua which so far is 3 people who go for a pint together.

      And that will not change until mass movement comes out of Ireland from outside that post-colonial history which will destroy the status quo and redefine the Irish interest: perhaps like in Iceland that RTE had been laughing at so much.

      • coldblow

        Grzegorz

        I think that book has been written: Raymond Crotty ‘Ireland In Crisis’ (1986).

        • Grzegorz Kolodziej

          I did not actually know about Crotty – I only started following closely Irish debates in the late 90s (except for my perusal of the Irish WWII debates, including those in the Dail) – and from my casual look at the content it looks like something I should catch up on some day.

          But I have a question regarding Crotty: following your comment, I have red the archive article in The Irish Times claiming that Crotty maintained that

          1. “Ireland’s status as an ex-colony made it unsuited for membership of a bloc of nations that included former colonial powers”, that
          2. he expressed his concerns about the possible loss of Ireland’s national identity within what he termed a “European super state”, which must have been prophetic (same as the famous Thatcher’s speech in Bruge where whether we like her or not we have to say that she was dead right on that and we have been naive buying into Helmuth Kohl’s bluemende Landschaften fairy-tale:

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8nBt8Ahb48w)

          and that 3. he was against CAP which would discourage Irish farmers from being efficient and make them dependent on external subsidies – a very brave view which I have always shared (same with Polish farmers, who only get 25% of what Western EU farmers get which makes Polish food cheaper).

          But Ziemkiewicz’s main point is that the main growth obstacle of the post-colonial countries such as Poland or Ireland is not even the network of economic dependencies, but the post-colonial slave mentality of the voters, who always naively fall for politicians who promise their voters to privilege them in their share of the cake rather than promise to free the energy necessary to grow the cake, if you know what I mean, matched with the so called elites, who do not see their fate related to their countries prosperity but rather they hope that if they polish the a…s of the colonial powers they can always escape from their voters to so called Europe – like the former Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk – another great examples are Adam Michnik and communist Wlodzimierz Cimoszewicz who, if they cannot deal on their own with their political opponents, go to Western papers and complain about them.

          I wonder whether Crotty describes something similar in terms of the slave mentality of the always easily-duped voters, who hope their share of the public spending cake will be bigger?

          • coldblow

            Those three points would be accurate but the book puts them in a historical perspective. I don’t know how much of this Crotty worked out by himself but I suspect it was most of it. I’d be intrested in your own opionion, ie if you have seen similar arguments made by others. I haven’t come across them. (He starts with agriculture and spends a lot of time on the development of capitalism (ie as a unique agricultural system, at least to start with) in Western Europe.

            The post-colonial mentality is better known. John Waters has written about it, drawing mainly on Fanon as I recall. Desmond Fennell has written extensively about it but under the label of ‘provincialism’. Years ago I saw Fennell insulted on RTE television’s Bibi Baskin Show by Michael McDowell, later Min. for Justice: ‘You call yourself an intellectual. Let me tell you: you are no intellectual.’

            I can see this mentality very clearly in Ireland and I think it is stronger than elsewhere, at least in Europe, and this would be for historical and economically historical (as it were) reasons.

  12. michaelcoughlan

    Hi Adam,

    If I buy a bitcoin today at $203 and hold it for 3 months. Then I decide to buy something with the bitcoin but bitcoins are then $150 do I lose $53 us per coin?

    yours sincerely,

    Michael.

      • Mike Lucey

        … and Adam if the same Bitcoin goes up to $256 over the 3 months, do I have an extra $53? ;-)

      • michaelcoughlan

        Thanks Adam.

        Is it possible to hedge a position in bitcoin?

        Michael.

        • What do you mean by hedging Michael?

          I’ve never been able to understand that whole scenario.

          Can you give me a simple example using Bitcoin?

          This might be what you refer to – the Winklevoss Twins (who sued Mark Zuckerberg for ‘stealing’ their Facebook idea – and won to a certain extent) are looking to set up an ‘ETF’ – as are certain others.

          http://www.coindesk.com/winklevoss-twins-plan-regulated-us-bitcoin-exchange/

        • michaelcoughlan

          Thanks Adam.

          I know so little about bitcoin. I thought that a record of what you paid in dollars was kept and that this was the value transferred when bitcoins were exchanged.

          Hedging is just using derivatives as a form of insurance against a change in price of an asset you have a (long usually) position in.

          In a few short sentences this is the way it works;

          Derivatives started with farmers thousands of years ago. A farmer would forward sell say 100 tons of wheat in the spring for payment up front and then deliver the wheat in the autumn when harvested. He used the up front money to cover the cost of seed and planting. This promise to deliver in 6 months is an IOU whose value is derived from the value of the wheat. Hence the word derivative. Most speculation is done on the futures contracts as there is tax advantages for gains on contracts rather than assets. If you hold the contract for the full 6 months you get the right to receive the goods.

          A person who would provide the funds to the farmer has now assumed the risk that the crop might fail or the farmer might die or bad weather war etc. so he would have bought the wheat now at a discount to its full value in 6 months.

          He can buy an option however which is the right but not the obligation to sell or buy in this case sell 100 tons of wheat at the price on the option for a fee. This is a further derivative based on the original futures derivative.

          If the speculator who is long the wheat sees a collapse in price of the wheat at harvest he will exercise his option (the put which is the right to sell at the pre agreed price) which will cover the losses on the commodity (wheat). The person of course supplying the option will have assumed the risk but will have hedged it also and so on.

          Michael.

      • You hedge every time you buy insurance.
        You pay a fee up front to an insurer who is now willing under certain terms and conditions to pay your costs if you have an accident. He bets in other words that you will not have one.
        You are paying for the priviledge of having an accident for just a low cost. You avoid a potential for millions in costs by paying hundreds.

    • Grzegorz Kolodziej

      Maybe you should listen to that debate on bitcoin before you spend $203 on bitcoin rather than, Jeez, I do not know – palladium? survival kit? a gun to keep burglars at bay when all insurance companies collapse?:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q3MAH3Rlr2s

  13. st week there was a chat about gold and silver primiums. Seems as if things are tighter in Europe compared to Canada.

    http://www.peakprosperity.com/forum/wherehow-buy-gold-europe/7754

  14. http://jessescrossroadscafe.blogspot.ca/2015/06/the-global-monetary-phenomenon-that.html

    Despite proclaiming gold a barbarous relic the central banks of the world have turn net buyers over the last five years and in ever increasing volumes. Why could this be?

  15. survivalist

    Bear in mind I know nothing about economics. Now just suppose for a moment that the following assumption of the IMF method is accurate.

    After the acquisition of enormous debt by whomever –the bill gets passed on to the population.
    Next the population are told to pay off their debts to ECB, IMF etc. Then privatize, so that they can then pick up national assets on the cheap.
    Slow down or destroy the economy and force the population to suffer, call it austerity. At the same time run down more public services to the point that calls for further privatization are made.

    OK if this is how we got here then what is presently taking place between ‘Greece’ and the IMF? I really struggle to make sense of it and would appreciate a really great summary?

    For the sake of simplicity I will view the relationship in similar terms to one of any abusive interpersonal relationship .Imagine a Domestic Violence type scenario, for ease of reference, basically what we have is…”if you do/don’t do X then I will do Y”

    So are they arguing over how much is to be repaid? Surely there are records of who owes what and to who?
    Are they arguing over the repayment details, how much over how long?
    Does it really come down to just this? And what leverage is being held over Greece? The withholding or withdrawing of capital?

    None of this is irresolvable in any real sense. I would like to know what it is that I fail to grasp in these negotiations that eludes the mighty brains of Europe et al?
    Presently I must return to my Domestic violence analogy to make any sense of this. In this framework it’s noting more than a power ‘game’. The only victory to be had is to leave the relationship. How often the similar objections to this choice arise, can’t afford to, fear of reprisals etc.
    I assume Greece is to be made an example of for the very reason that if one nation can succeed to get out from under the oppression then we all can. What am I missing, please don’t refer me to a book/website I would appreciate a good summary-Thanks.

    • It is called debt.
      All the world is in debt because of the money system.
      All money bar coin, that is digital or paper, is issued as a loan. The loan is at interest. All bank notes are an IOU. I promise to pay the bearer on demand was how it used to be inscribed.

      Those who spend more than they earn also go directly into debt. Now interest is paid on interest.

      Some borrow more than others. They are more heavily indebted. Individuals or countries; no matter.

      Greece is broke. It is not a discussion about how much should I pay. It is I can’t pay so what do you want to do about it?

      The Troika are intent on squeezing blood from a stone. The Greek stone says hey I’ve given you all I can but I have to look after family with what is left. (pensioners and public services.)

      Will the Troika force Greece to quit the union. Can they aford to do so. Who blinks first. Will they lend more money to the bankrupt. do they throw more good money after the bad.

      The point that nobody addresses is that the money system is set up to do exactly what it is doing. The debts enslave. The tribute (Interest) is paid. The victim defaults and is thrown into the debtors prison while all assets are seized.

      Nothing much has changed over tha last 150 years except that the money lenders are doing it to countries rather than individuals. It is much more profitable.

      The only way out is to destroy the money lenders and return to a non credit form of money. The so called honest money rather than the counterfeit, ponzi scheme we use today.

      But then no one understands in the mainstream. No economist dare call it like it is or they are fired. The only ones getting the message out are reduced to the fringes and given the added name lunatic or radical.

      It is far beyond requiring a discussion about the money system and how the problems can be solved. Not discussing it is a deriliction of duty, a moral failure of honesty of account.

      Only when the education takes place will people understand how the money system works. Then they will be in a position to do something about it.

      As discussed a couple of weeks ago, we know the education system is largely a failure. Finance and money are never mentioned at schools and that is the way the bankers like it.

      Even those who work in the banking system do not understand money. My experience of bank managers is that they are largely ignorant of the effects of compound interest. They can manage a bank but do not understand money.

      Higher education appears to produce economists who argue over this and that but who are persuaded that debt based money is good and that the more we have of it the better the economy will be. Yes they believe adding more debt to existing debt will solve a debtors problem

      Give me another drink and I will feel better said the alcoholic!!

      • Grzegorz Kolodziej

        “Higher education appears to produce economists who argue over this and that but who are persuaded that debt based money is good and that the more we have of it the better the economy will be. Yes they believe adding more debt to existing debt will solve a debtors problemW

        Yes, but do not blame higher education as such, Tony, blame the current paradigm – current mean at least the last 80 years. Universities and universities in the West in particular have been hijacked by the leftists. Economy is one of the most affected, thought probably not as much as sociology (i.e. one of the courses offered on UCD in sociology was actually a course on Marxism disguised as modern science).

        Bear in mind that Paul Samuelson, who wrote the main economy manual for American students, predicted in his first edition in 1948 that the Soviet Union will overtake the US in the mid 60s. Then he started postponing the date. Those students were learning all of that and my experience of studying economy was that the debates you are talking about – even within Keynesian paradigm – are far and few between because most economy students just memorize their staff and get really confused if you start asking them questions.

        But do not blame economy, blame those who infested our universities with Marxism (usually) or misunderstood Keynesism at best. You see, it’s like – imagine that GAA was as corrupted as Polish football (it’s hard to imagine, but let’s suppose) and you would blame hurling and not those who corrupt it.

        Do you not know that the economist who decided about Nobel Prize waited for von Mises to die so that he does not win the award, that when they gave Hayek the award and they had to because stagflation was too obvious they had to give it to him along with some Marxists moron, that they called Milton Friedman an intellectual pygmy? That Jose Manual Barosso, who is a retard, came to Prague and offended the Czech President, Vaclav Klaus, who is a well red economist (he would make the top 5 in Ireland)? Pity I cannot find any video where Mr. Barroso talks to the Czech President like King Leopold II would talk to people of Kongo, but listen to this and see how stupid those people are – and they hire and award economist who would confirm their views:

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ag0U0QTI8Sg

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

        • Hi Grzegorz

          Higher education appears to produce ….

          The reasons higher education produce cetain thought processe is because that is what is taught. Why they are taught such things is a long essay.

          in short, the educational system is in a large part funded by donation as well as government. The donations are provided often by a foundation and issued in the name of such foundation. The foundations are owned by and large by those with an agenda. Schools of learning are propagated to teach certain subjects.
          Then the foundations provide scholoships to aspiring individuals. Those more likely to get the money are those who toe the party line so to speak.

          At this point the foundation has provided a tool to spread propaganda that enhanses their point of view.

          The education system is now controled by these people and their funding. Presidents of countries are backed and funded before they are president but at a time where they appear to be presidential material.

          The economic slant you describe as being prevalent over the last 80 years has been promoted by such forces. So all is manipulated. Only the repetitive parrots survive the system. All else is ridiculed and distained.

          The mainstream media also are bought, paid for and owned by the same foreces. We are subjected to a constant barrage of misinformation and lies.

          A large portion of those lies are to do with how an economy functions. A strong portion of that is through the educational system. Pliable minds are twisted and set. The free thinker is given short shift.

          In the end these puppets believe the propaganda they are taught and it is almost impossible to change a mind once set!!

          Probably mine too. But then I lasted 6 weeks into a unversity education and quit in horror and digust.

          • Sorry for all the typos and spelling errors. Thanks for everyone’s tolerance.

          • Grzegorz Kolodziej

            I agree with what you said. I am curious what your subject was (that made you quit in horror and disgust)?

            I from my perspective can mitigate your statement just a tilly bit by saying that there is always a small percentage of people with independent and critical minds and this applies to higher education too.
            True, they have it infinitely harder than those who swim in the mainstream (for example, try to get a grant on research skeptical of global warming), but there is always a few. Some of them even form their schools within higher education systems (i.e. Mises, Rothbard, Leo Strauss, and I could go on for a long time, but you get a point). Again, those schools of thought are ridiculed or glossed over, but their exist on the peripheries nonetheless. It was the great Arthur Schopenhauer (born in Gdansk!) who said that

            “All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident” – no one knew it better than him because when he started his lectures, no one came to attend it and he was laughed at by Hegelians (bear in mind that Marxism is a mutation of Hegel while pessimistic Schopenhauer had privately believed in the idea of the state as a nightwatchman), but when he was dying, he was as popular among young artists as The Beatles in the next century.

            I can concur with your opinion on the higher education system buying people to suit whatever is fashionable at the time. My experience of the Polish higher education system was (this was a long time ago though) that there were only two kind of foreign scholarships you could get (I am talking about the best university in Poland): one was from George Soros and second was from Oxford University to write about the Jews and Holocaust. Do I need to say anything more? Polish politicians in turn had been continuously financed by German embassy (i.e., the President of the European Council Donald Tusk started his political career in a KLD party established via the CDU loan – it was then when he changed his old Toyota Corolla he earned money for picking strawberries in Sweden into the latest flagship BMW model and started wearing Hugo Boss – and published articles in a magazine published by a Germam embassy in Poland; what’s more interesting, he is an author of an article titled “Polishness means abnormality”).

            When it comes to Irish higher education system, it certainly has some strengths compared to Polish one (like obscene amounts of money lecturers can earn), but what amazes me is that there is no spontaneous self-educating activity I remember from Krakow. Yes, before the recession the Irish students were organizing amazing cultural events, but when it comes to say non-mainstream economists or politically incorrect writers such as Nicolás Gómez Dávila I have to say that the Marshall Law Krakow could offer probably more diversity of thought than the boom time Ireland for even though you had compulsory Marxism (whatever subject you were studying!), people would meet at private apartments and have underground seminars reading authors like Hayek whereas here everything that is protest is Marxism and its mutations like Trotskyism (by the way, someone on this blog pondered a question of what happened to those Marxists – I thought everyone knew most of them joined a green movement which they distorted, both here and in Eastern Europe (I myself have attended some international congress sponsored by George Soros (George would give you a 50% discount on staying in 4 star hotel – where a bunch of Marxists from Eastern Europe were looking for a new name for their transformed ideology – so that it would not be associated with communism – and they came up with Universalism, which was a mixture of postmodernism, post-nationalism, Marxism and political correctness – a name which they abandoned:

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aCf8AXJHu-U

            Do you know that initially ecology was an ideology that was right-wing and it harks back to German conservatism?

            And because you seem to be particularly focused on the economy and gold, you observe the hijacking effects particularly sharply because economy, along with literature, is the most left-wing mainstream establishment distorted branch of university activity, with history a close second (was it you I told that when British born Polish historian Adam Zamoyski went to study history at the Oxford University in the 70s, he was the only non-Marxists student?).

            If you are interested in how the idea of higher education has been hijacked and corrupted, I cannot think of any better book than either Alan Bloom’s “The Closing of the American Mind” or this author:

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Underground_History_of_American_Education

            who proves that literacy levels had been actually higher in America a 100 years ago than they are now.

            Special attention should be payed to IMF and its role in colonizing developing countries. I thought for a long time what prompted David to write that Poland at behest of the US was forgiven all his debts during its transition (this was what prompted me to start writing here) and I could not understand it until I came across an interview with Jeffrey Sachs who claims that the US wanted to make Poland an example and help it instead of helping Russia.
            Now, you must know that the name of Jeffrey Sachs is as popular in Poland as the name of Ian Paisley in Ireland and he recently gave an interview in which he admitted that his goal was not to introduce free-market reforms in Poland, but turn it into a social-democratic (that is uncompetitive to Germany and easy for the US financial gamblers to suck the siphon money from) – the funny thing is that he did not realize that he is unpopular in Poland and when asked how does he think people call him in Poland he replied that probably as the saviour of the Polish economy.
            I would have to write a separate article on comparing IMF’s role in Poland in 1989 in Poland and its role in Greece now.

            But the one thing I would like to offer as a food for thought is:
            how come donating $100,000,000 by G. Bush on building democracy in Poland, whatever that meant, while siphoning $100,000,000,000 out of Poland via IMF and, at the same time, imposing tariffs and high taxes on Polish exports by Europe can be described as helping Poland? This is the same G. Bush who appealed to people in Kiev not to leave the Soviet Union. In fairness, G. Bush later on realized that the reforms are not going well in Poland (I mean they went well, but this was not because of the IMF, but DESPITE OF IT and it was done in the black economy, which had 33% growth in 1990 compared to 14% production drop in the official economy) and he offered Poland to join NAFTA – but Polish politician were already bribed by Germans at that time and they made sure there would be no reading of that proposal in the Polish Parliament.

            Later on Clinton donated $140bn to Russia which was used towards building their mafia system (started as early as Andropov).

  16. Deco

    Greece is ground zero in the battle for societal control, for the continued benefit for the extremely rich, and the hereditary political machines that serve their agendas.

    At this point in time, the most unstable societies are those where the political and media are most obedient to the demands of the richest in society. These are also the societies where there will be the highest level of surveillance of the citizenry.

    It is also becoming apparent that large super-state entities like the EU, are functioning as a means of the monopolization of policy. And this favours the rich, more than the rest. But politicians representing the rest seem to relentlessly advocate them, almost in pretence of their real effect.

    Greece was ruined by the West before in the late 1940s, because the Greeks had a decentralized form of socialism after the war ended. And the US and the UK wanted Greece to have a centralized, centre right government. Or else the military in charge.

    Rich outsiders have a history of telling the Greeks how to run their own affairs. And the results are not always beneficial to the Greeks.

    So, yes the Greeks are being into an example to discourage others from rebelling against the current system, where wealthy interests, and the think tanks that they fund can direct policies aimed at controlling people.

    It is all about control.

  17. [...] Blog David McWilliams – Irland. Dass die griechische Regierung die Vorschläge der EU-Gläubigerländer zur Lösung der Schuldenkrise bisher abgelehnt hat, ist nicht verwunderlich, meint Ökonom David McWilliams in seinem Blog: “Die Spitze von Syriza sagt, sie weigere sich, noch mehr Finanzreserven ihres Landes für die Rückzahlung der Kredite zu verbrennen, bis ein glaubwürdiges Angebot auf dem Tisch liegt. Sie haben wenig überraschend darauf bestanden, Renten und Löhne auszuzahlen. Wenn sie ihre Schulden nicht tilgen, damit sie wenigstens den Verpflichtungen gegenüber der eigenen Bevölkerung nachkommen können, dann sei’s drum. Wer kann ihnen das vorwerfen? … Die EU ist drauf und dran, Griechenland in ein finanzielles Pendant des Gaza-Streifens zu verwandeln: ohne Geld, Hoffnung und Wachstumspotenzial, sich selbst überlassen, um im Südosten des Balkans zu verfaulen.” (08.06.2015) +++ http://www.davidmcwilliams.ie/2015/06/08/greeces-downfall-europes-disgrace [...]

  18. Adelaide

    http://www.rte.ie/news/business/2015/0609/706871-greece-talks/

    Today’s Headline: EU officials swiftly dismiss Greek reform offer

    “It would be the beginning of the end of the euro zone,” Tsipras said. “If Greece fails, the markets will immediately go to look for the next one. If negotiations fail, the cost for European taxpayers would be enormous.”

    • michaelcoughlan

      “If negotiations fail, the cost for European taxpayers would be enormous”

      Typical. Automatically assuming that the taxpayer is the fall guy for all this. I wonder how does anyone think that continuing to bail out an insolvent greece will suit anyones agenda even an agenda to prevent a bubble from exploding.

      Michael.

      • Grzegorz Kolodziej

        You might remember that when Lehman story went big and G.W.Bush announced first financial stimulus plan (based mostly on bailouts), for a very short time – a few days maybe – there was a malicious glee in the EU about the collapse of the Anglo-Saxon model. There was a Swiss guy back then in charge of the Deutsche Bundesbank, I cannot remember his name – and he announced that there will be no stimuli packages and no bailouts in Europe. After virtually few days they realized how much money you can steal from those stimuli and bailout and they sacked the Swiss and got the German. This was the first time you could hear about bailout from German representatives. Then the well known stuff happened: Merkel’s phone call to the Irish government on the bank guarantee, etc.

  19. “My best advice for anyone who wants to protect themselves financially is to get as much money OUT of the system as you can. It’s up to you whether or not you convert your cash into physical gold and silver, but I think at this point only an idiot would leave his money in the system and denominated in paper dollars.” Dave Kransler

    A Derivatives Bomb Exploded Within The Last Two Weeks
    Dave Kranzler

    http://www.gata.org/node/15438

  20. Texas Senate Passes Bill to Establish Bullion Depository for Gold and Silver Transactions. A bill to make gold and silver legal tender in Texas passed in the state Senate by an overwhelming 29-2 vote. The bill essentially creates a way to transact in precious metals. It will allow citizens to deposit precious metals in the state depository and then use the electronic system to make payments to any other business or person who also holds an account.

    • Mike Lucey

      @Tony

      I imagine the Texas Bullion Depository will be a great success if it operates along the lines of BitGold which USA citizens are not allowed to use. I am waiting to see the BitGold debit card being launched though.

      Mike

      • We shall see Mike. One never knows how the banksters will obstruct yet again ,, but the pressure mounts.

        • Mike Lucey

          Yes in deed, we shall see how they get on with the gold depository. From what I gather about the Texans they don’t like being told what to do, particularly by the ‘Yankees’! If I had to name a US State that could be capable of pulling such a thing off, Texas would be the State.

  21. Tull McAdoo

    The Greeks just have a great way of “winding it up”. I love the Greeks, come onn people what’s not to like…. Take it away Jakub Zajaczkowski and Goodnight Ireland.Sleep Well.

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

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