Jul 102015
 July 10, 2015  Posted by at 7:58 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , ,

Unknown Petersburg, Virginia. Group of Company B, U.S. Engineer Battalion 1864

I was going to write up on the uselessness of Angela Merkel, given that she said on this week that “giving in to Greece could ‘blow apart’ the euro”, and it’s the 180º other way around; it’s the consistent refusal to allow any leniency towards the Greeks that is blowing the currency union to smithereens.

Merkel’s been such an abject failure, the fullblown lack of leadership, the addiction to her right wing backbenchers, no opinion that seems to be remotely her own. But I don’t think the topic by itself makes much sense anymore for an article. It’s high time to take a step back and oversee the entire failing euro and EU system.

Greece is stuck in Germany’s own internal squabbles, and that more than anything illustrates how broken the system is. It was never supposed to be like that. No European leader in their right mind would ever have signed up for that.

Reading up on daily events, and perhaps on the verge of an actual Greece deal, increasingly I’m thinking this has got to stop, guys, there is no basis for this. It makes no sense and it is no use. The mold is broken. The EU as a concept, as a model, has failed and is already a thing of the past.

It’s over. And anything that’s done from here on in will only serve to make things worse. We should learn to recognize such transitions, and act on them. Instead of clinging on to what we think might have been long after it no longer is.

Whatever anyone does now, it’ll all come back again. That’s guaranteed. So just don’t do it. Or rather, do the one thing that still makes any sense: Call a halt to the whole charade.

As for Greece: Just stop playing the game. It’s the only way for you not to lose it.

There’s no reason why European countries couldn’t live together, work together, but the EU structure makes it impossible for them to do just that, to do the very thing it was supposed to be designed for.

Germany runs insane surpluses with the rest of the EU, and it sees that as a sign of how great a country it is. But in the present structure, if one country runs such surpluses, others will need to run equally insane deficits.

Cue Greece. And Italy, Spain et al. William Hague for once was right about something when he said this week that the euro could only possibly have ended up as a burning building with no exits. This is going to lead to war.

Simple as that. It may take a while, and the present ‘leadership’ may be gone by then, but it will. Unless more people wake up than just the OXI voters here in Greece.

And the only reason for it to happen is if the present flock of petty little minds in Berlin, Paris, London and Brussels try to make it last as long as they can, and call for even more integration and centralization and all that stuff. The leaders are useless, the structure is painfully faulty, and the outcome is fully predictable.

Europe has no leadership, it has a varied but eerily similar bunch of people who crave the power they’ve been given, but lack the moral sturctures to deal with that power. Sociopaths. That’s what Brussels selects for.

And Brussels is by no means the only place in Europe that does that. What about people like Schäuble and Dijsselbloem, who see the misery in Greece and loudly bang the drum for more misery? What does that say about a man? And what does it say about the structure that allows them to do it? At times I feel like the Grapes of Wrath is being replayed here.

It’s nice and all to claim you’re right about something, but if your being right produces utter misery for millions of others, you’re still wrong.

Greece is not an abstract exercise in some textbook, and it’s not a computer game either. Greece is about real people getting hurt. And if you refuse to act to alleviate that hurt, that defines you as a sociopath.

Germany now, and it took ‘only’ 5 months, says Greece needs debt relief but it also says, through Schäuble: “There cannot be a haircut because it would infringe the system of the European Union.” That’s exactly my point. That’s silly. And looking around me here in Athens for the past few weeks, it’s criminally silly. You acknowledge what needs to be done, and at the same time you acknowledge the system doesn’t allow for what needs to be done. Time to change that system then. Or blow it up.

I don’t care what people like Merkel and Schäuble think or say, once people in a union go hungry and have no healthcare, you have to change the system, not hammer it down their throats even more. If you refuse to stand together, you can be sure you’ll fall apart.

Get a life. Greece should just default on the whole thing, and let Merkel and Hollande figure out the alleged Greek debt with their own domestic banking sectors. They’re the ones who received all the money that Greece is now trying to figure out a payback schedule for.

Problem with that is of course that very banking sector. They call the shots. The vested interests have far too much power on all levels. That’s the crux. But that’s also the purpose for which a shoddy construct like the EU exists in the first place. The more centralized politics are, the easier the whole thing is to manipulate and control. The more loopholes and cracks in the system, the more power there is for vested interests.

Steve Keen just sent a link to an article at Australia’s MacroBusiness, that goes through the entire list of new proposals from the Syriza government, and ends like this:

Tsipras Has Just Destroyed Greece

This is basically the same proposal as that was just rejected by the Greek people in the referendum. There are some headlines floating around about proposed debt restructuring as well but I can’t find them. This makes absolutely no sense. The Tsipras Government has just:
• renegotiated itself into the same position it was in two months ago;
• set massively false expectations with the Greek public;
• destroyed the Greek banking system, and
• destroyed what was left of Greek political capital in EU.

If this deal gets through the Greek Parliament, and it could given everyone other than the ruling party and Golden Dawn are in favour of austerity, then Greece has just destroyed itself to no purpose. Markets are drawing comfort from the roll over but how Tsipras can return home without being lynched by a mob is beyond me. And that raises the prospect of any deal being held immediately hostage to violence.

Yes, it’s still entirely possible that Tsipras submitted this last set of proposals knowing full well they won’t be accepted. But he’s already gone way too far in his concessions. This is an exercise in futility.

It’s time to acknowledge this is a road to nowhere. From where I’m sitting, Yanis Varoufakis has been the sole sane voice in this whole 5 month long B-movie. I think Yanis also conceded that it was no use trying to negotiate anything with the troika, and that that’s to a large extent why he left.

Yanis will be badly, badly needed for Greece going forward. They need someone to figure out where to go from here.

Just like Europe needs someone to figure out how to deconstruct Brussels without the use of heavy explosives. Because there are just two options here: either the EU will -more or less- peacefully fall apart, or it will violently blow apart.

Home Forums Someone Pull The Plug or This Will End in War

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    Unknown Petersburg, Virginia. Group of Company B, U.S. Engineer Battalion 1864 I was going to write up on the uselessness of Angela Merkel, given that
    [See the full post at: Someone Pull The Plug or This Will End in War]


    Tsipras seems to either have lost heart, has become suddenly desperate, or he never intended to take Greece back on a sovereign path. Which is it? This is surely one of the best Greek plays since classical times. What is in the heart of the man? What shall become of the people?


    When Syriza came to govern, many put their trust in a few, clear men.
    For me, nothing has changed.
    I am not privy to all that is happening. I can only be boggled at what Tsipras et al are having to contend with.

    …..and heaven forbid that the creditors are still showing solidarity while going into the black hole…..together.

    But then again….. it’s all Greek to me. :))


    The picture we are looking at may be even murkier than we think… I just read a disturbing article by F. Wm. Engdahl who usually makes sense and has provided accurate analysis for years.
    Something stinks very bad about Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis and the entire Greek mess that has been playing out since the election victory of the nominally pro-Greek Syriza Party in January. I am coming to the reluctant conclusion that far from being the champion of the hapless Greek people, Varoufakis is part of a far larger and very dirty game.
    Would be curious as to the reaction of the voices here to this point of view.
    Article: https://journal-neo.org/2015/07/03/what-stinks-about-varoufakis-and-the-whole-greek-mess/


    These are very tough proposals, but could it be that one thing not being discussed could be that Greek debt is to be forgiven?


    “either the EU will -more or less- peacefully fall apart, or it will violently blow apart.”

    We are dealing with human beings here, so forget about the peaceful option. Too bad we have to wonder if Tspiras/Varoufakis are really “typical” politicians but it is a sign of the times; nothing typifies the neoliberal world more than chronic vacuous doublespeak. It is all designed towards mental stupefaction to generate pliability of the masses. We are confronted with evil incarnate.


    Gee, I just read an entire Engdahl piece for the first time in years. Never do because he does NOT usually make (any) sense and has NOT provided accurate analysis for years. Engdahl’s a very loose cannon. This piece, again, is innuendo only and completely void of any proof. Not one shred. What does one make of that?


    What is Mr. Tsipras thinking of? I would have thought his very first message to the Troika would be “Greece will not repay its debt – Ever!” Instead he seems desperate to keep Greece in the EU. Why?


    because his voters want it


    So the destiny of Europe comes down to the debt holders? And who are they, other than Goldman Sacks and other US financial entities. The enemy of Europe is not Russia or China, it is America.


    Thanks, Raul! I needed to hear that… I will be more alert to provocative articles. Take care of yourself over there….

    John Day

    I often look at Engdahl’s work, and appreciate his good intentions, but there is usually something kind of glaring which prevents me sending it to folks.

    Tar Baby: Greece is Europe’s Tar Baby.
    The EU finance ministers kick and punch and want to throw the tar baby in the briar patch, but they are all stuck to the tar baby.
    That looks essential to the benefits in this process of the demise of the common currency.
    Varoufakis sees the need for this, and has had a chance to assess all the players, including Greek players. The result of the referendum was unforeseeable. That was lighting the fire. Knowing the players, and seeing the blaze, and being unwelcome by all at that point, Varoufakis was right to take a break.
    He may be the John Maynard Keynes of this historical moment, but we shall see.

    John Day

    Oooh, the Greek Parliament is overwhelmingly licking the Troika boots now.
    This may be enough to keep the tar baby in the middle of things.



    Wergeld is a nice theory. I think I like Zizek’s “superego” approach somewhat better, though it is largely similar:


    An ideal is gradually emerging from the European establishment’s reaction to the Greek referendum, the ideal best rendered by the headline of a recent Gideon Rachman column in the Financial Times: “Eurozone’s weakest link is the voters”.

    In this ideal world, Europe gets rid of this “weakest link” and experts gain the power to directly impose necessary economic measures – if elections take place at all, their function is just to confirm the consensus of experts. The problem is that this policy of experts is based on a fiction, the fiction of “extend and pretend” (extending the payback period, but pretending that all debts will eventually be paid).

    Why is the fiction so stubborn? It is not only that this fiction makes debt extension more acceptable to German voters; it is also not only that the write-off of the Greek debt may trigger similar demands from Portugal, Ireland, Spain. It is that those in power do not really want the debt fully repaid. The debt providers and caretakers of debt accuse the indebted countries of not feeling enough guilt – they are accused of feeling innocent. Their pressure fits perfectly what psychoanalysis calls “superego”: the paradox of the superego is that, as Freud saw it, the more we obey its demands, the more guilty we feel.

    Imagine a vicious teacher who gives to his pupils impossible tasks, and then sadistically jeers when he sees their anxiety and panic. The true goal of lending money to the debtor is not to get the debt reimbursed with a profit, but the indefinite continuation of the debt, keeping the debtor in permanent dependency and subordination. For most of the debtors – for there are debtors and debtors. Not only Greece but also the US will not be able even theoretically to repay its debt, as is now publicly recognised. So there are debtors who can blackmail their creditors because they cannot be allowed to fail (big banks), debtors who can control the conditions of their repayment (the US government) and, finally, debtors who can be pushed around and humiliated (Greece).


    Hi Raul,

    I’ve been reading your posts such that they’ve been replicated on ZeroHedge. I thought your post explaining Target2 was great; that was the first time I understood it.

    I mean no disrespect in what follows; this is by way of an honest question:

    I’ve been really frustrated reading your latest posts because they completely absolve Greece itself from any responsibility for the predicament it’s in right now. I don’t mean simply that they voluntarily joined the EU. I mean (also) they’ve had a century of failed socialist policies that induced mass intellectual and capital exodus, horrendous economic freedom measures, and a populace that is largely employed in the public sector.

    They joined the EU in order to finance an extension of these conditions at lower rates. Which clearly worked for them for a number of years. Look at Greece/German spreads before, and through, their time in the EU.

    I agree with EVERYTHING you’ve written with respect to the Troika and it’s behavior. I don’t understand how NOTHING Greece itself has done is EVER considered in anything you write.



    Jim, to a very large extent that’s because it’s the Greek elite that has made the ‘mistakes’ that have led to where the country is now. It’s not the people here, or they wouldn’t be hungry and deprived of health care. Unless someone would want to argue they went on the biggest binge of all times?!

    Now, one might want to argue that it”s the Greeks themselves that left these elites in place for far too long, but it’s the troika just as much that allowed that to happen. The ‘reforms’ they demand now should have been demanded at any time over the past 25 years. And weren’t.

    There’s the Greeks, and then there’s the Greeks. And at the very moment the people finally screw up the courage to vote the elites out of power, whaddaya think happens? the troika demands them back.


    US prepares Maidan in Greece, attack on Russia, and can kill Tsipras

    10.07.2015 | Source: Pravda.Ru
    – See more at: https://english.pravda.ru/news/…

    US Preparing Coup to Prevent Greece from Falling Under Russian Influence

    Coup master Victoria Nuland dispatched

    by Kurt Nimmo | Infowars.com | July 6, 2015

    “Greek Military is an Operation Gladio Asset

    US intervention in Greece is nothing new. Between 1987 and 1989 the US made a concerted effort to overthrow the elected Greek government of Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou.

    Prior to this in 1967 the Greek military installed the Regime of the Colonels following a coup d’état .

    The Greek military was under the control of the CIA following Greece’s entrance into NATO in 1952. Elements of the Greek military were part of the CIA’s “stay behind” network under Operation Gladio and these elements (specifically LOK, or Lochoi Oreinōn Katadromōn, i.e. “Mountain Raiding Companies”) were directly involved in the 1967 coup.”

    US and Germany-Led EU Ain’t About to Allow Grexit


    “The fact the Greek people voted a decisive “Oxi” or No to further austerity in last Sunday’s referendum is, unfortunately, irrelevant to the real power at the top.”

    Answer: U.S. Preparing Coup To Prevent Greece From Falling Under

    http://www.investmentwatchblog.com/ a-helpless-bystander- …

    4 days ago … A Helpless Bystander Or Active Participant? Answer: U.S. Preparing Coup To Prevent Greece From Falling Under Russian Influence.


    Thanks for the response. I didn’t wholly expect one; not to mention, one so quickly.

    You quote ‘mistakes’ as if you disagree with what I outlined. I kinda thought you’d trash my list; I suspect you disagree with it still.

    Still, I can’t help thinking that the last several years of austerity protests amount to a populace demanding the status quo.

    Obviously you consider pro-EU Papandreou an ‘elitist’, but the popularly elected much-further-left Syriza party “non-elitist” since they are the result when the Greeks ‘vote the elites out of power.’ This leaves me further baffled by your response (unless I’m right about disagreeing with my list) since they pledged to perpetuate, to a much larger extent, the problems I listed.


    And, I should add, we apparently disagree on the definition of elitist. For me, an elitist can always be identified as someone that knows what’s best for others, and usually someone that doesn’t live by the standard they impose on others. This is certainly the case for everyone you label. It’s also virtually the definition of Syriza (or any Marxist party for that matter).

    E.g. let me know how Yanis makes out at his wife’s island vacation home.


    I’m also very leery of both Varofaukis and Tsipras. They basically are fervent Euro advocates and want to remain in the euro but be treated humanely. That sounds to me like a slave who wants his master to treat him nicely instead of seeking freedom from bondage. Have you ever heard the two of them ever advocate Greece having their own currency. How can your country be independent and sovereign if you cannot issue your own currency and are completely dependent on a foreign central bank. It’s so simple to me. Here the ECB has forced Greece to just about shut down their banks and the two of them just beg to be treated nicely and to stay with this ECB and euro that is treating their people so ruthlessly. You’d think a Greek patriot would work tirelessly to convince the people that they must get out of this slave control institution called the EU. So here are three possibilities regarding both Tsipras and Varoufakis.

    1. They are both naive about economics but are honest people who want to do the right thing.
    2. They both do understand that Greece needs to get out of the euro prison and issue their own currency but don’t have even the 61% who voted no agreeing to leave.
    3. They both are under the control of Soros or Soros like organizations who create phony liberation groups to divert and lead the masses into a dead end, thus demoralizing the population.

    Jorge which of the three propositions do you agree with. I’m leaning towards the third option.


    Merkel’s extraordinarily useful. After all, she has people like you talking about her instead of focusing on the true root cause of what most ails society – her and her government’s Debt-Money Monopoly financiers.
    The real culprits get off Scott-free because of people like Merkel. And THAT is her job… it is why she was financed into the position of “front woman” for the Debt-Money Monopoly power cabal.

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