Forum Replies Created
No, I read it precisely as you wrote it. Your claim is no more true of the Greek population than of the German. Anyway, I give up.
I’d be the last person to argue that US influence was positive. What I’ve been saying is (a) the claim that Greece was “largely left to fend for themselves” is false (interference, even for the worse, is not the same as leaving alone), and that it’s misleading to describe Greece as having been ruled by a dictatorship until the mid-1970s since the dictatorship was only around for a small portion of the post-war period.
I’m not making claims about good or bad.
It certainly didn’t benefit the Greek communists, but neither did it benefit the German communists. Anyway, that’s beside the point.
The military dictatorship lasted 7 years, you make it seem it was the whole time until the mid-1970s. Admittedly, this is a matter of interpreting what you wrote. But suppose you told someone “The US was ruled by Democrats until 1980” and this was all they had to go on, how would they interpret it?
Greece received aid as part of the Marshall Plan, and was a member of NATO. In fact, the table at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marshall_Plan#Expenditures suggests that Marshall Plan expenditure for (West) Germany was only 4 times more than for Greece even though its population (50 million) was more than 6 times Greece’s (7.5 million).
Compare with: “After WWII, their populations were largely left to fend for themselves for decades by the richer countries of Europe – and by the US -, until they toppled their military regimes in the mid-1970s.”
“In all of the things written about Greece and the rest of southern Europe these days, and there’s an avalanche of articles, there is very little mention of the fact that Greece, Spain and Portugal were – brutal and bloody – dictatorships until less than 40 years ago. After WWII, their populations were largely left to fend for themselves for decades by the richer countries of Europe – and by the US -, until they toppled their military regimes in the mid-1970s.”
I’m no expert, but this is certainly false as regarding Greece. I expect better from y’all.
Grexit, Spailout, Spanic, Quitaly… I’m getting sick of all these Euro portmanteaus, or rather, Euranteaus.
Also a new blog post on the history of Spain’s problems:
https://www.golemxiv.co.uk/2012/06/the-eurofiscal-corruption-contest-the-spanish-entry/May 31, 2012 at 12:19 am in reply to: The Truth About Europe: There Is No Solution Part 1 #3647
The ‘Sarkozy carry,’ borrowing from the ECB at a low rate and buying sovereign bonds which have higher yields, seems like it’s good for the banks and bad for us. But with the recent rise in Spanish and Italian yields to pre-LTRO levels, haven’t the banks been losing more in the value of the bonds they bought between the first LTRO and now than what they would gain due to the difference in yields?
The sea was angry that day, my friends–like an old man trying to return soup at a deli.
Setting aside the question of Greece exiting the euro, I’m curious what people’s view here is about likely outcomes of the greek election. If it turns out in line with recent polling, it would seem neither a pro-memorandum nor an anti-memorandum coalition will be possible. And then what, another election? Maybe PASOK taking a U-turn and joining SYRIZA?
Very nice introduction to the series. A linguistic/typo correction: it’s ‘pique’ rather than ‘peek.’May 18, 2012 at 4:56 am in reply to: A world terrified by impotent ghosts from the past #3373
I don’t know, this seems somewhat incoherent. The main line you’re pushing is that we shouldn’t be stuck on figures from the past whose ideas have proven to be false, such as Keynes, Marx, Friedman, Hayek, etc. But then you suggest Tolle, who is influenced by Buddhism. Now, the Buddha lived 2500 years ago. So what you’re saying isn’t that we should forget about past thinkers. But then what it comes down to is saying that the Buddha’s teachings are correct and eternal, whereas Marx’s or Hayek’s aren’t. Now, this might very well be true. But aren’t you just telling Hayek’s true believers “the people I like to read are right, the people you like to read are wrong”?
I’ll emphasize I’m not defending any of the authors you’re dissing. But it seems that they way you’re framing the whole article is off somehow. My apologies if I’m misunderstanding it.
Well, here’s what the MOTU want lesser mortals (muppets) to think:
Oh, come on, Ashvin! Of course we’re all stuffed! Didn’t you just write a FUBAR piece?
First off, I apologize for the misunderstanding. I thought “any” was referring to the people, not the work.
Now, I am not trying to oversimplify anything. I am not claiming that reversing austerity will fix greece’s problems, or that leaving the euro would, or any such thing. In fact, I’m not talking exclusively about Greece (and didn’t even mention greece in my post). Many of the points I listed are being implemented in places like the US and the UK. I was just illustrating examples of measures which fall under the term ‘austerity’ (though in many cases they don’t like to use that word… you don’t hear republicans using it much, for example). The reason I did is that what you said austerity meant for you seemed quite different than the term’s accepted usage.
I’ll assume you’re not a troll (even though the claim you can’t find anyone who wants to work is pretty suspect), and merely suggest that what you picture as austerity is just your own misconception. To remedy it, I offer here some examples of measures which fall under that term, and you can figure out for yourself which of them have been implemented or proposed and where:
— Firing teachers and increasing class size.
— Cutting funding to public universities.
— Cutting pensions for people who have no other income.
— Raising the retirement age when there are already too many people for the jobs available.
— Decreasing the minimum wage.
— Large increases in utility prices.
— Cutting funding for health services.
— Cutting unemployment benefits.
— Increasing sales tax (which is generally regressive).
— Freezing public sector salaries in the face of inflation.
Now, I’m sure there are plenty of bureaucrats getting paid to do nothing. But that’s neither here nor there. If you can find a way to make the public sector (or the private sector) more efficient, that’d be great (if it were implemented). But that is absolutely not what austerity is about.
I’m with you when it comes to peak oil, but what it’s going to lead to ultimately is a collapse of capitalism, because capitalism requires growth. Austerity will be attempted to drag it out, but it always leads to trouble, and collapse is inevitable. The sooner the better, I think.
I can’t deny tyler is smart, and I have no problem with his hyperinflation views, though I don’t agree with them. And some of the stuff there is good reading, which is why I do peruse it. What bothers me is (a) his dishonesty and (b) his ‘eat the poor’ worldview.
Here is an example of the two working together:
“Instead, the Democrats favor the Buffett rule, which seeks to further widen the class divide by making the wealthy pay progressively more.”
Cause everyone knows ‘class divide’ means ‘progressive taxation’?
You see it in how often he dwells on the percentage of Americans who ‘pay no taxes’, his saying that austerity is actually good but simply hasn’t been tried, his endorsement of the ‘lazy greeks’ myth, etc. He seems to realize that dimon and all don’t deserve their wealth, but to think that poor people deserve to be poor. I don’t know what he thinks of rich people in general, but since he’s all about ‘free markets’ I’m sure it’s something awful and detached from reality.
Yeah, I tend to think more in terms of ordinary (often non-explicit) collusion rather than some kind of master plan. But really I just want to vent about how awful ZH is, both tyler and the commenters. I really wish there was a site like that but minus the dishonesty, immaturity, and unthinking cheerleading.
I think if they’re eating each other it’s not because they don’t want to get together and collude, but rather because the situation has gotten so bad that it’s no longer possible and someone _has_ to be pushed overboard.
That ND-PASOK-LAOS is polling with or close to a majority is pretty damn depressing. Stupid humans.
Investing in solar is, of course, not a ‘bankable’ proposition. For the greens, it’s worthwhile, because their focus is long-term and takes into account externalities (at least that’s what they would claim). If saving the planet were profitable–well, I’m sure the capitalists would have found a way to monopolize that as well, milked it until it was no longer profitable, and then moved on to fucking everything up. Nobody said the end of the world would be pleasant.
Of course, there are much bigger reasons Spain is in trouble. But, sure, providing subsidies to expensive technologies isn’t going to help your balance sheet much.
You can make sourdough with any wheat flour. breadtopia.com has a good video on how to get it started, which worked for me. As for not being able to find whole wheat flour in Melbourne… that’s just depressing.
I’m with ya, kind of. I used to watch a ton of shows and movies, and I do get this “who cares?” response to it now. Of course, I almost never try it, so it’s more of a “who cares?” attitude which prevents me from trying. There are some things which I do like, such as some dumbassed comedies. But I can’t bring myself to watch them either, even though they make me laugh, because I invariably have a response along the lines of “Ain’t I dehumanized enough without this? How can I sit here watching this crap?” I figured I’ve reached the point where where the guilt in this ‘guilty pleasure’ is just too much and too immediate to suffer for the dumb pleasure.
TV will be one of the last things to go. It is far more “systemically important” than the biggest banks. Movies and sports could wither and disappear, but TV will be propped up at any cost. By that I mean both TV programming (doesn’t matter if low budgets mean it’s shitty, it’s shitty anway) and the production of TV sets. To put it differently: TV isn’t entertainment, it’s the fabric of american life.
Regarding Zero Hedge:
I know the TAE crowd is well-aware of the characteristics of the typical ZH commenter, which put me off their threads very soon after I found the site. Also, Tyler’s integrity has been called into question due to distortions, especially when it comes to gold. I would submit an item from today which is almost unbelievable:
“Instead, the Democrats favor the Buffett rule, which seeks to further widen the class divide by making the wealthy pay progressively more, in the process funding even greater bailouts of TBTF financial institutions, and the even greater encroachment of the insolvent welfare state.” [from the post about the GOP budget proposal]
He’s actually saying that “the class divide” is that rich people pay more tax! Hilarious? I’m actually wondering whether he’s on some GOP-aligned payroll, as opposed to before when I just assumed he was your typical libertarian goldbug.March 16, 2012 at 4:42 am in reply to: Prediction is Very Hard, Especially About the Future #1742
What does FSofA stand for?
Good point: U-6 rose from a low of 8% to a high of 17.2%, 4% more than the 5.5% change in U-3.
Of course it’s a sucker’s rally. What’s the alternative: some kind of economic renaissance involving China, Angry Birds, and cold fusion? There’s no question the stock market–and pretty much everything else–is going down, the only question is how long until the next leg down. But maybe not everyone would agree. 😉
I don’t know, I think those assumptions are pretty severe (consider than in the aftermath of the 2008 crisis unemployment increased from 5% to 10%, which is comparable to if it were now to increase from 8% to 13%, and we can all agree the 2008 crisis and its fallout were severe). That said, it can and probably will be a lot worse next time. And I agree with you completely that the stress tests can’t suitably account for the losses which would occur even under their own scenario, and are not really intended to anyway since they’re just PR work. Nice article! I often find myself thinking about Obama that everything he says and every policy decision he makes has as its primary purpose ‘perception management’.
But if they were to actually lend more money, wouldn’t a portion of the funds turn from “excess reserves” to “required reserves”? Like, say you inject $100, and the reserve ratio is 0.1. Then if the banks extend loans for $500, only $50 would end up in the deposit facility, right? Of course, I know that doesn’t happen immediately, but if it were to happen eventually then the use of the deposit facility should drop?
I, too, am not at all clear about this:
The mistake people often make is assuming that if banks were to lend these new eurit’sos out, the euros would leave the Deposit Facility. But any euro “created” by the ECB (via net new lending) has to end up in some bank’s excess reserves (like the game of musical chairs). It may not be the same bank that took out the loan from the ECB, but it is still a bank within the Euro-system. So one way or another (whether banks, lend to each other, to clients, or buy securities) some bank in the Euro-system will end up with the excess reserves (net new euros never leave the system).
Could someone who’s in the know about this topic clear this up for us (as in whether claim made here is true or not and how the thingamabob works)?
For everyone protesting about Christianity: the beef is with Nietzsche, and Ashvin did not (in the article) endorse his claims, so your protestations are misplaced. I say this as a great admirer of Christianity (the religion and its true followers, keeping in mind Matthew 7:21).
That’s some very selective reading there, focusing on beaver pelts, stone tools, and animal skins. Granted, fur coats are damn expensive. But you seem to neglect, force example “without the genocide of the native American tribes, without African slavery.” Consider also the case of china: there was practically nothing the chinese wanted to import from europe, except opium which of course was known by both sides to be immensely damaging, and which the chinese allowed only after being forced to through war. The industrial revolution was significant, of course, but it did not make either human labor nor natural resources unnecessary, and europe did plunder for these in america, africa, and asia.
I just meant it as in “better luck not assuming an author is a man next time.” It’s an honest mistake that I’m guilty of as well sometimes.
I’m with Porkpie. Better luck next time, Ash.
I do think today’s ‘escrow’ idea from Merkozy makes some kind of perverse sense. They don’t care about Greece’s welfare, but they want to prevent a default. Solution: commit to paying Greece’s debts (of course, the debt isn’t being forgiven, just taken over), but don’t finance the Greek government. Who knows what effects it would have, or if it will happen.