Will the European Union, the Neocon’s bitch, be put down? The world is littered with the hollowed out carcasses of nations like Greece and Ukraine, lured into the EU with promises of loans. But those loans have repayment terms that Payday Lenders and mafia hit men would salivate over, in other words the loans were designed to be a death spiral.
The European Union may be on the verge of collapse according to The Nation:
Not long after the Berlin Wall fell a quarter of a century ago, the Soviet Union collapsed, the United States squandered its peace dividend in an attempt to maintain global dominance and Europe quietly became more prosperous, more integrated and more of a player in international affairs….
… the European project is currently teetering on the edge of failure. Growth is anemic at best and socio-economic inequality is on the rise. The countries of Eastern and Central Europe, even relatively successful Poland, have failed to bridge the income gap with the richer half of the continent. And the highly indebted periphery is in revolt….
When the Virtuous Turn Vicious
For decades, European integration created a virtuous circle—prosperity generating political support for further integration that, in turn, grew the European economy. It was a winning formula in a competitive world.
I think they are talking about the Clinton Economy when all boats were lifted. Through raising taxes on the rich, welfare reform, heavy investment in science and technology, 401K retirement accounts, tuition reimbursement, paid internships, low mortgage rate loans, and a highly regulated banking system the Clinton years rose all ships.
However, as the European model has become associated with austerity, not prosperity, that virtuous circle has turned vicious. A challenge to the Eurozone in one country, a repeal of open borders in another, the reinstitution of the death penalty in a third—it, too, is a process that could feed on itself, potentially sending the EU into a death spiral, even if, at first, no member states take the fateful step of withdrawing.
Yes, indeed the treachery of the U.S. Supreme Court has turned America into a Taliban style government. Science, logic and reason are no longer part of America’s lexicon and the European Union has been dragged down into the medieval abyss of darkness and ignorance. From Reader SupportedNews:
Don't ever claim that Republican Supreme Court judges are not activists. Selecting Bush President resulted in two wars at a cost estimated at $4 trillion accompanied by tax breaks for the wealthiest, a full-scale assault on civil liberties, an invasive, ineffective 'homeland security' bureaucracy, criminal acts including torture, rendition, warrantless wiretapping, secret government, and an agenda that will make us a fascist, militarized empire.
In selecting Bush, the Court assured the wreck of our republic. His legacy lives on in the Supreme Court.
Yes, America we hardly recognize you.
The Court has sided with corporate interests consistently for a long time: In its 'wisdom', it decided that corporations are people, some with religious beliefs, whose only motive is profit, and that money is speech. The Citizens United and McKutcheon rulings will complete our transition to an oligarchy. Elections clearly are for sale now.
A corporate person, motivated only by profit, is a sociopath. He doesn't care if the planet is destroyed by his pollution. He has no loyalty to community. He is no patriot for he has no binds of citizenship and will move to the lowest wage, least regulated country, avoid all taxes by keeping profits offshore, and will buy as many politicians as necessary to mold policy in his favor….
Republicans allowed lobbyists to draft legislation for monopoly industries and they created ALEC. This policy has led to massive redistribution of income, restructuring of the economy, corrupt politics, extreme income inequality, and an economy that is unfair, unjust, unstable, and unsustainable.
Yes, that is the model that was exported to “old Europe” by the Bush Administration and put on steroids in the Obama Administration. A highly corrupt, untethered banking cartel stealing the wealth of nations through extortion and extraction. In 2001, after Bush was installed in office, Goldman Sachs packaged a loan deal with Greece and we are just starting to see the details of that loan, and it is telling. From Bloomberg:
March 6 (Bloomberg) -- Greece’s secret loan from Goldman Sachs Group Inc. was a costly mistake from the start….
There’s no such thing as a “mistake” on Goldman Sachs part, it was a long-planned assault.
On the day the 2001 deal was struck, the government owed the bank about 600 million euros ($793 million) more than the 2.8 billion euros it borrowed, said Spyros Papanicolaou, who took over the country’s debt-management agency in 2005. By then, the price of the transaction, a derivative that disguised the loan …. had almost doubled to 5.1 billion euros, he said….
Papanicolaou and his predecessor, Christoforos Sardelis, revealing details for the first time of a contract…. said the country didn’t understand what it was buying and was ill-equipped to judge the risks or costs….
Goldman Sachs understood what it was selling a death certificate.
Goldman Sachs’s instant gain on the transaction illustrates the dangers to clients who engage in complex, tailored trades that lack comparable market prices and whose fees aren’t disclosed.
Harvard University, Alabama’s Jefferson County and the German city of Pforzheim all have found themselves on the losing end of the one-of-a-kind private deals typically pitched to them by securities firms as means to improve their finances.
Those kind of deals used to be illegal. But when the United States Government was overthrown December 12, 2000 banks like Goldman Sachs were unleashed to bankrupt the countries of the world with their crap investments like derivatives.
Prior to Gramm Leach Bliley rating firms, like Standard and Poor’s were paid by the investor to rate the risk involved with different investment products, to insure the integrity of the financial instrument. Therefore, the rating agencies’ fiduciary responsibility was to the investor.
After the deregulation of derivatives, the banks paid the rating agencies to rate the worthless crap derivatives as AAA, meaning they were safe investments and therefore could be sold to municipalities, pensions and governments who were only allowed to invest in AAA rated investments.
Goldman Sachs DNA
“Like the municipalities, Greece is just another example of a poorly governed client that got taken apart…. “These trades are structured not to be unwound, and Goldman is ruthless about ensuring that its interests aren’t compromised -- it’s part of the DNA of that organization.”
The trading costs on the swap rose because the deal had a notional value of more than 15 billion euros, more than the amount of the loan itself, said a former Greek official with knowledge of the transaction who asked not to be identified because the pricing was private….
I’ll bet that Greek official didn’t want to be identified.
To repay the 2.8 billion euros it borrowed from the bank, Greece entered into a separate swap contract tied to interest-rate swings….
Falling bond yields caused that bet to sour, and tweaks to the deal failed to prevent the debt from almost doubling in size by the time the swap was restructured in August 2005.
Greece, which last month secured a second, 130 billion-euro bailout, is sitting on debt equal to about 160 percent of its GDP as of last year.
Yes, that’s how it works. The Federal Reserve Bank secretly bailed out crooked banks to the tune of $43 trillion dollars, paying massive bonuses to the cartel members. From the excellent investigative journalist, Gregory Palast at TruthDig:
Trojan Hearse: Greek Elections and the Euro Leper Colony
Ha ha, I love that “Trojan Hearse” how apt.
Europe is stunned, and bankers aghast, that the new party of the Left, Syriza, won Sunday’s parliamentary elections in Greece.
Syriza won on the promise that it will cure Greece of leprosy.
Oddly, Syriza also promises that it will remain in the leper colony. That is, Syriza wants to rid Greece of the cruelty of austerity imposed by the European Central Bank but insists on staying in the euro zone.
The problem is, austerity run wild is merely a symptom of an illness. The underlying disease is the euro itself.
For the last five years, Greeks have been told that, if you cure your disease—that is, if you dump the euro—the sky will fall. I guess Greeks haven’t noticed, the sky has fallen already. With unemployment at 25 percent, with doctors and teachers eating out of garbage cans, there is no further to fall.
Sound familiar America? That’s the same plan that has been rolled out across America, by the U.S. Senate and especially GOP Governors like Scott Walker.
In 2010, when unemployment was a terrible 10 percent, a year into the crisis, the “Troika” (the European Central Bank, European Commission and the International Monetary Fund) told the Greeks that brutal austerity measures would restore their economy by 2013….
Can Greece survive without the euro? Greece is already dead, but the Germans won’t even bother to bury the corpse. Greeks are told that if they leave the euro and renounce its debts, the nation will not be able to access world capital markets. The reality is, Greece can’t access world markets now: no one lends to a corpse.
There’s a way back across the River Styx. But it’s not by paddling on a euro.
Can Greece just dump the euro? They have happy precedents to follow. Argentina was once pegged to the U.S. dollar much as Greece is tied to the euro today. In 2000, Argentines, hungry and angry, revolted. Argentina ultimately overthrew the dollar dictatorship, the IMF diktats and the threats of creditors, and defaulted on its dollar bonds. Free at last!
In the decade since, the Argentine economy soared. Yes, today, Argentina is under attack by financial vultures, but that is only because the nation became so temptingly wealthy.
Ha, ha. That’s right Argentina is under assault by the United States Supreme Court ordering them to pay Paul Singer and the derivative vulture funds ransom money.
I was in Brazil when its President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva told the IMF to go to hell—and rejected privatization of the state banks and the state oil company, rejected cutting pensions and thumbed his nose at the rest of the austerity nonsense. Instead, Lula created the bolsa familia, a massive pay-out to the nation’s poor….
But austerity has nothing to do with economics. It is religion: the belief by the stern Lutheran Germans that Greeks have had too much fun, spent too much money, and spent too much lazy time in the sun—and now Greeks must pay a price for their sins.
The Euro’s Father Describes His Little Bastard
Alexis Tsipras, the leader of Syriza, would like to pretend that austerity and the euro are two different things, that you can marry the pretty girl but not invite her ugly sister to the wedding.
Apparently, the Syriza chief is blissfully ignorant of the history of the euro. The horror of austerity is not the consequence of Greek profligacy: it was designed into the euro’s plan from the beginning.
Exactly, it was the plan from the beginning.
This was explained to me by the father of the euro himself, economist Robert Mundell of Columbia University. (I studied economics with Mundell’s buddy, Milton Friedman.)
Mundell not only invented the euro, he also fathered the misery-making policies of Thatcher and Reagan, known as “supply-side economics”—or, as George Bush Sr. called it, “voodoo economics.”
Yeah St. Ronnie of Reagan was the dimwitted spaghetti western, washed up actor that was the perfect face for selling “supply-side economics.” Reagan’s most ardent of admirers is none other than Barack Obama.
Supply-side voodoo is the long-discredited belief that if a nation demolishes the power of unions, cuts business taxes, eliminates government regulation and public ownership of utilities, economic prosperity will follow.
You know, these policies have failed over and over again, if you measure success by the living standard of the average citizen. However if you measure success by the accumulation of wealth at the top and devastation for everyone else, supply side economics has been wildly successful.
It is argued that Greece owes Germany, the IMF and the European Central Bank for bail-out-billions. Nonsense. None of the billions in bail-out funds went into Greek pockets. It all went to bail out Deutsche Bank and other foreign creditors.
The EU treasuries swallowed 90 percent of its private bankers’ bonds. Germany bailed out Germany, not Greece.
The EU is the bitch that has outlived its usefulness and now must be put down. The Ukraine adventure will prove to be the end of the E.U. From The Telegraph:
Ukraine fiasco marks end of the EU’s imperial dream
The EU, dedicated to eliminating national identity, has finally run up against the rock of a national interest that will not give way.
Normally when a country’s people give a referendum vote that the EU doesn’t like, they are just told to vote again to put it right.
Yes, just like the Supreme Court in America stepped in during the 2000 election to “correct” the voters mistake and “make it right.”
In the case of Crimea, however, where 96 per cent of the people voted to return to Russia, the EU was in no position to ask them to think again. Even if they did, considering that Crimea, where the tsars, Tolstoy and Chekhov used to spend their summers, has been part of Russia for most of the past 230 years, that 60 per cent of its people are ethnic Russians and that 82 per cent speak Russian at home, they would be unlikely to change their minds.
The hard fact is that, whatever we think of President Putin, this episode has been the most salutary fiasco the “European project” has ever brought upon itself in 60 years….
For years the EU has been wooing Ukraine with that “Association Agreement” as the next step towards making it a full member. But by pushing its “soft power” right up to the Russian border, this strange organisation dedicated to eliminating national identity has finally run up against the rock of a national interest that will not give way.
And to what a pitiful state this has reduced our own supposed “leaders” in the West. They haven’t a clue what to do.
So the Ukrainians are trapped between a rock and a place that turns out to be too soft to help them, On Friday, when their acting prime minister, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, came to Brussels to sign that Association Agreement, the EU was so embarrassed that the ceremony had to take place behind closed doors, away from the eyes of the media. The poor man was not even allowed a microphone, but had to shout out his wish still to see Ukraine as an EU member.
Yep, Yats had to sneak in to sign the agreement like a cockroach avoiding the light of day.
The EU knows it is powerless to prevent Mr Putin in due course absorbing Ukraine’s Russian-speaking industrial heartland, leaving the EU to look after what remains of that bankrupt country, like a dismembered corpse.
But there is no sign that those impotent nonentities who pose as our leaders have yet realised that their ambition to take over Ukraine must now rank alongside the euro as the two leading examples of how their collective act of make-believe is finally hitting the brick wall of reality.
Yes, the rabid dog, wandering around frothing at the mouth and howling at the moon must be put down. The EU’s rabies are becoming airborne and in danger of infecting Asia, so it must be isolated and eventually put down. But the illegal junta in Kiev is sticking with the Reagan Thatcher failed policy. From Russia Times:
Situation in Ukraine ‘nearing humanitarian catastrophe’ – Amnesty Intl
“While it may be too early to call this a humanitarian catastrophe, it’s clearly progressing in that direction,” Krivosheev said, adding that pensioners are the most vulnerable part of the population.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) also expressed major concern for the elderly, pointing to Kiev’s dangerous decision to transfer payouts of social benefits and pensions to government-controlled areas.
So what is the response of the illegitimate United States government? Double down, cut Social Security Disability and send the money to Ukraine for more war. From CNBC:
Rebels press Ukraine offensive as Obama pledges action
U.S. President Barack Obama said Washington was considering all options short of military action to isolate Russia. The European Union called an emergency meeting of foreign ministers of its 28 member states.
"We are deeply concerned about the latest break in the ceasefire and the aggression that these separatists -- with Russian backing, Russian equipment, Russian financing, Russian training and Russian troops -- are conducting," Obama told a news conference during a visit to India.
Good old, tone deaf imbecile blathers on about Russian aggression while Americans abroad are being treated like inbred relatives. From Tom Dispatch:
Americans who live abroad—more than six million of us worldwide (not counting those who work for the U.S. government)—often face hard questions about our country from people we live among. Europeans, Asians, and Africans ask us to explain everything that baffles them about the increasingly odd and troubling conduct of the United States.
America we hardly recognize you, what happened?
Polite people, normally reluctant to risk offending a guest, complain that America’s trigger-happiness, cutthroat free-marketeering, and “exceptionality” have gone on for too long to be considered just an adolescent phase. Which means that we Americans abroad are regularly asked to account for the behavior of our rebranded “homeland,” now conspicuously in decline and increasingly out of step with the rest of the world….
Even after the invasion of Iraq in 2003, I still met people—in the Middle East, no less—willing to withhold judgment on the U.S. Many thought that the Supreme Court’s installation of George W. Bush as president was a blunder American voters would correct in the election of 2004.
Well Americans were not allowed to correct the Supreme Court’s decision to end democracy in the United States, the corrupt two party system has been codified into law. The last president elected by the people of America was William Jefferson Clinton.
So now, America’s lap dog the European Union is a mangy disease riddled cur, and must be put down. In the words of the EU’s neocon dominatrix Victoria Nuland, Fuck the EU, time to put the neocons’ bitch down.
By Patricia Baeten