I don’t spend much time worrying about politics. I’m too sure we have none. The Greeks are clearly going to default – it’s their way – they’ve done it more than half of the last hundred years. Afghanistan is about to as well. What would interest me is detail about where this money goes. This has fascinated me for 30 years.
For me it’s always been about criminality. Money flown into Afghanistan flew straight out and is proving difficult to find. Banks once engaged in massive forced monopoly schemes and lent to farmers in order to foreclose on good land just before harvest. It now seems none of us worked hard enough, long enough or saved enough. ‘We’, Greek or not, seem to have run up debts, mostly thinking we were earning livings.
If you were a detective on this job, what would you go looking for? Would you start by trying to find out where your neighbour’s stash is? My guess is we’d soon find this an unproductive approach. Our neighbours probably have jack.
It’s easy enough to find explanations that tells us that some ‘bwankers’ what to steal the public sector and turn in into a rent machine. Even Miami Vice has Crockett and Tubbs realise the drugs-machine is just a way of paying bwanks back for their bad loans in South America. And some speculate these rich people are lizards hiding in human skin.
The problem for the detective is that he has to ask himself who he is working for. We’ve been doing this job on trust. They should be able to show us the accounts. Though this can’t help because our elected leaders get to see them. This is a world in which we can’t even track down the money that gets dusted with dye in cash-in-transit robberies.
It’s all Greek to us really.
There’s so much hypocrisy going on with regard to the Euro crisis that it’s just sickening. Some major facts are there in the open but are being completely ignored.
Even arguing within the standard orthodox framework of the modern obscure mass religion known as economics; when the Euro zone was introduced in 1999 and the members of the club were formally named, the dogs were barking in the street that the Greeks had cooked the books and didn’t fulfill the conditions. The politicians Euro-wide knew this very well and still decided to admit Greece. It was a political decision (and may even have been correct). But now that the baby has finally fallen out of the pram, the Euro zone should have to accept the consequences of that bad decision (seen from the conventional economic point of view) and bail the Greeks out.
More widely, the people of Greece, Ireland and Portugal (expandable to possibly include Spain and Italy) are being forced to pay for lunatic speculative whirligigs operated by various international banks and financial institutions – with the collaboration of gullible and often corrupt politicians. Acting like wolves harrying a flock of sheep, they’ve been cutting out the weakest members and biting them to death. Even now, they’re earning vast amounts of profits on the money which these countries owe by raising the interest rates for them, discounitng their bonds and speculating with them, etc. They’ve been betting against their own investments and making money no matter what happens – at the same time threatening that, if the PIIGS default, the whole world economy will be pulled down. Blackmail – and probably, in the end, a bluff. The vast majority of this money has long since been written off. but the longer the Euro leaders (and the ECB which has inherited the old German traumatic paranoid fear of hyperinflation – something that wouldn’t happen) continue to simply force the weakened countries to continue to pay every penny of outrageous interest rates and principal, the more the speculative profits grow.
It’s high time there were haircuts – not just cosmetic ones, either, I’m thinking of using sharp razors here and bald heads. Even if we’re not prepared to completely reform the way we do things, it’s time to show the City of London, Frankfurt and Wall Street that they haven’t, in fact, bought the world and if they insist that they have, then teach them the meaning of caveat emptor. Why not just press the “reset” button, let Greece, Portugal, Ireland and some others default (with the support of the stronger Euro members and the UK)? Two years later, the euro would be a lot healthier and the financiers would have learned a salutary lesson about who’s really in charge.