Mistakes with European bonds

The point I’d make at the outset is that the people and organizations fleeing to German bonds are the most uniformly at risk.

Any fix of the European problem that will actually work will create inflationary pressure, and with bonds at 1.5% it doesn’t take much inflation before you are paying the German government to take your money.

That isn’t a risk of being wiped out but it is a risk of a ubiquitous loss. Buying any government bonds at a yield that low doesn’t make a lot of sense. But government rules on the amount of investment that have to be in “tier 1 capital”- which is mostly government debt- stack the deck in favor of governments selling this junk. If government bonds aren’t distressed the yield is too low, if they are distressed you risk losing a substantial portion of your investment as with Greece. Either way, government bonds are glorified t.p.

We are seeing the result of the intervention in Greek debt in October visited on the other European bond issuers.

Of particular concern is the damage done to the Credit Default Swap market. The general take has been that forcing the banks to take 50% “voluntary” write-downs is that the CDS may not be invoked.

Now, Fitch has apparently made a ruling that a default has occurred on Greek debt so the banks should be insured, but there hasn’t been any public follow up to that.

I expect that there is a lot of backroom negotiating about the CDS insurance and there will likely be some litigation over it.

This is the reality: the world needs to see a public payout on a CDS somewhere.

The nominal value of credit default swaps around the world is in the tens of trillions of dollars.

Destroy faith in that and you create a problem that is too big to fix.

The message from October was that European debt may not be honored and that insurance of that debt may not be honored either.

Then it becomes a matter of diligence to dump European bonds.

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“Weapons of Mass Destruction” part 2?

The evidence was overwhelming leading up to the 2003 Iraq war that Iraq did not have weapons of mass destruction. The place was swarming with inspectors and the only tangible evidence of impropriety was that some trucks had left a military site not long before inspectors arrived.

Trucks leaving a military site. Wow. That never happens.

The rest of it was the bogus yellow-cake claim and an old paper from about 1993 from Britain describing Iraq’s past attempts in the area. It was not disclosed that the whole report was lifted from somebody’s master’s thesis, or that it was long outdated with no contemporary relevance.

Iraq was invaded for oil, only for oil, plain and simple. The basis for the invasion was known to be fraudulent in advance and there were no concerns at all about weapons of mass destruction. The point of the inspectors and increasingly belligerent demands was to ensure that Iraq would be unable to defend itself. The definition of a weapon of mass destruction included many ordinary combat weapons that do not violate the Geneva conventions in any way and included many weapsons used to overthrow Iraq.

Now we are hearing much of the same about Iran.

While the Atomic committee’s report is portrayed as saying Iran is presently pursuing nuclear weapons, the wording attributed to them should be looked at closely.

The language is that there is a lot of proof that up to 2003 Iran was aggressively pursuing a nuclear arsenal and that it may have continued after.

Remember that master’s thesis that was used for the Iraq war?

It looks like the same logic and weasel language are being used as with Iraq. We can prove that they were trying to do X 10 years ago, so they must be far more advanced today, and we should gloss over the lack of any evidence of contemporary relevance and any apparent recent cooperation.

Iraq was a mistake on so many levels. Not least is that because Iraq complied with everything requested of it and its’ compliance was verified by neutral observers and it was still invaded, it would be insane for a country to ever cooperate with the US again and disarm itself. That will only make it more feasible to invade the country to steal its’ resources.

When the US starts to make such demands, it only makes sense now for the country to start stockpiling instead. Compliance will lead to invasion.

Connections between Revelations chapters 4-6 with “Masonic Testament”

Go to the Web of Hiram and check out the masonic 28th degree, Scottish Rite, and compare with Revelations chapters 4-6.

The references to the beasts around the throne of god, a lion, an eagle, a man and a calf (bull?) correlated with the flags of the four traditional primary archangels in the Rite.

Those correspond to the “fixed” months of the Zodiac, the bull/calf is Taurus, the lion is Leo, the eagle is Aquila, which overlaps Scorpio, and the man is Aquarius.

As with most masonic material there are layers of identifiers as the design is intended both to obfuscate and at the same time say a great deal while saying very little.

Those are sign references, but they are also references to the archangels they correspond to.

That goes as well for the planets on the flags and other signifiers.

So Michael is signified by the lion, Saturn, the color black and lead. Gabriel is signified by the color crimson, Jupiter, the eagle and tin. Etc.

The four beasts in Revelations correspond to the four primary archangels and through the Masonic Testament, Saturn, Jupiter, Mars and Mercury.

I have a hypothesis that Revelations chapter 6 may be intended to signify a time given the similar coding scheme.

Revelations 9:15 later on, referring to the angels being prepared for an hour and a day and a month and a year, an odd order, may be a hint that the earlier references are intended to give a time and that it might be in roughly reverse order.

Chapter 6:12 is suggestive of both solar and lunar eclipses, presumably over Jerusalem or at any rate Isreal. The tremendous earthquake alluded to is somewhat speculative.

The pale horse is actually “yellow-green” according to the Anchor Bible’s superior translation.

Has anybody ever seen a green horse? This supports that the reference is astrological and coded reference to related text.

In the Masonic Testament, Raphael is referenced by Mercury, green, mercury (the substance), and the man.

Scorpio/Aquila is the zodiac sign most associated with death, so I would go with Mercury in Scorpio.

6:5, the third horseman, is black and carrying scales. Black = Michael = Saturn. Saturn in Libra is the most obvious pick.

The red horse and the white horse pose more difficult questions. Uriel is associated with flame red and Gabriel with crimson, which I consider another type of red. For all I know the ancients might have used the same word for both.

The anchor bible refers to the red as blood red, and conflict is referred to, so Jupiter in Aries is a possibility.

The white horse presents a difficulty. The color white in the code scheme is associated with the moon, but the moon is not associated with any of the beasts.

The masons and their precursors who wrote revelations sometimes deliberately included imperfections that could be worked around logically.

That still leaves a riddle of whether the white is misdirection (or later re-editing by some idiot), so we are to deduce that the white is either Mars or Jupiter, whichever is not referenced by the second horseman, or whether we are to take the color coding as primary, and use the moon notwithstanding that it doesn’t correspond to one of the beasts.

The next quandary is the meaning of the bow. It could be a reference to Sagittarius, Apollo, Yahweh.

Conquering for the sake of conquering on the other hand has more of an Aries feel to it.

Taking the first “horseman” as representing the moon in Sagittarius seems as good as any. After all, one of the references may be intended to give the “hour”, and slow moving planets are not particularly good for that.

Last but not least, in more recent centuries modern astrology has tied the astrological signs to the equinoxes, so Aries starts with the equinox in modern western usage. That results in sign creep with precession so that, for instance, Scorpio is now right in the middle of the sign Sagittarius.

My guess is that the ancients would be keeping strictly to the signs and not anticipating later science and in particular the decision to have the signs move away from the stars.

There is still a form of astrology, called sidereal, which ties signs to the stars in the sky rather than the equinoxes.

Saturn takes about two and a half years to change signs, of which there are twelve, so the number of years in which there are both solar and lunar eclipses visible from Isreal with Saturn in Libra (sidereal) will already be somewhat limited.

Jupiter changes signs about once per year, so Jupiter in Aries (sidereal) narrows the field further.

Interestingly enough, this year there have been eclipses of sun and moon over Isreal and on November 27 on the sidereal charts Saturn will be in Libra, Jupiter in Aries, Mercury in Scorpio and the moon in Sagittarius.

It is interesting that Europe chose this particular time to implode, and then there are those idiots in Isreal agitating to use their nuclear weapons on Iran.

Not that I think that there is anything mystical about any of this. The issue is more in the way of avoiding any self fulfilling prophecies.

Wolfson Economic Prize

It seems a clever fellow in Britain has realized that it is better to plan ahead for a country leaving the Euro rather than doing something stupid in a panic at the last minute. So he has made this prize proposal:

http://www.policyexchange.org.uk/assets/Wolfson_PR_EN.pdf

The prize is directed more at economists, but that should not deter the 75% of the population who have more common sense than economists taking a run at it.

There is a scene in the movie Moneyball where Beene fires his arrogant, useless head scout, who thinks that because he’s been scouting for 25 years and doing the same (wrong) things as all the other head scouts that he’s in the right and shouldn’t change. Then he appoints someone with almost no baseball experience as the new head scout.

That scene is so true, and not just for baseball. Wrong ways of doing things get entrenched and become “conventional wisdom” when they are really just sophistry.

Sometimes the solutions have to come from people who haven’t drunk the koolaid.

Remember that all these economists and other pie in the sky planners have created a series of worldwide economic disasters that were wholely predictable and avoidable if anybody with an iota of common sense had been involved in the process.

The first place to start is with the kinds of issues raised in the book “Decision Traps”.

The mental error that jumps right out of the pages from the debate on countries leaving the Euro is that there will be instant chaos, any businesses in the country with foreign debt or holdings will become instantly bankrupt, etc.

The way most commentators look at it, it is as if on Monday you are in the Euro, and on Tuesday you have some mad rush to the printing presses to start a new currency.

Of course there is no orderly way to do that and that is why some commentators are saying that the prize is unwinnable. Switch currencies like flipping a light switch and there will be months of anarchy. There is no orderly way of doing this.

On the other hand, consider this.

In many places near the border of Canada and the US, American businesses will accept Canadian money and Canadian businesses will accept American money.

The currencies are often treated like legal tender even where, strictly speaking, they are not, and the businesses use their own discretion in adopting exchange rates for accepting the other currency.

So to some extent, Canadian money is used as currency in the US, and US money is used as currency in Canada.

Canada has never had to withdraw from the US dollar for such an arrangement to work, nor has it ever been a part of the US dollar. Lack of control over the fiscal policies of the other country has in no way been an impediment to this rational approach.

In the United States, there have been some communities that have developed a localized currency that is accepted by local businesses. There is limited utility as far as outside communities go, but it serves a purpose of keeping the local economy going.

Money is after all just a form of extended barter. Money solves the key problem with basic barter, that if you have fish to sell and you want to get tomatoes, it is highly inconvenient to have to search for somebody with tomatoes who wants your fish. it is much better to have a system of markers that values different kinds of contributions on a roughly fair basis and has universal recognition.

Money just facilitates the exchange of goods or services but there isn’t anything magical about it. You could use tree bark if it was universally recognized. Whatever currency it is, the currency is only important for what it signifies and that has been lost in the shuffle. It is just bits of paper or linen. It is a proxy for other values.

The issues is not about money or currency. It is about exchanging goods and services and keeping that going. The lack of a trusted currency as a medium is an impediment to this exchange but the problem is not the flow of coins and paper, it is things like ensuring that people have food to eat. If we think about this as just a currency issue without drilling down to the real issue we will miss solutions.

Another impediment is the binary thinking, Sith lord thinking, you are either in or you are out.

What do people think will happen with the Euros that are already in Greece if Greece were to leave the union? Do you think they would put all of the Euros in Greece in trucks and dump them across the border?

The real issue here is exclusivity, the agreement that all countries will use just one currency. There isn’t any practical way of preventing Greece or the Congo for that matter from using the Euro as currency. What would you do, send in armed forces and take all the Euros?

Do you know what the official currency of Ecuador is? The American dollar.

If currency devaluation is a greater fear than the lack of ability to print money, and the country has the means to attract the appropriate currency in sufficient quantity, unilaterally adopting the other currency is a viable option and requires no formal treaties or agreements.

There is also no reason why you can’t, as with Canadian and US border towns, have two [or more] recognized currencies.

You don’t require anybody’s permission to do this.

Think about this: what does it mean to “leave” the Euro?

If it means anything other than the loss of exclusivity, then all 17 countries have already left the Euro and they haven’t realized it yet.

Really, every single Eurozone country has the same rights and privileges of Equador using the US dollar as a currency. All 17 have already left the Euro and they just haven’t realized it. A foreign power, the ECB, has total control over it. It isn’t their currency, it’s the ECB’s currency.

The Greeks can reintroduce the drachma without getting rid of the Euro.

In order for a new drachma to become establlished there would likely have to be some goods or services offered exclusively in it. It would also be better to have both a Euro and a drachma component to wages at the outset.

Greece may be ideally suited for such an approach as 40% of the population works for the government. That must mean that a diverse range of things are run by the government. If your currency is backed by electricity, food, water, etc., who needs gold? If there is a guarantee that x number of drachmas will always give you a fixed quantity of certain things it will have value.

The net could also be used.

As with the small communities in the US that have taken to issuing a local currency (which is not a counterfeit as it is not an imitation of the dollar), I can forsee in the future that at some point, people are going to be establishing their own neighborhood or online “currency communes” as a routine matter of course.

Governments hate this kind of thing and call it a gray market or worse, and try to tax and penalize people that are working on a quid pro quo basis as if there were something criminal about the government not getting a cut of all human activity.

Is all of society supposed to be run for the benefit of government and big corporations, or should it be the other way around?

Really such activity ought to be encouraged. It will revitalize society, get the real economy going and make better conditions for all. If government doesn’t like such arrangements because of the tax issue, they can shove it up their .

A country falling into disarray will be far more resilient if the population is already set up to maintain the liquidity of the exchange of goods and services regardless of what happens to money. If you are a plumber and you need your car fixed and your neighbor is a mechanic and needs his plumbing fixed, there’s an obvious solution and if neither of you have money it is even more important that you be able to exchange services without penalty. If neither have money the problems won’t get fixed by anybody unless there is a non-monetary arrangement.

I see that as the next step in the evolution from basic barter. Basic barter is constipated. Government moderated extended barter through currency is still constipated because if the government or financial institutions are inept the currency becomes the source of constipation in the trade of goods and services.

Because that is what you are really trading, not currency. Currency is just a form of tradable IOU note.

Government should facilitate or get out of the way.

If a country is being weaned off a currency such as the Euro and installing another as the primary currency, there will be growing pains. It will be easier on the population if they can set up a local exchange of goods and services if they need to.

The most logical ultimate basis for a currency is I think one unit being equivalent to one hour of work, any work, at a roughly standardized pace.

Loonies in Isreal trying to start world war III

With all of the other catastrophies in the news, the story that the Isreali prime minister has asked his cabinet for support for launching a nuclear strike on Iran.

That is frankly more important than anything happening now or ever in Greece.

Most of the iranian sites are dug in and built to survive a direct nuclear strike, so I don’t see how this is going to have much of a direct impact on the Iranian nuclear program.

Iran lacks uranium and preventing it from getting much should maybe be the focus. Most of their centrefuges lie idol as they can’t find nearly enough uranium to keep them occupied.

The multiple redundancies in the sites would mean that Isreal would have to strike a number of well dug in targets.

Because the targets are dug in, there probably has to be an invasion force to go in to blow them up from the inside, or perhaps multiple strikes on the same targets to strip off protection.

Hiroshima and Nagasaki were necessary, to end a war and save millions of lives.

In contrast, Isreal will probably have to use its’ full nuclear arsenal to cause meaningful damage to Iran’s nuclear operations, following which it will become essential for Iran to get nuclear weapons, lots of them, and the program will be accelerated with a feriocity not yet seen and no amount of sanctions will deter them.

The radiation would, depending on the winds, go into East Asia with half the world’s population or through the trade winds down through Saudi Arabia, possibly both depending on the spread of targets, and Isreal will have made a number of new friends.

All one billion muslims will declare jihad on Isreal.

Russia and China, who have significant investments in and ties to Iran, may declare war on Isreal.

If Isreal does follow through with this idiocy, it will be necessary for the United States to do nothing to intervene on Isreal’s behalf in order to avoid world war. The United States will have to sit back and allow Isreal to be destroyed, which, frankly, would be the only morally acceptable outcome.

Isreal will have become the evil that it was claiming to oppose.

Other countries will be more interested in creating nuclear weapons, initially with the motivation of deterrence.

I would have been highly in favor of a nuclear strike against Serbia in 1994, before the Russians had a chance to go in or take positions, and against Iraq in 1990 (versus opposing the war in 2003).

That is because in those situations it would have been a counterpunch. Each had taken actions worthy of divine retribution.

On the other hand, starting a war that can’t end well on the speculation that Iran might be intending to produce nuclear weapons, that’s just lunacy.

And all the sabre rattling increases rather than decreases the chance that Iran will in fact produce nuclear weapons, if only for self defence and deterrent value.

Further, the idiot nominally in charge of Iran right now has said a lot of stupid things, but he has never been the most powerful man in the country and is falling out of favor with his masters.

There should be negotiations with those who hold the real power, who likely have no interest in losing their control or privileges or lives over the infantile tantrums of politicians in Iran or elsewhere.

One word from the Ayatollah and the President will have to go get a job as a greeter at Walmart. Work that angle.

The best resolution is probably at the level of the UN security council. Make a resolution that Iran will be protected from Isreal and Isreal will be protected from Iran, ideally with a resolution to declare war on whichever strikes first.

China and Russia are also well positioned to lean on Iran to act appropriately. They can also reduce the chance that Iran will try to produce nuclear weapons as protection, by guaranteeing Iran’s protection.

I would like both China and Russia to declare that a strike by Isreal on Iran will be taken as a declaration of war on both China and Russia. If there is a clear bright line with unacceptable consequences, Isreal will stand down.

To really shut down Iran, again an invasion would be required. Who would ever be left in charge? Who in Iran doesn’t see the western powers as the Great Satan?

When the western powers side with muslims, they usually side with Sunnis. The installation of an Iraqi government of Shiites was a rare exception, and notably those ultimately chosen by the people were not the puppets initially hand picked by the US.

That raises another issue, that as Iraq has the next largest concentration of Shiites, who are a majority there, what are the odds that they will still be on good terms with the west if the west backs an Isreali attack on the Shiite population in Iran?

Iraq may decide that China and Russia are more suitable trading partners.

An invasion of Iran is something that the US can’t afford and it would make Iraq look like Disney Asia. A 300,000 man army, minimum, would need to be permanently in place. The costs of such an adventure, even if successful, would probably exceed 5 trillion dollars in direct and indirect costs in the first ten years in a best case scenario.

More realistically, that would never happen as China and Russia are about as likely to allow an invasion of one of their most crucial trading partners by the US, as the US would be to allow a Russian invasion of Germany. There would be missiles in the air. It’s not going to happen.

And then there is always the elephant in the room that Turkey is a member of Nato and Isreal is not. If there ever is a situation where Turkey is compelled to declare war on Isreal, particularily with cause, it will put Nato powers in an embarassing position.

Isreal is the rogue state, not Iran. China and Russia need to pledge to protect Iran to shut this thing down, and Isreal needs to be crushed with sanctions until it relinquishes its’ nuclear weapons with full oversight.

This rush in Isreal to start an unwinnable war that could develop into a global holocaust has a luny religious vibe to it. Why do something like that unless you have some bizarre idea that it was written and is all part of God’s purpose? People that think like that need to have their toys taken away.

So far, the Isreali cabinet has been against such a mission. But training runs have been ongoing an preparations for an attack have been serious. Political cabinets are subject to change, particularly when the leader doesn’t get the answers he wants.

The first nuclear attacks since Nagasaki would have a worse effect on the markets and economies than Germany defaulting on its’ loans.

The nonsense in Isreal needs to be shut down quickly.

The CIA, KGB and any other players (even Mossad) should be considering the removal of Netanyaho with whatever measures may be necessary, in the national security interests of every nation, Isreal included.

Absent a plan, Greece will be out eventually

Something not talked about much, except by Jubak, is that the plan for Greece to reduce its’ debt to 120% of GDP in 8 years is based on assumptions that the economy will grow even though it is shrinking and the austerity measures are shrinking it more.

The economy is highly dependent on tourism, which will decrease as the middle class is destroyed world wide.

It is highly improbable that Greece is going to be in better shape in 8 years in the absence of a real plan, which so far is not forthcoming.

The reality is that Greece has been turned into a country sized forced labor camp where the population will be living at a subsistence/ slavery level until they leave the union.

A departure planned will go better than a departure forced. If it is left to happen by accident, through uprisings or political instability, it is likely to cause more damage and disruption.

One thing that has not been talked about enough in the media is the distinction in Greece’s debt between the debt that was incurred above board and the half of the debt that was arrived at by trickery, so that the population and the EU were not on notice of it.

Cutting the debt 50% accross the board doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. If you are going to cut the debt by half, the moral thing to do I think is that the debt incurred above board should be given greater standing than the debt created through fraudulent arrangements.

The present arrangements sound like everybody is on the same footing whether their contributions are good, bad or ugly.

Why not punish the perpetrators? A bank failure resulting from wilful misconduct by the bank is not necessarily a bad thing. Penalizing the banks that played by the rules in the same way as the banks that colluded in fraud is a bad thing, it sends exactly the wrong message.

And if they are all guilty, it makes more sense to tie the losses to the misconduct. Otherwise there is no message.

I would add that if there is hidden debt run up that a population has been unaware of and had no opportunity to oppose, I do not think that the population has any moral duty to honor that debt which is created dishonorably.

Meanwhile, I’ve read some reports that Italy has been running a surplus.

If that is correct, why is it that a panic is being created to drive up the cost of their borrowing?

If Italy is running a surplus, the whole fracas to do with Italy has the markings of a bear run.

The whole point of the exercise then seems to be to try to manufacture a situation where Italy can’t meet it’s obligations by making it impossible to secure financing.

The purpose of such a bear run of course is to do yet another hostile takeover of a country and have the country run by the IMF for the benefit of foreigners instead of run by elected officials for the people.

If there is in fact a surplus, it means that the present austerity measures have been successful.

Why then would Merkel and Sarkozy not be pointing that out?

It is very fine to point out where you are in terms of debt to GDP ratio and all of that, but the ultimate issue isn’t where you are, it is where you are going.

If the Italians are running a surplus, it is understandable that they are mystified as to why it is that others would interfere with a program that is working.

If the Union is allowed to continue in the present manner, all of Europe will become colonies of the Fourth Reich in Germany and the IMF.

Every country but Germany is getting devastated with the present arrangements.

There has been talk of kicking Greece out to save the Euro. But that will not save the Euro. The Euro cannot be saved while the Union is being run for the benefit of one of 17 countries.

The supreme irony is that the only way the Euro can be saved in the medium term is to kick out Germany.

Greek referendum a necessary evil and miscellaneous rants

The real problem with Greece isn’t the debt, it is that the country is unmanageable.

Papandreou inherited a bankrupt country. His opposition colluded with western bankers to bankrupt the country when they were in power.

Now the idiots have been doing their best Republican imitation, maintaining that Greece must remain in the European Union while opposing all austerity measures and any steps whatsoever to salvage the situation.

There are occasions when politicians should be prosecuted for acts done in office, and the acts of the Greek right wing to defraud and bankrupt the nation would be appropriate targets for prosecution.

What the Western powers don’t get is that Papandreou is the bailout deal. If he falls it is kaput.

His opposition does whatever they can to undermine him and make the situation unmanageable.

His position on the referendum has already helped him on that front. The opposition had probably been hoping that they could blame him for unilaterally imposing the deal on Greece.

His position on the referendum and on the vote of confidence make complete sense.

Those who wanted him to do what was necessary and then scapegoat him for all the problems that…THEY… caused, are now forced to back his decision and to campaign for a “yes” vote.

If the government fails, what is the chance that every single member that is not in the government comes together to form a new coalition that would pass the deal without a referendum? Nil.

If the government falls, it will be an election in December and the referendum, if any, not for some time later.

The opposition would also be in the unavoidable position of having to campaign on the basis that they would pass the highly unpopular deal without a referendum.

What Sarkozy and Markel fail to understand is that Papandreou has snookered the Greek enemies of stability with this move and that is better for Greece and for Europe in the long run.

Even after the deal is passed, the deal is Papandreou.

The deal is about what Greece would hypothetically do for the next 8 years, not just what it will do this week or next month.

We already know what the other major party does when it is in power.

It concealed massive amounts of debt from the European Union.

If Papandreou’s main opposition ever gain power again while the present crop of leaders are in charge, that will be fatal to Greece’s membership in the European Union and there will be no chance that Greece will fulfill its’ obligations.

In other words, Europe needs to do whatever it takes to have ten more years at least of Papandreou.

As soon as he is gone, the whole thing falls apart regardless of what is said or not said or passed or not passed.

He’s Europe’s man in Greece and instead of undercutting his position they ought to be shoring him up. Attacking his opposition for being a bunch of irresponsible idiots and criminals would be a start.

I have to say that I am not impressed with what the EU has done to Greece in the past 10-20 years.

The tactics are of the sort that the US has frequently used to enslave third world countries. Open the spigots on cash with strings attached so they are drowning in money and get dependent on it, until a crisis point is reached with debt, then go in with the IMF and do a hostile takeover of the whole country and strip it of all resources for almost nothing in return while 99% of the population is reduced to poverty and bare subsistence, and if the locals don’t want to agree to those terms, threaten to destroy them.

Frankly, if the Greeks did decide to default, it would serve the imperialist bastards right. There was never any conceivable way that the Greeks could ever pay the debt that was rapidly accummulating. The money coming in was not invested in anything that was going to grow the economy in a way that would result in a cost/benefit gain for the Greeks. They were lured into the Union with easy money, so they no doubt had visions of membership being equated with eternal prosperity. It is a form of “bait and switch”.

But the easy money wasn’t free money. The end was entirely foreseeable in the beginning. That may mean that the end was foreseen in the beginning. The object may have been to enslave a nation. The western powers were victims of their own success in that they overshot the amount necessary to permanently enslave the nation and well beyond into the territory of debt that the Greeks could never conceivably even service.

The United States has in the past used this kind of despicable tactic repeatedly and with some worse variants, such as fronting money to pay US contractors, which has the added insult that most of the debt money would come straight back into the US.

I only see one way out of the Greek problem where everybody wins.

Capitalism.

Real capitalism.

Greece is a very mountainous country and we often find that very mountainous places have rich mineral deposits.

Of course what might be there is as with any other country, potluck. You could something valuable or you could find materials that are only valuable if the market is high, or you could find nothing.

Because demand for natural resources is going up worldwide, sites that previously might have been uneconomical may now be viable.

The modern fashion of generically throwing money around without any specific object or plan isn’t capitalism. You might call it “bankism” or “financism”. The only plan is that the money will be repaid with interest.

Capitalism is about investing in a specific project with defined parameters and objectives and a game plan. The idea is that you make money by actually doing something.

Financism is, you get paid to make loans so you make loans, you don’t really know or care what it is for, but they have an AA credit rating, so what the hell.

Sharp thinking versus fuzzy thinking.

Even with all of the talk about a deal and a fix of the Greek debt situation, there is still no talk of actual economic ideas.

I take it that the idea is that the hidden hand of the market [the market as God?!] will somehow magically find a way to a solution, with no operating mind(s) guiding it.

I see the market forces as more analogous to a brainless ameoba swimming through a puddle.

The potential of an economic breakout could be in mining, it could be in something else. Mining is the most obvious. Getting some world class geologists to Greece to see what they can drum up would be a plan. They can’t run the entire Greek economy on tourism and that is going to be hit harder and harder as the worldwide right wing project of destroying the middle class progresses.

A bunch of numbers on paper isn’t a plan. It is at best an outline or an aspiration. The numbers have to arise from something in the real world that exists or they don’t mean anything.