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wonderpup

Empire Of Fear.

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I think the thing that's been nagging at me watching the current Greek crisis unfold is the utter helplessness of the Greeks in the face of the ECB- this unelected quango has the power to hold a supposedly' sovereign' state to ransom- it can if it chooses destroy their economy and their society by manipulating it's parameters in ways that are supposedly driven by apolitical rules but in reality those 'rules' seem to mutate in conformity with the needs and desires of powerful forces inside the EU. (Read Germany)

Ok, it's fair to say that this helplessness on the part of the Greeks is in some sense their own doing- their debt situation is the reason they are in this mess. But leaving to one side the various reasons why that debt was created and in whose interest it was created one feature of this situation is now starkly manifest, and it's this;

Should any state in the Euro area find itself in need of Central Bank support for any reason that State has lost it's sovereignty- it has become a vassal state of the ECB and by implication the powers that manipulate that institution.

And those powers have a remedy for the siutation in which such vassel states find themselves- it's called an 'Austerity Programme'.

So the lesson that the debt laden states of southern Europe must take from the ongoing spectacle of Greece twisting in the wind is- be afraid, be very afraid.

What the EU has become is an empire of fear- with the ECB at it's dark heart- unaccountable, implacable and driven by an ideology that is so messianic that even as Greece plunged into the vortex of an inescapable debt deflation spiral the masters of the ECB called for more of the 'programme' that was dragging it down.

The EU's 'lender of last resort' is a political tool of the German state- it's faithful henchman ready at all times to apply pain if needs be to those foolish enough to have traded their sovereign currencies for empty promises of greater union in a free and fair Europe.

If they can the ECB/Germany will destroy the Greeks- because all imperial powers recognize the value of deterrence and fear in the management of their conquered territories.

This insight is- I think- just beginning to take root in the hinterlands of minds in Portugal, Spain, Italy and France- one can perhaps detect a subtle recoil in the ambivalence of Hollande to the immolation of the Greeks.

Was this punitive beast what they meant to give birth to when they signed that treaty in Maastricht in 1992?

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How could it be any other way?

It's like a tough parent, you need rules. Sometimes a child will get a severe punishment but it has it's purpose. The other children learn the boundaries and don't ever dare to transgress.

Unfortunately the Greeks are the unruly child. Will they take their punishment? No, It doesn't look like it. (good for them!)

Was the EU sold like this? No. Has it got to be this way? Yes.

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How could it be any other way?

It's like a tough parent, you need rules. Sometimes a child will get a severe punishment but it has it's purpose. The other children learn the boundaries and don't ever dare to transgress.

Unfortunately the Greeks are the unruly child. Will they take their punishment? No, It doesn't look like it. (good for them!)

Was the EU sold like this? No. Has it got to be this way? Yes.

The EU was born out of the group of nations states. The EU is the unruly child that needs punishing.

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So what is the ECB meant to do? Unlimited credit for any Greek bank? How do I set up my own Greek bank? I have always fancied having "unlimited credit on all the banks in Europe".

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well the greek have voted to have their cake and eat it too... If economic prosperity can be assured by the pure act of voting why shouldn't we all do it ... Lets all retire at 55 , evade taxes and get someone else to pick up the tab for what we 'deserve'.. Surely its always the bankers fault for lending me too much .. I have no responsibility for what I borrow because I am but a naive child..

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The end game if it plays out as previously will be more random "negotiations" with pointless statements to the press so the stock market doesn't crash. A month or so down the line the USA will step in and tell Germany and France it must support Greece to stop a NATO country taking any help from Russia or China. That would be the only reason to bailout Greece.

For my two pence worth, Greece should immediately come out of the Euro, print its own currency with a haircut off the Euro say 30-40% lower. This would be easy to do for electronic payments and bank accounts. Currency would take longer but the Euro exchange rate would be set. Let the politicians spend time worrying about how Greece actually formally leaves the EU - (since the law provides no such avenue all member states would have to vote on it - a nice 36 mth cushion on anything actually happening. In this time, markets in Greece will boom as investment sees the bottom of the market and launches businesses, tourism will boom and the Greek people will start to do better a la Iceland. So they won't be able to borrow on the money markets - so what, they can just print money as they have a central bank again. The money markets will decide on a new rate for the Drachma pretty fast and they can grandfather most of the EU laws over to Greece just like Switzerland likes to do.

Greece if you're listening - get out of the EU, it was built to allow Germany to lend you money and get you in debt so you can buy German goods. Read Margret Thatcher's autobiography - she saw it all coming in the early 90s - Germany refusing to allow inflation because of their previous experiences in the 30s, and poor southern states getting in trouble with debt due to inefficient economies (I,e its warm so people enjoy their lives more and don't work in a cube their whole lives)

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The end game if it plays out as previously will be more random "negotiations" with pointless statements to the press so the stock market doesn't crash. A month or so down the line the USA will step in and tell Germany and France it must support Greece to stop a NATO country taking any help from Russia or China. That would be the only reason to bailout Greece.

For my two pence worth, Greece should immediately come out of the Euro, print its own currency with a haircut off the Euro say 30-40% lower. This would be easy to do for electronic payments and bank accounts. Currency would take longer but the Euro exchange rate would be set. Let the politicians spend time worrying about how Greece actually formally leaves the EU - (since the law provides no such avenue all member states would have to vote on it - a nice 36 mth cushion on anything actually happening. In this time, markets in Greece will boom as investment sees the bottom of the market and launches businesses, tourism will boom and the Greek people will start to do better a la Iceland. So they won't be able to borrow on the money markets - so what, they can just print money as they have a central bank again. The money markets will decide on a new rate for the Drachma pretty fast and they can grandfather most of the EU laws over to Greece just like Switzerland likes to do.

Greece if you're listening - get out of the EU, it was built to allow Germany to lend you money and get you in debt so you can buy German goods. Read Margret Thatcher's autobiography - she saw it all coming in the early 90s - Germany refusing to allow inflation because of their previous experiences in the 30s, and poor southern states getting in trouble with debt due to inefficient economies (I,e its warm so people enjoy their lives more and don't work in a cube their whole lives)

Good analysis. What you describe is a nightmare scenario for EU-philes leading up to a UK referendum, because they don't want people to see a country leaving the EU and then having a boom. They have to maintain the idea that leaving the EU will cast them out into utter darkness.

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Good analysis. What you describe is a nightmare scenario for EU-philes leading up to a UK referendum, because they don't want people to see a country leaving the EU and then having a boom. They have to maintain the idea that leaving the EU will cast them out into utter darkness.

This is an interesting point.

It sounds a bit like Iceland, who we never hear anything about yet they refused to pay their creditors and are going from strength to strength.

That is not the kind of success story you really want getting out. Especially if you are broadly a creditor nation..

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This is an interesting point.

It sounds a bit like Iceland, who we never hear anything about yet they refused to pay their creditors and are going from strength to strength.

That is not the kind of success story you really want getting out. Especially if you are broadly a creditor nation..

Iceland refused to bail out its banks. That's not quite the same thing.

They did get support and big loans from the IMF and are repaying them ahead of schedule.

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I think the thing that's been nagging at me watching the current Greek crisis unfold is the utter helplessness of the Greeks in the face of the ECB- this unelected quango has the power to hold a supposedly' sovereign' state to ransom- it can if it chooses destroy their economy and their society by manipulating it's parameters in ways that are supposedly driven by apolitical rules but in reality those 'rules' seem to mutate in conformity with the needs and desires of powerful forces inside the EU. (Read Germany)

Ok, it's fair to say that this helplessness on the part of the Greeks is in some sense their own doing- their debt situation is the reason they are in this mess. But leaving to one side the various reasons why that debt was created and in whose interest it was created one feature of this situation is now starkly manifest, and it's this;

Should any state in the Euro area find itself in need of Central Bank support for any reason that State has lost it's sovereignty- it has become a vassal state of the ECB and by implication the powers that manipulate that institution.

And those powers have a remedy for the siutation in which such vassel states find themselves- it's called an 'Austerity Programme'.

So the lesson that the debt laden states of southern Europe must take from the ongoing spectacle of Greece twisting in the wind is- be afraid, be very afraid.

What the EU has become is an empire of fear- with the ECB at it's dark heart- unaccountable, implacable and driven by an ideology that is so messianic that even as Greece plunged into the vortex of an inescapable debt deflation spiral the masters of the ECB called for more of the 'programme' that was dragging it down.

The EU's 'lender of last resort' is a political tool of the German state- it's faithful henchman ready at all times to apply pain if needs be to those foolish enough to have traded their sovereign currencies for empty promises of greater union in a free and fair Europe.

If they can the ECB/Germany will destroy the Greeks- because all imperial powers recognize the value of deterrence and fear in the management of their conquered territories.

This insight is- I think- just beginning to take root in the hinterlands of minds in Portugal, Spain, Italy and France- one can perhaps detect a subtle recoil in the ambivalence of Hollande to the immolation of the Greeks.

Was this punitive beast what they meant to give birth to when they signed that treaty in Maastricht in 1992?

The clue is in the name. European Union. Which means you are supposed to give up sovereignty and form part of the collective.

If you don't want to do this, then probably best not to join in the first place, because that is where the EU is supposed to be heading.

Seems to me like a lot of countries want the benefits of being in the EU, but none of the drawbacks.

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So what is the ECB meant to do? Unlimited credit for any Greek bank? How do I set up my own Greek bank? I have always fancied having "unlimited credit on all the banks in Europe".

Well thats the issue isnt it. National banks in a supra-national currency zone.

One currency but with no burden sharing.

germany MUST support weaker nations within the EZ else get out. It cannot work in any other way.

ECB is a side issue. ECB will only do what germany permits politically & germany has taken the wrong course with greece.

Merkel either gets a grip, sacks Schauble & his gang and rises above the domestic politics of germany or else she ends this entire "project". She (& germany) must decide. Are they a selfish mercantilist nation state or the lead nation in a democratic united Europe where the strong help the weak & share their overall prosperity.

It is germany (the wealthy creditor & dominant state) that needs to grow up. So far she has not demonstrated her willinness or ability to do so.

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Iceland refused to bail out its banks. That's not quite the same thing.

They did get support and big loans from the IMF and are repaying them ahead of schedule.

I stand corrected.. For some reason I thought they'd also written off their public debts at the same time.

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The clue is in the name. European Union. Which means you are supposed to give up sovereignty and form part of the collective.

If you don't want to do this, then probably best not to join in the first place, because that is where the EU is supposed to be heading.

Seems to me like a lot of countries want the benefits of being in the EU, but none of the drawbacks.

That may be the case with recent additions to the EU such as the former soviet satellite states.

However, countries such as the UK joined what they thought was a trading agreement, transferring trading priorities from the Commonwealth to continental Europe. All the movement towards a United States of Europe was done incrementally, with each step (Maastricht, Lisbon etc) being sold to the British people as being nothing to worry about, just a fine tuning, etc.

Some people did try to warn about this (I think Norris McWhirter tried to sue the British government for treason because he said the common market over-ruled British sovereignty) but were dismissed as nutters, racists etc.

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Well thats the issue isnt it. National banks in a supra-national currency zone.

One currency but with no burden sharing.

germany MUST support weaker nations within the EZ else get out. It cannot work in any other way.

ECB is a side issue. ECB will only do what germany permits politically & germany has taken the wrong course with greece.

Merkel either gets a grip, sacks Schauble & his gang and rises above the domestic politics of germany or else she ends this entire "project". She (& germany) must decide. Are they a selfish mercantilist nation state or the lead nation in a democratic united Europe where the strong help the weak & share their overall prosperity.

It is germany (the wealthy creditor & dominant state) that needs to grow up. So far she has not demonstrated her willinness or ability to do so.

The problem with your polemic is that Greece is not simply a weaker nation that is struggling to compete, but a misgoverned basket-case that refuses to reform.

They shouldn't have been allowed into the first wave of Euro entrants in the first place, but given that they are the onus is on the Greeks to either catch up with the rest structurally, or get out and create a new Drachma.

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That may be the case with recent additions to the EU such as the former soviet satellite states.

However, countries such as the UK joined what they thought was a trading agreement, transferring trading priorities from the Commonwealth to continental Europe. All the movement towards a United States of Europe was done incrementally, with each step (Maastricht, Lisbon etc) being sold to the British people as being nothing to worry about, just a fine tuning, etc.

Some people did try to warn about this (I think Norris McWhirter tried to sue the British government for treason because he said the common market over-ruled British sovereignty) but were dismissed as nutters, racists etc.

If British politicians misrepresented things they should be held accountable, but there was never any secret about the nature of the European project.

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What a complete load of inane drivel.

The lazy Greeks lied and fiddled the figures with nasty Goldman Sachs to get in the Eurozone. As well as having very generous over- bloated public sector which the Greek has refused to seriously slash, the Greeks avoid paying taxes and their rich buy up v expensive real estate in London and other cities including Germany where the money come from German workers tax.

As to cap it the whingeing parasites received hundred of billions in handouts to support their socialist sloth ideal

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Iceland refused to bail out its banks. That's not quite the same thing.

They did get support and big loans from the IMF and are repaying them ahead of schedule.

What you say is true - but in the West the Bank private debts became "unsustainable" public debts. How many of Greece's banks should just call it a day and refuse to pay back their creditors. This will restart the capitalist economy - perhaps a debt for equity swap can have creditors owning the banks in exchange for debt clear outs. Then German banks can have the pleasure of lending "efficiently" into the Greek markets...bet that will go well.

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What a complete load of inane drivel.

The lazy Greeks lied and fiddled the figures with nasty Goldman Sachs to get in the Eurozone. As well as having very generous over- bloated public sector which the Greek has refused to seriously slash, the Greeks avoid paying taxes and their rich buy up v expensive real estate in London and other cities including Germany where the money come from German workers tax.

As to cap it the whingeing parasites received hundred of billions in handouts to support their socialist sloth ideal

Agree but I suspect you are slightly biased with a user name like that :)

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What a complete load of inane drivel.

The lazy Greeks lied and fiddled the figures with nasty Goldman Sachs to get in the Eurozone. As well as having very generous over- bloated public sector which the Greek has refused to seriously slash, the Greeks avoid paying taxes and their rich buy up v expensive real estate in London and other cities including Germany where the money come from German workers tax.

As to cap it the whingeing parasites received hundred of billions in handouts to support their socialist sloth ideal

I think you may have entirely missed the point I was making, which had nothing to do with the 'lazy' Greeks at all.

My point was that national sovereignty and the ECB are mutually exclusive concepts- no state that does not have the ability to create it's own currency can be accurately described as a sovereign state.

What this crisis has laid bare is the reality that the member states of the Eurozone have entrapped themselves inside an incomplete and potentially disastrous hybrid system that is composed of a Central Bank that must also act as an 'enforcer' of politically determined standards of solvency. For all it's talk of being a politically neutral entity the moment the ECB acts in any way to constrain the liquidity of any member state's banking system it has committed a profoundly political act.

Thus we observe the absurd spectacle of an institution pledged to maintain banking stability engaging in actions that produce the precise opposite effect. So whatever the ECB may be it is not merely or even primarily a central bank. It's role is better understood as an enforcement agency whose ultimate aims and objectives are fashioned to suit the preferences and ideological bias of those to whom it owes it's loyalty- and in the current crisis who does that appear to be?

The very fact that Greece's banking system could go bust inside a monetary union is an absurdity- albeit one that hitherto was not much considered.

The lesson for any state in the Eurozone is very clear- should they ever find themselves in need of central bank support they will be in danger of becoming what Greece is today- a vassel state of the ECB and by extension the Germans who are the most influential state in the EZ.

None of this is new, of course, but there is a differece between a theoretical knowledge of a thing and a direct visceral experiance of that thing. What Greece has provided to the rest is a close up and personal view of how they might come to be treated by the ECB/German axis should they ever stumble.

I doubt this lesson will be easily forgotten.

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The end game if it plays out as previously will be more random "negotiations" with pointless statements to the press so the stock market doesn't crash. A month or so down the line the USA will step in and tell Germany and France it must support Greece to stop a NATO country taking any help from Russia or China. That would be the only reason to bailout Greece.

For my two pence worth, Greece should immediately come out of the Euro, print its own currency with a haircut off the Euro say 30-40% lower. This would be easy to do for electronic payments and bank accounts. Currency would take longer but the Euro exchange rate would be set. Let the politicians spend time worrying about how Greece actually formally leaves the EU - (since the law provides no such avenue all member states would have to vote on it - a nice 36 mth cushion on anything actually happening. In this time, markets in Greece will boom as investment sees the bottom of the market and launches businesses, tourism will boom and the Greek people will start to do better a la Iceland. So they won't be able to borrow on the money markets - so what, they can just print money as they have a central bank again. The money markets will decide on a new rate for the Drachma pretty fast and they can grandfather most of the EU laws over to Greece just like Switzerland likes to do.

Greece if you're listening - get out of the EU, it was built to allow Germany to lend you money and get you in debt so you can buy German goods. Read Margret Thatcher's autobiography - she saw it all coming in the early 90s - Germany refusing to allow inflation because of their previous experiences in the 30s, and poor southern states getting in trouble with debt due to inefficient economies (I,e its warm so people enjoy their lives more and don't work in a cube their whole lives)

Ironically the Lisbon Treaty that some people rant and rave about (typically those who want to leave the EU) actually provides (for the first time) the mechanism to leave the EU.

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One key issue I perceive here that has not been discussed at all is the obvious intergenerational issue within greece. The pensioners and well off greeks who have done well out of the undoubted greek mismanagement of their own economy would do well to stay in the Euro. Presumably that's the 38% who voted yes.

The poor (including the old without access to public sector pensions) , the young and those who are simply ideologically opposed to the system make up the 62%.

Similar statistics will be visiting many developed countries in the coming decades.

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Ironically the Lisbon Treaty that some people rant and rave about (typically those who want to leave the EU) actually provides (for the first time) the mechanism to leave the EU.

You're right! But its still a kerfuffle that's going to take a long time - especially the voting in the parliament, endless debates and finally a qualified majority vote.

Procedure[edit] 38px-Wikisource-logo.svg.pngWikisource has original text related to this article:

The Treaty of Lisbon introduced an exit clause for members who wish to withdraw from the Union. Under TEU Article 50, a Member State would notify the European Council of its intention to secede from the Union and a withdrawal agreement would be negotiated between the Union and that State. The Treaties would cease to be applicable to that State from the date of the agreement or, failing that, within two years of the notification unless the State and the Council both agree to extend this period. The agreement is concluded on behalf of the Union by the Council and shall set out the arrangements for withdrawal, including a framework for the State's future relationship with the Union. The agreement is to be approved by the Council, acting by qualified majority, after obtaining the consent of the European Parliament. A former Member State seeking to rejoin the European Union would be subject to the same conditions as any other applicant country.[citation needed]

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One key issue I perceive here that has not been discussed at all is the obvious intergenerational issue within greece. The pensioners and well off greeks who have done well out of the undoubted greek mismanagement of their own economy would do well to stay in the Euro. Presumably that's the 38% who voted yes.

The poor (including the old without access to public sector pensions) , the young and those who are simply ideologically opposed to the system make up the 62%.

Similar statistics will be visiting many developed countries in the coming decades.

sort of like, two wolves and a sheep voting on whats for dinner?

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Well, I for one have mentioned it as have others.

So, yes, actually we get to the heart of the matter as far as I am concerned.

Now, sovereign debt is essentially levied on the populace of the sovereign country that borrowed the money. That's well understood. But wait, we have the concept of "citizens of Europe" and freedom of movement. So, a contradiction in terms, as member states can borrow asunder, but the population on which they secure the debt (through taxes) are mobile and guaranteed mobility - in this case by the creditor institutions! Amazing!

Like hotairmail, I also saw this coming and emigrated some 24 years ago as debt began to pile up and the UK mortgaged its future. I have no doubt that this will be the story of the young of Europe for the next few decades.

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