Wednesday, July 1, 2015

David Glasner — Gold Standard or Gold-Exchange Standard: What’s the Difference?

Some Keynes quotes.

Uneasy Money
Gold Standard or Gold-Exchange Standard: What’s the Difference?
David Glasner | Economist at the Federal Trade Commission

Zero Hedge — "What If Berlin And Frankfurt Do Not Budge" - How Varoufakis Saw The "Worst Case Scenario"

Over a year ago, and long before he became the mascot for fraught negotiations between Greece and its creditors, Yanis Varoufakis penned a lengthy essay on what might happen should the Greek government decide to stand firm in the face of pressure from Brussels, Frankfurt, and Berlin....

Zero Hedge
"What If Berlin And Frankfurt Do Not Budge" - How Varoufakis Saw The "Worst Case Scenario"
ht Clonal

How Ecuador Transitioned From 20th Century Neoliberalism to 21st Century Socialism

This bait-and-switch was typical of Latin American heads of state during the Washington Consensus era: Neoliberal reforms were quite unpopular with the electorate, so campaigning against them was often a prerequisite to election. However, indebtedness to Western creditors, compounded by political pressure from Washington, left them with little choice but to create investment-friendly policies and to emphasize debt servicing over social service provision.
Ecuador was typical in this regard. Since the 1980s, the country had received dozens of loans from Washington-based international financial institutions - loans that included structural adjustment conditions, such as trade and financial liberalization, spending cuts and privatization of state-owned industries. Moreover, Ecuador relied on the United States for most of its foreign direct investment and depended on US-based importers to buy the bulk of its exports over this period. Indebtedness and economic dependency left Ecuador with little choice but to implement Washington Consensus-type domestic policies.
That Rafael Correa's presidential campaign in 2006 promised a shift away from the Washington Consensus should have surprised no one familiar with bait-and-switch politics in Latin America. The surprise was that he, unlike Bucaram and Gutiérrez, actually followed through on these promises. Much to the chagrin of Washington, the Correa administration has raised taxes, increased social service provision, brought regulatory reforms to the public and private sector and written off much of the country's external debt....
Truthout | Op-Ed
How Ecuador Transitioned From 20th Century Neoliberalism to 21st Century Socialism
Jonas Gamso | Ph.D. candidate at the University of Pittsburgh's Graduate School of Public and International Affairs

TeleSUR — Ecuador Denounces Plot Planning Coup d'Etat

Ecuador’s government denounced on Wednesday plans by the country’s right-wing opposition to overthrow the government during protests being held on Thursday. The plans included the blockade of the airports of Quito and Guayaquil, the bridges located on the Colombian (Rumichaca) and Peruvian (Huaquillas) borders, while enclosing the palace of government, said Minister of Interior Jose Serrano in a press conference in the capital. He added that opposition lawmakers Andrés Paéz and Lourdes Tibán coordinated a strategy with former colonel Mario Pazmiño to cause chaos during Thursday’s protests.... 
They also planned to publish two letters in national newspapers, El Universo and La Hora, and to organise letters against the government to be sent to the Pope Francis seeking to undermine his forthcoming visit. Serrano said the aim “if they were not able to seize power,” was that they “would have created national chaos for the Pope to cancel his visit (…) and maintain an indefinite protest.”....
A wave of opposition protests, initially calling for the ending of new tax laws on the wealthiest, have demanded the ousting of the Correa government with some protests turning violent.

See also
But who are behind these protests and what is their goal? The demonstrations were initially sparked by opposition activists against two proposed laws, one that would tax inheritances and another that would tax capital gains on illegitimate land speculation. As President Rafael Correa has explained, 90 percent of Ecuador's largest companies are held by two percent of the population, and usually ownership over these highly profitable corporations is inherited. Opposition lawmakers, media, activists and businessmen alike, repeatedly argue that both taxes will negatively affect the middle and working classes. Yet these new progressive taxes only hit the wealthiest hardest 2 percent of the population, with the bill proposing a 47.5 percent tax on inheritances from US$849,600 dollars up.... 
Whatever the initial justification, the demonstrations soon clearly began to call for the “ousting” of President Correa who they describe as a “dictator.” Protesters adopted a black flag, to symbolize their mourning over the supposed “death of democracy.” This has been the slogan of frustrated opposition groups for years now, emerging soon after President Correa took office in 2007 and throughout the nine electoral victories for Correa and his alliance of supporters.
Who's Behind Ecuador's Demonstrations?

Seth Ferris — India: The Revolution You Didn’t Hear About

The municipal elections in Delhi, capital of India, on February 7th raised interest in a few journals but not nearly as much as they should have done. There is a reason for this. Many countries are struggling to cope with non-traditional parties challenging the establishment and gaining popular support. What happened in India, one of the most important emerging powers, may have consequences neither governments nor compliant mainstream media anywhere wish to contemplate.... 
In India, one of the world’s new economic powerhouses, the voters of the nations capital’s put the Aam Admi Party (AAP), or “Common Man’s Party” into power. It wasn’t even close: the AAP won 67 out of the 70 seats, and unseated the local leaders of both the currently-ruling Janata Party, or BJP, and the traditionally ruling Congress Party, the CPI....
The AAP is advocating nothing new. It is seeking to introduce practices which are well established in the Western democracies India has always seen as models.
It wants an independent ombudsman who can impartially investigate complaints of government corruption and protect those who make them. It also wants to devolve power to local authorities and populations, change the law so that if the majority of voters choose the “None of the Above” option on the ballot paper no candidate is elected, and give citizens the right to recall their representatives, the process by which Arnold Schwarzenegger ended up as Governor of California....
New Eastern Outlook
Seth Ferris

Eric Draitser — The US-Russia Economic War Heats Up

As the US and Europe push forward with continued sanctions against Russia, an intriguing economic battle is taking shape, one which will have significant repercussions for years to come. While Washington and Brussels seek to divide Russia from Europe in order to maintain Western hegemony – blocking Eurasian integration by definition – Moscow is counteracting this strategy by leveraging its economic power in the form of energy exports and cooperation....
Pipelines: Nord Stream with Royal Dutch Shell and Altai with China, not to mention the New Silk Road that will link the Pacific with the Atlantic through Eurasia.

This is looking to become the Asian Century and there's not much the US can do to counteract it as the natural path for development at this point in time.

New Eastern Outlook
The US-Russia Economic War Heats Up
Eric Draitser

Heres an interesting video posted at Fort Russ with English subtitles.

Bill Mitchell — The concept of ‘one Europe’ under threat from austerity

Fouling the nest.

Bill Mitchell – billy blog
The concept of ‘one Europe’ under threat from austerityBill Mitchell | Professor in Economics and Director of the Centre of Full Employment and Equity (CofFEE), at University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia

Lawrence Mishel and Alyssa Davis — CEO Pay Has Grown 90 Times [997 %] Faster than Typical Worker Pay Since 1978

Today's blood boiler.
Over the last several decades, inflation-adjusted CEO compensation increased from $1.5 million in 1978 to $16.3 million in 2014, or 997 percent, a rise almost double stock market growth. Over the same time period, a typical worker’s wages grew very little: the annual compensation, adjusted for inflation, of the average private-sector production and nonsupervisory worker (comprising 82 percent of total payroll employment) rose from $48,000 in 1978 to just $53,200 in 2014, an increase of only 10.9 percent. Due to this unequal growth, average top CEOs now make over 300 times what typical workers earn....
Let's round that 997% to 1000%.


Economic Policy Institute
CEO Pay Has Grown 90 Times Faster than Typical Worker Pay Since 1978
Lawrence Mishel and Alyssa Davis

Michael Klare — Superpower in Distress

The problem, as many mainstream observers now acknowledge, is that such a strategy aimed at perpetuating U.S. global supremacy at all costs was always destined to result in what Yale historian Paul Kennedy, in his classic book The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers, unforgettably termed “imperial overstretch.” As he presciently wrote in that 1987 study, it would arise from a situation in which “the sum total of the United States’ global interests and obligations is… far larger than the country’s power to defend all of them simultaneously.”
Indeed, Washington finds itself in exactly that dilemma today. What’s curious, however, is just how quickly such overstretch engulfed a country that, barely a decade ago, was being hailed as the planet’s first “hyperpower,” a status even more exalted than superpower. But that was before George W.’s miscalculation in Iraq and other missteps left the U.S. to face a war-ravaged Middle East with an exhausted military and a depleted treasury. At the same time, major and regional powers like China, India, Russia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey have been building up their economic and military capabilities and, recognizing the weakness that accompanies imperial overstretch, are beginning to challenge U.S. dominance in many areas of the globe. The Obama administration has been trying, in one fashion or another, to respond in all of those areas -- among them Ukraine, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, and the South China Sea -- but without, it turns out, the capacity to prevail in any of them.

Nonetheless, despite a range of setbacks, no one in Washington’s power elite -- Senators Rand Paul and Bernie Sanders being the exceptions that prove the rule -- seems to have the slightest urge to abandon the role of sole superpower or even to back off it in any significant way. President Obama, who is clearly all too aware of the country’s strategic limitations, has been typical in his unwillingness to retreat from such a supremacist vision. “The United States is and remains the one indispensable nation,” he told graduating cadets at West Point in May 2014. “That has been true for the century past and it will be true for the century to come.”
How, then, to reconcile the reality of superpower overreach and decline with an unbending commitment to global supremacy?....
In this overheated environment, the 2016 presidential campaign is certain to be dominated by calls for increased military spending, a tougher stance toward Moscow and Beijing, and an expanded military presence in the Middle East. Whatever her personal views, Hillary Clinton, the presumed Democratic candidate, will be forced to demonstrate her backbone by embracing similar positions. In other words, whoever enters the Oval Office in January 2017 will be expected to wield a far bigger stick on a significantly less stable planet. As a result, despite the last decade and a half of interventionary disasters, we’re likely to see an even more interventionist foreign policy with an even greater impulse to use military force....
Back, then, to our original question: What is a declining superpower supposed to do in the face of this predicament?
Anywhere but in Washington, the obvious answer would for it to stop pretending to be what it’s not. The first step in any 12-step imperial-overstretch recovery program would involve accepting the fact that American power is limited and global rule an impossible fantasy. Accepted as well would have to be this obvious reality: like it or not, the U.S. shares the planet with a coterie of other major powers -- none as strong as we are, but none so weak as to be intimidated by the threat of U.S. military intervention. Having absorbed a more realistic assessment of American power, Washington would then have to focus on how exactly to cohabit with such powers -- Russia, China, and Iran among them -- and manage its differences with them without igniting yet more disastrous regional firestorms....
But that would assume acting rationally.
But for any of this to happen, American policymakers would first have to abandon the pretense that the United States remains the sole global superpower -- and that may be too bitter a pill for the present American psyche (and for the political aspirations of certain Republican candidates) to swallow. From such denialism, it’s already clear, will only come further ill-conceived military adventures abroad and, sooner or later, under far grimmer circumstances, an American reckoning with reality.
Tom Dispatch

Igor Korotchenko — Ukraine's alternative to Russian gas: wood

Today's laugh.

It's not so funny, however, when one realizes that this is what happens when civilization breaks down.

Fort Russ
Ukraine's alternative to Russian gas: wood
Igor Korotchenko
Translated from Russian by J.Hawk

Original — Ukraine's alternative to Russian gas: wood

Ben Ares — Russia’s state banks are rotten

Someone else who is clueless about banking. What is so difficult to understand about this that so many people even in banking and finance don't get it? Or are they just feigning ignorance. If they are, they are great actors and ought to be on stage.

Johnson's Russia List
Russia’s state banks are rotten
Ben Ares | Business News Europe

John Helmer — Walking On Water – Ousted From The Russian Senate, Leonid Lebedev Risks Sinking His Billion-Dollar Us Lawsuit, And More Besides

Keeping up with Russian oligarchs. Murky stuff.

Dances with Bears
John Helmer

Seumas Milne — Syriza can’t just cave in. Europe’s elites want regime change in Greece

Greece’s confrontation with the euro overlords will shape resistance to austerity – and the future of the whole European Union
It’s now clear that Germany and Europe’s powers that be don’t just want the Greek government to bend the knee. They want regime change. Not by military force, of course – this operation is being directed from Berlin and Brussels, rather than Washington.

But that the German chancellor Angela Merkel and the troika of Greece’s European and International Monetary Fund creditors are out to remove the elected government in Athens now seems beyond serious doubt. Everything they have done in recent weeks in relation to the leftist Syriza administraton, elected to turn the tide of austerity, appears designed to divide or discredit Alexis Tsipras’s government.

They were at it again today, when Tsipras offered what looked like almost complete acceptance of the austerity package he had called a referendum on this Sunday. There could be no talks, Merkel responded, until the ballot had taken place.

There’s no suggestion of genuine compromise. The aim is apparently to humiliate Tsipras and his government in preparation for its early replacement with a more pliable administration....
Class warfare.
Already the class nature of the divide between the wealthier yes and more working-class no camps is stark.

Michael Grunwald — Leaked: What’s in Obama’s trade deal

A recent draft of the Trans-Pacific Partnership free-trade deal would give U.S. pharmaceutical firms unprecedented protections against competition from cheaper generic drugs, possibly transcending the patent protections in U.S. law.
POLITICO has obtained a draft copy of TPP’s intellectual property chapter as it stood on May 11, at the start of the latest negotiating round in Guam. While U.S. trade officials would not confirm the authenticity of the document, they downplayed its importance, emphasizing that the terms of the deal are likely to change significantly as the talks enter their final stages. Those terms are still secret, but the public will get to see them once the twelve TPP nations reach a final agreement and President Obama seeks congressional approval.
Still, the draft chapter will provide ammunition for critics who have warned that TPP’s protections for pharmaceutical companies could dump trillions of dollars of additional health care costs on patients, businesses and governments around the Pacific Rim. The highly technical 90-page document, cluttered with objections from other TPP nations, shows that U.S. negotiators have fought aggressively and, at least until Guam, successfully on behalf of Big Pharma....
Some of the most contentious provisions involve “patent linkage,” which would prevent regulators in TPP nations from approving generic drugs whenever there are any unresolved patent issues. The TPP draft would make this linkage mandatory, which could help drug companies fend off generics just by claiming an infringement.
Like I've been saying, neoliberalism = thug rule. It has nothing to do with liberalizing markets but rather power. If there were still any doubt about the Obama Administration being corrupt, this puts it to rest.

The is also the antithesis of economic liberalism based on competitive markets.
In an April 15 letter to Froman, Heather Bresch, the CEO of the generic drug company Mylan, warned that mandatory patent linkage would be “a recipe for indefinite evergreening of pharmaceutical monopolies,”....

The critics say that extending linkage to biologics—which can have hundreds of patents—would help insulate them from competition forever.....
Competitive markets are supposed to favor consumers by establishing a fair price through price discovery.
...Malpani of Doctors Without Borders said U.S. negotiators have basically functioned as drug lobbyists. The TPP countries have 40 percent of global economic output, and the deal is widely seen as establishing new benchmarks for some of the most complex areas of global business. Malpani fears it could set a precedent that crushes the generic drug industry under a mountain of regulation and litigation.
“We consider this the worst-ever agreement in terms of access to medicine,” he said. “It would create higher drug prices around the world—and in the U.S., too.
"U.S. negotiators have basically functioned as ... lobbyists." That's their job. They are just doing what they are tasked to do by the administration. Look at who Obama appointed Commerce Secretary. Penny Pritzker was a major backer of Barack Obama in his political career.
In 1989, Ms. Pritzker's late uncle, Jay Pritzker, purchased a 50% stake in Hinsdale, Illinois-based Superior Bank of Chicago from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, which had taken over the bank when it failed.[13] Penny Pritzker was Superior's chairperson from 1991–1994. In 1993, the bank "embarked on a business strategy of significant growth into subprime home mortgages," according to a report by the United States Treasury Department.[13] In 2000, it became clear the bank was faltering. In the months leading up to 2001, the Pritzkers tried to work out a recapitalization plan.[13] In July 2001, FDIC seized the bank after the recapitalization could not be resolved.[14][15][16] Subsequently, the Pritzker family reached an agreement with regulators to pay $460 million.[13][17][18][19] — Wikipedia
Then there is US Trade Representative Michael Froman, a Rubin protege.
On May 2, 2013, Froman was nominated to serve as U.S. Trade Representative. Financial documents provided to the Senate Finance Committee showed he had nearly $500,000 in an offshore fund at Ugland House on the Cayman Islands, which Obama had once described as “the biggest tax scam in the world.” [12] In 2013 congressional testimony, Rep. Kevin Brady, Republican from Texas, criticized the EU low carbon fuel standard, where oil from tar-sands is classified by itself due to its higher carbon polluting impact compared to regular oil as a "discriminatory, environmentally unjustified" trade barrier, to which Froman responded, "I share your concerns," followed by a description of his work to "press the Commission to take the views of . . . U.S. refiners under consideration." Froman's role as in the drafting of classified trade deals (made public by WikiLeaks) is under scrutiny by lawyers and politicians alike.[13] The U.S. Senate confirmed Froman in a 93-4 vote on June 19, 2013.[14] One of the four dissenting senators was Massachusetts Democrat Elizabeth Warren, who faulted Froman for "refusing to commit to [...] standards of transparency in trade talks set by the George W. Bush administration".[13] — Wikipedia

Leaked: What’s in Obama’s trade deal
Michael Grunwald

Nice testimonial!

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard — Europe has suffered a reputational catastrophe in Greece

The eurozone has shown itself unable to manage its basic moral responsibilities....
It is an odd spectacle to watch a central bank with a treaty duty to uphold financial stability take the deliberate decision to precipitate the collapse of banks that it regulates. But the deeper point is that the insane construction of the euro - a naked currency union without fiscal and political foundations - must inevitably tend to authoritarian monetary dystopia in the end....
I'd say the "game theorist" is winning. He has managed to trash neoliberalism and the eurocrats to the degree that only fools and fellow kleptocrats would do business with them now.

The Telegraph
Europe has suffered a reputational catastrophe in Greece
Ambrose Evans-Pritchard

Sponsor needed for my show

I am looking for a new sponsor for my "Hard Assets Investor" show. Van Eck Global was the firm that had been sponsoring it for the past eight years, but they  just pulled out.

I can rename the show to reflect a new sponsor and also change the content/focus.

If anyone is interested in sponsoring the show please contact me at We have a prime studio arrangement with the New York Stock Exchage. I have plenty of ideas as to how we can make it a hot media property and incorporate lots of MMT!

New info on the euro, German auto sales, gives some new perspective

Just heard this on CNBC and then looked it up online.

MONTVALE, N.J., July 1, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Mercedes-Benz USA (MBUSA) today reported record June sales for the Mercedes-Benz brand at 28,044, climbing 5.8% from the 26,506 vehicles sold during the same month last year. Sprinter delivered a 10.9% increase in June to 2,442, combining with 774 units at smart for a monthly total of 31,260 for MBUSA. On a year-to-date basis, Mercedes-Benz retails totaled 164,970, up 8.8%. Adding sales volumes of 13,534 for Sprinter and 3,624 for smart, MBUSA achieved a record grand total of 182,128 units for the first six months of 2015. Read more.

Seems like Mercedes is having a booming year here in the U.S. That likely means no more price discounting for now. As a result I don't expect the euro to slide much further except of course, on a referendum-inspired panicky spike on Sunday-Monday (July 5-6) if the vote goes "NO."

Outside of that the euro is likely to continue range trading. You have to buy dips for now and sell near the upper end of the channel (1.13-1.15). Probably best to do nothing for now and wait until Sunday and the vote.

Dirk Ehnts — IMF: “Fiscal policies can help boost countries’ long-term growth prospects”

Now the IMF has published a timely IMF survey the stub of which reads:
Strong and Equitable Growth: Fiscal Policy Can Make a DifferenceJeff Danforth, Eva Jenkner, and Rossen RozenovIMF Fiscal Affairs Department
econoblog 101
IMF: “Fiscal policies can help boost countries’ long-term growth prospects”
Dirk Ehnts | Berlin School for Economics and Law

J. W. Mason — Senior German Official: No Deal as Long as Syriza “Communists” in Office

From The Times, via The Australian:
Under the rules of the European Stability Mechanism, the euro’s bailout fund, the German parliament, or Bundestag, has a veto or blocking vote over any new program....
The senior German conservative said that Angela Merkel’s ruling Christian Democrat Union (CDU) and its Bavarian allies the Christian Social Union (CSU) would block any request made while the pair, described as “communists”, remained in power.
J. W. Mason
Senior German Official: No Deal as Long as Syriza “Communists” in Office

Yanis Varoufakis — Why we recommend a NO in the referendum – in 6 short bullet points

  1. Negotiations have stalled because Greece’s creditors (a) refused to reduce our un-payable public debt and (b) insisted that it should be repaid ‘parametrically’ by the weakest members of our society, their children and their grandchildren
  2. The IMF, the United States’ government, many other governments around the globe, and most independent economists believe — along with us — that the debt must be restructured.
  3. The Eurogroup had previously (November 2012) conceded that the debt ought to be restructured but is refusing to commit to a debt restructure
  4. Since the announcement of the referendum, official Europe has sent signals that they are ready to discuss debt restructuring. These signals show that official Europe too would vote NO on its own ‘final’ offer.
  5. Greece will stay in the euro. Deposits in Greece’s banks are safe. Creditors have chosen the strategy of blackmail based on bank closures. The current impasse is due to this choice by the creditors and not by the Greek government discontinuing the negotiations or any Greek thoughts of Grexit and devaluation. Greece’s place in the Eurozone and in the European Union is non-negotiable.
  6. The future demands a proud Greece within the Eurozone and at the heart of Europe. This future demands that Greeks say a big NO on Sunday, that we stay in the Euro Area, and that, with the power vested upon us by that NO, we renegotiate Greece’s public debt as well as the distribution of burdens between the haves and the have nots.
Yanis Varoufakis
Why we recommend a NO in the referendum – in 6 short bullet points

Euro headed back down again after Monday's SNB-driven gains

Well, the euro is slinking back down again. At the moment it's given back more than 60% of Monday's Swiss National Bank driven gains. Talk in the market was that the SNB was buying euro and selling Swiss on Monday and that affected all Swiss franc and euro crosses.

As an aside just consider what a bunch of morons are over there at the SNB. They put on a peg, they take off the peg causing disaster for themselves and dealers and now they're back intervening again? Seriously? Guys and ladies...MAKE UP YOUR MINDS!

I've said it a zillion times: how do these people get these jobs?

Anyway, euro headed lower. Will be choppy all the way down, but eventually--maybe by September--we'll see parity (1:1) against the dollar and further down after that.

Europe's got problems. You don't need me to tell you that. The only way for Europe to stay solvent is for net exports to continue growing and with austerity in the U.S. and with Japan and China competing with Germany for the same export markets, you're going to see price cuts/lower  prices and that is a de-facto devaluation in the euro.


And...Tsipras caves again!!!

You knew it was going to happen. Tsipras caved again. He is ready to accept creditor terms with some minor changes. So why all the show? What was the need for a referendum? What was that all about? Are you fucking kidding me? What a useless little wimp like all leftists/liberals.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras will accept most of the bailout creditors’ conditions offered last weekend but is still insisting on a handful of changes that could thwart a deal, according to a letter he sent late on Tuesday night. Read more.

What is it with these leftist/liberals? Why do they all have no backbone? Where does their universal timidness and lack of courage come from? I am not a psychologist nor a sociologist, but it's really strange indeed. There is not a single leftist/liberal around with any balls. They are the ones who are solely responsible for the relentless neoliberal onslaught on the rest of humanity.

They suck. They're a cancer.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Yanis Varoufakis — Greek default does not equal Greek exit

Yanis speaks (20 February 2012).
To conclude, Europe’s optimal strategy is to let Greece default, to allow the Greek government to find ways to live within its tax take for the next year or so and, at the same time, work out the overall solution to the euro crisis that was promised last year and never delivered. A Greek default will provide the clarity and the time-space to do this properly. The other two alternatives (more bailouts or a Greek exit) constitute cruel, unnecessary and unusual punishment. For the whole of Europe.
It's what he is still saying.

ht Clonal

Interview: Greek Bailout Saved Bankers, But Punished the People — TeleSUR interviews Turkish economist Ozlem Onaran

As Greece prepares for a referendum on further austerity proposals, teleSUR explores the legitimacy of the Greek debt.
Interview: Greek Bailout Saved Bankers, But Punished the People
TeleSUR interviews Turkish economist Ozlem Onaran

Barkley Rosser — Who Are The Very Serious People (Greece Edition)?

Barkley Rosser smacks down Tyler Cowen and Fred Hiatt.

Who Are The Very Serious People (Greece Edition)?
J. Barkley Rosser | Professor of Economics at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia

Dylan Matthews — "For Germans, economics is still part of moral philosophy": why Germany won't help Greece

Meet ordoliberalism. Neoliberalism is amoral, but ordoliberalism is stringently moral. It's perhaps no coincidence that the German Schuld means both debt and guilt, and therefore sin. "Ordoliberalism" also indicates the German fixation on order and orderliness (rectitude). Were Americans would say, Everything is OK, Germans say, Alles ist in Ordnung.

This means it is going to be very difficult to get a workable deal with respect to Greek unsustainable debt that German politicians can stomach themselves and also sell to their constituency, since the only way to deal with debt that is not payable is to write at least some of it down. This is an underlying reason for the seemingly unreasonable demand for a level of austerity that makes debt repayment unsustainable for the Greek economy.

"For Germans, economics is still part of moral philosophy": why Germany won't help Greece
Dylan Matthews

teleSUR Military-Style Tactics Used Against Ferguson Protests, Report

More US soft power down the drain, as if there were any left in Latin America.
The police deliberately denied Ferguson protesters the right to free speech using military-style tactics of crowd control last summer, the U.S. Justice Department says.
Military-Style Tactics Used Against Ferguson Protests, Report

Alberto Nardelli — IMF: austerity measures would still leave Greece with unsustainable debt

Secret documents show creditors’ baseline estimate puts debt at 118% of GDP in 2030, even if it signs up to all tax and spending reforms demanded by troika
The Guardian
IMF: austerity measures would still leave Greece with unsustainable debt
Alberto Nardelli
ht Clonal

ekthimerini — Turkey says 'ready to help' Greece out of economic crisis Reuters

Turkey on Tuesday said it was "ready to help" Greece out of its escalating financial crisis as its embattled neighbor edged closer to default.
"We are ready to help Greece survive its economic crisis with cooperation in tourism, energy, trade," Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said in the capital, Ankara.
"We want Greece to be strong...
Therefore Turkey will be positive toward any proposal for cooperation," he said in televised comments.
Davutoglu added that a Turkish delegation would travel to Greece for a high-level cooperation meeting as soon as possible to consider joint steps on the financial crisis....