Greece’s Aid Addiction by Dambisa Moyo NEW YORK – The ongoing Greek debt saga is tragic for many reasons, not least among them the fact that the country’s relationship with its creditors is reminiscent of that between the developing world and the aid industry. Indeed, the succession of bailouts for Greece embodies many of the same pathologies that for decades have pervaded the development agenda – including long-term political consequences that both the financial markets and the Greek people have thus far failed to grasp. As in the case of other aid programs, the equivalent of hundreds of billions of dollars has been transferred from richer economies to a much poorer one, with negative, if unintended, consequences. The rescue program designed to keep Greece from crashing out of the eurozone has raised the country’s debt-to-GDP ratio from 130% at the start of the crisis in 2009 to more than 170% today, with the International Monetary Fund predicting that the debt burden could reach 200% of GDP in the next two years.
Greece Should Not Give In to Germany’s Bullying Ever since the initial bargain in the 1950s between post-Nazi West Germany and its wartime victims, European integration has been built on compromise. So there is huge pressure on Greece’s new Syriza government to be “good Europeans” and compromise on their demands for debt justice from their European partners — also known as creditors. But sometimes compromise is the wrong course of action. Sometimes you need to take a stand.
Simon Johnson: Goldman Faces Special Audit and Possible Ban in E "The crash has laid bare many unpleasant truths about the United States. One of the most alarming, says a chief economist of the International Monetary Fund, is that the finance industry has effectively captured our government - a state of affairs that more typically describes emerging markets, and is at the center of many emerging-market crises. If the IMF's staff could speak freely about the U.S., it would tell us what it tells all countries in this situation; recovery will fail unless we break the financial oligarchy that is blocking essential reform." ~ The Atlantic Monthly, May 2009, by Simon Johnson Regular readers will be aware of our thesis that the American Wall Street banks have become dominated by a culture of compulsive sociopaths who are incapable of reforming or restraining their greed.
Beware PIIGS Default Fears Becoming a Self Fulfilling Prophecy & Over the past 24 hours, the European Commission added more pressure on Greece to rein in their deficit. Portugal reported weak demand for their bonds at a recent auction while Spain raised its budget deficit forecasts. Concern about PIIGS default is becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy by driving up credit default swap (CDS) rate spreads on PIIGS bonds. Credit default swaps, which measure the cost of insuring against a default of debt continued to rise with Portuguese CDS spreads hitting an all time high.
What is social media monitoring? This post is another piece in the series I am researching for the article I am writing about social media. This time I have turned my attention to listening, which I have called social media monitoring, but some call blog mining and others call social media research - I'd love to hear your name for it, along with any other comments you have on the post below. In the light of some of the emails I have received following some of the other articles I should stress that these posts are an attempt at reportage rather than polemics, they do not represent what I think should be the case, but what I think is currently the consensus amongst the cognoscenti. An early example of the power of social media monitoring was given in 2005 by the CREEN project [ the project monitored the output of 100 thousand blogs for over three years and recorded the dual instances of science related words with fear/anxiety related words. Commercial Social Media Monitoring Counts
Greece faces resistance to extra emergency funds for banks: sources A senior Greek banker told Reuters up to 500 million euros ($571 million) had been withdrawn from Greek bank accounts on both Thursday and Friday last week. There was a lull on Monday but deposit outflows picked up again on Tuesday after talks collapsed, the banker said. Capital controls? "The situation of the banks is getting more and more difficult every day," said a European official. "In the end, in order to safeguard the banking system, capital controls will probably have to be imposed." Thomas Piketty Interview About the European Financial Crisis SPIEGEL: You publicly rejoiced over Alexis Tsipras' election victory in Greece. What do you think the chances are that the European Union and Athens will agree on a path to resolve the crisis? Piketty: The way Europe behaved in the crisis was nothing short of disastrous. Five years ago, the United States and Europe had approximately the same unemployment rate and level of public debt. But now, five years later, it's a different story: Unemployment has exploded here in Europe, while it has declined in the United States.
Goldman Sachs: the Greek connection - Business News, Business - With European finance ministers meeting in Brussels today and tomorrow to discuss ways to prevent a debt crisis threatening the eurozone as a whole, a spotlight has been shone on techniques used by Greece and other indebted countries to give the appearance of lower budget deficits and debt levels. The euro membership rules place strict caps on the size of government deficits relative to a national economy, but Goldman Sachs and other banks helped Greece raise cash earlier in the decade in ways that did not appear in the official statistics. With the current recession causing even official budget deficits to balloon all across the continent, fears of further hidden liabilities have been contributing to the crisis of confidence in Greek debt and pulling down the value of the euro. Goldman Sachs has been the most important of more than a dozen banks used by the Greek government to manage its national debt using derivatives.
Spring 2010 – A new tipping point of the global systemic crisis: LEAP/E2020 believes that the global systemic crisis will experience a new tipping point from Spring 2010. Indeed, at that time, the public finances of the major Western countries are going to become unmanageable, as it will simultaneously become clear that new support measures for the economy are needed because of the failure of the various stimuli in 2009 (1), and that the size of budget deficits preclude any significant new expenditures. If this public deficit « slip knot » which governments gladly placed around their necks in 2009, refusing to make the financial system pay for mistakes (2) is going to weigh heavily on all public expenditure, it is going to particularly affect the social security systems of the rich countries in always impoverishing the middle classes and the retired, and setting the poorest adrift (3). The ten most vulnerable countries on a debt/GDP ratio (in blue; public debt; in orange: private debt) – Source: Crédit Suisse, 03/2009
How to Promote Your Business Blog with Social Media Follow these tips to harness the full promotional power of the social web. You may be writing a blog to boost your business's brand, but what if no one reads it? Building an audience from scratch for your blog doesn't always happen overnight. IMF Internal Meeting Predicts Greek 'Disaster', Threatens to Leave Troika (on 2nd April 2015) Read the PDF or HTML transcript of the IMF internal meeting. by Julian Assange Today, 2nd April 2016, WikiLeaks publishes the records of a 19 March 2016 teleconference between the top two IMF officials in charge of managing the Greek debt crisis - Poul Thomsen, the head of the IMF's European Department, and Delia Velkouleskou, the IMF Mission Chief for Greece. The IMF anticipates a possible Greek default co-inciding with the United Kingdom's referendum on whether it should leave the European Union ('Brexit'). "This is going to be a disaster" remarks Velkouleskou in the meeting.
Europe must save Greece to save itself Europe must save Greece. The consequences of keeping Greece within the eurozone will be bad, but those of its leaving would be worse. They would be not just economic, but human, geopolitical and historic. Europe would never be the same again. I was in Greece two weeks ago, and grasped this at every turn, from standing on the ancient Pnyx, the birthplace of democracy, through talking to business leaders, journalists and academics, many of who were witheringly critical of the current Syriza government. But since then I have been back in northern Europe, in England, Belgium and now Poland, and in the north I find not just relative indifference (Greece is more often the subject of jokes than of deep concern) but also two dangerous illusions.
Greek Hospital Workers Understand the Core of the Debt Problem Written by Mira Tekelova on . The debts are created by bankers who create money out of thin air and collect interest, just because our governments gave them the right to do so. The health workers who have occupied a hospital in Greece and placed it under workers control have issued following statement regarding the occupation:
800 years on sovereign debt History is indeed little more than the register of the crimes, follies, and misfortunes of mankind. – Edward Gibbon1 The economics profession has an unfortunate tendency to view recent experience in the narrow window provided by standard datasets. With a few notable exceptions, cross-country empirical studies of financial crises typically begin in 1980 and are limited in other important respects.2 Yet an event that is rare in a three-decade span may not be all that rare when placed in a broader context. In a recent paper co-authored with Kenneth Rogoff, we introduce a comprehensive new historical database for studying debt and banking crises, inflation, currency crashes and debasements.3 The database covers sixty-six countries across all regions.