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  • Will Greece be in or out? [View news story]
    Greece is already in "huge trouble that will last decades". And its problem is an uncooperative central bank and misguided austerity programs which have contracted GDP to untenable levels. Greece is already living the reality of Grexit every day.
    Jul 8, 2015. 07:58 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Will Greece be in or out? [View news story]
    Here is the text of Tsipras speech, from Reuters

    "I find myself here only a few days after the resounding verdict of the Greek people, after a decision we took to give the floor directly, to ask the Greek people directly, for the their views and be an active part of the negotiations affecting their own future. A few days after these negotiations we've now been given a mandate to redouble our efforts to get a socially just and economically sustainable solution to the Greek problem, without repeating the mistakes of the past which condemn the Greek economy to a period of never-ending impasse of austerity which trapped our economy in a recessionary vicious circle.

    Let me assure the house that, quite apart from the crisis, we will continue with our reform undertakings. Let's not forget that for the past five years the Greek people have made a tremendous effort for adjustment but this has exhausted the resilience and the patience of the Greek people.

    We demand an agreement with our neighbors but one which gives us a sign that we are on a long-lasting basis exiting from the crisis, which will demonstrate that there's light at the end of the tunnel.

    The proposals we have made to our partners are credible reforms with an acceptable degree of burden sharing without recessionary effects. We need to ensure the medium term funding of our country with a development and growth program because otherwise we won't exit from this crisis. Our prime objective must be to combat unemployment and to encourage entrepreneurship.

    I am not one of those politicians who claim that those responsible for the woes of Greece have been wicked foreigners. Greece has got to the verge of bankruptcy because for many many years, the governments of Greece have been creating a clientelist governments, they have strengthened the hands of corruption, they have created and nurtured a nexus between political and economic power.

    They have allowed tax evasion to run riot and it's not right. In accordance with a survey by Credit Suisse, 10 percent of Greeks currently have 56 percent of the national wealth and 10 percent in a time of austerity, they have not shared the pressure.

    This is a major injustice and the programs, the bailout programs have not made things better. They were supposed to bring about reforms but those reforms have not made things better, on the contrary they have made things worse. We were supposed to bring about reforms but those reforms have not, and too, the tax collection mechanisms which collapsed under the excessive zeal of enlightened terrified national officials.

    None of the reforms have helped when it comes to the nexus between the political establishments, the oligarchs and the banks in that three-sided ring. None of the reforms have improved the functioning, the efficiency of the mechanisms of the state which have now become inured to working in the selfish interests, the vested interests rather than the common good.

    European history is a history of conflict but conflict leading to compromise, it's also a history of convergence and enlargements, it is a history of unity and not divisions, and this is why we talk about a united Europe and let us not allow it to become a divided Europe.

    At this time, we are called upon to produce a productive and fair compromise which will avoid a break-off in negotiations and this is in line with the traditions of European Union."
    Jul 8, 2015. 07:53 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Merkel: Greece needs to do more; summit on Sunday [View news story]
    "so the Greeks can retire at 50 "

    Pension reform is not only on the table it is all over the table....
    Jul 8, 2015. 07:49 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Shock expressed as Greece has no new plan [View news story]
    Debt restructuring in order to participate in Euro QE, lower rates and a reprofiling of the way the debt is held.

    Higher government spending as pro-growth measures to create the vehicles necessary to create growth in conjunction with higher taxes, new taxes, pension reform, creation of an independent tax authority....

    Shrinking GDP based on the failed misguided austerity programs.
    Jul 8, 2015. 07:48 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Shock expressed as Greece has no new plan [View news story]
    They have demanded duration extensions and a reprofiling of debt in conjunction with growth oriented policies.

    The intransigence is entirely over growth versus austerity.
    Jul 8, 2015. 07:45 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Shock expressed as Greece has no new plan [View news story]
    Syriza's original plan never intended for Greece to recieve "one additional dime".

    The failure of the Eurogroup, once again, to get out in front of this is what has created the current drama, which will inevitably end in more debt somewhere.
    Jul 8, 2015. 07:43 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Merkel: Greece needs to do more; summit on Sunday [View news story]
    "I'm not considering Eastern Roman Empire (Byzantine Empire) as really greek, "

    Fantastic! Well, that makes one of you with that position!
    Jul 7, 2015. 11:36 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Shock expressed as Greece has no new plan [View news story]
    Here we go again...

    "It's obviously easy for a demagogue to call a national referendum to repudiate debt after the fact. Are the Greeks now smart enough from 5 years of groveling to reject ever being sent there again by future promises of the good life on easy money?"

    The referendum was called on a bailout extension austerity plan that the PM believed was outside his mandate to sign. It was a referendum on more austerity versus further attempts to move towards growth oriented policy and away from 5 years of crippling austerity that have made Greece debt-GDP worse, created an unemployment nightmare with no visible exit, and its ability to pay more distant.

    The Syriza administration never promised "the good life" anywhere, I'd love to see links to that. The Syriza admin took over and initially promised to make creditors whole provided it could take on a growth oriented agenda and take advantage of the output gap in the economy. Debt restructuring has only come up recently as things have continued to deteriorate. Do try to keep up.
    Jul 7, 2015. 11:33 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Merkel: Greece needs to do more; summit on Sunday [View news story]
    Hi justaminute:

    From wikipedia, for your reference:

    "The eurozone, officially called the euro area, is a monetary union of 19 of the 28 European Union (EU) member states which have adopted the euro (€) as their common currency and sole legal tender. The other 9 members of the European Union continue to use their own national currencies...

    The ECB, which is governed by a president and a board of the heads of national central banks, sets the monetary policy of the zone. The principal task of the ECB is to keep inflation under control. Though there is no common representation, governance or fiscal policy for the currency union, some co-operation does take place through the Eurogroup, which makes political decisions regarding the eurozone and the euro. The Eurogroup is composed of the finance ministers of eurozone states, but in emergencies, national leaders also form the Eurogroup."

    And, "at the end of the day" as you say, your notion of Greece is a rewriting of history. Before the international financial crisis of '08-09, Greece wasn't in any trouble. You can brush up here:

    And I will quote some of it:

    "Greece’s troubles really began when its bond yields began to diverge from the rest of Europe back in early 2009...

    With hindsight one can postulate — and we have done so before — the series of events that led to an unsustainable Greek bond-yield divergence started when the ECB announced its one-year LTRO on June 24, 2009, pumping €442bn of one-year liquidity into the eurozone. How was this related to Greece? Back then all eurozone bonds were considered equal and yet, because liquidity traders always look to deliver the cheapest collateral first, the go-to bond for accessing LTRO liquidity collateral became the Greek bond...

    And so it was that by 2010 Greek sovereign capital costs began to delink from those of the rest of the eurozone in a way that made Greek servicing of the debt impossible"

    And so there you have it, a central bank that's political, that has intentionally sought the failure and attempted an effective coup d'etat (regime change, explicitly admitted to) on a member state who has a different political position than itself, combined with that nation state's inability to control its capital costs by an uncooperative central bank, leading to a debt crisis that was turned into a bailout by Eurogroup states to ringfence their own banks, which turned into a restructure in 2012 to make debt sustainable... which... on and on...

    Anyway there's plenty more there, feel free to educate yourself, I sure enjoyed that article!
    Jul 7, 2015. 11:16 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Merkel: Greece needs to do more; summit on Sunday [View news story]
    "long term decline as a nation -culturally and in all other respects- for 2000 years."

    They don't teach history in your neck of the woods?
    Jul 7, 2015. 10:50 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Merkel: Greece needs to do more; summit on Sunday [View news story]
    Here is part of an answer:

    The ECB is the Central Bank for the nations in the Eurozone. Think about what a *national* central bank does, and what it is meant to do; but more interestingly, consider that fundamentally a central bank has the interests of its Nation-state first and foremost.

    Now look at the ECB. It has taken the position that it does not have to be the lender of last resort for Greece, which is a position no central bank does for its nation state. It arbitrarily chose to stop accepting Greek collateral in February based on tenuous reasoning and effectively, based on the Greek people choosing a government of a stripe with which the ECB had differences of political opinion. It stopped extending ELA before Greece became insolvent disregarding its own rules.

    Would - or rather, *could* a central bank in a typical nation state structure act in this way? The answer is no, and the reason is because it would be fundamentally at odds with what the central banks role and organization is.

    With the ECB acting in the manner it is vis a vis the Greeks, it makes itself unattractive to other potential candidate states to enter the EZ: it makes decisions about the democratically elected leadership of member states, and it doesn't act as lender of last resort to nations encountering financial stress. It is currently following a single policy line, and it happens to be a policy line that isn't going to work out very well for pretty much any country that isn't Germany.

    So, to answer "why" are the other Eurogroup nations trying to "save" Greece, the answer is: to preserve the fiction that the ECB can function as a central bank to a group of nations with different political goals, demographics, and agendas....
    Jul 7, 2015. 10:28 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Shock expressed as Greece has no new plan [View news story]
    "Their answer: forgive our debts and give us more."

    Did you bother to read any of the Greek proposals before commenting?
    Jul 7, 2015. 09:32 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Shock expressed as Greece has no new plan [View news story]
    "The Germans have no faith in Greece's credibility."

    ...and will Lubitz the EZ.
    Jul 7, 2015. 09:31 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Shock expressed as Greece has no new plan [View news story]
    Watch countries like Finland, instead, realize the Euro is pure currency peg and consider getting out in order to realize their maximum growth potential.
    Jul 7, 2015. 09:29 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Stocks stage turnaround as the French and U.S. speak up [View news story]
    "We had their backs every which way after WWII"

    He means "installed a puppet government which squandered every bit of aid sent its way via corruption and graft"
    Jul 7, 2015. 09:26 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment