Why Austerity?

AUSTERITY IS PLUTOCRACY’S BEST FRIEND.

We are in a giant ecological crisis, the collapse of the biosphere. That’s new. We are also in the midst of the silent coup of global plutocracy. That’s nothing new, plutocracy has ravaged many a civilization.

Collapse and plutocracy are entangled, they always have been. The economic crisis is only an appendage of a catastrophe of antediluvian proportions.

Krugman pointed out in Reagan Was A Keynesian, that, by the fourth year of Ronald Reagan’s presidency, because the economy had faltered, total government spending was augmented 130% more than in the comparable period under Obama. Thus confirming that Obama is to the very far right of Reagan (especially considering that the economy is now in a grave depression, the Greater Depression, not just a Federal reserve engineered recession, as it was under Reagan!)

President Ronald Reagan caused in part, through his military built-up, a built-up in high tech. That was highly profitable, in the end. The ecological and energy crises can be solved by such a technological built-up. They can only be solved by such a much greater built-up. Such a built-up would then prove very profitable. For all of humanity, yet again.

Austerity is the enemy of technology. Superior technology asks for a measure of irrational exhuberance, as does, even more, its fertile ground, new science. Indeed, if we knew how it worked already, it would not really be new.

So why all the austerity now? Why undermining what can save the biosphere, and us?

Because austerity advantages the plutocrats, in the coup they are conducting, silently.

Such a phenomenon, a coup by the richest, under other guises, happened several times in Roman history: the situation was dire, and the plutocrats in control of the Senate tried their best, including sometimes mass assassinations, to reduce spending. In the end, austerity reigned, and reigned so much that plutocracy killed Rome.

Why is austerity favorable to plutocrats? Because, when one has it all, as plutocrats do, the best way to keep it, is to make sure that the others get ever more impotent. And when one has it all there is to be had, one can only get more, if one makes sure that others get less.

***

Here are a few elaborations on the preceding, justifying the aphorisms above:

AUSTERITY IS THE ENEMY OF TECHNOLOGY:

Time and time again, Roman inventors, under the empire, presented drastic inventions, which could have changed the flow of history. They were squashed. Because plutocracy has no interest to change the flow of history, or even to have one. (As imperial Rome did not progress technologically, but the barbarians and the ecological difficulties did, irresistibly. The plutocrats heading the Roman state, cornered, became weirder and weirder, calling ever more to the fascist instinct to enforce a fanatic war against imaginary enemies, while, naturally, ignoring the real ones, namely themselves.)

***

THE BIOSPHERE IS APPROACHING A TIPPING POINT:

An article in 07 June 2012 issue of Nature considers that the entire planetary biosphere may be close to a “tipping point”. Indeed. The two essential observations are that;

a) the biosphere has undergone dramatic “phase shifts” in the past, and

b) that the present stresses on the biosphere are the greatest in at least twenty million years.

In a phase shift, typically the gas content (more or less CO2 or oxygen, O2), or the temperature change abruptly, and for many million years. Such events seem to be associated with ultra-massive volcanic events (core volcanism, for want of a better expression: Dekkan, Siberian Traps), or possible asteroid impacts (Yucatan, Chesapeake Bay, Siberia events).

The article concludes:”It is also necessary to address root causes of how humans are forcing biological changes.” “Root causes” have to be addressed. If they are not, the problems fester. Rome did not address the “root cause” of its problem, so the Roman empire went through a succession of catastrophic tipping points. See below.

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THE GIANT COUP BY THE LORDS OF FINANCE: has been made possible by its stealthy character. The flies have not seen the spider web in which they are englued.

The civilization sized coup of the Lords of Finance, has been in the making for at least half a millennium, ever since bankers financed Francois I and Charles V, so that they could ostensibly make war against each other (circa 1520 CE). At least, so it looked, officially. War is a reason that gives plutocracy meaning.

Well financed war between France and Spain, for 150 years or so, allowed oligarchies of the splendid, on both sides, to have an excuse to make said war. War was a distraction, that diverted the People from revolution. The exploits of the knight Bayard may still mesmerize the naïve, but when men of war turned their traditional expertise to religious wars, it was distinctly less funny.

The silent coup, has thus unfolded over five centuries. It has consisted of several phases and elements:

a) LEVERAGING THE WAY MONEY IS CREATED PRIVATELY. Money mostly created by credit lines made possible by the fractional reserve system (privately managed, but set-up by the public government).

The fractional reserve system is highly technical and non linear. It allows private individuals, the bankers, to create 99% of the money. The complexity of the fractional reserve system hides it from democratic scrutiny. However, president Jackson, a great, extremely brutal and macho general and duelist, understood enough of fractional reserve and bankers to prevent its establishment in the USA in connivance with the state. Jackson called that his proudest achievement. On his deathbed.

Jackson’s  hostility to the Rothschild was amply justified by fact and theory. The Rothschilds (Red Shield in its original German) were feeding both sides of the so called Napoleonic Wars. Napoleon certainly did not start them: the Rothschild were out there financing wars, even before Napoleon was born. Maybe the Napoleonic wars should be called the Rothschild wars.

Alluding to the fractional reserve system, the Rothschilds had been crowing about their control of nations:

Mayer Amschel Rothschild: Give me control of a nation’s money and I care not who makes the laws.” 

(In other declarations, Rothschild boasted that he “issued” the nations’ money.)

Tellingly the theoreticians of class struggles of the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries missed out that angle entirely. Marx vaguely complained about the banks’ “monopoly”. He forgot to say that it was monopoly in money creation. That private individuals could monopolize money creation would have floored the leaders of countless polities in passed millennia. Leaders, in the past, knew that striking coinage, that is, in practice, Fiat Money, was the prerogative of the state. That state monopoly was backed-up by military force.

However, president Roosevelt was not fooled: he “welcomed the hatred of money changers“.

(“Money changers” was the old derogatory term for financiers used during the Middle Ages’ great age of independent republics and cities: Roosevelt knew history.)

b) THE METASTATIC RISE OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES under Clinton and complete deregulation of finance (London’s “Big Bang, etc.) Derivatives were initially a way to insure farmers (say rice farmers in Japan 16C, or corn growers in Illinois 19C). They have their place as a form of insurance for commercial operators. But a distinction ought to be drawn between those and speculators. Moreover, when there is no insurance connected to the bets (as has been the case with CDS), then one obtains A CASINO INSURED BY THE PUBLIC, ALBEIT OWNED  BY SHARKS. Thus a welfare system for plutocrats set-up by the public.

c) MAKING THE STATE SERF TO PLUTOCRACY: The French law of 1973 passed by Rothschild banker Pompidou forbade the state to create money. Instead the state had to ask the richest men for money, and they were free to make as much money as they wanted from this begging. It was generalized to all of Europe by dim witted or treacherous socialists (Delors and his crew).

d) THE BANKERS STOLE THE ECONOMY, GIVE THEM MORE: The crisis of 2008 (Subprime, etc.) was “solved” by throwing trillions of public money (“monetary base”) to (private) banks. The bankers had lost that money, to themselves, and their friends.

That “solution” made private financiers more powerful than ever. The same is done in Europe, with the same result. The 100 billion euros “rescue’ for Spain is more of the same. Breaking up Europe would make the financiers even more powerful, that is why they are trying their best to do so.

***

SUSTAINABLE ENERGY IS UNSUSTAINABLE WITHOUT STORAGE:

Only very much higher technology will solve the present crisis. Sustainable energy, in particular could work, with storage systems… That we do not have: the best are dams, but dams cannot go in every backyard. (Dams allow to recover 80% to 90% of the energy, by working turbines in reverse to bring the water up, when there is excess energy; the method was inaugurated to serve nuclear plants, which never stop producing, night and day, month after month…) -Denmark better start building dams, to stop depending upon coal (as it does now). In the case of Denmark, a flat country, that means elevated lagoons.

More advanced storage are possible. Fuel cells have high efficiency (but they have proven finicky, expensive, and even dangerous). On the island of Corsica a private-public partnership with the local university, is building fuel cell systems connected to the grid.

***

ROMAN PRECEDENTS:

Roman history is very instructive, and deserves much better, to be so instructed, than the parody of it taught right and left (last example: the May 2012 book “Why Nations Fail“).

Rome knew several plutocratic and debt crises. The first one, the rise of plutocracy, put an end to the republic; the next one was solved radically by Tiberius, by massive public refinancing; the following one set the roots for the collapse of the Principate, and even the empire: the plutocrats refused to pay enough taxes to keep the barbarians off the gates… Already under Marcus Aurelius! It got only worse and worse in the following three centuries, or until Roman armies were replaced by Frankish armies… Which were paid by Frankish taxes… Or nationalizations.

The present crisis is a combination of the three Roman financial, economic and social crises.

Europe, always more inventive, has found still another crisis to add to the mix.

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EUROPE, OR WHEN THE STATE ENTRUSTS THE COUNTERFEITERS WITH CREATING MONEY:

Europe has entrusted the plutocrats with money creation. In ancient Rome, as in any state worth this title, it’s the state that created money. It is still like that in the USA, Japan, China, Britain, Mongolia, or Argentina. But not in Europe’s European Monetary Union.

Part of the problem of Late Third Century Rome was that, precisely because the plutocrats refused to pay taxes, and they had the means to refuse, the Roman empire ran out of money. Diocletian corrected that with an economic command and control system that worked obviously very well, and was sustainable…

Until the Vandals cut the food line between Africa and Rome in the Fifth Century: there had not been enough money to pay a sufficient army, or navy to stop 10,000 or so Vandal warriors!

Thus command and control in the economic realm, had not fixed the fundamental problem, the disconnection of the plutocrats, and the resources they commanded, from the rest of society. The plutocrats could afford (private) armies, precisely because the state could not afford the PUBLIC army. Plutocrats did not care that cities needed walls to protect themselves; they had their own armies to defend themselves.

Present day Europe has hyper linked to that condition of the Later Roman Empire, at warp speed.

***

HOW ROME FELL, SHORT VERSION:

Plutocracy makes stupid, and stupidity was the proximal reason for the fall of Rome. Rome swung from general to general, as a gibbon from branch to branch, and finally the fiercest of them all, Constantine, allied himself with the army of the Christians, a state within the state, resulting in the establishment of full blown theocracy.

Plutocracy, plus theocracy, makes for a doubly stupid leadership, hence really stupidly conducted wars, and the consequence was the successful invasion of the Roman empire by the Goths. In comparison with the Franks, who were deeply romanized, the Goths were savages. It took 130 years for the Franks to beat the Goths, and re-establish a military successful Roman state (the Imperium Francorum, which took officially the title of Imperium Romanum, “Roman empire” only in 800 CE, when both the Pope and the Roman imperial state in Constantinople agreed).

When Rome fell, that means, when the giant Roman socio-economy collapsed, most of the population could not get to food, nor even drinkable water. Most people died. We are even more vulnerable now.

The mushrooms of plutocracy, such as austerity, can appear beautiful, but they are most venenous…

***

Patrice Ayme

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48 Responses to “Why Austerity?”

  1. Paul Handover Says:

    You so very eloquently explain the nature of the crisis that is coming ever closer. What I would equally welcome is your eloquent views on what we need to do, or what you expect may happen?

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    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Dear Paul: ever since my good friend Obama operated a 180 degree after being declared leader of the USA, I realize that what may happen depends upon the acts and personalities of unpredictable creatures. So it’s even unclear what Romney will do. Maybe he does like Obama. Obama became Romney, maybe Romney becomes Obama (not exactly kidding: some of his advisers (Mankin) even suggested to let inflation go; after realizing they better shut up to see their man elected, they did…)

      So what one one should do? An FDR New Deal style plan, worldwide, and plain bigger, with the entire biosphere in mind, is the first thing to do.
      More later…
      PA

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  2. Martin Lack Says:

    Hello Patrice, I was looking forward to this; and you have not disappointed…

    Thank you for the link to the article in Nature; the most concerning aspect to which is the acknowledgement that, in the very recent geological past, the Earth has suffered sudden and dramatic climatic changes (e.g. changes in global average temperature of several degrees C or F within just 1 or 2 years) as a consequence of “tipping points”. Everyone assumes that change will be gradual and, although some accept it is accelerating, very few seem to acknowledge that it may be sudden. A good analogy is to be found in plate tectonics: Beneath the Earth’s crust, the underlying movement in the mantle is continuous; whereas the movement of the plates on the Earth’s surface is not. This causes stress to build up, which are periodically released in the form of earthquakes…

    With regard to your comments about austerity being in the interests of the plutocracy. Who exactly is in the plutocracy; and how do you become a member of it? In the UK, for example, is David Cameron (PM) or George Osborne (Chancellor of the Exchequer) in it? I do not see how they can be; unless they are just doing a very good job of appearing to be entirely powerless in the face of Ratings Agencies and Investment Banks. To me, it is the latter that seem to be the locus of real undemocratic and unaccountable power; and have larger budgets than the governments of some countries

    However, I suspect that when you use the term plutocrats, you are labelling a much wider group of individual and organisations. If so, and if this is not just conspiracy theory, can you explain what our elected officials get out of being made to look so completely impotent and ineffectual?

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    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Dear Martin:
      Your observation about earthquakes as tipping points in action is most cogent. Indeed. So maybe there are grinding points too, not just tipping points.

      Now I think, in general, people worry too much about “conspiracies theories”. worrying about that is an anti-idea from the conspirators themselves. History is a long succession of massive conspiracies. Those who have not learned about conspiracies did not learn history.

      When American plutocrats force all Americans to repeat slowly after them:”Only lunatics believe in conspiracies.”, they are brainwashing them out of any crtitcal sense. Obama himself became part of an obvious plutocratic conspiracy in his presidency. The left elected him to change things, and then he sings about warren Buffet’s glory. Who owns the rating agencies? The plutocrat, Buffet.

      Human beings tend to belong to tribes, that makes them strong. Many of these tribes are synthetic. Nazism was a synthetic tribe, so was Stalinism. Was the guy in a Zonderkommando drafted to kill people in an extermination camp a Nazi, or not? a question”Shoah” does not answer. Without such little hands, Nazism could not have worked. So who was, or not, a nazi is not an interesting question, except for those who are viewed, like the Dulles brothers, as great American heroes, but were, in fact, Nazis.

      It’s important to know King Edward VIII was a Nazi, and personnal friend of Hitler. To wax lyrical whether Goering did, or did not really believe in Nazism is much less important.

      So is Cameron a plutocrat? Well, in two ways. First his personnal fortune is of the order of 50 million dollars, inherited. Second, and more important, he is a devoted servant of the plutocratic ideal: see his plan to have the children of the rich get a free and exclusive ticket to higher education (OK, some of the most deserving aspiring servants will be able to join in, and learn to serve their masters…)

      Plutocracy is a MOOD. Then that mood implements legislation.
      PA

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      • Martin Lack Says:

        At times, Patrice, I am afraid it almost seems as if everyone is a Nazi to you. That the British Royal Family is descended from German stock is indisputable; and if Edward VIII was sympathetic to Hitler (as was Henry Ford) then I am glad he abdicated. But, really, must we blame everything on something that happened 80 years ago?

        I think you are right to highlight the way in which those who are already wealthy try very hard to prevent leakage but, in what way do the wealthy get a free ticket to a better education? It may well be unfair all the same but, it is not free, they pay a lot of money for it.

        I think the way you describe plutocracy as a “mood” is interesting… but I am no closer to being able to identify members of the club; or how it can be disbanded. Having said all that, I do accept that organisations such as the Atlas Network and ALEC are defending the status quo.

        Therefore, I suspect that my status quo is pretty much the same as your plutocracy: The special interests that are working very hard to ensure that nothing and no-one prevents ‘business as usual’ taking humanity past the tipping point. The only explanation for such short-sighted self-destructive behaviour is that they have been deluded into thinking mankind can solve any problem; including limits to growth. I think that the more obvious these limits to growth become; the easier it should be for people to see that we humankind is not all powerful.

        I just hope the majority will realise before it is too late.

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        • Patrice Ayme Says:

          dear Martin: Sorry you get the impression, at times, that everybody is a Nazi to me. Not so.

          For example I was once bombed by some French fascists, but I would not call them Nazis (i had talked to them over a period of months, prior, so i knew their ideas). Actually the Italian fascists were often not friendly to crucial Nazi theses. Mussolini long searched for an alliance, AGAINST Hitler (!).

          I can make distinctions. I know history is very complicated, far removed form the simplifications and propaganda. I saw Obama switch from reader of my sites to best friend of Warren Buffet. So did others, who knew him weell (and were not that surprised!)

          On the other hand, I also make distinctions between those who had to obey, those who did obey, those who collaborated with, reluctantly, or enthusiastically, those who enabled, and those who endoctrinated the Nazis. The Dulles brothers were voluntary Nazi enablers. That put them much higher in Nazi hell than a reluctant collaborator such as Petain.

          That the king of Britain collaborated enthusiastically with his friend Hitler is one of the best kept secrets of WWII. It has been hidden behind a divorce-stuttering story, that the sheep learn by rote, and now bleat about, all over the pasture. Churchill had finally to threatened Edward with a court-martial to get him out of occupied Europe (he was sent to Bahamas, assigned to residence as…governor). However Edward VIII should have been judged, condemned and executed. As Major-General, Inspector General of the British forces, he committed ultimate treason (according to at least two extremely high level Nazi officials, and a signature on a betrayal letter). Anyway long story, sure to bring the raging howls of the sheep.

          To call scums like that “sympathetic to Nazis” is a completely removed from reality. Edward told Hitler where to attack in May 1940. Henry Ford was not just “sympathetic to hitler’. Ford paid, and endoctrinated Hitler, as early as 1920. It was so accute that Hitler had to justify elaborately to his comrades the nature of his relationship with Ford. In the 1920s. Ford kept on giving to the Nazis until 1945. Many a GI died from Ford’s good works.

          History is complicated, therein its education, fascism is simple, therein its strength.

          OK, more latter, baby alert!
          PA

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          • Martin Lack Says:

            I knew I was fairly ignorant about modern history but, you make me feel like I know even less…

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          • Martin Lack Says:

            I knew I was fairly ignorant about modern history but, you make me feel like I know even less… Many thanks for taking the time to try and enlighten me. I do hope family are all better or getting that way…

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          • Patrice Ayme Says:

            Dear Martin: thanks for the compliments. I went through this myself. I remember my own naivety regarding history, long ago. However I had a cousin, coming from a germanophile side of my family, who insisted, when I was 6 or so, that what happened with the Nazis had been an accident, because of a bad man or two… That did not fly very well with me, even then. So I ever since tried to prove her wrong. I was helped by circumstances: my grandfather was major in the resistance, and saved a young (16) French SS from execution, still another side of the family was actually German (Von Molkte related aristocracy)… And an interesting aristocratic-communist mix… As I was raised in Africa, all of this was conducive to thinking…

            But I always believed in collective responsibility… MOODS as I put it.

            Who is in, who is not is complex. Take the case of Marshall Rommel: definitively a Nazi, and even a mass killing one. But then he changed… Rommel in June 1940, overseeing the unlawful assassination of hundreds of French heroic troops, just because they had been disastrously heroic, killing lots of Rommel’s men, is not the Rommel of 1944, issuing warrants of arrest for criminal famous SS officers who had killed French civilians.

            Same with plutocrats. Today’s Soros is not yesterday’s Soros. One has to judge the ideas, the feelings, and the moods. And, if need be, condemn.
            PA

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        • Patrice Ayme Says:

          Dear martin; Sometimes people are all for destruction. Two reasons for this:
          1) they may hope to come on top. Lots of people used the Nazis that way in WWII, and it worked. Sad, but instructive to say, even, and certainly, de Beauvoir and Sartre were that way. others were much worse, and even entire classes (American plutocracy), or countries (USA, but, even more Sweden and Switzerland).

          2) there is a WILL TO VICE (see my essay by that title, I guess…) in human beings. Long story. Five million years of it. Yes, the concept is well beyond Nietzsche’s Will To Power… Actually the will to power is nothing new, as can be seen, reading Caesar. To recognize the Will To Vice, something else entirely…
          PA

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  3. And now for something completely different! « Learning from Dogs Says:

    […] threats.  (As an aside, one of my favourite authors is this context is Patrice Ayme, just see this recent Post of his as an example of his depth of […]

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  4. Old Geezer Says:

    I would rather have a private banking system in charge than the politicians. Look what spendthrifts they are for their “constituencies”. Imagine if they controlled the money.

    The main problem is the breaking of the Glass-Steagall firewall. That was a BIG MISTAKE. What we really needed was GOOD REGULATIONS AND SMART REGULATORS. We had neither.

    I think Clinton signed that bill because Wall $treet had run out of money to lend. There were not that many good opportunities for REAL investments, which were in the BRICS, and those had already been done.

    And all the money in countless pension and retirement funds were based on a 7% annual return, because they were (are still) all underfunded.

    Needed that extra funding to pay CEOs.

    There ARE NO investments that pay 7%. There were damned few even in the 90s.

    Which is why Wall $treet needed more high-interest debt (assets to them). And to get there they needed to break the firewall. Otherwise, we might have had the downturn back then that we are having (on steroids) right now.

    There is too much money sloshing about in the world. Mostly it is in US Dollars. And still, their owners are looking for 7% in a 2% world, which is why NOTHING HAS CHANGED AT THE CASINO.

    They simply can’t afford it.

    We are shoveling coal on a runaway train.

    Somebody blow the whistle.

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    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Dear OGP: I think Clinton did the derivatives business because he was a greedy bastard, for want of a kinder description. OK, maybe he had no idea what he was doing, just like most people still have no idea what he did. The usual excuse: ignorance is bliss…

      Even before he was elected the first time, Rubin (ex CEO of Goldman Sachs, future treasury sec., founder of citigroup, etc… I remind those who may have forgotten) told him exactly what he would do.
      Clinton testified later that he said to Rubin, and it was witnessed by many: “You are telling me my re-election will depend upon fucking bond traders?”

      The rest is history, as the saying goes. Now Bill Clinton is immensely rich. Fact is B. Clinton, or Obama are surfers; the wave came, they surfed it. They did not create the wave, say as G.W. Bush, his dad, Reagan, or even Nixon. Of course the Kennedys and the ill fated Johnson, Ike, and Truman were giant wave makers.

      And FDR is in a class of his own, as close as a philosopher king that the USA ever had, or let’s say in the Washington-Jefferson-Jackson class. (I am not too hot on Lincoln, who presided over nearly a million killed, and it’s hard for me to believe that could not have been avoided. Although i recognize I am no specialist of that historical area.)

      Your position, OGP, is the exact same as Krugman: “Let’s go back to 1960s.” (Kruggie boy said this yesterday at the LSE. The video is there. London School Economics…)

      That was in answer to someone who wanted to attack the Fractional Reserve System.

      My own position is simple:
      1) Money out of politics, or at least much more so (the USA should take heed on France there.)

      2) Get rid of representative democracy, it does not work, it’s subject to corruption and abuse. One French MP represents about 130,000 people, one American, half a million. The ancient Greeks would have called that tyranny. And it is. Watch Obama targetting families for assassination, a new absurdity in the history of civilizationS. Yes, civilizationS. even Roman emperors, or Hitler were not stupid enough to run their electoral campaign on that. One calls this degeneracy.

      The West ought, in first approximation, duplicate the SWISS system. Although not ideal, it’s much better, a step towards better things.

      The fractional reserve ought to be under popular control, and bankers should run for (bank) office (in a money-less system, they would have to explain what they intent to invest in).

      More later, got to run, that means, drive…
      PA

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  5. Patrice Ayme Says:

    Only one solution: generalized default… Accompanied by prosecution of those who made a bundle from the whole disaster…
    https://patriceayme.wordpress.com/2011/09/14/to-save-the-world-please-default/

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    • Bruce Birkett Says:

      Bruce Birkett
      You mean by ‘those who made a bundle’ the recipients of government benefits such as early retirement that were the cause of all the borrowing and the high taxes that stymied growth?

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      • Patrice Ayme Says:

        Bruce: Cute, But cute does not make right. Nor does barking up the wrong tree. Just follow for example the case of Italy. No primary deficit in Italy, but still a problem, that can only be solved by default, because it is completely caused by speculators, and the wrong way the EMU is set-up.

        Or look at Spain: the problem is not what you apparently think. The problem is astounding misinvesting by banks, caused by massive corruption, or, in other words, plutocracy on a rampage. Spain has less overall debt than Germany, but still is on the rope from… German banks (in part) and other plutocrats.

        Ignorance may be bliss, but bliss does not pay the bills. And when the bills are too high, there is chap 11 for that.
        PA

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  6. Bruce Birkett Says:

    Ask yourself how to get growth
    Message by Bruce Birkett:

    These economies are stymied by unions and regulations, etc. that make them unattractive locations for businesses.

    The world isn’t standing still and there are myriads of articles articulating the point.

    These countries – as with the US are overspending. It’s easy to keep borrowing like a family living on credit cards. That is what these countries want to do.

    The banks are only in trouble because they have been saddled with too much government debt. It’s a very scary vicious cycle.

    As you eventually need to replace an old car, so it is necessary to replace old jobs and old plant and equipment with new. These countries are taxing away the future and debt has caught up with them.

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    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Bruce: As Soros and everybody else has said, the way out of debt is growth. Actually the very idea of debt entails growth.
      The lender lends, against interest. So the lender, and the creditor both expects that whatever was lent will be vested in some, well, investement, that, at the very least, will be able to;
      1) reimburse the principal
      2) reimburse the interest
      3) provide at least the creditor with a living wage.

      Adding 1, 2, 3, one sees that lending mandates growth.
      PA

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  7. Old Geezer Says:

    Money out of politics.

    Not in my lifetime. I can only dream, but not realistically.

    What we really need is a Jubilee year, like in the Bible, where all debts are forgiven and all slaves freed.

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    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      OGP: Thanks for the perspective on the bible. I forgot that completely. The jubilee will be coming, one way, or another, or so will war.

      The world is not restricted to the USA. Most developed countries seem to have electoral laws that restrict money. The USA is going the other way like crazy. Reminds me of that B52 pilot who was a hot shot showing off, and put his giant bomber on the side, 200 meters off the ground. Quite a fireball.

      Craziness is, generally, not sustainable. OK, there are exceptions. We will hear a different music from Washington, once part of the “mall” is under the ocean.
      PA

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  8. rodeneugen Says:

    I was impressed by most of what i read until now in your blog, but have to oppose you about the blame you put on Rothschild or any other banker, as a main cause of Napoleon war or other wars. Since when dictators, self nominated half Gods, and other “fuhrers”,considered economic calculation as relevant fro decision making? I do have to remain you that only at 1913, whole Europe thought that war is not possible, because of its huge economic cost. I don’t think you believe the communistic propaganda about the capitalist making profit out of war.
    Yet, you are right about the Plutocracy and its grab on the economy. But not only the financial elites are to be blamed, even if to my opinion its continues failure creating correct leadership is the major cause of the economic disruption, we are witnessing today. And it did not started at 2008 or 2007. Already at 2002, when Enron went bankrupt,it was obvious that this bankruptcy is not just an other default but a default of a whole management system, where the real owners of the entities are disconnected from the decision making, and the self appointed financial and industrial barons paddle only for themselves. Yet the main blame is on the modern politicians, who are unqualified to do any creative activity of their own, (their only qualification is to stupefy the mobs with all their lies) and who feel that to be successful, they have to be close to those, who seem to be the elites independent on the mobs.
    You wrote about Obama, When elected he knew, he has chance for one mayor legislative change, He could chose to change the financial system, or the health system. What has he chosen? And he at least can differentiate his right from his left, what the previous president couldn’t?

    Just to show you i am not for the oligarchs, you can read my views in;

    https://rodeneugen.wordpress.com/2012/06/01/let-the-poor-work-and-the-rich-make-money-out-of-money/

    https://rodeneugen.wordpress.com/2012/03/03/httprodeneugen-wordpress-com-3/

    Like

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      dear Rodeneugen: let me reassure you: I detest Napoleon. Those who have read me for a long time know this. However there are only so many words, thus ideas, in one given essay. I blame Napoleon for his abominable dictatorship. Sade even criticized, at the time, before Napoleon grabbed power, the efforts to spread the French revolution, which, he said, would backfire (something we want to think about as France and company want to go to war in Syria!)

      However, there was clearly a party of war in England. That party was using financial leverage to make war against France. Napoleon, then a simple artillery captain, became famous for pushing the government to change the chain of command above him, and adopt his attack plan on Toulon. Napoleon’s far fetched offensive worked splendidly, although he was seriously wounded by a British bayonette in the closest combat. The next day, the Brits had to evacuate in disarray, under French fire.
      That was in 1793. http://www.napoleonguide.com/battle_toulon.htm

      I suggest that the British aggressivity against France during the entire eighthteen century was caused by the British plutocracy.That does not excuse Napoleon, and especially not his admirers nowadays. However it helps in explaining how Nap came to power.

      As it worked, Britain in the eighteenth century is celebrated as a great economic model. But it’s mostly the model of using financial leverage to make war against a much larger adversary… And being lucky that Louis XV’s adviser and friend was the all too philosophical Voltaire (who was pro-English, and understood naught in that domain…)

      I have talked about Obamacare, I mean, Romneycare, in many essays. Obama could have made the correct reform in 90 second, by decree. Instead he made a system for his friends, and future employers. It’s obviously anti-constitutional.

      Egypt’s Supremes just found that the entire parliament was anti-constitutional (I agree, it’s full of Muslim fanatics).

      In any case, thanks for your comment, and welcome!
      PA

      Like

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Obama could have made 60 major legislative changes (that’s the program of the French socialists as they are going through elections right now). Instead he decided to basically do none. I mean none having a major positive impact on his electorate. He may well pay the price soon… But not really because the corporations and plutocrats he helped have interest to show they are no ingrates. Expect him to become as rich as Clinton.
      PA

      Like

      • rodeneugen Says:

        1. About Napo and the Brits you are right, but do not forget the historical context. They knew nothing about human rights, fairness, etc. at that time. Luckily for the humanity in the British American colony appeared from nowhere few decent, intelligent gentleman, who started to think about these subjects and luckily even won a war against the British King.
        But now we have Bushes, Clintons and Obamas. To where we go from here? The financial and industrial oligarch will not leave their post just because they failed in their tasks. And if even Obama is not willing to confront them, who will do it? Mr Alexis Tsipras is the only option?
        If even in America of Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Madison and Hamilton there is no way to bring to presidency someone who does what obviously has to be done, then not the capitalistic system is in deep trouble, but the whole democratic political system. Do you have a better system to offer?

        Like

        • Patrice Ayme Says:

          Dear Rodeneugen: The United Kingdom was created shortly after the “Glorious Revolution” of 1688 CE. Truly, that was a Dutch Glorious Invasion, and the Dutch wanted to make war on their creator, France. OK, they would argue that the France of Louis XIV did not really create them (although that later France finished Spain as a dominant military power), but that the France(s) before that did… Whatever. As I explained they brought in their highly leveraged financial system, axed on the military in general, and the fleet in particular. That system had worked well, because France was the Dutch military power of last resort.

          To make a long story short, Louis XIV was asked to send his army over to free the English monarch from the anti-Catholic pests. Although he had by far the most powerful army (in the world), he refused: he did not want to get involved in the English people’s business. He himself had terrible problems, starting at age 4, with the Paris Parliament, he was not looking forward repeating the performance in London.

          BTW, I detest Louis XIV… Overall, I view him a criminal against mankind. However, when he did something right, I recognize it.

          Also BTW, Lloyd george, when he was British PM, recognized in the 20C that Britain’s policy about the French revolution of 1789 had been deeply wrong, and caused the so called “Napoleonic Wars“.

          The American War of Independence was won because Louis XVI decided to intervene. He was a true revolutionary. It is curious, in light of the fact his grand father, Louis XV had decided NOT to intervene massively in Canada, to preserve French colonies, on the (erroneous) advice of Voltaire (the supremacy of Anglo-Saxonia came from that fateful decision. If France had mobilized against the UK in 1756 as she id to save the skins of Washington and company, France would have won, or, at least, not lost. BTW, the UK used Prussia, in 1756… and that, long term, led to Nazism and 1945.

          Better system? As I put it in a comment above:

          1) Money out of politics, or at least much more so (the USA should take heed on France there.)

          2) Get rid of representative democracy, it does not work, it’s subject to corruption and abuse. The West ought, in first approximation, duplicate the SWISS system. Although not ideal, it’s much better, a step towards better things.

          The fractional reserve ought to be under popular control, and bankers should run for (bank) office (they would have to explain what they intent to invest in, and why).
          PA

          Like

      • rodeneugen Says:

        Dear Patric,

        Thanks for the history lesson, By the way who screwed the France colonial aspiration in America was the Generalissimo Napoleon Bonaparte, who sold all the land left of Mississippi from Louisiana up to Canada for if i recollect 7 million Dollars (1802 prices). I wonder if in French history books of high school they ever mention it. I don’t speak French, could you check it for me?

        Louis XIV was, as he on himself said France itself, he was the typical self proclaimed God. I hate these bustards and doesn’t mater if he built Canal the Middy and some nice projects. (by the way I hate Versailles). his cuisine James II, wasn’t better from him, just less capable and weaker. As contrary to them William de Orange and Louis the XVI, were what we call in Yiddish, Mentch, meaning human, and that’s exactly what were not those other bustards. Poor Louis XVI, he lost his head because of hesitation. Isn’t it just human not to run like a bull forward, without thinking about the consequences of your decisions?

        As to democracy, you say Swiss? It can work only in Swiss, a small, closed to immigration, extremely rich country, (rich out of depositing the money of all the bustards of the world) with common history of almost 500 years without war. Let them open their border to immigration and you will see what
        happens.

        Nazism is result of an accidental even, that happened and did not have to happen in 1914. Yet i have to admit, these anachronistic Kings – Cousins, that ruled Europe east from the Rhine had to go somehow, and probably the only way was War or Revolution, so we got both, and above all this also Hitler, I hope we are not in the same situation now, when the democracies have no ability create a non-anachronistic. new leadership,

        And here let me quote from my facebook;

        History is, after all, often more about the unintended consequences of unexpected accidents than it is about plans (Edward Hugh)i

        Like

        • Patrice Ayme Says:

          Dear rodeneugen: All French history book mention the sale of Louisiana (which extended all the way to Washington by Napoleon. But the story is probably more complex than appear.

          Nap’s army had just been crushed in (at the time) very worthy Haiti (because of the sugar cane), much from malaria. Selling Louisiana was a better operation than the American War of Independence, which bankrupted France, but did not bring back a cent, as the USA DEFAULTED ON FRANCE.

          Louis XVI would not have lost his head, but for Brunswick’s call to annihilate Paris, his flight to the enemy, while head of state at war with said would-be genocidal enemy, made of Prussian, British, Austrian, etc.plutocracies and betrayal by his wife Marie Antoinette (who sat on the council of ministers, and revealed location of top French generals to the enemy through invisible ink; Obama would have summarily executed them all with a drone, taking the children with them).

          Suisse used to be (ridiculously, even criminally) closed to immigration. One could be born and raised there, and not be recognized as Suisse. But no more; the French like system has been adopted, and the old Germanic one thrown out. One million out of seven are issued from recent immigration (I am quoting from memory). Schweiss is highly transnational. Not only are there 4 official languages, but many Suisses live in France (and work in Suisse), while many French do the same (thousands cross the Leman twice a day).

          OK, Switzerland, like Sweden, did not come to terms with its hitler helper role in WWII (Sweden was way worse).

          In my view of things, Nazism was no accident. Nietzsche so it coming and condemn it fiercely, all rage out. Luther already wanted his house made nicer by the laments of tortured Jews. I have mentioned that in my site in the past, complete with exact quote. A 2 minutes search on the Internet will come up with that trash. Hitler was, arguably, just Luther in power.

          It’s not being anti-German to say this. In Geneva the French lawyer Calvin personally roasted slowly his enemies alive… History is also about the evil men planned and executed.
          PA

          Like

  9. Old Geezer Says:

    Many new democracies have used the Carter Center to supervise their elections. All that the CC requires of them is that:

    1. All voters vote using the same type of equipment, be they machines or paper.

    2. That a paper trail be generated at voting time and placed in the recount box should one be neccessary.

    3. That the voting be controlled by NON-PARTISANS.

    4, That elegibility to vote be the same in all regions.

    THE USA FAILS ALL 4 REQUIREMENTS.

    Onward democracies everywhere.

    Except here.

    Like

    • Paul Handover Says:

      Haven’t watched it but this just came in to my ‘in-box’ http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/competent-democracy/

      The 30 minute video is introduced thus: A Competent Democracy presents a detailed analysis of our political systems today and asks the question throughout: Do our political systems today offer any technical approach to governing society and are our political systems socially relevant anymore?

      The current economic system does not go unquestioned either.
      Transitional tools on how to attain a much more efficient, healthy, socially and technically relevant social system are summarised in relation to which way we should be heading if we want to create social sustainability on a global scale – ideas which cannot come out of our antiquated political systems today.

      Like

      • Patrice Ayme Says:

        Paul: thanks. I will try to find the time, but I am writing an essay that is proving more difficult than I expected. It wants to show that Wild Nature, as we evolved into, is an indispensable extension of our minds we need to be human beings in full. And, if not, we end down with the present crew of half wits in charge.

        For simpler reasons, such as survival, we have to ecologize and democratize everywhere.That would change the economy, hence the possibility for employment, completely. Maybe I develop that theme one of these days, too!
        PA

        Like

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      OGP: Exactly. And onward it is. Democracy, overall, is progressing, worldwide. That processus, too, undermined Rome. Those regimes who are less democratic, everything else being equal, are less powerful militarily.
      PA

      Like

  10. G. Viehmann Says:

    You seem to be right on the Obama administration. There was a (short) outcry in germany when the reaper drone was introduced and possible missions were discussed. Today there is very little, if one ignores cynic remarks.

    Here some news on possible future conquests: http://www.citizenstrade.org/ctc/blog/2012/06/13/newly-leaked-tpp-investment-chapter-contains-special-rights-for-corporations/

    Like

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Thanks G. Viehmann, and welcome to the comment side of this site! The llnk you gave is fascinating. Official secrecy fostering the corporate world. BTW, in Mussolini’s view of fascism, it was all about making deals between governments, corporations, and workers. here it’s just the same, without the workers…

      The drone policy, as presently practiced by Obama, deliberately erases the difference between assassination and military action, between civilians and combatants. But now people are used to it. Similarly, Hitler started by eliminating mental retards, including a cousin of his (!) There was an outcry, he had to stop. However, the Volk had got somewhat used to the idea, or at least the top Nazis did, and then they started again various holocaust policies (first, with the Poles!), discreetly, and there was not a peep…

      Having the highest magistrate in the land deliberately targetting civilians for elimination on the ground they are next to someone they don’t like is a very dangerous precedent, highly immoral. Retrospectively, it is going in the direction of justifying 9/11 itself. Among other things. Indeed, the argument would go this way: the world’s largest government bond trading operation was on top of the WTC, they were the enemy, so, Obama style, the assassins took out the building to take out the enemy. (OK, bin Laden was the most optimistic, he said, and believed only the upper floors would collapse…)

      I say this, although I do believe, contrarily to political correctness, that aerial bombing against Germany and Japan was highly effective in WWII (it should not have happened against France, but it did, and was only effective in the sense that the French are still rebuilding!) There is a huge difference at the level of responsibilities.
      PA

      Like

  11. Old Geezer Says:

    When one child is killed by a drone, the family will seek revenge. Thus, counting siblings, about 8 new enemies are created with one death.

    Plus, the entire village now hates America.

    Is this really worth it?

    Like

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Dear Old Geezer: That is precisely the problem. Make that the entire tribe, for the hatred. All the more since some of those who revolt against the local established orders are probably closer to the principles of 1789 (USA/France revolutionary constitutions written & enacted) than to the feudals they oppose.

      Using old fashion bombing and killing innocent, one could always say:”Oh so sorry that happened, it was an accident! That’s what happens in war!” Massive arerial bombing in WWII had plenty of other excuses. The Boches and Japs had started it, deliberately. OK, in Japan it was a coup. But Germany certainly voted for Hitler deliberately.

      Similarly here now we have deliberate premeditation to kill innocent people, even entire families. And everybody can see it. At the very least, obama could have underlings in UNIFORM, doing the job, under tight supervision. but part of the job description should be: no deliberate killing of families. This is not WWII!
      PA

      Like

  12. Martin Lack Says:

    Hello again. Only me; back for more punishment for my ignorance, may be (mad fool that I am)?

    However, having thought about all that has been said here (with one eye on current events), is it not reasonable to interpret Merckel’s obstinacy as a determination to ensure that everyone else in the Eurozone allows her to create the 4th Reich by default (because the only option other than disintegration that she is allowing is full fiscal union)?

    You often ask me, Patrice, what is it that British people fear from a European Superstate. Well, given your antipathy towards Germany, I fail to understand you asking the question. A European Superstate will be mean the creation of the 4th Reich without a single shot having been fired.

    For the avoidance of any doubt, I agree with the leader of the Greek Chamber of Commerce who today came very close to endorsing the brinkmanship of the far-left Party there (when he said that whoever wins this election must insist on re-negotiation of parts of Greeks bail-out). This might appear to be in sympathy with President Hollande’s argument that austerity isn’t working (in Greece at least); but Greece should never have been allowed to join the Eurozone. It will take decades for it to pay off its debts and it may never do so. Therefore, just as they shoot crippled horses; Greece should be kicked-out of the Eurozone.

    Having said all that, I still think that the UK’s shadow chancellor Ed Balls has absolutely zero credibility in criticising our Coalition government’s record of trying to reduce the record-breaking national debt that Labour accumulated by selling our gold reserves and bailing out banks that should have been allowed to fail.

    Like

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      dear Martin; You are always welcome, I love to punish and that’s why I love liebe Angela Merkel. I have ZERO ANTIPATHY against “Germany”. I speak German, and there are many aspects of German culture which are my GROUND STATE. By this I mean I thinkfeel and as many a German would, first.
      I do even agree with some of the things Merkel is saying. Such as decrying “mediocrity”. I am pretty much a supremacist myself, and I squash “Quatsch” (a word Merkel just used that means “bullshit”). I am actually an extreme supremacist, and I despise the herd.

      I have also owned BMWs, and do have a very expensive one now. I got livid after what I learned BMW did in Schweiz, though (they got condemned to a 200 million dollar fine, in May 2012). First company ever so punished. I may want to reassess my ownership of a product from a criminal car company. Notice that Switzerland is not in the EMU, or the EU…

      I wrote an essay a few months ago “Welfare State Fares Well” precisely lauding Schroeder, and Merkel’s policies. But one has the courage too to see that these were very plutocratic friendly policies (see Schroeder’s career now as a rich friend of Putin), and that Germany pulled a fast one on the rest of Europe. OK, the others should have noticed, granted, and do the same (Greek AVT is at 23% now).

      Great Britain is most culprit of the present mess. If Britain was still in the EMU, France and Britain could push more on Merkel, and other pro-plutocrats.

      In a European superstate, the weight of (France + Britain) would be twice Germany (and that’s even without using the strategic nuclear submarines, ha ha ha). Actually, all alone France will leave Germany in the dust, on present trends (+35% more young people in France; the most populous German age group is that of the old fossils in the 50-60 year old group…) As I said the Mittelstand success ought to be duplicated…

      Greece is in a depression, 5 years running. It’s at least partly the fault of Germany and company. All the “aid’ was to the (French, German, British)banks. Kicking out the sick, or moribund, may be a very German thing to do for some, but I think force ought to be used against that kind of Germany. that’s not because I have antipathy to Germany, but because I have antipathy to Nazism.
      PA

      Like

  13. JR Says:

    JR
    Ce que la France va connaitre? c’est encore plus d’austérité! En effet la dépense publique a dépassé les 56% de PIB et la production secondaire s’effondre…et la nouvelle équipe ouvre les vannes de l’Etat “providence”;
    Elle va donc augmenter les impôts, augmentation qui pèsera sur les investissements et pourtant il faudra bien un jour rembourser nos dettes! Sinon RIEN N’OBLIGERA LES PRETEURS DE CONTINUER A PRETER : et alors comment l’Etat Français fera pour payer ne serait-ce que ses fonctionnaires?
    J’attends avec impatience que la Grèce se prononce: on peut redouter (pour elle) le refus de l’austérité et alors comment s’en sortirait-elle?
    Jacques

    Like

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      [With apologies to non French readers… But nothing really new below, and Google translate makes a half decent translations]

      Bonjour Jacques!
      L’austerite’ ne veut plus rien dire du tout, comme programme economique. C’est, de plus en plus, de l’arnaque pure et simple.

      Prenons le cas de l’Italie. L’Italie, nous dit-on, doit faire dans l’austerite’. Les gens communs doivent se serrer la ceinture, ils sont trop gras.
      Pourquoi se serrer tant la ceinture? Les riches payent 35% de moins d’impots qu’ils devraient. Cela est maintenant sur, car on a des statistiques prises au bord des routes, en arretant les gens qui roulent avec des voitures cheres genre Ferrari, Porsche, etc. Des controles fiscaux immediats sont fait par Internet. Ces controles ont ete faits en pas mal d’endroits (Cortina, Rome, Toscane, etc.)

      Ce qui se passe c’est que les gens avec des professions liberales trichent massivement. Tout au moins en Italie. Du coup tous les impots sont payes par les salaries.

      Je connais des Allemands qui roulent sur l’or: profession liberales. Toutes leurs depenses de luxe sont consideres comme des depenses deductibles d’impots. Officiellement, ils gagnent tres peu, mais ils roulent sur l’or, de part le monde, comme des eminences. Une grande partie du Mittelstand allemand vit comme cela. En attendant, pas de salaire minimum en Allemagne, et l’etat force des centaines de milliers de serfs a travailler pour un Euro par heure. Oui, UN.

      Revenons a l’Italie: l’Italie n’a pas de deficit primaire (a la difference de la France). Donc pourquoi l’ Italie doit-elle payer de plus en plus les banques? Simplement parceque les banquiers veulent de plus en plus d’argent pour “rembourser” des emprunts qui montent a il y a 30 ans. Bon d’accord les banquiers sont tres gourmands et doivent payer les politiciens (voir le richissime frere de Sarko) et tous leurs copains plutocrates qui tirent toutes les ficelles.

      Solutions:

      1) donner a la Banque Centrale Europeenne tous les pouvoirs d’une banque centrale, et donner a tous les gouvernements europeens tous les pouvoirs de pays souverains, c’est a dire controle de leur monnaie, l’euro.

      Si l’Allemagne n’est pas d’accord, elle peut toujours quitter la zone Euro. L’esprit Nazi, j’en ai deja soupe’. Hors de l’Euro, l’Allemagne crevera. (C’est pour cela que le Franc Suisse est maintenant bloque’ a 1.20 sur l’euro).
      On va dire: l’Allemagne paye beaucoup pour sauver l’Euro: faux. Pure propagande. Merkozy payait, et paye, ses amis banquiers. Nuance.

      2) refuser de payer les banquiers. Faire plus: les examiner, et les exproprier pour tous ce qu’ils ont vole’. Comme je disais il y presque un an:

      https://patriceayme.wordpress.com/2011/09/14/to-save-the-world-please-default/

      3) nationaliser toutes les banques qui font faillite, apres les avoir achetees pour un seul Euro.
      4) interdire les derivees financieres, interdire les pseudo banques, areter les contrevenants comme faux-monaieurs.
      5) faire des banques nationales

      Une question curieuse: pourquoi Sarko a laisse’ tellement tombe’ la France? Pourquoi n’a t-il pas remarque’ les grandes manoeuvres Allemandes a temps?
      Sous Sarko le production industrielle a baisse de 20% par rapport a la Grande bretagne, et l’Allemagne.

      Mais tu as raison, cela va saigner.

      Le systeme des preteurs doit cesser. L’Argentine les a flanque’ dehors il y a plus de 10 ans. L’Argentine. J’ai pas vote Le Pen, mais la Bleue Marine elle a raison de ce cote’ la. Quant a l’Allemagne, elle veut poursuivre son arnaque le plus lontemps possible. La Suisse vient de condamner BMW a payer 160 million Francs pour tricherie… Non respect des lois de la concurrence.

      Apres la Grece, ce sera la France, faut pas se faire d’illusion. Le Figaro vient de calculer que de l’aide a la Grece un maximum de 10% va a …la Grece. Tout le reste va aux amis de Merkozy. Regardes les biens, Merkler et Sarkozy comme ils vont s’engraisser.

      Et il y a pas que Le Figaro qui est arrive’ a cette conclusion. Le New York Times aussi. Et les chiffres sont evidents.

      Pour le concept de Merkler:
      https://patriceayme.wordpress.com/2012/05/19/merkler/

      L’austerite en Grece. cela devrait s’eppeler avec 4 lettres: Nein
      Et ce n’est pas aux Nazis de dire a la Grece qu’elle ne doit pas utiliser sa propres monnaie, Nota Bene. La Banque centrale Grec devrait imprimer tous les euros dont la Grece a besoin. C’est son droit. Qu’est ce que les Nazis vont faire? Re-envahir? Ce n’est pas leur droit. Il est temps que les allemands aprennent le droit international, ils semblent l’avoi oublie’ a nouveau. Et c’est pas 1940.

      Il y 35% plus de jeunes Francais que de jeunes allemands, aujourd’hui, alors que les jeunes Allemands etaient le double en 1940.

      Like

  14. Paul Handover Says:

    The BBC’s 2012 Reith Lecture is being given by Professor Niall Ferguson. These annual lectures are a wonderful tribute to the founder of the BBC and I always make a point of trying to listen to them – these lectures have been given since Lord Reith died in 1971, see http://www.bbc.co.uk/historyofthebbc/resources/in-depth/reith_1.shtml

    Anyway, I digress! The point of this comment was to highlight that Prof. Niall’s lectures are about austerity. As the BBC News reports,

    “Governments should be more honest about the size of their debts and young voters would be wise to get politicians to pay them off as soon as possible, says economic historian Niall Ferguson in the first of his BBC Reith Lectures.

    The critics of Western democracy are right to discern that something is amiss with our political institutions. The most obvious symptom of the malaise is the huge debts we have managed to accumulate in recent decades, which – unlike in the past – cannot largely be blamed on wars.

    According to the International Monetary Fund, the gross government debt of Greece this year will reach 153% of GDP. For Italy the figure is 123%, for Ireland 113%, for Portugal 112% and for the United States 107%.

    Britain’s debt is approaching 88%. Japan is the world leader, with a mountain of government debt approaching 236% of GDP – more than triple what it was 20 years ago.

    Now, often these debts get discussed as if they themselves are the problem, and the result is a rather sterile argument between proponents of “austerity” and “stimulus”.

    I want to suggest that they are a consequence of a more profound malfunction.”

    Full text is here http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-18456131

    Tthoughts, Patrice?

    Like

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  16. Austerity: As Wild As It Gets! | Some of Patrice Ayme's Thoughts Says:

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  17. Answer to | EugenR Lowy עוגן רודן Says:

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  18. Kings, Generals, Chancellors and democracy | EugenR Lowy עוגן רודן Says:

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