Archive for the ‘Banks’ Category

US Plutocrats: Delaware, Not Panama

April 8, 2016

I long said that the USA was the world’s number one tax haven, followed by Great Britain. And this is exactly why these two countries are the seat of global plutocracy. (London boasts that it is the world’s number one financial place, ahead of New York.) The New York Times in “Need to Hide Some Income? You Don’t Have to Go to Panama”, April 8, 2016:

“For wealthy Americans looking to veil their assets and shield some of their income from taxation, there is no need to go to Panama or any other offshore tax haven. It’s easy to establish a shell corporation right here at home.

“In Wyoming, Nevada and Delaware, it’s possible to create these shell corporations with virtually no questions asked,” said Matthew Gardner, executive director of the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, a nonprofit research organization in Washington.

In some places, it can be more difficult to get a fishing license than to register a shell company. And it doesn’t cost much more.”

Delaware Is The World’s Pluto Center. 285,000 Companies Are Registered In That Delaware Building Alone.

Delaware Is The World’s Pluto Center. 285,000 Companies Are Registered In That Delaware Building Alone.

Delaware allows companies to shift the seat of their business and their profits to Delaware, where, conveniently, there is no tax.

Speaking of the Panama Papers, “This is just one firm [Panamanian Mossack Fonseca law firm] in one place,” said Gabriel Zucman, an economist and the author of “The Hidden Wealth of Nations: The Scourge of Tax Havens,” “So it cannot be representative of what’s happening as a whole in the world.”

“But Mr. Zucman, who estimates that about 8 percent of the world’s financial wealth — more than $7.6 trillion — is hidden in offshore accounts, said another reason was that it is so simple to create anonymous shell companies within the United States.

Wealthy individuals and businesses that want to mask their ownership can conveniently do so in the United States, and then stash those assets abroad.

Yet while the United States demands that financial institutions in other countries share information about Americans with accounts overseas, its reciprocation efforts fall short, critics say.

“You see a ton of wealth in tax havens in Switzerland and the Cayman Islands that is owned by shell companies that are incorporated in Panama or in Delaware,” he said. “The bulk of this wealth does not seem to be duly declared on tax returns.”

The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy in “Delaware: An Onshore Tax Haven” observed that the state’s obscurity, combining with a loophole in its tax code “makes it a magnet for people looking to create anonymous shell companies, which individuals and corporations can use to evade an inestimable amount in federal and foreign taxes.”

***

Not to think the New York Times is going against the branch on which it sits, plutocracy. The preceding extracts were hidden away from the electronic front page. What we found on the front page was Krugman going all-out against Bernie Sanders in Sanders Over The Edge.

A good way to say bad things is to sound reasonable’ Krugman excels at that:

“…most liberal policy wonks were skeptical about Bernie Sanders. On many major issues — including the signature issues of his campaign, especially financial reform — he seemed to go for easy slogans over hard thinking. And his political theory of change, his waving away of limits, seemed utterly unrealistic.

Some Sanders supporters responded angrily when these concerns were raised, immediately accusing anyone expressing doubts about their hero of being corrupt if not actually criminal. But intolerance and cultishness from some of a candidate’s supporters are one thing; what about the candidate himself?

Unfortunately, in the past few days the answer has become all too clear: Mr. Sanders is starting to sound like his worst followers. Bernie is becoming a Bernie Bro.

Let me illustrate the point about issues by talking about bank reform.

The easy slogan here is “Break up the big banks.” It’s obvious why this slogan is appealing from a political point of view: Wall Street supplies an excellent cast of villains. But were big banks really at the heart of the financial crisis, and would breaking them up protect us from future crises?”

Actually Krugman is a specialist of trade, not banks. Bank specialists like Simon Johnson, have called for the break-up of the 21 biggest banks (which are recognized as special by the present US government).

Krugman detests Sanders saying Hillary has no clothes:

“It’s one thing for the Sanders campaign to point to Hillary Clinton’s Wall Street connections, which are real, although the question should be whether they have distorted her positions… But recent attacks on Mrs. Clinton as a tool of the fossil fuel industry are just plain dishonest, and speak of a campaign that has lost its ethical moorings.

And then there was Wednesday’s rant about how Mrs. Clinton is not “qualified” to be president.

What probably set that off was a recent interview of Mr. Sanders by The Daily News, in which he repeatedly seemed unable to respond when pressed to go beyond his usual slogans. Mrs. Clinton, asked about that interview, was careful in her choice of words, suggesting that “he hadn’t done his homework.”

But Mr. Sanders wasn’t careful at all, declaring that what he considers Mrs. Clinton’s past sins, including her support for trade agreements and her vote to authorize the Iraq war — for which she has apologized — make her totally unfit for office.”

Speaking of exhibiting extremely deep, vicious dishonesty, I sent the following comment, it was censored:

It was obvious, during the ramp-up to the Iraq war that the top leaders of the USA had lost their mental balance. The United Nations did not believe their lies and refused to give them an authorization to attack Iraq. Bush attacked, without a UN Security Council authorization, because he was supported by New York Senator Clinton. The invasion of Iraq by the US caused millions of people to die or being wounded. It brought the Islamist State.

Those who engineered this debacle should have been prosecuted for crimes against humanity. Suggesting they are decent, because they apologize, is to deny civilization has merit. Proposing to be led by them again is proposing to learn nothing from the past.

Specialists of banks long suggested to break big banks and big shadow banks (Simon Johnson, 2009). This is not a revolutionary proposition. Teddy Roosevelt broke big oil. When President Franklin Roosevelt came to power, he closed all the banks. That was much more revolutionary.

Global trade treaties enabled giant corporations to extend their monopolies to the entire world. This way, they escape local legislation. An example is the “Double Irish” Apple Inc. and many other corporations use. The CEO of Apple admitted that two-third of the profits of Apple were not taxed.

End of my comment. Krugman never mentions subjects such as the preceding with the angle I use. In his world, big banks, big trade, big bucks, etc. are absolute big goods.

Hillary is his “sis”, with a bit of luck, she will be grateful, and make him big something, some more. Heathens such as me, with their strident Clintonophobia, have no doubt “not done our homework” because, like Sanders, we are just reprobate school children of no intellectual merit.

Try not paying taxes, as big fishes do, if you are a little guy. You will be sent to jail, anywhere in the West. Plutocracy central? You bet!

Another, completely innocuous comment of mine to Krugman later in the day was also censored. Krugman’s post was entitled “Why Cruz is worse than Trump“. Exactly what I have been saying for five months. I guess the dear professor noble Nobel whatever, is not too keen to expose where he gets (some of) his inspiration from. These are sad, nervous days, for those who love plutocracy, the old fashion way.

Nine 5 Star Hotels In Bariloche, Argentina, & Golf Courses To Receive Obama & His Secret Service, In Style, Next Year

Nine 5 Star Hotels In Bariloche, Argentina, & Golf Courses To Receive Obama & His Secret Service, In Style, Next Year

In “USA Financial Extortion“, the essay linked to at the beginning of this essay, I pointed out the connivance between New York “Justice” and financial “Vulture Funds”. Meanwhile, the son and scion of one of the richest persons in Argentina was duly elected president, and Obama rushed to celebrate him, after 15 years of cruel, demented, anti-Krugman, anti-financial plutocracy rule in Argentina. That new Argentinian plutocrat and president is called Macri. He is a dancer. It turns out he was the name on shell companies in several places of the Anglo-Saxon plutocratic empire (such as the Bahamas). That was just revealed in the Panama Papers. Never mind.

Macri, as president, reduced the arrogant financial demands of the lower classes in Argentina: he needs all the money in the world, to pay his Vulture Fund friends in New York, whom Obama serves so well. So brand new president Macri threw more than one million people in poverty, by gutting their allowances: more than 2.5% of the total population of Argentina. Such is the way of the admirers of Reagan: make the rich richer, and the economy will reward you (thus, when Obama came to power, he saw the economy and its big banks were sick: so he gave all the money in the world to the big banks, and reduced the tax rates of the hyper rich by 20%, and now you can see the economy is right).

In any case, throwing more than a million to the poor house is glorious: not bad in a few weeks of assuredly very presidential work. Maybe Macri’s dad can propose newly retired super star noble Nobel Obama some 5 star stay in Bariloche, next year? Just an idea. What are friends for, among the world’s rulers, if not grateful?

Patrice Ayme’

Evil Mood Propagating: Our Lords Are Too Big To Jail

September 23, 2015

Volkswagen (VW), for a few months the world’s largest automaker, installed a software that enabled a car to emit much less pollution when a test was conducted than it really did when it was operated for real. Out there on the streets the cars in question were emitting 40 times more pollution. There are at least 11 million such cars (11 x 10^6).

It was not a victimless crime: the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that air pollution from fossil fuels kills seven million people a year. In France alone, the government, which has favored polluting diesel cars (after making a scientific mistake, it claims) admits that 40,000 people die, each year from pollution caused mostly by cars.

Adolf Hitler (Sitting) Created Volkswagen

Adolf Hitler (Sitting) Created Volkswagen

Logically, the boss of VW, or those responsible (if they lied to their boss) ought to go to jail, for many, many years. Letting it happen that people would be gazed in extermination camps was often punished by death after World War Two (eleven thousands Nazis were executed in Germany). On the face of it, I have a problem seeing a distinction between that, and the behavior of VW. In both cases, it’s all about killing people, deliberately, to augment one’s power.

So why did the leaders of VW sink so low?

It’s the mood of the times. If Obama sees a wedding in Yemen, and he is told that has the “SIGNATURE” of a terrorist gathering, he orders to execute the wedding crowd, with remotely piloted bombing robots. Nobody “serious” sees a problem with that. Why can’t the boSS of VW do the same?

The mood of the time is that, when a big bank launders money for drug trafficking, it is told, if caught with enough evidence, to pay a fine, and the charges will be dropped. Excuse me? There would be no drug trafficking if the money could not be transported, and laundered. In other words, no big banks, no big drug trafficking. The first drug lords to jail ought to be the big bankers who partake in the activity. The boss of VW knew this: I am sure he read the papers, occasionally. So why can’t he do the same?

Surely, to spew lethal gases in the streets of the world, is not much worse than financing terrorist Islamist  networks, as some big western banks such as HSBC more or less did not have to admit they did, once they paid a few billions of official blackmail. A few months ago.

Meanwhile some hedge fund managers made billions, in just one year, paying no tax to speak of. These billions were stolen to everybody else. Why can’t the boss of VW steal billions too? Is not his company more important?

The mood of corruption has been propagating worldwide: after all, if you spend nearly as much as the average family income in the USA, and IF (a big if) the plutocrats invite you, you can meet with the president of the USA. That’s corruption. And they call that “democracy”, piling up corruption of the soul on top of corruption of the pocket-book.

And why can’t Putin be corrupt too, and do like Hitler, and invade countries? Who is going to stop him? Corrupt plutocrats, his friends and mentors? This is exactly what made Hitler laugh, literally laugh, even using the word “plutocrat” between two bouts of laughter. It did not end up well. The plutocrats had the last laugh: playing with Hades, Pluto, Satan, one can get burned to a crisp.

(In his last few days, Hitler ordered the execution of Dr. Schacht, JP Morgan’s creature, who had done so much to put the Fuhrer in power; ironically Schacht was saved because he was going to be executed with Leon Blum, the Jewish French socialist PM: a Wehrmacht aristocratic officer berated the SS at the last moment).

Plutocrats are playing similar games nowadays. The West is supporting the Saudis plutocrats, who, at best, are bandits who ought to be jailed, and then judged. However Saudi princes would point out, they don’t see why they should go to jail if the big bankers don’t. Good point. We may as well  appoint the Saudi gangsters to head the panel which decides who shall be an expert for the Human Right Council at the United Nations.

So now the Saudi torturers, who allegedly decapitate more people than the so-called Islamist State, want to execute and crucify a teenager who heaped disrespect on them. Until his flesh falls off onto the ground in a rotten heap. Why not? After all, he is a Shia, a type of apostate Muslim as far as the Wahhabists are concerned. That he is the nephew of a major opponent is also as good a motive as any.

George W. Bush seems to have committed, in Iraq, a war of aggression. At least he was told some judges in European countries think so, and are ready to have him arrested. Thus Bush does not travel there.

At the Nuremberg’s trial, some Nazi leaders were condemned to hang until dead, just for having committed a war of aggression. Why can’t we keep on applying international jurisprudence?

In August 1924, the German imperial government attacked the world. The leaders were not hanged, as they should have been, in 1919. So the mood of aggression against the world was repeated in the years leading to the 1939 war declaration of the French Republic against the “guide” Hitler. What did the German leaders risk? They thought they were not personally at risk. They found otherwise in 1945.

Now, of course, the moral fiber was stronger in republics in the past. In August 1914, the French Republic welcomed, as war refugees, one and a half million foreigners (1.5 x 10^6). In two weeks.

Now we just have austerity, meaning that the have-nots are viewed as still having too much. Plenty of austerity, and no humanity: ce sont des mots qui vont tres bien ensemble.

Patrice Ayme’

Democracy Flouted: No Ridicule Is High Enough

August 20, 2015

Democracy by representation can work in a factory, school or a homeowner association: those communities are small enough, and have reduced opportunity of choice. Their leaders’ decisions will not destroy the planet.

We need a concept: let’s introduce the DEMOCRATIC INDEX. It has a simple definition: DI is the quotient of the number of representatives, R, over the total population, P. So: Democratic Index: DI = R/P.

In a Direct Democracy (such as Ancient Athens), DI is one, because each citizen represents herself, or himself.

In modern so-called “representative democracies”, the Democratic Index is basically zero. Athenian Direct Democracy has been replaced by a celebrity circus where oligarchy is presented as the one and only show of greatest interest.

Eva Longoria, An Actress Whom Obama Consults At 2AM In The White House, To “Map” The Future

Eva Longoria, An Actress Whom Obama Consults At 2AM In The White House, To “Map” The Future

In giant countries, government by (“elected“) representatives certainly does not work, and not just because it vests enormous powers in a handful of individuals. The Obama circus of continual fund-raising and frolicking with plutocrats whose business is only possible through government, has made plenty clear that those who took part in an election were the plutocrats, and only them, not “We The People”. (Plutocrats also elected, again and again, Putin to ever more authoritative positions… Until they discovered to their dismay, that he had elected himself to plutocrat in chief.)

At the scale of a country, government by representatives is the power of a few. In Greek: few-rule: oligo-arkhein: oligarchy. Thus:

Theorem: All and any nation claiming to be a representative democracy is, actually, an oligarchy.

That does not mean it’s a plutocracy. For an oligarchy to be a plutocracy, great wealth, and, or great diabolicity, needs to rule.  

How does one hide all this nastiness? One hides it as a kabuki theater, a dictatorship of celebrities.

The New York Times just gave a striking example of this. It wrote a long article relating what Obama views as one of the main functions of his presidency. Times is the “newspaper of report”: it’s striking it presents a movie star as part of Obama’s 2am braintrust.

In “With High-Profile Help, Obama Plots Life After Presidency

“President Obama… is privately mapping out a postpresidential infrastructure that could cost as much as $1 billion.

One is obviously very far from the mentality of president Harry Truman. After holding office, as Senator, VP, and President, Truman lived in modest circumstances. When he was asked why he did not cash on his aura, Truman replied that it would demean the office of the presidency. Now things have changed: the presidency is apparently viewed by the beholder as all about money:

WASHINGTON — The dinner in the private upstairs dining room of the White House went so late that Reid Hoffman, the LinkedIn billionaire, finally suggested around midnight that President Obama might like to go to bed.

“Feel free to kick us out,” Mr. Hoffman recalled telling the president.

But Mr. Obama was just getting started. “I’ll kick you out when it’s time,” he replied.

“Good manners in present higher American society, is all about who kicks whom, and timing is everything. If they spend their time kicking each other, and laughing about it, imagine what they really do the average losers, such as you and me. The vulgarity was just getting started, though:

[President Obama] then lingered with his wife, Michelle, and their 13 guests — among them the novelist Toni Morrison, the hedge fund manager Marc Lasry and the Silicon Valley venture capitalist John Doerr — well past 2 a.m.

Mr. Obama “seemed incredibly relaxed,” said another guest, the writer Malcolm Gladwell. He recalled how the group, which also included the actress Eva Longoria and Vinod Khosla, a founder of Sun Microsystems, tossed out ideas about what Mr. Obama should do after he leaves the White House.”

Khosla is the self-proclaimed ecologist who bought for himself part of the undeveloped Californian Coast, and then barred nature lovers to hike and swim there, just because he owned it. He fought in court for years to block access to the public (who, in theory, has the right to walk California’s beaches).

Whatever Obama’s future is, it’s something Internet billionaires, part NSA, part vulgar, and hedge fund conspirators, venture plotters, and actresses can profitably manage.

“So far, Mr. Obama has raised just over $5.4 million from 12 donors, with gifts ranging from $100,000 to $1 million. Michael J. Sacks, a Chicago businessman, gave $666,666. Fred Eychaner, the founder of Chicago-based Newsweb Corp., which owns community newspapers and radio stations, donated $1 million. Mark T. Gallogly, a private equity executive, and James H. Simons, a technology entrepreneur, each contributed $340,000 to a foundation set up to oversee development of the library.”

“666” is the “Mark of the Beast”:, some robber barons have an undeniable sense of humor. Lucky is a country where the wealthiest can make enormous gifts to the Great Leader. At least, so they say in North Korea. And the New York Times goes on:

“The heart of the postpresidential planning is Mr. Obama’s own outreach to eclectic, often extraordinarily rich groups of people. Several aides close to Mr. Obama said his extended conversations over the lengthy dinners — guests say his drink of choice at the gatherings is an extra-dry Grey Goose martini — reminded them of the private consultations Mr. Obama had with donors and business leaders as he sought to build a winning campaign.

The process started as early as the week after Mr. Obama’s re-election in 2012, when the director Steven Spielberg and the actor Daniel Day-Lewis went to a White House screening of the movie “Lincoln.” Mr. Spielberg held the president spellbound, guests said, when he spoke about the use of technology to tell stories. Mr. Obama has continued those conversations, most recently with Mr. Spielberg and the studio executive Jeffrey Katzenberg over dinner at a Beverly Hills hotel in California in June, according to some of Mr. Obama’s close advisers.

The advisers said Mr. Spielberg was focused on helping to develop a “narrative” for Mr. Obama in the years after he leaves office.”

Katzenberg, in case you would be so naïve that you would need to ask, is a billionaire, and his jobs is selling dreams (not really different from Putin, just much more modest). It’s all about ‘narrative”

“In response to a question from Mr. Doerr at the February White House dinner, the president told the group that he wanted to focus on civic engagement and opportunities for youths, pushing guests for ideas about how to make government work better, Mr. Hoffman recalled in an interview. The president asked if social networks could improve the way society confronted problems.”

Well, let me tell, you, Mr. President, how the Internet could improve the way society confronts problems: by doing away with you, your actresses, moguls, hedge fund conspirators, bankers, Silicon plotters, and various oligarchs and plutocrats. How? We don’t need you, and your fellow 2 am brains.

We can just vote on the issues, instead of having you and your lapdogs decided everything. Say all propositions gathering more than a million signatures, as long as they don’t violate the Constitution, would be submitted to a national plebiscite.

What would happen?

American Lawyer, the most respected law magazine, just pointed out that for banks:”Fined. But business as usual.”

Banks are mandated by so-called representative democracies to create money (by extending credit). Thus they should be under fierce democratic control. However, they don’t even have to respect the law, they can just bribe their way out of it. And they have no limit: official accusations against the huge world bank HSBC were, after the usual tax evasion, money laundering and drug trafficking that it financed terrorist networks. So what? HSBC distributed some cash around, as suggested.

A plebiscite proposing that, when a banker steals, say, a billion dollar, he goes to jail, would certainly pass. After all, California had passed “Three Strikes You Are Out”, a law imposing a mandatory life sentence on the third condemnation, even if it were about stealing a pizza slice (a plebiscite, Prop 36, modified the “3 strikes” law in California in 2012, to impose drastic punishment only if the third strike was violent).

We are governed by oligarchs and plutocrats. That they look amusing and distracting is part of their oppression. Dire oppression with a comic face. We need to elevate ourselves, and find immoral, to be thrilled by the politicians’ ridiculous antics.

It is illegal for politicians to accept significant gifts. So what are politicians doing at 2am, with those who can give the most significant gifts? And are given the most significant gifts, such as evading the law on a plutocratic scale? Why is that legal?

Patrice Ayme’

Puerto Rico’s Default: Back To The 1930s?

August 5, 2015

We were told, for years, the outrageous lie that Greece’s debt crisis was “caused” by the Euro… Even by supposedly left wing economists of the USA (Paul Krugman, etc.), and their European parrots. I exposed this as a cover-up of the outrageous state of banking under a thick layer of Europhobia, even more than four years ago. Now Puerto Rico exhibits an increasing unwillingness to pay interest on its debt. Now what?

Puerto Rico’s Default Has Got To Be Europe’s Fault:

It’s only a matter of time before the plutocratic press, or, if you want, the Main Stream Media, make the Euro and Greece the reason for Puerto Rico’s failure. (For such a devious reasoning, see below.)

After 2008, the economy turned bad, and governments borrowed heavily to keep the society going. As the prospects got dimmer, https://patriceayme.wordpress.com/2014/06/21/new-york-vulture-justice/, bought Puerto Rican debt. Vultures hate education, as education makes for rebels, and they are in position to reduce educational spending, in Greece or Puerto Rico. When Vulture Funds had their fill, of Puerto Rican debt, they sprang the trap: mistaking Porto Rico for Greece, they required the Porto Rican government to reduce spending in education… So that Porto Rico could pay them the extravagant interest payments.

Is Puerto Rico The Object Of A (Financial Engineered) Genocide?

Is Puerto Rico The Object Of A (Financial Engineered) Genocide?

Debating Puerto Rican debt appears to be about finance, state debt, schools, hedge funds. Yet, ultimately, it’s about who owns Puerto Rico.

The Guardian, and magazine such as Slate, bought the hedge fund propaganda, bait, hook, line, sinker, if not the boat itself. Jordan Weissmann in Slate, a famous electronic magazine, blared: Hedge Funds Think Puerto Rico Should Shut Down Schools to Pay Its Debts. Is That So Wrong?

No, of course, it’s right. Hedge Funds should have all rights you can possibly imagine. They already buy and sell entire countries.

***

The Truth About Porto-Rico: Tax Haven, Millionaires’ Haven:

The total tax receipt in Puerto Rico is 10%, a small fraction of what it is in advanced countries (at least 23%). Taxes on the rich are small, full of loopholes. Moreover, the USA treats Puerto Rico like an exploited colony, so full reimbursements and compensations available to full citizens of the USA are not available in Puerto Rico.

Another truth is that educational spending is exploding in the USA, because health spending (Obamacare”) does not control costs (contrarily to what propaganda says). So plutocrats from hedge funds profit from an inflation which fellow plutocrats in health care engineered, thanks to an arguably too Machiavellian by half White House.

Porto Rico is a weird island, a territory of the USA which is neither destined to independence, nor a state. In the 1950s, four Puerto Ricans went to the Congress of the USA, and shot 30 rounds onto the Representatives, to ask for independence.

Krugman says Puerto Rico is not Greece: indeed, Puerto Ricans flee massively to the USA. Greeks no doubt ought to do the same and contribute free, or menial labor, to the splendor of the economy as celebrate by Krugman. People who are in the know stridently contradicted Paul Krugman’s positions and exposed them for what they are: the term “neo-colonialism” is too good. Pursued to the end, Puerto Rico would just vanish, except as a tax haven (just as the Virgin Islands next door).

***

Mussolini Fustigated What He Called “Demoplutocracies”:

Hitler joined the Italian dictator in complaining about the “plutocrats”… whom he knew all too well (top Nazis commiserated with him for having to dine with “plutocrats”, and make small talk to “plutocrats“, etc.)  

Does that mean that those who complain about “plutocracy” a lot, such as yours truly, are also fascist?

No. Of course not. First it shows that Mussolini and Hitler called their dinner guests “plutocrats” because that’s what they, all often, were. It also reveals that, in the 1930s, it was a common political truth, worldwide, that plutocrats had caused the financial and economic crisis… As they had, since they were in command (the bubble of the 1920s was deliberately engineered by Lord Montague and his American alter ego, to mitigate British debt from World War One by inflation and over-activity).

***

President Roosevelt, Knight Of The Dark Side:

People often ask me what the Dark Side is. Neither “Evil“, nor “Star Wars” do justice to the notion. That force is strong, but its strength varies. The politician who acted the best, for his own country, when faced with that plutocratic crisis, was President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Roosevelt devalued the dollar, shackled Wall Street and the banks, created a Command and Control economy (headed by a young Canadian!). Roosevelt, himself a plutocrat, behaved in an extremely progressive, socialist way. Because he had to. Sometimes, the Dark Side is all about doing what is necessary (I see Obama chuckling in the distance with his drones). Embracing many of the solutions of the hard left, was the price Roosevelt paid to save plutocracy.

Maybe to compensate, for his own exuberant socialism, Roosevelt was abusive with the French (who still adore him), and exploitative with the British. He also helped making sure that Stalin, Hitler and Mussolini could devastate Europe… To the great profit of the USA. In 1939, or early 1940, Roosevelt could have declared war to Hitler. That would have probably made him win re-election in November 1940 in a landslide.

Roosevelt ran for an unprecedented Third Term. President Washington had refused to do so; Roosevelt was not obligated to run for an unprecedented third term. But he was morally, civilizationally, and strategically obligated to declare war to Nazism. FDR never did: Hitler declared war TO him. So why did not he?

Because Roosevelt was a master of the Dark Side: he let Nazism being used as a blunt instruments to destroy the competition in Europe, the other representative democracies (France, UK, Netherlands, Belgium, Norway… and their allies: Czechoslovakia, Poland, etc.) In the USA, this makes him a great man, an immense patriot, the founder of the “American Century”. The judgment of history, is another matter, entirely, let’s hope I contribute to it with my own point of view (“theory“).

In any case, President Roosevelt was a master plutocrat, whereas Hitler and Mussolini depended upon plutocrats. The case of Stalin is different: the Dark Side was so strong with him, he was able to surf over lots of plutocrats, as if they were waves, one after the other. Early on plutocrats of the USA (such as the Harriman Brothers) financed him (say to develop Baku oil fields). Engel in his theoretical book had said to do away with marriage, and embrace, free, secxual love. So Stalin’s satanic approach was pragmatic. Allied to German fascists, from 1916, until savagely attacked by his colleague Hitler, Stalin dictated his conditions to a weakened Roosevelt who was all too happy to give him half of Europe to chew on.

The Pragmatic Approach Can Be Opposed to the Principled One:

The USA stays highly pragmatic, never having ratified the Kyoto Protocol. Obama presented a plan to lead from behind technological progress (it affects energy production, about 30% of the CO2 production, but not transportation, another third, or industry). The solution, of course is to take out all subsidies for fossil fuels, starting with the richest countries, and doing so progressively. If Europe and the USA decided this, they could impose it, worldwide, through a carbon tax.

A conference in Paris is supposed to make desperate efforts to stop the rush through the two degrees Celsius, but the largest sub-arctic zone, Russia, has already barreled right through.

As long as hedge funds feel they can order the world around why should it be any different? What else?

Plutocrats say: all the problems arise from French-like socialism, and the European Unification related to it. Thus, they have got to say that so it is, with Puerto Rico’s debt crisis.

Puerto Rico’s debt crisis has to be related to the hydra of European unifying socialism, sneakily propelled by the French.  How could that not be? Contagion, what plutocrats fear the most, this what Greece and France brought: contagion of rebellion. Destroying direct democracy is why Persia financed the war of Sparta against Athens. Plutocrats have profited of this Persian investment, ever since.

The Greeks did not want to pay for their banks’ errors, and the state debt resulting from it. So the Greeks started a mood, a mood where those who owe resist their lords, the lenders. Hence the Puerto Rican legislature sudden decision to resist its masters, the hedge fund managers. So, you see, European leftists are not innocuous, they are already attacking on U.S. soil.

And the climate crisis? Purely a French invention. Proof? The climate conference is to be held in Paris in four months.

Nowadays, thanks in part to the Multiverse fanatics, no proofs are really necessary, screaming insanities is sufficient, to qualify for respect (as long as you have a big gun, or pocketbook, or aura given by those with guns, or pocketbooks). Everybody knows this, by now: the tedium of the medium is the message, and the massage.

Patrice Ayme’

Is London A Cancer?

July 28, 2015

London is getting ever richer. Why this is, is, at first sight, a mystery. San Francisco is also getting richer. But that’s not mysterious: thousands of beaver geeks are busy building “apps” there, San Francisco actually produces products, common products which common people love to use. And code writers prefer to live there, in a big city, next to Silicon Valley’s centers of power and innovation. Apps made in San Francisco are then sold worldwide.

Excuse Us Not, We Are Building All over

Excuse Us Not, We Are Building All over

But London? What does London make? The answer is not what London makes, but what it harbors… which we abhor. An increasingly serious world problem. The New York Times’ Roger Cohen ponders the situation:

“The streets look the same — if spruced for the new gentry from drab and dreary to spick and span — but London’s animating spirit is another. Money, and I mean the world’s money not Britain’s, now determines how London looks, sets it apart from the rest of the country, and defines what it is… it resembles a mausoleum reserved for the occasional use of the globe’s peripatetic rich and their ample staffs.

Real estate as investment and tax dodge, rather than as dwelling, is a life-sucking force. Georgian mansions of cream-colored splendor sit there, empty much of the time, with a banner to the great unwashed on their shuttered windows proclaiming: Stay out!

The faraway “Continent” of my youth — full of such unfamiliar and vaguely suspicious items as garlic and French intellectuals and edible food — has defied the Channel and arrived. London and gastronomy are no longer strangers.

French and Polish and Romanian youths pour into London in search of a living wage and passable English, followed by young Spaniards and Italians. That they are undeterred by how crazy-expensive London life is testifies to the economic slump and high unemployment across much of Europe.”

It is most reassuring for me when mainstream commentators adopt pretty much word for word what i have been saying for years. All the following ideas I brandished in the past, iconoclastically:

“London is skewed in dangerous ways, indicative of European and global problems. House prices keep jumping. Cranes are everywhere, hoisting new luxury developments into being. Some are certainly for wealthy Greeks fleeing their country’s problems. There’s a bubble. The capital has become a glittering enclave in a country often resentful of its dominance. It presides with an air of superiority, like squeaky-clean Singapore looking down on Southeast Asia.

An alternative way of looking at the push for independence by Scotland, now a one-party Scottish nationalist state, is to think of London as having seceded from the rest of Britain, a city-state unto itself. There is widespread resentment of the city’s self-absorption. An alternative way of looking at the way London sucks in money and the affluent from the rest of Europe is as a reflection of the stagnation and unresolved structural problems of the eurozone. In some ways, London reflects both a country and a continent in which the fracturing forces are, for the first time since World War II, stronger than the unifying forces. London is a capital of culture, but also of inequality and tax evasion.”

An alternative way to look at the most recent phase of the Greek crisis is that it consisted in several Machiavellian shows, entangled with each other. Tsipras wanted to claim he had no choice, but to take some strong measures which he knew and wanted, to take. Merkel and Hollande did not feel like negotiating with Cameron, something they sure could not do, as long as Greece is on the front burner. Cameron himself may have felt that the Greece crisis gave him an excuse for having had no time for significant negotiations with the EU, thus dissimulating his impotence. After all, Cameron is only PM of Great Britain, not the power behind London’s growth. That is what really pulls the strings: world plutocracy, un-taxed, uncowed, unabashed, indomitable.

Politics is nothing, if not Machiavellian. London itself is so outrageous, that it presents, by its very absurdity, both crisis and opportunity.

London’s average metrics are getting ever richer, on the back of We The People, worldwide. And Roger to conclude, in a style reminiscent of yours truly:

“[London] is also a magnet for people looking for a safe place for their money. Having made it in countries like Russia and China with a cowed press, rampant corruption and no rule of law, oligarchs and crony capitalists reach the conclusion that they like nothing as much as democratic systems with real legal systems and a vigorous press. Having trashed the West they trust the West with their money.

Autocratic hypercapitalism without Western checks and balances produces new elites whose dream is an American or British lifestyle and education for their children, and whose other goal is to buy into the rule of law by acquiring real estate, driving up prices in prime markets to the point where the middle classes of those countries, with incomes stagnant or falling (and taxed), are pushed aside.

London is the capital of these trends. That is the different reek, of something amiss and skewed and wrong, in its purring streets.”

Roger does not go into the nitty-gritty of the tax code. However, this is the core of London’s ascendancy. The tax code allows “non-doms” and plutocrats from all over the world to come and situate themselves, tax free, in London, for at least seven years. No questions asked.

London has turned into Monaco, writ large. With much less stringent admission criterions. Plus the added twist of world financial conspiracies, so unethical that the law of the USA does not allow them to be conducted, even in New York.

England (that is, London) and the USA (in particular Delaware, Wyoming, etc.) are the world’s largest tax havens, for world plutocracy. The serious money is hidden in “dark pools” where the real owners cannot be traced, in the present system: the situation is similar to tax evasion in Greece, but much worse.

The leaders of the USA, Wall Street, and London thus try to control the world, by inviting the controlling plutocrats to reside there. It’s a sort of Faustian bargain, writ large. The New York Times has made a whole study of wanted international criminals, and completely opaque arrangements controlling the mighty towers in New York.

Apparently the idea is to sell our democracy, in exchange for the influence, you plutocrats, you, our beloved plutocrats in residence, exert upon the world.

The price which is paid is not just measured in how much soul goes down the drain, but in the influence of plutocracy on politics. Academic studies have shown most decisions in the USA, have to do with what the .1% want, not what We The People of the USA want. The same phenomenon blossoms in England. Hence the Scottish rejection of the London wealth phenomenon.

It is high time that the Scottish rejection for plutocracy supreme spread around the world. If we do not reject plutocracy in a timely manner, it will come to control us completely, until a new serfdom becomes a fact.

Patrice Ayme’

Uber Greece: When The Main Industry Is Lying

July 25, 2015

Paul Krugman in  Uber and the New Liberal Consensus  points out that:“Uber actually brings two things to the taxi market. One is the smartphone revolution… The other is the company whose workers supposedly are free contractors, not employees, exempting the company from most of the regulations designed to protect employees…

…The “new liberal consensus“, argues (based on a lot of evidence) that wages are much less rigidly determined by supply and demand than previously thought, and that public policy can and should nudge employers into paying more. If that’s your policy plan, you really don’t want to see employers undermine it by declaring that they aren’t really employers…promote the use of new technology without prejudicing the interests of workers. But progressives need to work on doing that, and not let themselves get painted as enemies of innovation.”

Notice that Uber got lots of mileage from lying that they are an employer without employees. As technology and innovation advance, the law is left behind, and thus so are the punishments for violating it, or its spirit. We have seen a lot of that in the case of Greece. Lying has been supreme about how and thanks to whom, and most prominently, for whom, money is being created. Sometimes it feels as if we belong to an age where lying is the main industry. Engineering is good, lying, more profitable.

Another day, another economist from Munich lying about Greece, in the New York Times, while quoting (favorably) Goldman Sachs. “Why Greece Should Leave The Eurozone“:

“To compete, Greece needs a strong devaluation — a relative decline of its price level. Trying to lower prices and wages in absolute terms (for example, by slashing wages) would be very difficult, as it would bankrupt many debtors and tenants.

It would arguably be better to inflate prices in the rest of the eurozone…If the rest of the eurozone posts inflation rates of slightly less than 2 percent, as the E.C.B. hopes, Greece would be competitive after a decade or so, provided that its price level stays put…

What about the solution favored by leftists: more money for Greece? No doubt, enormous government spending would bring about a Keynesian stimulus and generate some modest internal growth. However, apart from the fact that this money would have to come from other countries’ taxpayers, this would be counterproductive, as it would prevent the necessary devaluation.”

The question of corrupt economic advice keeps coming back. Dreadful advice keeps on coming: first rescuing the private banks with state money, ruining the state, then austerity, ruining the economy. Now they want to make Greece worthless, because they say it will improve the economy.

By forcing on it a devastating devaluation, do Germans want to buy Greece on the cheap? Often it looks like it. The Greeks own more worthy property than Germans do. This property is valued in Euros. Germans cannot buy enough of it. But they could, if the currency used by Greeks became worthless, which is what many German economists advocate.

Those who want to make Greece worthless say: that would improve the Greek economy. However, the Greek economy depends upon tourism (which is roaring ahead), petroleum imports (which would become immensely expensive if Greece devalued), refined petroleum products (those contracts are in dollars, so would not profit from a devaluation) and shipping (all contracts are in dollars).

Ridiculous ideas are rolled out. Take Finland: it’s in recession, with 10% unemployment, still Finland accuses Greece. But, truly, what Finland needs is the same as what Greece needs: easy money and tons of it. Same observation for the Netherlands. That same “leftist” solution, the one the USA implemented for itself.

Hence why the nefarious advice? Because Europe has many enemies and many economists’ repute depends upon sinking the EU, while Wall Street profits from it.

The advice has been to bleed the patient, until he gets better: that’s austerity. Now the advice is to bury the patient, until it revives, raising from his ashes.

All what Greece needs is an anti-oligarchic revolution. Some in the EU will help achieve it.

And that’s why precisely the hysteria has been so great about sabotaging the EU by kicking Greece out. The powers that be don’t want a successful anti-oligarchic revolution. As all European states are supposed to be in the European Monetary Union, and Greece does not want out, this is the violence one was talking about.

Patrice Ayme’

MIT Gangsters Rule

July 24, 2015

Goodbye, Chicago boys. Hello, M.I.T. gang.”

Who says this? No less than Paul Krugman (himself with a PhD from MIT), in a New York Times editorial “The MIT Gang“. I will get back to the murder-friendly attitude of Krugman, who not only extols the MIT influence as a good thing, but moreover glosses over the nefarious influence of American trained economists, “The Chicago Boys“, in destroying democracy. And not just democracy. The role of economic ideology from the American plutocratic universities was so nefarious that tens of thousands were outright assassinated, so that Chicago economics could be implemented. Bad economics is bad in all ways, including the most murderous ones. Not only Stalin, Mussolini, Hitler and the Khemr Rouge had murderous economics. Arguably, present day economics may be even more lethal.

MIT Economics Favors Plutocracy (=Pluto Power)

MIT Economics Favors Plutocracy (=Pluto Power)

After 2008, the MIT gangsters Krugman effrontly lauds, put trillions of dollars at the disposition of the very banksters who had caused the 2008 crash. Yes, those gentlemen gangsters have names. Those gangsters are so famously, they could be called gangstars. Those stars directed the world’s two most important central banks, or played the top roles, just below the ill-fated Dominique Strauss-Kahn at the IMF, or World Bank, etc. (Krugman sings their praise, and their names, in his “MIT Gang” essay).

The crash was actually the transfer of colossal amounts of money from the banks to a subset of plutocrats, ruining the banks. To refloat the banks, public money (see Greece) was called in, both from Treasuries and from Central Banks. The red graph above depicts that transfer as the scarlet exponential of shame. And no one, among those who control the world, condescend to observe it, let alone, explain it.

Although I was diplomatic enough not to even allude to these horrors, I sent the following comment to the New York Times. It was immediately censored:

The Chicago, and MIT economic departments rule. Who elected them, as our leaders? Who elected the Central Banks, and authorized them to buy at outrageous prices the property of private banks? That’s so-called “Quantitative Easing“… Thus enabling the bankers, banksters and gangsters who caused the crash of 2008 to keep on deciding who wins, and who loses, socioeconomically?

The private banks, extend credit to the richest of the rich.Thus they comfort, and buttress the plutocrats… Who then invite the president to gather money during parties in their mansions.

Why have so few people, so much power? Under which political theory? Which theory advocates that only a few people rule? Few: in Greek, Oligos. To rule: Arkhein. Oligos-Arkein: such a theory is called Oligarchy.

So the few rule. Question: why is a MIT gang better than a Chicago gang, a Wall Street gang, or a Sicilian gang?

Because we owe more respect to a MIT gang than to the Mafia? Why? Did we vote to have so much respect for MIT, we want them, MIT gangsters, to take all the decisions about the society in which we live? Our economic well-beings? Our employment? Our lives?

And when did we switch from democracy (Greek: Demos-Kratos, English: People-Power) to Oligarchy? Did we vote to surrender our powers to various gangs? I gather we did not. Thus, when, and how did this silent coup occur? What measures do we need to take, to return to democracy?

Patrice Ayme’

Note: Some commentators have complained that I am too tough on Krugman: he is a good guy, he is on the side of progress, he is on my side, I am biting a fellow creature. Indeed, Krugman is viewed as the standard bearer of social progress, and not at all the standard bearer of plutocratic universities. So let Krugman talk a little bit more in his own offense in the editorial at hand: : “If you don’t know what I’m talking about, the term “Chicago boys” was originally used to refer to Latin American economists, trained at the University of Chicago, who took radical free-market ideology back to their home countries. The influence of these economists was part of a broader phenomenon: The 1970s and 1980s were an era of ascendancy for laissez-faire economic ideas and the Chicago school, which promoted those ideas.

But that was a long time ago. Now a different school is in the ascendant, and deservedly so.”

Notice the pernicious context. What you have to know is that these “Latin American Economists trained at the University of Chicago, who took radical free-market ideology back to theior home countries.”

It sounds innocuous, but actually these “boys” set-up dictatorships in their countries, who killed tens of thousands of people in Argentina alone.

Similar “economic” performance was achieved in Chile, Brazil, and a dozen other Latin American states thus inspired. Nothing that Paul Krugman is allowed to remember while he wants to stay in good standing with plutocracy supreme.

Patrice Ayme’

 

Piketty Pickets Titanic Teutonic Ignorance

July 6, 2015

Watching the entire German political establishment (so-called “Socialists” from the SPD Schultz, Gabriel, etc…) threaten Greece with punishments not in their powers to inflict… One is reminded that some countries have a habit of lying (this is, basically, what Nietzsche already accused Germany of doing… 130 years ago).

I said the entire German establishment… But for, paradoxically, Angela Merkel. Instead she, correctly, went to take her orders in Paris (a good instinct). After his victory the Greek Premier called Hollande first… And Hollande told him that Greek finance Minister Varoufakis had to go. Varoufakis had gone a truth too far, namely that plutocrats and their agents are terrorists.

You Two Better Solve This By Cutting Greek Debt 30%, Or History Will Punish You

You Two Better Solve This By Cutting Greek Debt 30%, Or History Will Punish You

In August 1914, the German Socialist Party, the SPD, supported the wild attack of Prussian and filthy rich plutocrats against the rest of the world, and in particular, the French Republic. A month later, the entire German army got nearly annihilated east of Paris (the First Battle of the Marne).

Why is it that the SPD cannot learn? (Germany is governed by a SPD-CDU coalition headed by CDU’s Merkel; Merkel, just like Hitler, needs the approval of her Parliament. Differently from Hitler, she can’t just send the SS to help approval.)

Countries are not just affected by their own cultures, ideologies, systems of thought. They are also influenced by something more pernicious, systems of mood. The mood that welcomed Auschwitz and another 5,000 extermination camps in Nazi Germany, was not made by Hitler, contrarily to despicable legend. Hitler just accompanied the exterminationist mood. That, in turn, was implied by a great admiration for Luther, one of the worst men. Ever.

Martin Luther was one of the great thought criminal, ever, because of his vicious anti-Judaism (many others, more courageous than Luther had criticized Catholicism before, without hating the Jews).

This is a serious PHILOSOPHICAL problem. Friedrich Nietzsche (who had fought against France in the Franco-Prussian war of 1870-71, before realizing his mistake), wrote hundreds of pages on the madness of the German herd, and its strident anti-Judaism.

Somehow the Nazis turned around Nietzsche’s philosophy against himself.

I thank John Rogers, a commenter on this site to attract my attention to (French) economist Thomas Piketty’s interview below.

Piketty wrote “Capital in the XXI Century”, a book where he presents (part of the) problems in economy and finance long exposed on this site (and its ancestor), and a few of the solutions (although I go much further, as I consider the public-private fractional reserve system a fundamentally fascist system, which has, ideally, to be outlaed in the long run)

This interview with Thomas Piketty puts it all in perspective:

DIE ZEIT: Should we Germans be happy that even the French government is aligned with the German dogma of austerity?

Thomas Piketty: Absolutely not. This is neither a reason for France, nor Germany, and especially not for Europe, to be happy. I am much more afraid that the conservatives, especially in Germany, are about to destroy Europe and the European idea, all because of their shocking ignorance of history.

ZEIT: But we Germans have already reckoned with our own history.

Piketty: But not when it comes to repaying debts! Germany’s past, in this respect, should be of great significance to today’s Germans. Look at the history of national debt: Great Britain, Germany, and France were all once in the situation of today’s Greece, and in fact had been far more indebted. The first lesson that we can take from the history of government debt is that we are not facing a brand new problem. There have been many ways to repay debts, and not just one, which is what Berlin and Paris would have the Greeks believe.

“Germany is the country that has never repaid its debts. It has no standing to lecture other nations.”
ZEIT: But shouldn’t they repay their debts?

Piketty: My book recounts the history of income and wealth, including that of nations. What struck me while I was writing is that Germany is really the single best example of a country that, throughout its history, has never repaid its external debt. Neither after the First nor the Second World War. However, it has frequently made other nations pay up, such as after the Franco-Prussian War of 1870, when it demanded massive reparations from France and indeed received them. The French state suffered for decades under this debt. The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.

ZEIT: But surely we can’t draw the conclusion that we can do no better today?

Piketty: When I hear the Germans say that they maintain a very moral stance about debt and strongly believe that debts must be repaid, then I think: what a huge joke! Germany is the country that has never repaid its debts. It has no standing to lecture other nations.

ZEIT: Are you trying to depict states that don’t pay back their debts as winners?

Piketty: Germany is just such a state. But wait: history shows us two ways for an indebted state to leave delinquency. One was demonstrated by the British Empire in the 19th century after its expensive wars with Napoleon. It is the slow method that is now being recommended to Greece. The Empire repaid its debts through strict budgetary discipline. This worked, but it took an extremely long time. For over 100 years, the British gave up two to three percent of their economy to repay its debts, which was more than they spent on schools and education. That didn’t have to happen, and it shouldn’t happen today. The second method is much faster. Germany proved it in the 20th century. Essentially, it consists of three components: inflation, a special tax on private wealth, and debt relief.

ZEIT: So you’re telling us that the German Wirtschaftswunder [“economic miracle”] was based on the same kind of debt relief that we deny Greece today?

Piketty: Exactly. After the war ended in 1945, Germany’s debt amounted to over 200% of its GDP. Ten years later, little of that remained: public debt was less than 20% of GDP. Around the same time, France managed a similarly artful turnaround. We never would have managed this unbelievably fast reduction in debt through the fiscal discipline that we today recommend to Greece. Instead, both of our states employed the second method with the three components that I mentioned, including debt relief. Think about the London Debt Agreement of 1953, where 60% of German foreign debt was cancelled and its internal debts were restructured.

“We need a conference on all of Europe’s debts, just like after World War II. A restructuring of all debt, not just in Greece but in several European countries, is inevitable.”
ZEIT: That happened because people recognized that the high reparations demanded of Germany after World War I were one of the causes of the Second World War. People wanted to forgive Germany’s sins this time!

Piketty: Nonsense! This had nothing to do with moral clarity; it was a

rational political and economic decision. They correctly recognized that, after large crises that created huge debt loads, at some point people need to look toward the future. We cannot demand that new generations must pay for decades for the mistakes of their parents. The Greeks have, without a doubt, made big mistakes. Until 2009, the government in Athens forged its books. But despite this, the younger generation of Greeks carries no more responsibility for the mistakes of its elders than the younger generation of Germans did in the 1950s and 1960s. We need to look ahead. Europe was founded on debt forgiveness and investment in the future. Not on the idea of endless penance. We need to remember this.

ZEIT: The end of the Second World War was a breakdown of civilization. Europe was a killing field. Today is different.

Piketty: To deny the historical parallels to the postwar period would be wrong. Let’s think about the financial crisis of 2008/2009. This wasn’t just any crisis. It was the biggest financial crisis since 1929. So the comparison is quite valid. This is equally true for the Greek economy: between 2009 and 2015, its GDP has fallen by 25%. This is comparable to the recessions in Germany and France between 1929 and 1935.

ZEIT: Many Germans believe that the Greeks still have not recognized their mistakes and want to continue their free-spending ways.

Piketty: If we had told you Germans in the 1950s that you have not properly recognized your failures, you would still be repaying your debts. Luckily, we were more intelligent than that.

ZEIT: The German Minister of Finance, on the other hand, seems to believe that a Greek exit from the Eurozone could foster greater unity within Europe.

Piketty: If we start kicking states out, then the crisis of confidence in which the Eurozone finds itself today will only worsen. Financial markets will immediately turn on the next country. This would be the beginning of a long, drawn-out period of agony, in whose grasp we risk sacrificing Europe’s social model, its democracy, indeed its civilization on the altar of a conservative, irrational austerity policy.

ZEIT: Do you believe that we Germans aren’t generous enough?

Piketty: What are you talking about? Generous? Currently, Germany is profiting from Greece as it extends loans at comparatively high interest rates.

ZEIT: What solution would you suggest for this crisis?

Piketty: We need a conference on all of Europe’s debts, just like after World War II. A restructuring of all debt, not just in Greece but in several European countries, is inevitable. Just now, we’ve lost six months in the completely intransparent negotiations with Athens. The Eurogroup’s notion that Greece will reach a budgetary surplus of 4% of GDP and will pay back its debts within 30 to 40 years is still on the table. Allegedly, they will reach one percent surplus in 2015, then two percent in 2016, and three and a half percent in 2017. Completely ridiculous! This will never happen. Yet we keep postponing the necessary debate until the cows come home.

ZEIT: And what would happen after the major debt cuts?

Piketty: A new European institution would be required to determine the maximum allowable budget deficit in order to prevent the regrowth of debt. For example, this could be a commmittee in the European Parliament consisting of legislators from national parliaments. Budgetary decisions should not be off-limits to legislatures. To undermine European democracy, which is what Germany is doing today by insisting that states remain in penury under mechanisms that Berlin itself is muscling through, is a grievous mistake.

“If we had told you Germans in the 1950s that you have not properly recognized your failures, you would still be repaying your debts. Luckily, we were more intelligent than that.”
ZEIT: Your president, François Hollande, recently failed to criticize the fiscal pact.

Piketty: This does not improve anything. If, in past years, decisions in Europe had been reached in more democratic ways, the current austerity policy in Europe would be less strict.

ZEIT: But no political party in France is participating. National sovereignty is considered holy.

Piketty: Indeed, in Germany many more people are entertaining thoughts of reestablishing European democracy, in contrast to France with its countless believers in sovereignty. What’s more, our president still portrays himself as a prisoner of the failed 2005 referendum on a European Constitution, which failed in France. François Hollande does not understand that a lot has changed because of the financial crisis. We have to overcome our own national egoism.

ZEIT: What sort of national egoism do you see in Germany?

Piketty: I think that Germany was greatly shaped by its reunification. It was long feared that it would lead to economic stagnation. But then reunification turned out to be a great success thanks to a functioning social safety net and an intact industrial sector. Meanwhile, Germany has become so proud of its success that it dispenses lectures to all other countries. This is a little infantile. Of course, I understand how important the successful reunification was to the personal history of Chancellor Angela Merkel. But now Germany has to rethink things. Otherwise, its position on the debt crisis will be a grave danger to Europe.

ZEIT: What advice do you have for the Chancellor?

Piketty: Those who want to chase Greece out of the Eurozone today will end up on the trash heap of history. If the Chancellor wants to secure her place in the history books, just like [Helmut] Kohl did during reunification, then she must forge a solution to the Greek question, including a debt conference where we can start with a clean slate. But with renewed, much stronger fiscal discipline.

***

I read, and approved what Piketty said. I would add this: only two countries, Denmark and deluded Britain, have an opt-out of the Euro currency. All other European countries are supposed to adopt the Euro (and Denmark is already pegged to the Euro… As the Swiss Frank basically is… by spurts). Thus, to kick Greece out of the Eurozone is a bit like wanting to kick it out of the Union. Interestingly, too, Greece has not breached some democratic aspects that other countries (namely Austria and Hungary nearly did, exposing themselves to sanctions… The Austrian case was resolved, Hungary is still under close watch).

Thus Greece really is making plutocrats and their obsequious servants furious. Some think the banks of the USA got 13 trillion dollars of money from the government (namely, the Fed). Europe’s ECB gave only one trillion Euros. It’s high time to write some huge checks to relaunch the European economy. In the case of Greece we are talking about making a 100 billion gift. Scaled to the entire European economy, that is ONLY five trillion Euros. Notice it’s smaller than the case in the USA.

Last, but not least: California, with many times the economy of Greece, got broke a few years back. It paid employees with IOUs (I Owe You). Now California has fully recovered, thanks, in great part, to its knowledge economy. So, no panic. Just keep money flowing to Greece’s necessary functions, such as science and education…

Patrice Ayme’

Banksterocracy

July 4, 2015

The Champagne region was proclaimed a world heritage site by UNESCO today. Champagne, a method to make sparkling wine, was created by a cleric, Dom Perignon, four centuries ago.

Mr. Yannis Varoufakis, Greek finance minister: “Why did they force us to close the banks? To instil fear in people. And spreading fear is called terrorism.” Indeed. That is what I was saying before: arguably the demons of High Finance, the shills of the IMF, Goldman-Sachs, the ECB, etc, are the main force deep behind Islamist Terrorism, because they cause misery, while weakening enormously the military capabilities.

Added Varoufakis:”The EU will have no legal grounds to throw Greece out of the euro, and then the real negotiation will start with creditors.”

Unbelievably, the European Central Bank has put the entire Greek economy in a deep freeze, with a very low ceiling on the Emergency Loan Agreement (ELA). What for exactly? With which authority? Just because its (ex) Goldman-Sachs head, Draghi, is used to make a profession from dragging people in misery?

Bait & Switch, Or How The Public Was Made To Pay For Being Ruled By Banksters

Bait & Switch, Or How The Public Was Made To Pay For Being Ruled By Banksters

Look at these numbers above: how come France, Germany, Italy, etc. invested in Greece? Of course they did not. What they did is that they “lent” Greece money so that the Greek plutocrats then in command of Greece could refloat the French, German, etc. bank subsidiaries which had gone bankrupt lending to fellow plutocrats they had met earlier, taking champagne baths, all together. Now we are supposed to drain the bath, and serve them more champagne.

Meanwhile, Christine Lagarde, the Marie-Antoinette who proposed that, because gasoline was to expensive for them, the French ought to switch to biking, hangs tough about “Greece”. A buffoon shilling for plutocracy with a misleading French accent. Just look at her shifty eyes: she knows how dirty she is.

As Oxford economy professor Simon Wren-Lewis puts it, the IMF was “captured” by the banksters: “the Troika made a huge mistake in using their citizens’ money to lend to Greece so Greece could partially repay these private sector creditors – that is where most of the Troika’s rescue package went.”

(Yes, apparently, 92% went to banksters; but thanks to propaganda, most people believe We The People of Greece splurged, whereas, it is the banksters who splurged).

The first order of plutocracy, nowadays is banksterocracy: bankster-power. Let me quote extensively from Atrios, a USA citizen originally from Australia, with a PhD in economics. Atrios writes a wildly successful blog, taken seriously by major economists. Quoting others extensively, Atrios comes below to the conclusion I reached more than six years ago, about the nature of who rule us, and this is most pleasing:

“Saturday July 4, 2015: What’s It All About Then

Greece’s Euro “membership” isn’t about using the currency, it’s about having access to various loan facilities and support from the ECB, which it already doesn’t have.

Bloomberg reports that Bulgaria, which is not a Euro member but backs its currency with Euro reserves, has just been allowed to borrow from the ECB at the same rate as Euro members, thus enabling it to firewall its banks from Greek contagion. This is a privilege normally only accorded to Euro members – and it has been WITHDRAWN from Greece. If this is true, then Bulgaria (non-Euro member) can obtain Euros from the ECB while Greece (Euro member) cannot. It is hard to see what benefit Greece’s Euro membership confers, apart from redistribution of seigniorage receipts.

And finally someone gets the logical endpoint of central bank “independence.”

For the central bank of a currency union to deliberately restrict the money supply in regions within the currency union is bizarre. No other currency union central bank on earth does this. It would, for example, be unthinkable for the Bank of England to deny liquidity to Scotland’s banks. But the ECB has denied liquidity to Greece’s banks, not because they are insolvent (which is a reasonable reason to deny liquidity to banks) but because the sovereign won’t toe the fiscal line. It has taken on a political role that it should not have.

Of course, the ECB’s shareholders are the member state governments. But those governments have bound themselves by laws and treaties that prevent them interfering with or in any way controlling the ECB. So the Eurozone is in reality a financial dictatorship run by bankers. I struggle to see why anyone would voluntarily join it, let alone want to stay in it. But that’s democracy for you.

Whatever it is, it ain’t democracy. It’s banksterocracy. The concept of central bank independence was, once upon a time, thought to be necessary to prevent irresponsible governments from doing, or being perceived as doing, irresponsible things with the money supply. Now the point of central bank independence is to hand immense power to a bunch of unelected unaccountable people engaged in revolving door careers with the banking system. Let’s continue laughing at the silly Greeks and their silly corruption.  

The first irresponsible thing to do with the money supply is not to provide enough money to run the economy. This was a major problem during the Roman empire’s Fourth Century (due to a dearth of precious metals and not enough police powers to insure the value of the Fiat Currency). By 300 CE, the imperial government instated a massive command and control system to insure the core functions of the economy.

The problem we have now is different: so-called austerity is actually a refusal to finance important sectors of the economy, including not just basic decency, but also science and education. Meanwhile China has boosted its science budget to a nearly incomprehensible 192 billion dollars (more than all the West combined).

China is right. 100%. (Then the land of Confucius gets accused of “ethical breaches”, by professional bleaters, for pulling ahead on genomic research)

On the other hand, those who have starved, and are starving the European economy, from sheer lack of currency, are not just betraying their birthplace, but civilization itself.

Patrice Ayme’

 

Why Euro Wrecks. So Argue About It.

July 3, 2015

In Greece, some of the upper class, including conservative officers high in the army, or investors who absolutely did not vote for the leftist Syriza, plan to follow Prime Minister Tsipras’ advice to vote NO to the referendum. In other words, the country is very divided.

(In the same vein, I have, unusually, no strong advice: there are great arguments for both the YES and the NO vote; however, I think it’s a good thing to vote, people ought to do this all the time, because they are all forced to go out and think about the process; it’s too bad Tsipras called the referendum with such short notice, though; the arguing process needs time, as the “votations” in Switzerland show: one can see opinions change, over a period of months. If I had to vote, I would vote NO. But it’s not a vote against the Euro, of course. It is just a vote against the obsequious butlers of arrogant plutocrats, their institutions, the so-called “creditors”, and the wanton cruelty, viciousness and outrageous lies, and sneaky misrepresentations and red herrings.)

Paul Krugman in “Europe’s Many Economic Disasters” points out that:

“It’s depressing thinking about Greece these days, so let’s talk about something else, O.K.? Let’s talk, for starters, about Finland, which couldn’t be more different from that corrupt, irresponsible country to the south. Finland is a model European citizen; it has honest government, sound finances and a solid credit rating, which lets it borrow money at incredibly low interest rates.

It’s also in the eighth year of a slump that has cut real gross domestic product per capita by 10 percent and shows no sign of ending. In fact, if it weren’t for the nightmare in southern Europe, the troubles facing the Finnish economy might well be seen as an epic disaster.”

Greek Debt Service Was Reduced Too Little, Too Late

Greek Debt Service Was Reduced Too Little, Too Late

Astutely, Krugman insists that these crises are not just ubiquitous, but also that the usual plutocratic interpretation cannot be brandished, because the FRENCH Republic, the most social country of them all, escapes relatively well. Krugman:

“And Finland isn’t alone. It’s part of an arc of economic decline that extends across northern Europe through Denmark — which isn’t on the euro, but is managing its money as if it were — to the Netherlands. All of these countries are, by the way, doing much worse than France, whose economy gets terrible press from journalists who hate its strong social safety net, but it has actually held up better than almost every other European nation except Germany.”

The case of the French Republic is special: France in more ways than one, is a mini USA. The French economy does everything, from extremely high tech and science to exporting agriculture. It is the most diversified economy in the world, with the USA. However, it has been suffering immensely from too high a currency.

In comparison, Finland is a two tricks pony: timber and Nokia. Germany does well with high quality high tech exports, but one can expect China to catch up with luxury cars.

The meaning of recovery in Greece has become unreal. Krugman:

“And what about southern Europe outside Greece? European officials have been hyping the recovery in Spain, which did everything it was supposed to do and whose economy has finally started to grow again and even to create jobs. But success, European-style, means an unemployment rate that is still almost 23 percent and real income per capita that is still down 7 percent from its pre-crisis level. Portugal has also obediently implemented harsh austerity — and is 6 percent poorer than it used to be.”

European so-called “leaders”, these corruptocrats drunk on power, have a lot of explaining to do. Krugman:

”Why are there so many economic disasters in Europe? Actually, what’s striking at this point is how much the origin stories of European crises differ. Yes, the Greek government borrowed too much. But the Spanish government didn’t — Spain’s story is all about private lending and a housing bubble. And Finland’s story doesn’t involve debt at all. It is, instead, about weak demand for forest products, still a major national export, and the stumbles of Finnish manufacturing, in particular of its erstwhile national champion Nokia.”

Krugman comes close to the real explanation, but his semantics start to drift inappropriately:

“What all of these economies have in common, however, is that by joining the eurozone they put themselves into an economic straitjacket. Finland had a very severe economic crisis at the end of the 1980s — much worse, at the beginning, than what it’s going through now. But it was able to engineer a fairly quick recovery in large part by sharply devaluing its currency, making its exports more competitive. This time, unfortunately, it had no currency to devalue. And the same goes for Europe’s other trouble spots.

Does this mean that creating the euro was a mistake? Well, yes.”

Well, no. The Euro was not a mistake. The mistake was to put Goldman-Sachs and its ilk in command (see below). Competitive devaluations are a form of war. And the idea of an Union is no more war. The USA went to war for Union, and out of it came the “greenback”, the national currency of the USA (which was created for the war, and was part of the war effort). The dollar was created to make a more perfect union. Europe wants, and needs, a more perfect union.

The real mistake is that Jacques Delors, head of the European Commission,  and his team had said the Euro ought to stand on two legs. However, only one was built. National governments, power hungry, made sure that the other transnational leg not be built. It was also handy that by not building the required transnational EUROPEAN governance, one made the sure that High Finance and its plutocrats could have free rein. In other words, Goldman Sachs and its ilk were given the opportunity to lead Europe, precisely because the European “leaders” did not give the Peoples of Europe the opportunity to build a European governance in matters financial, monetary and economic. Krugman:

“But that’s not the same as saying that [the Euro] should be eliminated now that it exists. The urgent thing now is to loosen that straitjacket. This would involve action on multiple fronts, from a unified system of bank guarantees to a willingness to offer debt relief for countries where debt is the problem. It would also involve creating a more favorable overall environment for countries trying to adjust to bad luck by renouncing excessive austerity and doing everything possible to raise Europe’s underlying inflation rate — currently below 1 percent — at least back up to the official target of 2 percent.”

But there are many European officials and politicians who are opposed to anything and everything that might make the euro workable, who still believe that all would be well if everyone exhibited sufficient discipline. And that’s why there is even more at stake in Sunday’s Greek referendum than most observers realize.”

A characteristic of the Euro has been that, in spite of a terribly worsening economic situation, and desperately low interest rates, the Euro stayed very high, as if the situation was rosy. When the situation was bad in Germany, ten years ago, the Euro was at 86 cents on the Dollars. When several Euro countries hit unemployment of nearly 30% (as Spain did), the Euro was very strong, nearly 150 cents on the dollar. Who engineered that absurdity? The same Goldman Sachs specialists who (were paid to) hid part of the Greek debt The bankers lent inappropriately, and to whom did they lend? To their friends, their associates, the rich? 92% of the money borrowed by Greece since the crisis began went to banks. Why were the bankers not prosecuted? Differently from simple Greek retirees who saw their retirement collapse, they are culprit. The real question is, to whom did establishing this mess profit? The creditors? Are they trying to reduce everybody to misery?

Krugman feels that using a bit of violence against European authorities would be a good thing:

“One of the great risks if the Greek public votes yes — that is, votes to accept the demands of the creditors, and hence repudiates the Greek government’s position and probably brings the government down — is that it will empower and encourage the architects of European failure. The creditors will have demonstrated their strength, their ability to humiliate anyone who challenges demands for austerity without end. And they will continue to claim that imposing mass unemployment is the only responsible course of action.

What if Greece votes no? This will lead to scary, unknown terrain. Greece might well leave the euro, which would be hugely disruptive in the short run. But it will also offer Greece itself a chance for real recovery. And it will serve as a salutary shock to the complacency of Europe’s elites.

Or to put it a bit differently, it’s reasonable to fear the consequences of a “no” vote, because nobody knows what would come next. But you should be even more afraid of the consequences of a “yes,” because in that case we do know what comes next — more austerity, more disasters and eventually a crisis much worse than anything we’ve seen so far.”

Well, it’s not that simple. In 2008, everybody was supposed to freak out because ONE BANK of the USA went bankrupt. Now we have an entire country going bankrupt. A country with twice the population of Norway, or that of the average state of the USA.

If Greece is allowed to go fully bankrupt (no, I am not contradicting myself: in the case of the IMF, there is a three month grace, or limbo, period), we will know that European countries are allowed to go bankrupt.

And why? There are many reason, but one is particularly salient: Goldman Sachs, an American bank, and high finance conspiracy outfit, deliberately engineered a misrepresentation of Greek finance. Why are these conspirators not punished?

If countries are allowed to go bankrupt, why don’t they all go bankrupt? After all, that’s the idea of devaluation Krugman likes so much.

The referendum is a good idea, allows Europeans to accuse those who torture Europe. Already the IMF is backing off, and just announced that, after all, some of the Greek debt ought to be reduced (PM Tsipras immediately asked for a 30% debt reduction).

The referendum is good, because it allows Europeans to argue about which Europe they want.

Do they want a Europe where Goldman-Sachs is free to conspire, or one where We The People rule? Let’s have referenda and arguments all over.

That’s how baboons vote (they vote with their feet). If baboons can do it, Europeans ought to be enable to emulate them.

Fundamentally, plutocrats want the monopoly of money and power, which defines them. In Europe, they have made sure to starve all what We The People want or need, and they did this by restricting how many Euros, how much currency, circulates.

By the way, it’s also how the Roman economy collapsed. By 300 CE, Rome did not have enough money, and so established a control and command economy (what the USSR became famous for).

Now the corrupt clowns who lead Europe are afraid that We The People, all over Europe, is going to start fighting against the creditors. An obvious case is “Podemos” in Spain, a party similar to Syriza. All over, We The People has to ask: how come so much borrowing was made in our name, to reimburse banksters?

Things are coming to a head. The economic crisis, engineered by plutocrats, feeds the Islamist crisis, whose deep inception was also plutocratic:

The danger of an extremely violent insurrection against the established order is increasing by the day. After all, president Teddy Roosevelt took drastic measures against monopolistic capitalism. What had happened before? Well, Teddy’s predecessor, Mac Kinley, had been assassinated (1901 CE). So had been French president Sadi Carnot (1894). These assassinations were part of a general assassination campaign against political leaders of anarchist ideology. Islamist ideology may well play a similar role. Already many blond blue eyed Europeans are converting to Islam, and joining Jihad. Rage against the system is why they do. The enemies of my enemies may not be my friends, but, when violence has gone too far, only more violence can stop it.

Patrice Ayme’