Archive for the ‘Currencies’ Category

Bring Euro Down, Save Germany’s Soul

August 29, 2014

Another day, another sneak remark of Krugman against the Euro which mars an otherwise well thought of train of ideas. However, our student the dear professor is learning. He just made an excellent editorial “The Fall of France” about which I commented, and that was published (whereas the Times censored my observations about Putin’s naked aggression in Ukraine: comparisons with Hitler, however scholastic, are not welcome!). More on this later.

Krugman’s tendency to fall into Euro bashing prevents him to see the (obvious) solution. Let alone mention it. The solution lays for all to see in history, when the Euro solved the German problem for the best:

History As A Sum Of Solutions

History As A Sum Of Solutions

Question: what did I exactly mean? See below, for those who do not see the blatant answer in the violent graph above. Here is part of Krugman’s “Germany’s Sin”.

“Simon Wren-Lewis has two very good posts about the European situation, first laying out the problem, then taking on those who don’t get it. I just want to add a bit to one of his key points: the impossibility of a resolution unless Germany accepts higher inflation.

In Germany, there’s a strong tendency to moralize, with appeals to the country’s own recent economic history. We pulled ourselves out of our late 90s doldrums, the Germans say, so why can’t Southern Europe do the same?

But a key part of the answer is that Southern Europe now faces a much less favorable environment than Germany did then — and Germany is the reason why.”

For a full decade, eurozone inflation was 2 percent, while inflation in Southern Europe was considerably higher. Germany could gain competitiveness simply by having low inflation — no need to deflate. But these days German inflation is only one percent, French inflation close to zero percent. Thus eurozone inflation is no more than one percent. Gaining competitiveness means that Southern Europe should deflate.

And Krugman to conclude:

…”deflation worsens the debt burden. Add onto this the fact that the eurozone as a whole remains depressed thanks to fiscal austerity and inadequate monetary expansion, and Germany is in effect demanding that Spain and others accomplish a task vastly harder than the Germans themselves had to achieve. 

And the worst of it is that there’s no sign that Berlin understands, or is willing to understand, this reality. And if the euro fails, that refusal to think clearly will be the fundamental cause.”

Right. And also wrong. “If the euro fails” is not really a possibility. It would cost so dearly, to so many people, that it would be akin to war, and Europeans have learned a few things that way. A lot of milder drastic changes can be effected before coming to blows.

Notice an obvious help Germany had when it was the sick economy of Europe: a Euro which was 40% lower. It’s curious, but no accident, that Krugman fails to notice this.

Bringing the euro to 83 dollar cents has happened before, and was there to help Germany, then. The good professor should mention this more. That would help the German miscreants to remember the past better. (Of course, the Euro at 83 Dollar cents would be a disaster for the USA, hence Krugman’s failure to notice the obvious!)

Instead, to brandish the “failure” of a currency directly used by so many people is not serious. More than 50 countries and 530 million people use the Euro (counting both the 340 million of the Eurozone, plus nearly 200 million pegged to the Euro, and unilateral users).

Even if the euro disintegrated, the nasty mood of some in Germany would not just persist, but prosper further. Ultimately that bad mood has to be crushed at close quarters.

Germany has become the world’s greatest produced of lignite, the dirtiest coal. It’s high time for some serious German bashing. Just slamming the door is not enough: historically Germans understand barking best (as Nietzsche may have said).

Bringing the euro down would help the suffering European countries a lot. Let’s remind the Germans of this. Remind them of their own past, and other previous pasts: German currency manipulations to gain advantage go all the way back to the early 1920s (thanks to Dr. Schacht, head of the central bank, and later one of Hitler’s main promoter!)

Bringing the euro 35% down: that would be a triumph, a real euro success. (That would just put the Euro where it’s supposed to be, in long term parity with

Hating the Euro is hating Europe. This being said, differently from the Federal Reserve Bank of the USA’s mandate, the ECB’s mandate makes the “value of the currency” the “principal object” of its activities (that’s article 127 of the European Constitution). By contrast the Fed has a DOUBLE mandate: insuring the value, and optimizing economic activity.

I had a fight with a French economist when I pointed out the flaw of the ECB mandate. She told me: ”No, the ECB’s mandate is like the Fed’s!”. Her own son, himself a high flying interest rate analyst in London, agreed with me. She erupted: “I have taught these things, for years!”. She brandished books. I told her to look it up in the Internet.

Article 127(1) of the Treaty defines the primary objective of the Eurosystem:

“The primary objective of the European System of Central Banks […] shall be to maintain price stability”.

Article 127 continues as follows: “Without prejudice to the objective of price stability, the ESCB shall support the general economic policies in the Union with a view to contributing to the achievement of the objectives of the Union as laid down in Article 3 of the Treaty on European Union.”

Even as my friend, aghast, looked at the screen, and read those words, she could not understand what they meant. yet, it’s simple: it meant the destruction of the European economy.

Why? Because “price stability” is unsustainable, just as a plane cannot fly at ground level. In economics, the ground is zero percent inflation. Right now it’s only .3% in the Eurozone. For why inflation too close to zero is a disaster, see “Inflation Good, Stagnation Bad” or the older: “4% inflation best”.

We are led by imbeciles. Some are politicians, some are bankers, some are economists, some teach what they call economics, or politics. Many are greedy, and profiting from the stupidity they advocate.

Who gave them their drivers’ license? The license to drive entire economies, and even the biosphere, into the ground, while insulting common sense, let alone common science? Yesterday’s oligarchies?

Patrice Ayme’

Hate Euro, Hate Union

May 26, 2014

Here we have Paul Krugman invited at a European Union conference, to inject his anti-European venom. Why don’t they invite Putin instead? I am sure Vladimir The Invader would be all for the Euro. After all, he is all for a greater union. Instead, Paul Krugman harbors unfathomable rage against that European currency he abhors.

Is it not nice? Instead of speaking of the banks that caused the crisis, and the bankers who made from it, like the bandits they are, we are going to talk about… A currency?

Whether he understands it, or not, Paul Krugman is paid to do that. To hate the Euro. That’s what his position in life is, to be employed by vast and influential plutocratic organizations (Princeton University and the New York Time). To hate the Euro also comes with his location (just south of Wall Street). Location, location, location.

American Economists Tell Europe: All You Need Is Dollars, Forget A Currency Of Your Own

American Economists Tell Europe: All You Need Is Dollars, Forget A Currency Of Your Own

A proof of Krugman’s lunatic hostility to Europe? He relates, and subsequently erupts uncontrollably: ”Barroso [EC chief] just declared that the euro had nothing to do with the crisis, that it was all failed policies at the national level; a few minutes ago he said that Europe’s real problem is a lack of political will.

This is quite amazing, in a really bad way.

Sorry, but depression-level slumps didn’t happen in Europe before the coming of the euro.”

What? I beg your pardon? Elitism is most useful to the global plutocracy. You bring a so called expert such as Krugman, and Big Lies become reality. What’s the difference between that and holocaust denial? I will argue, not much.

What is Krugman going to say next? Sorry, but holocausts “didn’t happen in Europe before the coming of the Euro”?

Reality check: here we have a self-declared, and unanimously applauded specialist of the Great Depression, Nobel Laureate in economics, who proclaims there was no Great Depression, just because it serves his apparently uncontrollable rage against Europe.

It will be interesting to see if he modifies his “European Green Lanterns” post after reading the complaint I sent him. Here it is:

Barroso is history. No doubt a bank or hedge fund is getting ready to employ him.

Curiously, you, Paul Krugman, forgot about the Great Depression of the 1930s. That was before the Euro. It led to a war that killed more than 70 million people (3% of the world population then).

Are you, Paul Krugman, aware that your position on the Euro is somewhat on the right of Marine Le Pen? In her saner moments, Marine just wants to devaluate the Euro itself. (The Euro’s value, built on the long range average of the French Franc is supposed to be one dollar, not 50% higher.)

It is the fact banks got bailed out, instead of bailed-in that caused the sovereign debt crisis. Spain had only 37% debt to GDP before it.

The correct way to do economics within the European house is to create a strong BANKING UNION, which will precisely prevent the bail-outs of wealthy financiers before we sell their private jets and castles.

(Right now only the weakest Banking Union is set-up, mostly because Germany has lots of small near bankrupt banks crucial to her economy. So the BU concentrates only on large banks, and, even then, meekly.)

The incorrect way to do economics within the European house, is to go back to competitive devaluations which, besides stealing the common people, are a way to make war. Economic war, perhaps, but war, nevertheless.

And war of a sort is obviously a preparation for the real thing. It is no accident that the USA marched into its lethal Secession War to the tune of many banks and currencies. (That war killed also 3% of the population.)

During the Secession War, one of the first action of Washington was, as a prelude to unification by force, to forcefully impose a currency for the Union. The present process in Europe is not any different. It’s just more pacific. Paul Krugman, by stridently howling against the Euro, is howling against the Union, and it’s amazing he is invited to do so. Why not visit the local hyena house instead?

Denying the Euro is denying the Union. It’s great for economists based next to Wall Street, and who depend upon Wall Street funding (Krugman, Stiglitz, and all others from Washington to Boston).

But denying the European Union is an invitation to war, some more war, on European soil. Happily many European leaders feel this in their guts.

Sadly, some Americans still believe that competitive devaluations are the way to go, and that it is moral to propose it, that is, to propose more holocausts on European soil.

Economically, it makes sense: the USA’s astounding wealth and power blossomed after the implosion of Europe that the desperate war against fascism from 1914 to 1945 brought. The USA made a huge amount of capital in the Twentieth Century by feeding food and ammunition materials  to the Kaiser in World War One.

World War Two was more of the same, hundreds of American corporations, such as, for example IBM, working for the Nazis right through the entire war (and providing services to the Nuremberg trials of some of their top collaborators!).

Let me ask this to Paul Krugman: after we have devaluated currencies, what do we devalue next? Do we devalue Peoples? Is it not, in a sense what Hitler did, after devaluating the German currency? Did he not devalue People? How could that not be the next step?

First put People’s worth in the incinerator, then, if that’s not enough, put the People themselves therein. Then what? Inherit the world. That’s Krugman’s program, pushed to its logical, final solution.

Indeed, a devaluation devalues the People of that nation’s wealth. Krugman advocates doing this. In other words, not content with having taxpayers pay for the thievery of the wealthiest, Krugman wants to make all of We the Common People even poorer by devaluating whatever we have left.

Of course, during the devaluation process, hedge funds located next to Krugman’s home, would make a killing, shorting everything: shares, bonds, currency. What would be next in this Krugman scheme? Oh, we have seen it many times. It’s a sort of American made breathing.  The hedge fund would keep on shorting those nations, until everything is just cents to the Euro.

Then, having made a fortune, they will invite Krugman over, and serve him caviar and champagne, in a spirit of communion.

But it won’t be over, we have seen it many times. While those countries are broke, American investors, armed with their strong dollar, will swoop in, like the vultures they are.

Americans, armed with their strong dollar, the one and only reserve currency (once Krugman got his way, and destroy the Euro). Americans will buy the land, as they did in a similar situation in Patagonia, horizon to horizon, singing on all rooftops that they are doing good. Then those hyper wealthy individuals will employ the newly destitute People, and extent the empire of the USA. Then they can invite Krugman, to howl against the Natives some more.

It is just one huge system of thought. Krugman has proclaimed many times that the activity of hedge funds had strictly no impact on the real economy. That of course goes hand in hand with shorting countries as they pull out of the Euro.

Krugman has also claimed, many times, that the fact the Dollar was the world’s reserve currency was not advantageous to the USA (in spite of Keynes being stridently of the opposite opinion, and trying his best to prevent a king dollar). I can’t tell if it’s out of genuine stupidity, or deep disingenuity.

 

Big American money hates France, and the European Union. Should not it be time for some hate-back on the part of Europeans, after they turned the other cheek for decades, until they got dizzy?  Can we start by telling it as it is about Krugman and company? That, unbeknownst to themselves, perhaps, in the guise of comparative economics, by hating the Euro, they foster bloody separatism, and holocausts?

Patrice Aymé

Bitcoin: Naïve, Evil & Demented

March 1, 2014

But Some Related Hope Nevertheless Lays Down Deep Inside, Thanks To ABSOLUTE WORTH ENERGY (AWE).

Shall I start with the evil part, or the demented part? Bitcoin is not just a bit con. Bitcoin is obviously a Ponzi scheme. It’s always a pleasure to infuriate geeks and tiny crabs. “Harriet” from Oakland (a Silicon Valley suburb) contradicted me, with typical techie arrogance: “Please learn what a Ponzi scheme is. Wikipedia will help you.”

Wikipedia is to geeks what the bible is to pedophile priests. A Ponzi, or pyramid, scheme is a financial scheme where early investors make money from later investors. That’s surely the case of Bitcoin. In 2011 the value of one Bitcoin rapidly rose from about $0.30 to $32, before falling back down to $2. Those who bought $30,000 of Bitcoins at $30 soon found their so called “investment”, or “saving”, to be worth $2,000. Now in Japan, a Bitcoin bank disappeared. Real money was exchanged for sheer bamboozling.

The Truth About The Public-Private Fractional Reserve System

The Truth About The Public-Private Fractional Reserve System

Geeks tend to be extremely mentally undeveloped outside, while being very smug about their small pathetic idiosyncratic view of the world (in particular all that they do not understand, they turn into a two cent joke; that’s also a characteristic of mathematicians; being one of them, I know the syndrome well).

Geeks believe that there are no empires, and they believe that, if there were some empires, they would be evil, thus irrelevant. They also believe, that they, the Geeks, are not evil, that Wikipedia (in English) is never wrong, and that links are all the truth you need.

Why to step in that mental swamp? Because Bitcoin is a delicious counterexample to the naïve concept of currency.

What’s a currency? It’s a space where an empire allows rewards and promises to be exchanged, backed-up by the empire military might. Fundamentally, a currency is the token system the empire’s soldiers are paid with. Emperor Septimus Severus pointed out to his sons, while dying in Britannia in 211 CE, that was the basis of all.

This is the hard version. This is reality.

To feed the state, the population needs to works, partly, for the state. That’s why taxation was invented. When there is not enough taxation, the state collapses. The best example of that collapse is the Late Roman empire, when there was not enough taxation of the rich to pay for defense (thus the cheap trick to use the Franks to insure defense).

Compare with the only back-up of bitcoin: not an army of soldiers, but an army of con men on Wall Street and other well organized crime. (Organized crime used Bitcoin for money laundering.)

Here is a related example: why is betting so popular in Asia? Because those who bet actually win. Why? So that they will be encouraged to bet some more, throw more money in the system. For which purpose? Because Organized Crime needs to launder money, and betting is how it does it. Losing 20% or so, is the cost of the laundering service to Organized Crime (such as Drug Trafficking).

Is a currency always created by an empire? At first sight two objections come to mind: the Thaler, and the Euro. For both it looks as if no empire was connected to them. However, that’s an illusion. (As anti-European fanatics are finding out, to their horror.)

The Thaler (or Taler or Czech Tolar… hence Dollar) was a silver coin used throughout Europe by many states for four hundred years. ( Etymologically, “Thaler” comes from German for “valley”, same as Neanderthal.) The Thaler was backed by states with serious armies: Austria, the Holy Roman German empire, Prussia, the Netherlands, etc.

A loose coalition of states can just be articulated around the army of just one state. That’s what happened with Prussia, which totally dominated the German speaking world from 1815 (partial dismemberment of Revolutionary France) until 1945 (eradication and annihilation of Prussia).

Similarly, the Euro is (mostly) backed by Franco-German might at this point. (Franco-Germania plus its immediate satellites makes a super-power, albeit one different in nature from the territory-rich USA.)

The naïve fundamental idea of Bitcoin was to create a currency without guns to back it up. Bitcoin one of the most famous Ponzi schemes in history? Some naive “techies” furiously object.

They are the same ones who firmly believe that Yahoo, Google, Facebook, are not, repeat: not, government spies agencies. (Hey, did not their chiefs “protest” to the “commander in chief”?)

If you think the usual suspects, the pirate speculators  of the Wall Street type have nothing to do with Bitcoin, please learn about Wall Street. But Wikipedia won’t help you (Wall Street guys have enough money to make sure Wikipedia says exactly what they want it to say).

On 19 November 2013, the value of Bitcoin on the Japan-based Mt.Gox exchange soared to a peak of US$900 following a United States Senate committee hearing, at which the committee was informed, by the FBI, no less, that virtual currencies were a legitimate financial service. On the same day, bitcoins traded for over RMB¥6780 (US$1100) in China.

How could the FBI be that corrupt? Some will whine. Well, what’s the FBI? An instrument of the state, just like the Dollar. It’s all about a tribe, or its leaders, exerting power.

Now visualize this: the true leaders of the USA are the plutocrats. They devised a tax code so that they don’t pay enough taxes to prevent them to become ever richer (why would they? They are in power, and the rabble does not know it!).

How did the plutocrats acquire so much power in century? Mostly by doing exactly what president Jackson was afraid the Rothschild would do to the USA (and what the Rothschilds claimed they were doing in Europe… not that their fellow big time bankers were not doing it too). In the present fractional reserve system, the state has farmed out the making of money to some private, unelected individuals, the bankers.  The Bitcoinists thought they had found a scheme to do the same. That was naïve. They drunk Ronald Reagan’s idiotic propaganda, and come to believe that We The People could do without a state.

For more than 2,000 years in the West, the government created money (with a face value often much higher than its real value), but tax collecting was farmed out to private enterprises. Now it’s the other way around: tax collecting is public, money creation, private. That’s a big mistake. We have, unsurprisingly, a system in which the money creators, the bankers, create money, that is, power, at will. That abundance of money has allowed them to buy the “democratically elected” representatives.

Thus now, as Rotschild said, the bankers control the government. Plutocracy found that money creation to be its best trick in a long time.

Can we enjoy a loftier perspective? Sure. Money is power, and power is measured by energy. Not all energy is good: blowing up the Earth won’t be good. A way to do that? One could set fire to 20 trillion tons of coal underground, and get plenty of energy, until the biosphere is destroyed. (Some plan to do that.)

So energy expenditure has to be controlled by long term ethics. This is what I call AWE (Absolute Worth Energy). With the enormous computing power we now have, it’s practical. AWE, accounting in useful energy units, is unavoidable, as it’s the only accounting system that will save civilization. AWE would make a perfect Bitcoin (AWEC: Absolute Worth Energy Coin). But of course it would need the support of the government, and that only if We The People pass laws to force it to do so.

Patrice Aymé

Note 1: A big deal  is made by Bitcoin crooks that computers are computing the scheme. In the geeks’ minds, computers are superior souls, above the fray. However, it doesn’t matter that  computers compute in the background of Bitcoin. Pyramid schemes are always about guys making computations in the background.

Note 2: Those who believe in bitcoin don’t believe in history, or sovereignty. That the wealthiest use a parallel currency with artworks, reinforces my point: only the sovereign, wealth, can create a currency durably! The wealthiest can use artwork as a currency in all impunity, precisely because they rule the world (and only the wealthiest are wealthy enough to use that currency). Average bitcoin users don’t rule the world (although governments let organized crime use bitcoin for quite a bit…)… thus their currency will not rule the world, either…

Europhobes Devaluating

October 19, 2013

It turns out that the Europhobes had not checked out the main premise of their official argument.

Krugman in Do Currency Regimes Matter?: Antonio Fatas, citing new work by Andy Rose (pdf), suggests that currency regimes don’t really matter — in particular that membership in the euro has not really been a special problem for peripheral countries.

Challenging preconceptions is always good, and this is a serious debate. I am still, however, very much on the other side. I’d argue two points.

First, nominal wage stickiness — the key argument for the virtues of floating exchange rates”… is good.

Is it not amusing that “the conscience of a liberal”, Krugman, who passes for an extreme, left wing, bleeding heart socialist, in the USA, lauds the lowering of wages? By the way of currency devaluation? because, you see, the problem with wages is not that they low, it’s that they are “sticky”… Not to say ‘yacki’. In any case, never low enough. 

Rose, professor at UC Berkeley, is endowed with one of these big, impressive titles. Rose is “B.T. Rocca Jr. Professor of International Business, Associate Dean, and Chair of the Faculty, Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley, NBER Research Associate, and CEPR Research Fellow.”

Could not have happened to a better guy. A more Very Serious Person. Krugman takes titles very seriously, so he is now cornered. Professor Eminence Rose looked at 170 “small economies” (out of 214, excluding large economies such as EU, USA, China, etc.). Rose established that:

1) countries having opted for a hard currency exchange rate or for an inflation target, stayed, since 2006, in the one of the two regimes that they chose.

2) economic outcomes did not differ (so the partisans of devaluation, such as Krugman, are not supported by data).

On the face of it, it’s obvious that the partisans of devaluation are idiots: once 214 countries have devalued, then what? Ooops; of this we did not think, that’s why we are called idiots. But that makes us pundits who dine at the White House, and are very well paid.

OK, let me rephrase this. it’s obvious that the partisans of devaluation are on the payroll of the hyper rich. Indeeed, who profits from devaluation? After Argentina massively devaluated, friendly Americans landed like vultures, and bought entire landscapes, many times over.

USA banks made a fortune.

The only thing left, after devaluations, is that the rich is getting richer. Indeed, the rich own other things, besides their wages. Like real estate. A point Krugman always blissfully forgets. Such are American style “liberals”. All for liberally liberating capital from the constraints of civilization.

Anyway, I sent this to Krugman, who published it right away:

Ah, nothing like a bit of anti-Euro propaganda in the morning now that the government of the financially rogue nation has reopened for a bit, sequestered and all, with its infrastructure inferior to Spain’s. 

Belonging to the euro zone brought tremendous advantages to the countries concerned. In particular, they splurged on infrastructure, and trade, commercial or human.

Spain is covered with very high speed train lines. As Spain does not frack, this is a precious asset. The world’s most advanced military transport plane (the brand new A400) is also built is Spain, and ramping up production (by contrast, and no coincidence, Boeing announced that the fabrication of the competitor of the A400, the C17, will be terminated). 

What the honorable Paul does not seem to know is that conversion rates into the Euro were deliberately manipulated. For example the Drachma was converted at twice its real worth. It was viewed as a welcome gift to the Greeks. As Franco-Germania was about 60 times the size of Greece economically speaking, that was viewed as innocuous enough. 

That also means that Greece ought to collapse 70% from its peak to return to the poverty level it had to start with. That will not happen: tourism is rebounding. Same in Portugal. 

Greeks have not opted out of the Euro as they remember dramatic life with the drachma. Totally drachmatic. Europe has made Greece free, democratic, and rich.

The problems of Greece, at this point, are not about wages being sticky. The problems, basically, are that the Greek economy and fiscal system are far from where they ought to be. But the Franco-Germans are helping instilling the needed Prussian spirit. 

Ireland, and others, have announced they are pulling out of the crisis. Next objective? To further the banking union. Paradoxically, the state of Landers banks in Germany is a problem.

The real argument of europhobes, of course, is that New York is the world’s most beautiful city, and the Euro is a threat to the splendor they live off, like the vampire from the neck of a cow. But don’t expect them to be that honest, or introspective; their livelihood depends upon not being that way, and talking of other things.

Things that, it turns out, they just invented, with the sheer power of their greedy, self obsessed minds.

It’s a wild world, but the Euro is strong.

***

Patrice Ayme

What Plutocracy Giveth…

August 21, 2013

Paul Krugman long favored currency collapses to solve economic problems efficiently (he said). He advocated such curative apocalypses for Greece, Spain, Portugal, Ireland, Italy… while lamenting for years that the Euro was an unquestionable disaster because it… prevented such disasters!

I think that currency dramas do not reflect economic reality, as much as they reflect the wealth of highly leveraged currency manipulators feeding off the Public.

Not yet aghast, the noble Princeton luminary is looking at the Rupee Panic: “OK, the plunging rupee is the big economics story of the day, and I’m trying to get up to speed on the issues. My immediate question, however, is why the panic?

rupeekrugman

We are talking about the worth of entire countries going down 20% in a few days. Krugman, unfazed, pursues:

“Yes, the rupee is down a lot in a short time — along with other emerging market currencies. In fact, its fluctuations are small compared with the obvious comparator, Brazil…

So the recent decline is sharp. But should India panic?

This would be scary if India was like the Asian crisis countries of 1997-1998 or Argentina in 2001, with large amounts of debt denominated in foreign currency. But unless I’m misreading the data, it isn’t… So at first examination this doesn’t look like as big a deal as some headlines are suggesting. What am I missing?”

Well, honorable Krugman, you are missing most of the argument. What has animated the BRICS (Brazil Russia India China South Africa) is the massive flight of Western plutocrats there. For various reasons, the plutocratic tide is now recessing, so Old Economies Rise As Emerging Markets Falters.

India’s population is growing at 1.4% a year, three times the Chinese (or French!) growth. So India needs to grow fast, just to maintain the status quo ante, especially considering that most of India’s population is very poor (much poorer than China; around $6,000 per capita in China, a fourth of that ($1,500) in India).

Thus India is very sensitive to its lifeline to the world’s economy, in other words, the plutocracy. (Apparently India has 172 billion dollars in short term debt owed by March 2014; the collapse of the Rupee will not make this easier.)

This planet’s main organization is the global plutocracy. Not the United Nations. Thus greed, not human rights.

The plutocrats go somewhere, corrupt all their interlocutors, make their money, and flee before the short arm of the law can catch them. Or, at least they used to operate that way (and they dearly hope their boy and symbol, Mr. Summers, will come to head the federal Reserve of the USA, as a reassuring presence). It’s becoming harder these days. Is the game over?

Global plutocracy? What’s that? The few getting all the money, hence all the power. Let me illustrate.

Watch the 30 year old Chelsea Clinton buying herself a 10.3 million dollars apartment, across the street from her present 4 million dollars home. Or watch the children of the Fats Cats who lead China (yes, some attend Harvard, of course!).

In most countries, fate is what the global plutocracy does.

In the world we live in, no idea is an implemented idea, unless it’s backed by power, that is money, that is the plutocracy and its hungry babes. So don’t worry your little head: Chelsea thinks for you. Or prepare for war.

Plutocrats loved India in recent years, but now a cold breeze is rising, as the People of the West are starting to ask questions about the way their masters treat them. Their lords act concerned and have imposed a few regulations. Which are starting to bite.

Industry is actually coming back to the USA, and not just because of fracking (saving the auto industry helped).

I have personally advocated a worldwide carbon tax to hasten this movement (not just to fight unemployment in the West, but also as transportation is subsidized now, an unfair advantage to the mighty plutocracy, and a cause of major pollution that kills the planet).

In 2003, it used to cost 60% LESS to produce in China rather than in the European Union. Ten years later, in 2013, the gap is down to only 23%. A major (Swedish headquarterd) textile maker followed others, Chinese ones, and opened a factory in Ethiopia. Textile workers are paid about 40 euros a MONTH in Ethiopia, a tenth of what they are paid in China.

China has a solution to save itself from the retreating plutocratic tide: hunkering down, purifying itself with time-tested Maoist redemption. It’s not called the Middle Kingdom for no good reason. President Xi, himself the half billion dollars man, seems aware that the compromission with the global plutocracy has gone far enough.

Interestingly, Mr. Xi had his justice department accuse some major Western pharmaceutical companies of massive corruption inside China.

The USA department of justice followed. Not to enquire about Xi, but about the pharmaceuticals the Chinese are accusing. (It’s completely obvious that the pharmaceutical-health industry machine in the USA is corrupt from top to bottom; Obama, too crafty by half, apparently thinks his ObamaCare monster is going to eat it alive, with its full cooperation… well, good luck!)

Sending corrupt plutocrats to jail for life will do wonders in China against the frantic corruption (the wife of the ex-mighty princeling on trial tomorrow, Bo Xilai, an assassin of a dubious UK businessman, is already enjoying life imprisonment).

India does not have a solution at the ready. India, a representative democracy, is much less in a good situation to crack down than China is, should the population get more agitated. It is already agitated: a Marxist rebellion reigns over a huge part of the country (maybe a third; there is no rebellion even remotely resembling that in China).

There is every reason to believe that, should the plutocrats be forced to invert their globalized flight to distant shores for tax and law evasion purposes, the West could monopolize growth. After all, that’s where most of the know-how is.

The very latest growth numbers out of France and Germany (2% and 2.8%, annualized) are now higher than in some BRICS…

This discussion would not be complete without mentioning Quantitative Easing (QE), the Carry Trade and Derivatives. Derivatives allow to use tremendous leverage when trading bets about where currency markets will move. They give sleek operators tremendous manipulative powers, because most of the world “money” is made of derivative contracts.

QE is the giving of money to banks by the central banks, that banks then leverage to create “credit”, that is, money. Then the fast buck artists take the cash and run to places where interest rates are much higher (like emerging markets). That works splendidly, except when said emerging market currencies collapse. Then they stampede the other way.

In other words, the financial plutocrats are still out there, playing, and their accomplices the politicians on the pay roll (see Chelsea Clinton, above) still let it happen. (The total volume of derivatives has barely gone down 10% since 2008, and is still around ten times world GDP.)

Some will say I took a cheap shot at Chelsea Clinton, the first corrupt babe. But she was a hedge fund manager paid by one of the rich financiers who fed her father like a pigeon. So is her husband. How many Indians did they sell to get that rich?

The funny thing is that there are laws against this, such as the “Foreign Corrupt Practice Act”. USA authorities, at the request of the Chinese, are looking at whether the bank JP Morgan (one of Hitler’s sponsors) hired the children of some Chinese officials to win business. What about Ms. Clinton? Ah, I forgot, she is not foreign!  For American justice, corruption happens only overseas.

The number one enabler of the extreme corruption of the plutocracy we, and India, enjoy, is the ex-pigeon in chief. He gave full powers to Rubin, Greenspan and Summers to organize the world as they saw fit.

So here you have it, my dear Krugman: what Our Lord The Plutocracy giveth, Our Lord the Plutocracy taketh away! Especially if We The People of the West spur it that way.

In a world where plutocracy has been allowed to go on a rampage, and control nearly everything, rebalancing the world economy democratically, will not happen without shocks to the system: contemplate Egypt.

The globalization of scoundrels has brought an enormous disorder. A study just published by Nature showed that flooding from sea level rise will cost in excess of 750 billion dollars by 2050. Each year. One will have to build dams along entire coast lines.

This is mostly happening because “democrats” (demoncrats?) such as the Clintons could not care less. All they worried about as the New York Times’ Maureen Dowd just pointed out, was what their sponsors paid them to care about, so they could get more “Money, Money, Money, Money, MONEY!” 

Let me quote Maureen, to show I am not the only one to worry about insufferable Lords: “CLINTON nostalgia is being replaced by Clinton neuralgia… The Clintons’ neediness, their sense of what they are owed in material terms for their public service, their assumption that they’re entitled to everyone’s money.

Are we about to put the “For Rent” sign back on the Lincoln Bedroom?

If Americans are worried about money in politics, there is no larger concern than the Clintons, who are cosseted in a world where rich people endlessly scratch the backs of rich people.”

George Packer observed in The New Yorker: “The top of American life has become a very cozy and lucrative place, where the social capital of who you are and who you know brings unimaginable returns.”

And they suck up it, worldwide: last year, Clinton, Bill, extracted about a million dollars from Nigeria, one of the poorest country on Earth, from which the USA already extracts oil. The giant sucking sound of plutocracy without any decency.

In the future, to limit shocks, and over-exploitation, there is just one solution: the rule of governments controlled by We The People, real democracy, using full blown governmentalism, worldwide.

The Swiss example can be followed, to start with: direct democracy undermining corruptocracy.

But first, one has to get rid of the corrupt ones, and become allergic to the stench of corruption.

A necessary precondition for that would be for the USA, to prefer electing somebody clean and effective, such as the governor of California, Jerry Brown. Rather than the thoroughly corrupt Clintons, and the giant decomposition they wrapped the world with.

Because, yes, of course, it’s Mr. Clinton’s sponsors who profit from the collapse of the Rupee. That’s what Paul Krugman is mostly missing.

***

Patrice Ayme

More Europhobic Madness.

July 6, 2013

Krugman talking in “Rationality and the Euro: Gordon Brown… concluded that the case for euro membership was not good. And boy, was that a good call…there’s no comparison between British woes and those of other European nations that had large capital inflows and housing booms… it’s also largely because of a point that was perfectly well understood in 2003 and has been confirmed by experience: “internal devaluation”, reducing relative prices with a fixed exchange rate, is really hard compared with just devaluing your currency. Here are BIS estimates of the Spanish and UK real exchange rates, 1999-01 = 100:

British Worth Collapsing, Krugman Happy

British Worth Collapsing, Krugman Happy

Krugman: “Notice how Britain effortlessly achieved a real depreciation that, if it’s possible at all, will take years and years of mass unemployment in Spain.”

So let’s repeat slowly to expose the prestigious professor’s reasoning. Suppose a Spaniard and a Brit started in January 1999 with a total worth of 300,000 Euros. Now the Brit is worth 225,000 Euros, and the Spaniard 330,000 Euros (I adjusted to the latest value Euro/Pound). How did they get there? The Brit worked very hard, and the Spaniard, less.

So Krugman’s logic is this: work hard, and get poor effortlessly: good. Work less, and, however your efforts, get richer: bad.

Europhobes insist that getting poorer, from currency devaluation is good. We just saw it’s not good for one’s wealth. Is it good for GDP? Can one devaluate oneself to prosperity? Krugman loves to claim that this is relatively easy. So how come the British GDP is doing so badly?

UK GDP Doing Worse Than In 1930s, So What Is Krugman Talking About?

UK GDP Doing Worse Than In 1930s, So What Is Krugman Talking About?

Krugman: “an actual rational decision process is all too rare — perhaps especially when it comes to the euro. Talk to euro advocates and they cannot entertain, even as a hypothetical proposition, the notion that the single currency was a bad idea; I came away from one talk with the clear message that the euro cannot fail, it can only be failed, that any problems simply show that countries and leaders lack sufficient nobility of purpose.

And despite the overwhelming evidence that the euro was an even worse idea than it appeared 10 years ago, countries — notably Poland — are still considering joining. I understand that leaving the euro is a very difficult thing to contemplate; but getting in now, when you had the great good luck to avoid this mess? Awesome.”

Krugman knows not enough: countries are supposed, by treaty, to join the Euro. Also, although he and fellow Europhobes present the process of the UK not being in the Euro as a rational process, it was anything but. It was a plutocratic process. So what Krugman is saying is that plutocratic behavior is rational. Just as the croc devouring the child, I guess.

Indeed a plutocrat, Soros, made a billion dollars by forcing Britain out of the European Monetary Union. Soros did so, thanks to his corrupt accomplices in the British government. 

So, what Krugman is saying is that gangsters conspiring to steal We The People is rational, “awesome“.

What’s even more awesome is that Krugman keeps on missing the purpose of the Euro, loud and clear. Economics ought to be slave to politics. And, not vice versa, as is the case in the USA. Vice versa, like in “vice”: in the USA nobody object to seeing the so called “president” spend much of his time begging for money from his rich “friends”. (Sponsors, or “friends”?)

Europhobes keep telling Europeans that they should not have a country, but dozens, with dozens of currencies. Try moving around New England, while using several local currencies. That would have a very heavy economic cost. Maybe europhobes want Europeans to be enslaved to what president Roosevelt called, with contempt, the “money changers“?

Krugman’s entire case against the Euro, officially speaking, is that, the poorer the People is, the better it is for the People. Is it not the truth that plutocrats hold as self evident? So europhobes see the worth of the British collapsing with their British Pound, and they say that British devaluation is very good.

Europhobes see Britain doing worse than in the 1930s, and tell us that the Euro is very bad, because PM Brown was so good? 

What about logic 101? Is that bad too? Is dereason rational, and rationality illogical? 

The anti-Euro obsession allows to focus on what is not the real crisis. Spain, for example had a mis-investment crisis, that led to all sorts of imbalances. In any case, the fundamental reason for the present crisis was a political-banking corruption mix… That has nothing to do with the Euro. For example politicos from around Valencia are in jail, just for that reason.

But the banksters have not been prosecuted enough. And why so? Because, in part, all too many pundits make a profession from barking at the foot of the wrong trees. Corruption starts with greed, it ends up with rotten minds who cannot tell reason from hatred, or madness.

It could get worse; plutocrats and plutophiles could, like the Muslim Brotherhood, make madness and hatred into a religion… They have, many times before, in all lands. Then they, and their ilk, could hold power for 13 centuries, as the superstition called “Submission” did in Egypt. Way out? In Egypt, as in Europe? Force. Mental force, and, if that’s not enough, physical force. So the Euro is force, just as the Egyptian army is force.

Sometimes nothing short of force will get things to move, in the right direction! The whole idea of the Euro was to FORCE European Unification further. And this is exactly what is happening, in combination with solving the banking crisis.

***

Patrice Ayme

Plutophiles’ “Grexit”.

June 7, 2013

“Grexit” is how Greece leaving the Eurozone is called. (Momentarily introducing a fake currency as California did with “IOU”s, when it had a severe deficit, would not be “Grexit”; California has now a surplus.)

The IMF just recognized having been bone-headed about Greece “Too much austerity” induced:… Notable failures.” 

The IMF enforces monetary orthodoxy, the Eurozone follows. What the IMF is now saying is that monetary orthodoxy is unbalanced. In other words, conventional economists, so far in command, are lunatics.

Presidenta Argentina: I Told You IMF Was Nuts

Presidenta Argentina: I Told You IMF Was Nuts

So what does Paul Krugman conclude? Yes, you guessed it right, the Euro is uglier than ugly. Here is what he said:

“you have to wonder whether it was worth trying to keep Greece in the euro at all. “Grexit” would have been ugly, and will still be ugly if it eventually happens. But compared with what has actually taken place?”

Paul knows a bone when he sees one. He does not like the idea of the Euro, as an equal to the Dollar, and rarely miss an opportunity to make his feelings known. OK, maybe if I had a cushy life because of the USA supremacy system as explicitly as he does, I would not like the Euro either. The more Euro, the less Dollar, looking forward. A serious thing. After all, Euro preference is why Saddam was eradicated. Saudis are paid in Dollars. If they were paid in Euros, Washington would break down (not true in the close future, because of USA fracking is changing everything!).

Let me make the honorable Paul notice this: the I in IMF is for:”International”, like in “International Monetary Fund“. The IMF is what dominates the debate here, not whether Greece is in the Eurozone or not.

Dear Paul, please go back to the Greek civil war (after World War Two). This happened, thanks, in part to heavy Anglo-American military intervention. Number of dead around 800,000. That is proportionally three times more than the American Civil War.

Next, please go back to the dictatorship of the Colonels in the 1960s, also propped by American interests plutocracy.

The Euro is a political answer to such horrors. These are the horrors one is really talking about.

Property rights are a huge problem in Greece: often nobody has any idea who owns what (this makes honest investors shrink at the possibilities). Plutocrats are a huge problem in Greece: they, be they rich ship magnates or the church, pay no taxes. Tax evasion is giant: Greek fortunes are sitting in Swiss bank accounts , etc.

These are huge problems, indeed. However, they were not caused by the Euro, quite the opposite.

The Greek problems having to do with plutocracy, kleptocracy, and a dearth of State of Law, can be traced back to the manu militari intervention of the USA on behalf of its natural allies there, the friendly plutocrats. Those friendly plutocrats, in exchange, just as with the Saudi family, took care of the interests of the USA. (One of them would even marry the widow of the president of the USA, just to show who was the boss.)

To enter the European Union, Greece was forced to democratize (democracy is a culture imposed on those who enter the EU). it was a gift. So was the well intentioned gift of letting Greece enter by overvaluing the Drachma by 100% (that, plus the Olympic Games, somehow backfired, as Greece, as a nation, splurged!).

In the rest of Europe, Greece has the huge and somewhat benevolent friend to help solve the problems left by 23 centuries of foreign, sometimes even alien, and definitively plutocratic, domination by the ugly.

The rest of Europe will help solve the Greek problems, all the more as it somewhat also has them. To put it crudely, Germans have interest that rich Greeks keep on buying Porsches (that means no revolution, but, also, no starvation). Greeks have to decide, democratically, to squeeze their hyper wealthy. Belgium just decided to tax its Royal family, after ludicrous excesses (except for the reigning queen and king).

Having European stakeholders helping out is better than having some autocrat propped by Washington doing so in his own special way (which is what “Grexit” would mean, in practice!).

Such autocrats are no view of the mind, looking at the past: the Egyptian military is an example, one of many. The Egyptian military is completely infeodated to Washington. Yet, plenty of foreign NGO officers got five years in jail in Cairo this week from proceedings started under… Mubarak. (Most of these professional do-gooders had already fled Egypt.)

Problem in Egypt? The Muslim Brotherhood. It had a long love-hate dependency upon both the Saudis, and Washington.
Why not to focus instead of the horror that is Saudi Arabia, and the little arrangements with Washington allowing it to be so (9/11, or the Mali invasion being details of that picture)? These arrangements are fundamentally economic and financial. They are not pretty. They are intrinsically entangled with the nature of the currency of the USA, and its financial potentates.

And how did the dollar start? As the greenback, to pay Federal troops during the Secession War. The central bank was created half a century later.

Ultimately, all state dependent currencies reflect the might of the state behind it. Or the might of a confederation of states: the Imperium Francorum, de facto behaved more as a confederacy as anything else, especially when, having been renamed the “Roman empire“, it got diluted in hundreds of states.

Speaking of that, where did the word “Dollar” come from? From the Thaler“. Or more exactly its Czech version: “Tolar”. The Americans are Czechs, and never knew it! The Thaler was a silver based currency used throughout much of Europe for 400 years. It replaced various coins whose real value was about 5% of their nominative value (inviting forgery). Notice that this transnational currency lasted three times longer than the Dollar.

 The questions of currency, debt, structural deficits, rogue bankers, politicians doing exactly what plutocrats told them to do (“rescue our banks, and let us do exactly what we did before!”) are not the same. By confusing all the issues in a conceptual soup, economists end up playing in the hands of the plutocrats.

It’s particularly telling that American economists obsess about Greece. What’s in it for them? Did Greece organize 9/11? No, Greece did not organize 9/11. 15 out of 19 highjackers in 9/11 were Saudis (and 2 from the UAE). It is the Saudi system, the system that allows a family to own a country, that instigated 9/11. And guess what? That has to do with economics. With the Wall Street induced economic system.

Now, that, is a perspective worth gaining. Instead of moaning of Greece and the Euro, lamenting, fundamentally, that Greece left the orbit of the binary system Washington-Wall Street.

So why do American economists lament about Greece? Because therein their daily bread, pleasing their masters, whether they realize it, or not . Lots of bread, as I explained in Euro Derangement Syndrome. Europe breaking in World War Two gave us the satisfaction of the American Century.

Now the American Century is breaking down, mostly because of the rise of China and Europe, and all the other critters using that tectonic opening (see the Argentinean president above, a butt of hostility for the IMF, for daring to discard the old IMF). Paradoxically global plutocracy is stronger than ever. But it is lacking in dictators anxious to please, and behind whom it could hide.

Thus it would be so much nicer, for Wall Street dependent economists, to see a financial and economic catastrophe in Greece. If “Grexit” happened, Greece would collapse, and, surely, a Washington supported dictator emerge, no doubt a great hope for all sorts of plutocrats and plutophiles.

However, I doubt Europe will not see the peril this time of succumbing to American sirens. Europeans are coming to slowly realize how alien the system in the USA is becoming. They observe, aghast, the great democratic hope Obama going to sleep within homes of countless billionaires, guns all over, millions incarcerated, the security state, spying all over, and, insult added to injuries, the USA being the only advanced country without any mandated paid vacation. Among other things.

And that’s why the right wing temptation has been resisted throughout Europe (even Hungary). So far. Differently from the 1930s, the sort of American plutocracy supported civil war that occurred in Germany in 1932 (10,000 dead, thanks to smuggled USA weapons such as those made by conspiring Browning) will not be tolerated this time. Nor should any ideological drift conducive to European break-up.

Japan itself is drawing the same conclusion: PM Abe, although he has perfect credentials as a right wing politician, broke with Washington diktat. He is devaluating the Yen massively, and engaged in an economic program, with massive structural investments, that true progressives approve. Damn the 240% debt/GDP. To save the world, please default!

***

Patrice Ayme

No Euro Crisis, No Debt Crisis.

April 9, 2013

No French Currency Crisis, Either. JUST PLUTOCRATIC DERANGEMENT SYNDROME.

American economists just discovered what the Euro is all about. Namely the Euro is the French currency. (Please applaud how much more clever they just got!). Professional economists could have known this long ago, if they did more than read each other. See my: Why Europe, Why The Euro.

French yields have improved dramatically. Why? It’s not just what American economists just learned that (Euro = France), because that was true ever since the European Currency Unit (more than 20 years ago).Yield Collapse In April Caused By Anti-Plutocratic Crack Down?

What has really occurred is that the cause of the present Greater Depression has been stumbled upon, for all to see. Moreover real remedies have started to be applied. (For the first time in this crisis that exploded in 2008.)

The French finance ministry took the lead in making plutocrats pay for their mess (at least in Cyprus; one has to start somewhere!). Good. But that was just a warm-up. Real reforms are now happening everyday.

And a miracle happened. Thanks to Jérôme Cahuzac, a bandit of plutocratic type who happened to be French budget minister, French and Swiss Justice are presently demonstrating how pervasive the plutocratic phenomenon and its entanglement with politicians and tax havens are. In the USA, of course, Jérôme would be just another wealthy politician, legal thoroughly, and cabinet minister. (See, Rice, Susan, for further edification; plutocracy is legal in the USA).

But France and Switzerland are supposed to be democracies, not plutocracies. The incoming consequences of discovering how huge tax evasion by the plutocracy is, are going to be huge. And are already showing up.

Indeed a corollary is that bond market participants know now that Europeans are going to realize that austerity is not just a sham, and a crime, but also a Transfer of Assets To Rich People (TARP!). The bond market understands that the collective consciousness is changing, and that real change on the way. For the better. Hence the collapse in yields.

In a society which does not revere plutocrats as “philanthropists” (as the USA pathetically does), austerity does not have a reason to be. Thus austerity ought to be discontinued, in Europe, the world’s largest economy. But austerity made the deficits worse. So, if tax evasion is mitigated, the economy can restart, and debt loads ought to stay manageable. Hence the bond rally in France. Now for some more details and perspectives.

***

EURO = FRENCH INVENTION:

The Euro is, first of all, a French invention. President Mitterrand proposed to his good freund Kanzler Helmut Kohl to create the Euro, in a deal to support, in all ways, the reunification of Germany (including with French direct investment in East Germany).

Since the grotesque Second World War, all those who half think in Franco-Germania, decided that the one and only way to terminate the interminable, perfectly ridiculous Franco-German wars, was to reset the macropolitical clock back to 800 CE, when the Renovatio Imperium Romanorum extended from Catalonia to Poland. For about a millennium, there was just one currency in Europe. After that, there was war.
Paul Krugman in “France Has Its Own Currency Again” discovers the notion:

Joe Weisenthal draws our attention to a development that may surprise many people: French borrowing costs are plunging. (Don’t tell George Osborne — he thinks that low British rates are a unique personal achievement)…

But wait– wasn’t France supposed to be the next Italy, if not the next Greece?

Well, Joe has what I agree is the right explanation: markets have concluded that the ECB will not, cannot, let France run out of money; without France there is no euro left. So for France the ECB is unambiguously willing to play a proper lender of last resort function, providing liquidity.

And this means that in financial terms France has joined the club of advanced countries that have their own currencies and therefore can’t run out of money — a club all of whose members have very low borrowing costs, more or less independent of their debts and deficits.

Welcome to the club, France. Now, why are you doing all this austerity?”

[France is not doing that much austerity: she went into a full war in Mali, and the deficit is still going to be closer to 5% rather than 3%; that’s less austere than the USA. Still, there is enormous waste in, and from, the French bureaucracy; a referendum to diminish the bureaucracy just failed in Alsace].

***

WHY THE EURO IN A NUTSHELL:

So American economists, traders and speculators are suddenly realizing what was true all along, that the Euro is very much the French currency. Always has been.

Many Anglo-Saxon leaders are so much into the business of deriding anything French that they believe reality has an anti-French bias, in all things, except wine and cheese. Now that dear Paul Krugman and company self congratulate each other for having come across the obvious, so true for 30 years, let me point out that their slaps in the back do not explain the sudden drop in yields in April 2013.

Before I proceed to do that, let me re-iterate what I have long said.

The Euro is more than the French currency. The Euro is the Franco-German currency. Just like the French, the Germans, after May 1945, and even many of the Nazis themselves (for example Albert Speer) several years before that, came to understand that the only way to win a war against the other  was by total unification.

This is what makes the Euro not just unavoidable, but necessary. Once Franco-Germania (re-)unifies, a superpower is immediately created. Indeed, France and Germany, plus the crumbs in between (Benelux), represent more than 180 million people. To this one has to add other satellites: Northern Italy, Austria, Catalonia… Even Switzerland (Swiss Franc is, had to be, pegged to Euro). At this point, one talks about 250 million people, a power roughly comparable to the USA in most of the most significant long term characteristics, most of them living an average distance of 500 kilometers from Bale/Basel.

The fact the distances are so small is of the essence: one can drive through pieces of the largest of these countries with one car, in one day. The Euro is a driving necessity. Before I used to dread to travel from my Alpine home without the proper papers, currencies, etc. It’s as if I were in enemy territory within twenty minutes of setting behind the wheel. Now I am still at home around home, I am not fighting WWII all over again.

***

SO WHY DID FRENCH YIELDS JUST COLLAPSE?

The yields were high because of two reasons:

1) speculators prefer high yields, so they made it so (remember that, thanks to unregulated and mostly secretive derivatives, they have tremendous leverage at their disposal).

2) some bond investors were genuinely afraid they would not get reimbursed by the governments they lent to. (Indeed, watch Stockton, California, file for bankruptcy; ah, not in Europe? Just a detail. Still a government of sorts.) High interest is a way to make sure they get their money back.

An indication of future inability of government to pay back is if said government has high debt and is running a primary deficit (mostly borrowing more to pay past debt). Most Western government ran high primary deficits after 2008, because they had to pay jobless people, and re-capitalize banks.

At least, that’s the conventional explanation. The truth is more subtle. in truth, banks were recapitalized with public money, instead of being recapitalized by finding the money that had apparently disappeared.

Take Cyprus: extravagantly high interest rates (5% to 9% were paid, for years, as world finance collapse). So a Russian Afghan drug runner having dropped his ill acquired wealth in the “Popular bank of Cyprus”, could have made 50% on his money in 5 years.

The way the crisis of 2008 was solved, French and German taxpayers should have saved his 50%. But this time the French and German finance ministers said NEIN. Instead the drug runner plutocrat was told to kiss “his” money bye bye. Next time he can go leave his money in Dubai. This was giant conceptual progress.

By the way, 96% of depositors in Cyprus’ banks recovered 100% of their saving (plus extravagant interests paid!). It’s only the fat cats who are being punished (and even then, mostly in 2 banks).

The old way to solve the financial corruption crisis was plutocratic, unfair, and just a way to extend the crisis, by going on with the transfer of capital from taxpayers (the poor) to the hyper wealthy (the plutocrats whining that their banks had gone bankrupt, because they just finished stealing them down to the last Dollar or Euro).

This is what I have been saying for years.

The old way just made the public deficits worse. “Austerity” was then introduced as a further boost for cutting money to the poor some more.

The “new” way adopted to solve the Cyprus crisis, make the plutocrats pay for the crisis they fabricated, instead of just augmenting the deficits some more (still the Europe gave 9 billion euros to Cyprus, augmenting public deficits by that much, and the IMF, one billion. So even USA taxpayer and beggars pitched in!)

There is nothing really “new” about this “new” way. Debtors going bankrupt were severely punished in the past. Now we are just going to forse them to regurgitate what they stole. Hopefully.

If plutocrats are going to regurgitate a bit, why not go the whole way? Then, it turns out, the deficits would completely disappear. Tax evasion to tax havens in the European Union is evaluated at more than a trillion euros. About half of the yearly budget of the USA.

Hence the following evidence, pointed out today by L’Humanite’, the Communist newspaper: austerity does not have to be. It would be enough to strike the tax evading plutocrats with austerity, as I have been claiming all along.

***

THANK YOU Jérôme:

That’s why we all have to say thanks to Jérôme the bandit. You see Jérôme, was not just a successful plastic surgeon. Part of his business development involved not just having, with his wife, also a surgeon, a private clinic. No. Jérôme became a “socialist”, just like many wealthy people become “democrats” in the USA. You know, the sort of people the president sleeps in with, in the Silicon Valley (Silly Cone?).

As an MD, Jérôme was a natural big negotiator of health stuff with rich health care providers such as Novartis. Thus the bright, towering, energetic and good looking Jérôme was naturally part of the “socialist’ government in the 1980s. he negotiated many things with the likes of Novartis.

Under the table. Under Swiss tables, more exactly. That’s why, as baking secrecy was threatened in Switzerland in 2009, Jérôme tried to get a number of Swiss banks to transfer 15 million euros from Suisse towards the safer tax haven of Singapore. That was not easy, because the banks noticed he was a Member of the French Parliament. Jérôme had to falsify a finance ministry document.

Under Hollande, Jérôme became budget minister, making a giant noise on how he was going to find and punish those who engaged in fiscal evasion. Ironically, the full and enthusiastic cooperation of prosecutors in Geneva brought his case to light, with the amplification of the French Internet magazine “Mediapart“.

Now French Justice has charged Jérôme with “blanchiment de fraude fiscale” (laundering of fiscal fraud”).

***

So let me repeat slowly: the reason for austerity is out. It turns out that French finances are actually excellent. And the finances of many other European countries are also excellent. This is why the yields are collapsing in France.

What has just been revealed to the masses is that the debt crisis was mostly about the hyper rich splurging with other people’s austerity. Make the hyper wealthy fraudsters regurgitate their stolen goods, and deficits disappear.

***

Patrice Ayme

Boosted By Soros On Europe:

June 7, 2012

BAD GERMANY, BAD EUROPE:

Abstract: I agree with much of what Soros said on the bank and currency crisis in Europe. Under his calm language, his indictment of Germany is frightening. I add fuel to the fire, naturlich.

[This is the European centered part of Soros’ discourse.]

***

  Soros:The fallibility of market participants, regulators, and economists must also be recognized.  A truly dynamic situation cannot be understood by studying multiple equilibria.  We need to study the process of change.

PA: In the case of European Monetary Union (EMU), even the equilibrium analysis was flawed from the start. It is not a question of Europe not being an optimal currency area (as American Europhobic destroyers often have it). It was much more basic than that: the nature of money was misunderstood.

  Soros: The euro crisis is particularly instructive in this regard. It demonstrates the role of misconceptions and a lack of understanding in shaping the course of history. The authorities didn’t understand the nature of the euro crisis; they thought it is a fiscal problem while it is more of a banking problem and a problem of competitiveness.

PA: As Soros himself would say further on, it’s even deeper than that: the possibility of making “fiat money” was denied. Thus European states were cut at the heel. “Fiat Money” goes at the heart of the concepts of money… and state.

There is also a massive corruption problem, and it is not confined to banks. It implicates the very nature of today’s constitutions.

The very nature of representative democracy is to put a lot of power in a few hands. This is also what plutocracy does. Make interact together the very few elected ones with the very few who have a lot of money, boost all of this with the fractional reserve privately money creating banking system, and churns out the rule of wealth, an aspect, with titanic corruption, of plutocracy.

  Soros: And [European Officials] applied the wrong remedy:you cannot reduce the debt burden by shrinking the economy, only by growing your way out of it. The crisis is still growing because of a failure to understand the dynamics of social change; policy measures that could have worked at one point in time were no longer sufficient by the time they were applied.

PA: They applied the wrong remedy deliberately. Merkel, Sarkozy and the Brussels’ fauna are in cahoots with the private financial pirates; they are their legal arm. All they wanted to do is that their friends, the pirates, recover their principal, after squeezing hard enough the colonized. So they set-up an aid system nominally for the latter, but, truly for their bankster friends. 

The delay in the correct measures was also deliberate. The allies of plutocratic banks (Merkel, Sarkozy, Barroso, etc.), have used it as a tactic to do nothing.

Always doing too little, too late, is an efficient way to do nothing, while claiming one meant well. Let’s not be fooled by Merkler and her kind.

The basic, deliberate flaw at the base of the EMU, is to make money creation a plutocratic affair. It would have emerged anyway. It emerged now, because we have a plutocratic bubble.

That bubble, in turn, was caused by the arrogance consecutive to the Bush-Obama(-Blair-Sarkozy-“Citizens-United”) years, when the plutocrats’ influence has started to look unimpeachable, and this once-in-a-civilization chance to grab power once and for all has made them frantic! 

The same happened after 150 BCE in Rome. Then, the plutocrats won, and Rome started its long decline. This time the decline is guaranteed to be short and brutish.   

  Soros; Since the euro crisis is currently exerting an overwhelming influence on the global economy I shall devote the rest of my talk to it. I must start with a warning: the discussion will take us beyond the confines of economic theory into politics and the dynamics of social change. But my conceptual framework based on the twin pillars of fallibility and reflexivity still applies. Reflexivity doesn’t always manifest itself in the form of bubbles. The reflexive interplay between imperfect markets and imperfect authorities goes on all the time while bubbles occur only infrequently. This is a rare occasion when the interaction exerts such a large influence that it casts its shadow on the global economy. How could this happen? My answer is that there is a bubble involved, after all, but it is not a financial but a political one. It relates to the political evolution of the European Union and it has led me to the conclusion that the euro crisis threatens to destroy the European Union. Let me explain.

PA: Agreed that there is a political bubble. But to say there was not a financial bubble is, simply false. The financial bubbles in Greece, Ireland and Spain were blatant. So was a general real estate bubble. For years, decent, hard working upper middle class people could not afford to live decently in the world’s most expensive cities, although those concentrated much of the GDP of the world (this is an allusion to New York, London, Paris, Tokyo, among others). So the main producers of added value work could not afford to live where they added the value, making the West’s economy inefficient (and society unjust).

Actually there is even, worldwide, a plutocratic bubble, the one Soros does not want to see. But I agree with him that the European Union is threatened at this point. Mountainous decisions have to be taken in days, in a system made to produce a few mice in a decade.

  Soros: I contend that the European Union itself is like a bubble. In the boom phase the EU was what the psychoanalyst David Tuckett calls a “fantastic object” – unreal but immensely attractive. The EU was the embodiment of an open society –an association of nations founded on the principles of democracy, human rights, and rule of law in which no nation or nationality would have a dominant position. 

PA: Although I see what he is trying to say, Soros is starting to thread very dangerous ground here. The European Union has to be, or there will be another war. It is not a bubble, it is the main weapon against insanity.

Europe is not a “fantastic object’, it is a necessity.

  Soros: The process of integration was spearheaded by a small group of far sighted statesmen who practiced what Karl Popper called piecemeal social engineering. They recognized that perfection is unattainable; so they set limited objectives and firm timelines and then mobilized the political will for a small step forward, knowing full well that when they achieved it, its inadequacy would become apparent and require a further step. The process fed on its own success, very much like a financial bubble. That is how the Coal and Steel Community was gradually transformed into the European Union, step by step.

Germany used to be in the forefront of the effort.

PA: Sort of. Although German politicians used to be in the forefront of the effort in the 1920s, after Germany fell into Nazism, it was of course unable to lead mentally. If nothing else, Nazism had decapitated Germany. Instead, after the Nazi disaster, Germany followed the lead of French statesmen, who had brandished the olive branch (say by not insisting to recover the entire West bank of the Rhine; the same generosity was mysteriously applied to Italy, although clearly major ex-French speaking parts of Italy such as Val D’Aoste, and next to Turin, used to be part of French speaking Savoy, and, after Mussolini’s forced Italianization could/should have very well be annexed!).

One can observe Soros’ drift into anti-European, pro-plutocratic and (implicit) anti-French bias. All students of the early European Union know that Robert Schuman and Jean Monnet, two Frenchmen, played the leading roles, and the German role consisted mainly to salute the French led effort, and goose-step behind it. The tables of collaboration had been turned around.

Many surviving Nazi generals knew all too well that they got incredibly lucky in 1940, and had been in excellent position to observe the self defeating nature of the war against France. So, although still influential in German society (!), in the 1950s, they pushed for the symbiosis with France, that Hitler himself, at Speer’s urging, had to admit had to happen. That drove Hitler to many a feat of rage.

But if even Hitler had to collaborate with France, the country that he hated so much, how could any German refuse to collaborate with France?

If Hitler had to collaborate with France, then why did he start the war? Hitler obviously felt. The answer, as the Nazis insisted at Nuremberg is that it was France, not Germany, which had started the war. Well, France had to start the war, it was a question of civilization, and the proof was Auschwitz.

Hitler and Rommel had admitted earlier that the French strategically destroyed the Afrikakorps at Bir Hakeim (don’t believe what all Anglo-Saxon Wikipedia says about it; they quote from some vengeful Nazi). The resistance at Bir Hakeim to the fury of the entire Afrika Korps deprived it from its only chance to surrender and destroy the British army protecting the Middle East. The scythe move in the desert before Tobruk, was blocked by the tiny army of (ironically named) general Koenig.

By the time of this strategic French victory (May-June 1942) the Americans had not fired one shot against the Nazis yet. If Israel exists today, it’s thank to Bir Hakeim. OK, back to our Jewish survivor here.

  Soros: When the Soviet empire started to disintegrate, Germany’s leaders realized that reunification was possible only in the context of a more united Europe and they were willing to make considerable sacrifices to achieve it. 

PA: Soros here is starting to get really crafty. He knows very well that what he says he is not true: it’s the French (and, especially Mitterrand, who I do not like, but was right on that) who insisted upon the Euro, in exchange for supporting Germany’s reunification. As Mitterrand had (unlawfully?) financed his good friend Kanzler Kohl’s re-election, it was hard to say no. The French idea was precisely to make European Unification impossible to reverse.

(Mitterrand used similar methods on Thatcher, by supporting her crucially for the Malouines/Falkland war, he extracted from her the Chunnel and the Single European Act…)

So why is Soros lying? Because he is trying to put in sharp contrast the alleged wisdom of Germans in the 1990s versus the sort of neo-Nazism we are now condemn to contemplate the apparent rise of. Here we have the spectacle of a Jew, Soros, being too crafty by half, and much too polite with proto-fascism, the sort of process philosopher Hannah Arendt, also a Jew, loudly, and justly,  decried in the 1930s and 1940s.

  Soros: When it came to bargaining they were willing to contribute a little more and take a little less than the others, thereby facilitating agreement.  At that time, German statesmen used to assert that Germany has no independent foreign policy, only a European one.

PA: That’s the least Germans could do, after fostering, for a century, a policy of systematic assault against other nations, starting with a war against Denmark in 1864. This policy was ended by force, in an action started by France (leading) and Britain (following belatedly), on September 1, 1939 (Ultimatum to Germany) and ended May 8, 1945 (capitulation without condition of said Germany. Now some Germans are saying they are tired of the “Nazi blackmail”. Well, then, they should not practice it, again.  

  Soros: The process culminated with the Maastricht Treaty and the introduction of the euro. It was followed by a period of stagnation which, after the crash of 2008, turned into a process of disintegration. The first step was taken by Germany when, after the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers, Angela Merkel declared that the virtual guarantee extended to other financial institutions should come from each country acting separately, not by Europe acting jointly. It took financial markets more than a year to realize the implication of that declaration, showing that they are not perfect.

The Maastricht Treaty was fundamentally flawed, demonstrating the fallibility of the authorities. Its main weakness was well known to its architects: it established a monetary union without a political union.

PA: This is true, but that was a deliberate plan, to force unification from the top down.

There was an more proximal flaw. As created the European Central Bank was deprived of many fundamental powers that all other central banks have had, since there are central banks. (The first central bank was the Bank of England, with a tight relation to the financing of the Royal Navy, followed later by the Banque de France.)

In general, sovereigns have always struck coinage. However, under Dutch (highly leveraged) influence (“Glorious Revolution”, 1688, truly an invasion), Britain set-up a highly leveraged plutocratic system, the fractional reserve. (That it is plutocratic was observed by the Rothschild themselves, who were at the core of it.)  

  Soros: The architects believed however, that when the need arose the political will could be generated to take the necessary steps towards a political union.

PA: The main architect was the French, Jacques Delors, a socialist and loud Christian. He amplified thus the system put in place by French banker, Rothschild servant, and also French president, George Pompidou. A law of 1973 outlawed the financing of the French state by its central bank (something all other central banks do). Instead the French state had to go to plutocrats to beg for money.

As leveraged banks are truly state institutions, this established a further control of the French state, hence Europe (after the European Monetary Union), by private individuals, the bankers.  

  Soros: But the euro also had some other defects of which the architects were unaware and which are not fully understood even today.

PA: Those architects claimed to be socialist, while ruling that banks would rule thereafter. In other words, if they were not arrogant idiots, they were deeply corrupt (yes, I am talking about Delors… somebody I long viewed as a European hero, and now looks more like a European horror!)

  Soros: In retrospect it is now clear that the main source of trouble is that the member states of the euro have surrendered to the european central bank their rights TO CREATE FIAT MONEY. They did not realize what that entails – and neither did the European authorities.

PA: Not just that: the power of the ECB to create fiat money is ALSO very restricted (it cannot be lent to states directly, governors can’t be overruled, etc.) As it is, it left only the plutocrats with the power to create, through private banks, money in Europe.

As I already said, can one be that idiotic without being deeply corrupt?

Money is nothing without a state. A state is nothing if it cannot project power, and this it is does through military power, first of all, and financial power, when it is in a good mood. The stick, and the carrot. The way the EMU was set-up, there was not carrot in control of the state, the carrot was in control of wealthy people and their managers. Nor was there a stick. And the state does not really exist, either.

  Soros: When the euro was introduced the regulators allowed banks to buy unlimited amounts of government bonds without setting aside any equity capital; and the central bank accepted all government bonds at its discount window on equal terms. Commercial banks found it advantageous to accumulate the bonds of the weaker euro members in order to earn a few extra basis points. That is what caused interest rates to converge which in turn caused competitiveness to diverge. Germany, struggling with the burdens of reunification, undertook structural reforms and became more competitive. Other countries enjoyed housing and consumption booms on the back of cheap credit, making them less competitive. Then came the crash of 2008 which created conditions that were far removed from those prescribed by the Maastricht Treaty. Many governments had to shift bank liabilities on to their own balance sheets and engage in massive deficit spending. These countries found themselves in the position of a third world country that had become heavily indebted in a currency that it did not control. Due to the divergence in economic performance Europe became divided between creditor and debtor countries. This is having far reaching political implications to which I will revert.

PA: Perfect analysis, nothing to add.

  Soros: It took some time for the financial markets to discover that government bonds which had been considered riskless are subject to speculative attack and may actually default; but when they did, risk premiums rose dramatically.

PA: Soros is admitting here implicitly the culpability of money changers (such as hedge funds… there are 20,000 of those; one, failed for being on the wrong side of trades in Italian government bonds; it was headed by J. Corzine ex-gov of New jersey, ex-head of Goldman Sachs… Billions disappeared mysteriously…)

  Soros: This [speculative attacks] rendered commercial banks whose balance sheets were loaded with those bonds potentially insolvent. And that constituted the two main components of the problem confronting us today: a sovereign debt crisis and a banking crisis which are closely interlinked.

The eurozone is now repeating what had often happened in the global financial system. There is a close parallel between the euro crisis and the international banking crisis that erupted in 1982. Then the international financial authorities did whatever was necessary to protect the banking system: they inflicted hardship on the periphery in order to protect the center. Now Germany and the other creditor countries are unknowingly playing the same role.

PA: Once again, for pedagogical and diplomatic reasons, Soros is extravagantly polite with the German authorities. There is no way they do not understand that they are destroying Europe. (…And helping Putin’s Russia. BTW, Merkler speaks Russian.)

  Soros: The details differ but the idea is the same: the creditors are in effect shifting the burden of adjustment on to the debtor countries and avoiding their own responsibility for the imbalances. Interestingly, the terms “center” and “periphery” have crept into usage almost unnoticed. Just as in the 1980’s all the blame and burden is falling on the “periphery” and the responsibility of the “center” has never been properly acknowledged.  Yet in the euro crisis the responsibility of the center is even greater than it was in 1982. The “center” is responsible for designing a flawed system, enacting flawed treaties, pursuing flawed policies and always doing too little too late. In the 1980’s Latin America suffered a lost decade; a similar fate now awaits Europe. That is the responsibility that Germany and the other creditor countries need to acknowledge. But there is no sign of this happening.

The European authorities had little understanding of what was happening. They were prepared to deal with fiscal problems but only Greece qualified as a fiscal crisis; the rest of Europe suffered from a banking crisis and a divergence in competitiveness which gave rise to a balance of payments crisis. The authorities did not even understand the nature of the problem, let alone see a solution. So they tried to buy time.

Usually that works. Financial panics subside and the authorities realize a profit on their intervention. But not this time because the financial problems were reinforced by a process of political disintegration. While the European Union was being created, the leadership was in the forefront of further integration; but after the outbreak of the financial crisis the authorities became wedded to preserving the status quo.

PA: Merkozy caused a lot of damage, in other words.

  Soros: This has forced all those who consider the status quo unsustainable or intolerable into an anti-European posture. That is the political dynamic that makes the disintegration of the European Union just as self-reinforcing as its creation has been.  That is the political bubble I was talking about.

At the onset of the crisis a breakup of the euro was inconceivable: the assets and liabilities denominated in a common currency were so intermingled that a breakup would have led to an uncontrollable meltdown. But as the crisis progressed the financial system has been progressively reordered along national lines. This trend has gathered momentum in recent months. The Long Term Refinancing Operation (LTRO) undertaken by the European Central Bank enabled Spanish and Italian banks to engage in a very profitable and low risk arbitrage by buying the bonds of their own countries. And other investors have been actively divesting themselves of the sovereign debt of the periphery countries.

If this continued for a few more years a break-up of the euro would become possible without a meltdown – the omelet could be unscrambled – but it would leave the central banks of the creditor countries with large claims against the central banks of the debtor countries which would be difficult to collect. This is due to an arcane problem in the euro clearing system called Target2. In contrast to the clearing system of the Federal Reserve, which is settled annually, Target2 accumulates the imbalances. This did not create a problem as long as the interbank system was functioning because the banks settled the imbalances themselves through the interbank market. But the interbank market has not functioned properly since 2007 and the banks relied increasingly on the Target system. And since the summer of 2011 there has been increasing capital flight from the weaker countries. So the imbalances grew exponentially. By the end of March this year the Bundesbank had claims of some 660 billion euros against the central banks of the periphery countries.

The Bundesbank has become aware of the potential danger. It is now engaged in a campaign against the indefinite expansion of the money supply and it has started taking measures to limit the losses it would sustain in case of a breakup. This is creating a self-fulfilling prophecy. Once the Bundesbank starts guarding against a breakup everybody will have to do the same.

PA: Yes, Germany is rotting at the head, and it’s not just the heads of Chancellor Merkel and her government.  Launching a self fulfilling prophecy of evil is no small matter, morally speaking.

  Soros: This [a self-fulfilling prophecy of breaking up] is already happening. Financial institutions are increasingly reordering their European exposure along national lines just in case the region splits apart. Banks give preference to shedding assets outside their national borders and risk managers try to match assets and liabilities within national borders rather than within the eurozone as a whole. The indirect effect of this asset-liability matching is to reinforce the deleveraging process and to reduce the availability of credit, particularly to the small and medium enterprises which are the main source of employment.

So the crisis is getting ever deeper. Tensions in financial markets have risen to new highs as shown by the historic low yield on Bunds. Even more telling is the fact that the yield on British 10 year bonds has never been lower in its 300 year history while the risk premium on Spanish bonds is at a new high.

The real economy of the eurozone is declining while Germany is still booming. This means that the divergence is getting wider. The political and social dynamics are also working toward disintegration. Public opinion as expressed in recent election results is increasingly opposed to austerity and this trend is likely to grow until the policy is reversed. So something has to give.

In my judgment the authorities have a three months’ window during which they could still correct their mistakes and reverse the current trends. BY THE AUTHORITIES I MEAN MAINLY THE GERMAN GOVERNMENT AND THE BUNDESBANK because in a crisis the creditors are in the driver’s seat and nothing can be done without German support.

PA: Europe is so organized that one country can block everything if so determined. However, even Thatcher’s Britain never did this. That Germany is thus cornering Europe, on the first real threat that European integration faces in 65 years, is astounding, considering history.

  Soros: I expect that the Greek public will be sufficiently frightened by the prospect of expulsion from the European Union that it will give a narrow majority of seats to a coalition that is ready to abide by the current agreement. But no government can meet the conditions so that the Greek crisis is liable to come to a climax in the fall. By that time the German economy will also be weakening so that Chancellor Merkel will find it even more difficult than today to persuade the German public to accept any additional European responsibilities. That is what creates a three months’ window.

Correcting the mistakes and reversing the trend would require some extraordinary policy measures to bring conditions back closer to normal, and bring relief to the financial markets and the banking system. These measures must, however, conform to the existing treaties. The treaties could then be revised in a calmer atmosphere so that the current imbalances will not recur. It is difficult but not impossible to design some extraordinary measures that would meet these tough requirements. They would have to tackle simultaneously the banking problem and the problem of excessive government debt, because these problems are interlinked. Addressing one without the other, as in the past, will not work.

Banks need a European deposit insurance scheme in order to stem the capital flight. They also need direct financing by the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) which has to go hand-in-hand with eurozone-wide supervision and regulation. The heavily indebted countries need relief on their financing costs. There are various ways to provide it but they all need the active support of the Bundesbank and the German government.

PA: Even the famous anti-European magazine “The Economist” said as much about all the preceding.

By the way, there is more than 1.1 trillion dollars ready to help (before leverage), allowed by existing treaties. However, let’s notice that, in spite of funds being at the ready, and dedicated for Greece’s research and high education, they have not been disbursed for two years. So, it’s not because the money is here, that Germany will allow to use it. Is Germany deliberately trying to sabotage Europe?

  Soros: That is where the blockage is [Germany]. The authorities are working feverishly to come up with a set of proposals in time for the European summit at the end of this month. Based on the current newspaper reports the measures they will propose will cover all the bases I mentioned but they will offer only the minimum on which the various parties can agree while what is needed is a convincing commitment to reverse the trend. That means the measures will again offer some temporary relief but the trends will continue. But we are at an inflection point.  After the expiration of the three months’ window the markets will continue to demand more but the authorities will not be able to meet their demands.

It is impossible to predict the eventual outcome. As mentioned before, the gradual reordering of the financial system along national lines could make an orderly breakup of the euro possible in a few years’ time and, if it were not for the social and political dynamics, one could imagine a common market without a common currency. But the trends are clearly non-linear and an earlier breakup is bound to be disorderly. It would almost certainly lead to a collapse of the Schengen Treaty, the common market, and the European Union itself. (It should be remembered that there is an exit mechanism for the European Union but not for the euro.) Unenforceable claims and unsettled grievances would leave Europe worse off than it was at the outset when the project of a united Europe was conceived.

PA: After so much insanity deployed and allowed to rampage, the British and French military budgets will also have to be cranked up… To insure that further insanity is contained, looking forward, all the more since, as in the 1920s and 1930s, Germany is flirting with the dictators of Russia.

  Soros: But the likelihood is that the euro will survive because A BREAKUP WOULD BE DEVASTATING NOT ONLY FOR THE PERIPHERY BUT ALSO FOR GERMANY.

PA: However, Hitler started a war, just so that he could lose, as Salvador Dali pointed out. A country with a culture so idiotic and criminal that it could develop Nazism, over several generations, as the great philosopher Nietzsche pointed out at the outset, is perfectly capable to keep on acting dramatically against its own interests, just in the hope of punishing everybody.

Punishing everybody, that’s what Germany did in 1914, and 1939, launching wars it had no moral right, nor reason, to wage, and a quasi zero probability of winning without enormous devastation to itself.

Maybe Germans like so much to be the bad guys and to lose, they want an encore?

  Soros: It would leave Germany with large unenforceable claims against the periphery countries. The Bundesbank alone will have over a trillion euros of claims arising out of Target2 by the end of this year, in addition to all the intergovernmental obligations. And a return to the Deutschemark would likely price Germany out of its export markets – not to mention the political consequences. So Germany is likely to do what is necessary to preserve the euro – but nothing more. That would result in a eurozone dominated by Germany in which the divergence between the creditor and debtor countries would continue to widen and the periphery would turn into permanently depressed areas in need of constant transfer of payments. That would turn the European Union into something very different from what it was when it was a “fantastic object” that fired peoples imagination. It would be a German empire with the periphery as the hinterland.

PA: Soros is 100% wrong here. There will be no German empire. Germany is completely delusional and delirious at this point. German domination of Europe will not happen, because German culture is on its way out, whereas French culture is on its way up.

France rests on universalism, Germany on tribalism. Just to get the workers it needs, Germany is forced to draft non Germans into tribal Germany.

Let me explain more: in 1940, France had less than 40 million inhabitants, and Germany more than 80 millions. Nowadays, France has 66 millions, and her population augments by 350,000/year, internally (no immigration, thanks to the ferocious and ungrateful Sarkozy, now eliminated). These 350,000 new French a year are real French of fangs and claws, not the imported kind.

Whereas, even with significant immigration, the German population is decreasing. A fiortiori, the part of Germany of genuine German culture, so to speak.

Already now there are 30% more young French people than young German people (and, as I hinted, many of the latter are not really of issued from German culture). Merkel herself had no children. Her nasty cultural disposition will not be passed to her children.

German median age is 5 years older than the French (although the French live two years longer).

Verily, part of the senile reaction of Germany to the Euro crisis is directly imputable to Germany’s aging and scared behavior.

  Soros: I believe most of us would find that objectionable but I have a great deal of sympathy with Germany in its present predicament. The German public cannot understand why a policy of structural reforms and fiscal austerity that worked for Germany a decade ago will not work Europe today.

PA: Soros is right, “most of us would find” that sympathy for Germany should be limited. In some ways Germany is a plutocracy led by rich Mittelstand owners. I know some. Those mini plutocrats are the kings and queens of Germany. They work the little people hard, while scaring them with destitution. Those who know history will be reminded of the old landed aristocracy, especially of the Prussian type, which was a major, probably the major factor, in the rise of German fascism and racism (craftily, their tool, Hitler, electorally campaigned against them)

There is no minimum hourly wage in Germany. The states force some of the poorest people to work for one Euro an hour.

  Soros: Germany then could enjoy an export led recovery but the eurozone today is caught in a deflationary debt trap. The German public does not see any deflation at home; on the contrary, wages are rising and there are vacancies for skilled jobs which are eagerly snapped up by immigrants from other European countries. Reluctance to invest abroad and the influx of flight capital are fueling a real estate boom. Exports may be slowing but employment is still rising. In these circumstances it would require an extraordinary effort by the German government to convince the German public to embrace the extraordinary measures that would be necessary to reverse the current trend. And they have only a three months’ window in which to do it.

We need to do whatever we can to convince Germany to show leadership and preserve the European Union as the fantastic object that it used to be. The future of Europe depends on it.

PA: The future of peace, too. To believe that a fractious Europe, after such a stab in the back, the deliberate destruction of the European Union by Germany, would stay long at peace, is delusional. In any case, socialist France has already constituted a vast coalition, and, differently from 1939, Spain (conservative), Italy (conservative), and the USA (more to the right than any European country) are in it. Even Britain is scared out of its wits that German driven selfishness will drag it further down the abyss.

So what are German officials thinking of? (Besides the desire to self destroy?) Well, the siren song of the ex-KGB officer, Putin, is obvious in the distance. Putin is trying to seduce Germany, which gets already all its gas from there (more than 22% of total German energy usage). The mutual seduction between Germany and Russia in the 1920s and 1930s had a deplorable effect on both, a mutual feedback loop of brutish behavior.

Brutish behavior is what we see today when Bundesbank officials talk as if they ruled Greece. They don’t. What is happening in Greece, as Soros said, is more the fault of the creditor countries than Greece’s. The aid programs to Greece have been, truly, mostly aid programs to non Greek banks which financed their friends in Greece (often plutocrats they had dirty deals with).

The arrogant, offensive and injurious attitude of so many German officials shows that those who did not learn humility from history cannot be trusted.

So are we back in the 1920s and 1930s? Is the collaboration between Germany and Wall $treet based plutocracy back on the front burner? (It sure sounds that way; major Wall $treet banks, such as JP Morgan, have come out with astounding pieces of propaganda, as a reader kindly informed me)

Are we back in the 1920s and 1930s? … When Germany was secretly plotting, and training with Stalinist Russia? That blossomed in the formal alliance in 1939, of the USSR and Nazi Germany, in a vain attempt to block France’s thirst for justice.

So is Merkel working for the Putin, that is for the KGB, or Goldman Sachs and its ilk? Both maybe? Like Hitler, in the end, rather ironically, did? (The Fuehrer basically said so himself in his political testament…)

There are very good reasons to suspect all these schemes, and they will be further divulgated soon. It would be all very funny, if it were not so disconcerting.

***

Patrice Ayme

Euro Inner Devaluation

March 15, 2012

A SOLUTION FOR THE GREEKS

How did the situation get so bad in the Eurozone periphery? There are three explanatory layers below the usual one. I will concentrate on the case of Greece, just to focus minds.

Usually the trouble with Greece is described as follows: Greece is a barely functioning state, without even a registry of who owns what, full of liars and plutocrats who pay no taxes and overspend into silence the People with corruption generalized, thanks to the full complicity of vicious bankers knowing very well that they are too big to jail, as they hypnotized all important Western politicians into abject submission.

There is a lot of truth in the preceding, but the truth is not always and only where everybody believes it is. There are explanatory layers, much deeper than the preceding ones. And they are not restricted to Greece, or even Europe. Nor to recent times.

Those deeper explanatory layers I will expose are never explored, because making them explicit would endanger the vast conspiracy the self declared financial “Masters of the Universe” have engaged in. Not only would it expose their manipulations, but how to remedy them, and spoil any further enjoyment of this vain art.

I will presently address the most superficial of these causal layers, and leave the other two for some other times (although I have mentioned them many times before). Even that most superficial of layers is something the best American economists are careful not to talk about (or maybe they are just plain ignorant?).

Economists friendly to plutocratic supremacy have failed to mention that explanatory layer: I do not wonder why, as they are plutocratically financed themselves. They are decent people, they do not want to even think about biting the hands that feed them.

Greece has no interest, does not want, cannot, and will not, leave the euro. 

That, let it be said in passing, is the number one notion for decent economists to integrate. Leaving the Eurozone would only make the situation worse, for everybody, except for those who cling dearly to American supremacy, and those who prefer dictators to lead European regimes. Indeed, if Greece leaves, why not everybody else? (I explained before that the banking problem is logically independent of the currency used.)

As Dominique Strauss-Kahn just said at Cambridge University, accepting the destruction of the Eurozone would be accepting that Europe become a “province” of the USA. (I am heavily rephrasing what he said, but his meaning was clear.)

And if that is a “province” as the original “provincia” (now “Provence“) was, that means annexation. (By the way, thank to Geo, a contributor to this site, for pointing out to me the March 2012 DSK speech. I was totally unaware of it; it’s well worth listening to.)

What was wrong with the annexation of Provincia?

Well, Provincia was a Greek state, a mini empire led by Massilia, extending from beyond Barcelona to the west to beyond Nice (the Greek Νίκαια) to the east. That empire was as old as Rome, and an ally. Massalia had been founded as a colony of the most enterprising Greek nation, Phocaea, itself much older than Rome (or Athens, for that matter), and a member of the Ionian League (now under the Meccan crescent moon’s boot).

Now Phocaea, 20 centuries later, is under the Muslim boot, and it’s all Rome’s fault. Think whatever you want about the  “mildly Islamist” ruling party in Turkey, it has more than 100 journalists in jail, for various degres of treason, or criminal inciting to deep thought.

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, who was going to be France’s much needed next president, is in very good position to know the difference of civilization between Europe and the USA (the prosecutor in New York, Vance his name, is financed by Wall Street, which hates Strauss-Kahn, just as the plutocrats in Rome hated the richest of them all, Caesar, because Caesar was the head of the “Populares“).

Rome, by breaking ancient Greek democracy-through-city-states, and unions thereof, paved the way not just to its own gigantically tyrannical self, and its grotesque mindless theocracy, but also to the giant, instantaneous Islamist tyranny of the seventh century. All this to explain not just why the relationship between Massalia and Phrygia is not as close as it used to be, but also why there was a lot of stagnation in between.   

When Rome conquered the Greeks, it killed intellectual innovation.

The Romans, whatever their charms, were no intellectuals. Nearly all Roman intellectuals of the Greco-Roman empire were actually Greeks, just as later nearly all Arabic speaking intellectuals were actually either Christian or Jewish (or  from families recently superficially converted to the master race’s religion).

The European Union is an attempt to reconstruct a world somewhat similar to the best union of independent democracies of the very ancient world, say when the the Ionian League reigned, next to Lydia and Phrygia, or even earlier, when the non sexist Cretan thalassocracy ruled the seas, in good intelligence with mildly authoritarian Egypt…

This model of an union of democracies, is the only one for this world. The historical model of the USA, crushing all the savages with the ever extending frontier pushed by crazed out plutocrats, is simply not viable. It only worked against American First Nations, because those were, really, savages.

(Why the extermination model had worked so well against the much more advanced Aztecs and Incas has to do with an immune problem, which was less important three centuries later; smallpox got to the Incas before Pizarro, and killed the Inca, starting a civil war, among other things; there is plenty of evidence that Spain massacred the American civilizations much by accident, and it was stopped at the top; the queen made enslavement of the Indians unlawful. Later Charles V ordered the arrest of the conquista, for cause of holocaust. In total contrast, the extermination of the North American Indians by the USA was deliberate, and the inability of the USA to revisit that monstrosity stays a threat… to the whole planet.)

Leaving the Eurozone would make the situation horrible for Greece: it would have to pay for all its energy and imports in an enormously devalued currency… And the People of Greece would lose the financial help from hundreds of millions of European taxpayers, and ultra cheap money directly from the European Central Bank (thanks to the amazing offices of the good Mr. Dragghi, an Italian banker, ex-partner at Goldman Sachs!).

In the 1940s, after engaging in successful war against Mussolini’s Italy, Greece was overrun by Hitler’s Nazis. Fortunately the Nazis suffered heavy losses, which piled up on top of the enormous losses they, and especially their officer corps, had already suffered over England, the enormously lethal Battle of France (May-June 1940, 200,000 soldiers killed), and in Norway (against the Norwegians first, and later against victorious Franco-British forces).

Even earlier the Nazis’ professional assassins had enjoyed unexpected losses in Poland. Bombing of Berlin by the French did not help German morale. It should have been fairly clear, even to the dimmest of Germans, that WWII would not be a repeat of WWI. This time the fascist snake would be struck at the head. But just as the Romans had no notion of intellectuality, nor did the Germans in 1940.

Thus when Hitler, delayed 6 weeks by a very costly invasion of Crete, finally attacked the USSR, his forces of professional assassins were much weakened. Many a good Nazi engineer had died in suicide charges against French fortifications, and most elite Nazi paratroops had been annihilated in Crete (they would be used again only against the French resistance in Vercors, in Spring 1944, it took that long to replenish them).

Hence we may say that democracy owes much to the courage of the Greeks against fascism, not just 25 centuries ago, in many formidable battles against the invading Persian juggernaut . But also during World War Two.

Nevertheless, for all their efforts, the Greeks were rewarded by a civil war in the 1940s between Greek communists, and foreign invaders, Anglo-Saxon plutocrats, aided by local agents. I am not exaggerating: the “Greek” civil war started with a British general giving an ultimatum in Greek to the… Greeks in Greece.

So now, here we are. Economists with access to all the centers of power, breathing together with Wall Street plutocrats, are giving advice to conservative European politicians and circles about what to do with Greece. It reminds me of 1946, with Anglo-Saxon military and special services telling the Greeks what would be happening in Greece, for the greater good of plutocracy (don’t scoff: ever since Greek ship magnates paid no taxes, and have been able to procure the likes of Jackie Kennedy as escort girls, a tradition pursued to this day).

Yet, there is an obvious mild solution to the mess developing in Europe: give to Greece and the like, the same medicine that Germany profited from.

In his editorial in the New York Times: “What Greece Means“, the honorable Paul Krugman pontificates erroneously that: “… countries like Greece and Ireland… had and have no good alternatives short of leaving the euro, an extreme step that, realistically, their leaders cannot take until all other options have failed — a state of affairs that, if you ask me, Greece is rapidly approaching.”

Well, that’s simply not true. I will demonstrate that not only there is an alternative, but that this alternative, a powerful weapon, was wielded by Merkel for her own selfish interest. Unjustifiably so.

In all fairness, Krugman’s main aim in the editorial was to show that austerity was bad, and that the situation in Greece proved the point. I agree, to a great extent. However I believe that targeted austerity, and targeted growth is where it’s at: grow schools for everybody, the market conditions for futuristic industries, and a sustainable energy procurement system; don’t grow plutocrats, socially irresponsible banks or the Islamist (“republic of“) Afghanistan. It’s all about precision bombing.  

“Why did Greece default? Americans economists, such as the pre-cited Paul Krugman, love to accuse the euro. They may as well accuse the evil eye. The euro, per se, has nothing to do with it. The all too weak powers of the ECB, much more (that is why one should be thankfull to Mr. Dragghi for violating the ECB charter; he (basically) gave more than a TRILLION to European banks englued in the crisis they created… in three months!)

All too many American “liberal” economists hate the euro, because, with all due respect, they are protecting their turf, New York City. All the caviar. Living in mansions. Looking intellectual. Without Wall Street, New York City would be just a larger Philadelphia. Made huge by all this Wall Street money, the giant 35,000 officers strong NYC police force can incarcerate all Wall Street occupiers, any time it is ordered to.

Americans have been enjoying the status of the dollar as the world’s reserve currency, so the opinion of any American economist is suspect (as Keynes, not a shrinking, anti-capitalist violet, was the first to point out in 1944; Keynes wanted a world currency, not the dollar as world currency. Don’t expect Krugman to tell you that).

Without Wall Street, the Greek conservatives who got the country in the Eurozone, could not have cheated with the help of Goldman Sachs. Was Greece a Trojan Horse conceived by the Gold Man sacking civilization?

In any case, the fruits of empire are bound to make American economists lazy, more worried about pushing for Quantitative Easing to help those who buy them caviar, than for liquid thorium nuclear reactors, to save the biosphere.

What we have done, instead of putting engineering in the lead, is allowing plutocrats to think the world. The lowest and basest have been put in charge of the grandest and most noble, penetrating vision. Saurians are steering the bus. Now we are sinking in the tar sands of lost imagination, turning away from all possibilities but for surviving as living fossils, burning whatever we can dig in the ground, like forsaken Homo Erectus.

There are three causal layers to explain the European disaster deeper than what conventional economists tend to analyze, and let’s finally roll out, after these preliminaries, the obvious one.

It points, surprisingly, at Germany. The good Frau Doktor Merkel in particular, is an obvious culprit. Merkel poses as austere, a steady hand, but she forgets to advertize loudly that she was an engineer in Greece’s demise. That’s too bad, because therein a solution.

After coming to power, Merkel effected an INTERNAL DEVALUATION. That gave an unwise advantage to Germany…that it did not need.

Merkel jacked up the German Added Value tax from 16% to 19%. This acted like a protectionist measure inside Europe. The Added Valued Tax is charged on imports, not exports, so it behaves as an import tax.

Meanwhile she lowered considerably the taxes German companies had to pay when employing someone (by a third, I computed).

OK, maybe Merkel was right: the world’s greatest exporter is the European Union. You will not hear that from those who sing on roof tops about Europe’s decline. Maybe 45% of that is directly from German exports (after a back of the envelope computation, inside my head). However, considering the impact that her internal devaluation was bound to have on the rest of the Union, Merkel should have had the courtesy of informing the others, loudly, on the probable impact of her policy.

Maybe she did, sotto voce. This is an argument why European ministers should sit on each other’s councils of ministers (as DSK tried to impose, long ago). Some will say they have more important things to do. Yes, like what? 

The rest of Europe did not engage in such an internal devaluation trick in a timely manner.

Now Sarkozy, the plutophile French president, desperate for re-election, is proposing to do the same (mysteriously he calls that the “TVA sociale“). He proposes that, 6 years after Germany effected it. Too bad he did not notice before. He was probably too busy making love with the richest of the rich, and tasting the most refined caviar together (as there is an embargo on the best Caspian sea caviar, caviar is now made in France, illustrating where Sarkozy France’s priorities are. France used to have ideas, now she has caviar…)

All the states from the European periphery should do the same: give back to Germany some of its own medicine, some of this internal devaluation Merkel loves so much.

That counter-measure is already applied, and not just in Greece (where the AVT is now 23%!).

It goes without saying that Germany should help repair the damage it caused, by doing the opposite, internally revalue (lowering the German AVT, and rising other taxes could be done next week: Merkel is obviously over-eating while Rome burns).

The state of Greece has been in default since 2010, when it stopped paying private contractors which had worked for it. The default is official in March 2012, at least the credit rating agencies say so. Greece has stopped interest payments on old bonds enjoyed by the banks.

Technically more than 80% of the banks exchanged the loans for new ones which lost more than half of their value. A few banks chose instead to activate Credit Default Swaps.

If all banks had activated the CDS, we would have been in a repeat of 2008, as those CDS are backed up by drastically insufficient capital. In 2008 the major states of the West basically ordered the taxpayers to make the CDS payments. Taxpayers had to pay for something they had never heard of, financial derivatives. This time the banks paid. Progress.

Of course the crisis is not finished. The big problem is that, worldwide, greed has created imbalances. Worldwide bankers and financiers sit with politicians and they together breathe (in Latin: con spirare).

Plutocrats don’t even hide for their breathing together: see Davos.

And this is why coal plants are everywhere ever more spewing deadly gases, from CO2 to mercury vapor. It is also why China has caught up, and sometimes passed, the West in science and technology. Hence the trade imbalance problem. Now the West (EU, USA, Japan) whines at the WTO that China was unfair with rare earths. Why don’t they extract their own, as the West used to? (By the way, energy crammed thorium is often produced as a waste, doing so.) Too much money for caviar, and bankers’ private jets, not enough for productive work? And now whining that Chinese slaves are greedy?

Thorium nuclear reactors, or rather the absence thereof, make a very good illustration of the unfolding disaster. This technology was made to work 50 years ago, but was never developed. Thorium would allow us to escape the catastrophic CO2 crisis poisoning the biosphere, besides providing the solar system with cheap abundant energy and fast transportation for hundreds of thousands of years, all the way to Ganymede, Enceladus and Triton.

Why do I mention those three? Those moons of the Solar System have gigantic quantities of (very frozen) water, and are thus much more suitable for human exploration and colonization, than, say, Mars, had we very fast transportation, something a thorium engine could provide cheaply.

It is a big universe out there, and it is a very small enchanted paradise of a planet here. When one sees that European politicians took 6 years to realize that the leading country had grabbed for itself an advantage that should be theirs, bringing forth an easily avoidable disaster, one can only smirk.

Meanwhile the Obama administration, having apparently run out both of money and imagination, cancelled Mars missions that were supposed to find out what happened to life there. You see letting plutocrats go tax free, and banks getting nearly all the money in the world, has consequences. Obama wants a billion dollars for the re-election of his beautiful brown self, because he claims his color has civilizing properties. But he does not have a billion dollar for Mars.

What will people remember in the future? That the first American president of half African descent was so obsessed by skin color, that he gave up on the solar system. One billion dollar for him, none for Mars. In other words, intellectual terra nulla. Rome’s first African born and raised emperor, Septimus Severus, founder a dynasty, is not remembered for his racial origin. He is remembered for the warning he gave about the Senate based Roman plutocracy.

Never mind that the Mars missions were collaborations with ESA (European Space Agency). Ever since 1939, when the USA allied itself with Hitler, what Europeans think, or, actually thinking itself, has not been number one priority in Washington. Do Europeans want to become a province of that? Does the world have interest to become a province of that? 

Yes, the behavior of the USA at Munich, in 1938, or with the Hitlerian Air Force in 1939 (allowing it to fly, by providing crucial industrial products) is something American civilization avoids to talk even more carefully than the extermination of American First Nations. However, facts talk louder than silence.

A frustrated American soldier killed many civilians, including nine less than nine year old children last week, four of them less than 6 year old girls. By cancelling the Mars missions, Obama saved what the Pentagon spends in ten hours capturing and killing obnoxious Americans and Afghan children terrorists, out there. Especially all those little girls. Priorities, priorities…

***

Patrice Ayme


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Power Exponentiation By A Few Destroyed Greco-Roman Civilization. Are We Next?

SoundEagle 🦅ೋღஜஇ

Where The Eagles Fly . . . . Art Science Poetry Music & Ideas

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Artificial Turf At French Bilingual School Berkeley

Patterns of Meaning

Exploring the patterns of meaning that shape our world

Sean Carroll

in truth, only atoms and the void

West Hunter

Omnes vulnerant, ultima necat

GrrrGraphics on WordPress

www.grrrgraphics.com

Skulls in the Stars

The intersection of physics, optics, history and pulp fiction

Footnotes to Plato

because all (Western) philosophy consists of a series of footnotes to Plato

Patrice Ayme's Thoughts

Striving For Ever Better Thinking. Humanism Is Intelligence Unleashed. From Intelligence All Ways, Instincts & Values Flow, Even Happiness. History and Science Teach Us Not Just Humility, But Power, Smarts, And The Ways We Should Embrace. Naturam Primum Cognoscere Rerum

Learning from Dogs

Dogs are animals of integrity. We have much to learn from them.

ianmillerblog

Smile! You’re at the best WordPress.com site ever

Defense Issues

Military and general security

RobertLovesPi.net

Polyhedra, tessellations, and more.

How to Be a Stoic

an evolving guide to practical Stoicism for the 21st century

Donna Swarthout

Writer, Editor, Berliner

Rise, Republic, Plutocracy, Degeneracy, Fall And Transmutation Of Rome

Power Exponentiation By A Few Destroyed Greco-Roman Civilization. Are We Next?

SoundEagle 🦅ೋღஜஇ

Where The Eagles Fly . . . . Art Science Poetry Music & Ideas

Artificial Turf At French Bilingual School Berkeley

Artificial Turf At French Bilingual School Berkeley

Patterns of Meaning

Exploring the patterns of meaning that shape our world

Sean Carroll

in truth, only atoms and the void

West Hunter

Omnes vulnerant, ultima necat

GrrrGraphics on WordPress

www.grrrgraphics.com

Skulls in the Stars

The intersection of physics, optics, history and pulp fiction

Footnotes to Plato

because all (Western) philosophy consists of a series of footnotes to Plato

Patrice Ayme's Thoughts

Striving For Ever Better Thinking. Humanism Is Intelligence Unleashed. From Intelligence All Ways, Instincts & Values Flow, Even Happiness. History and Science Teach Us Not Just Humility, But Power, Smarts, And The Ways We Should Embrace. Naturam Primum Cognoscere Rerum

Learning from Dogs

Dogs are animals of integrity. We have much to learn from them.

ianmillerblog

Smile! You’re at the best WordPress.com site ever

Defense Issues

Military and general security

RobertLovesPi.net

Polyhedra, tessellations, and more.

How to Be a Stoic

an evolving guide to practical Stoicism for the 21st century

Donna Swarthout

Writer, Editor, Berliner