Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
November 24, 2011

Open Thread - Nov 24

Your news & views ...

Posted by b on November 24, 2011 at 17:33 UTC | Permalink


I would like to request an ongoing and in-depth MOA thread dedicated to the ongoing and in-depth international financial crisis, with particular emphasis on the future of the Euro, the Eurozone economies, and the overall project for the creation of a European Community. There are, of course, already many forums where such discussion is well-advanced and enriched by daily comments, one might cite Yves Simith's Naked Capitalism blog, as well as MOA's "sister site", EuroTribune, not to mention many many economic commentators.
To oversimplify greatly, it seems that the debate is largely between the "Anglo-Saxon" Keynesians and the "hard money fiscal conservatives" whose major bastions these days seem to ring the ECB and Bundesbank. The division of opinion is, however, by no means so neatly geographic. Moreover, it is unreasonable to expect that we can develop a clear vision of economic and financial developments over that will ensue over the next year or so. Nevertheless it may be possible, at least, to debunk the more obviously erroneous theses that are propounded and propagated by the various actors and analysts trying to convince a dubious public of the "right action" to take as events unfold. (Indeed, a lucid mind like Michael Pettis sustains that there probably is no correct action possible to put things right. (This, alas, does not preclude the existence of multifarious "incorrect actions" that can make the present bad situation even worse.) This is the kind of work which our estimable moderator b has done with brilliance in regard to politico-military events in the Middle East and Central Asia. The crisis stalking the European project surely merits equal attention and rationality.
I hope for a frank and informed discussion, but I desire even more that the discussion avoid descent into superficial scapegoating or finger-pointing.

Even under the best of circumstances it is difficult to love bankers, and today we are certainly not enjoying the best of economic circumstances. There is much to criticize about the methods and practices of the various financial elites in this regard, and documented criticism is surely welcome. Nevertheless, the construction of the European Community by consensual means has been, in my opinion, one of the great politico-economic successes of the sixty years, and it has undeniably been fostered by a transnational European elite ever mindful of the peril implied by failure of that project. As bad as things are now, and even if they do get worse, we are unlikely to see European armies marauding across the continent and shedding innocent blood on the scale seen in the two great European wars of the last century. This, I believe, is what gives the defense of the Euro project such a profound psychological significance for many of the major actors. So, the question that I hope we will be able to elucidate is how can the good part of the European dream be preserved (and strengthened) while at the same time making those modifications to its implementation which are just and necessary. It may be that the euro will have to be put aside (at least temporarily) for the good of Europe. Or perhaps it will be possible to "muddle through" to a jury-rigged provisional solution.

I await illumination from more competent observers.

Posted by: Hannah K. O'Luthon | Nov 24 2011 18:58 utc | 1

Why would Germany, the only member of the EU with financial rectitude, not be able to sell 35% of its offerings of 10-year bonds? Germany has no debt problems, and its economy is expected by EU and US authorities to bear the lion’s share of the bailout of the EU member countries that do lack financial rectitude.

Any one care to elaborate why?

Posted by: hans | Nov 24 2011 19:55 utc | 2

"Any one care to elaborate why?"

My guess is that the bond market believes Germany might be pressed into assuming in part at least, the debts of Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Ireland...Did I miss anyone? If that actually proves to be true, then German debt is no longer "zero risk." I hope German citizens will put a stop to this before their national wealth is stolen by politicians loyal to an EU bureaucracy and not to them.

I'm in agreement with Mish Shedlock over at Global Economic analysis. It is not Greece et al that should leave the Euro, but Germany. The others can have a common currency if they want to.

European unity is fin and all. Open borders, freedom to work anywhere in Europe, free trade, etc. But a common currency is not viable...unless it is gold or silver.

Posted by: Lysander | Nov 24 2011 20:23 utc | 3

Agreed. The Automatic Earth has had extensive and very good coverage, albeit from the perspectives of their limited author base. I'd love to see more from folks here who live inside The Euro Beast, and also from folks living in the Euro periphery.

@hans re: Why not Germany? At TAE (linked above), they currently are discussing a 'new program' the IMF is going to cram down our whit, "Let's make the Yanks foot the bill!" Since this country seems to be a soft, squishy pushover compared to Merkel (or the populations of Italy, Greece, Spain, etc), they will probably get away with it.

And, speaking of recalcitrant populations, anybody know what happened to Iceland? Have they successfully escaped? I've read comments that the population there is homogenous enough that it's somewhat easier to get them together in a revolt.

Posted by: Dr. Wellington Yueh | Nov 24 2011 20:27 utc | 4

"Why would Germany, the only member of the EU with financial rectitude..."

You should know that this question contains a false statement. Germans won't have to bail out the Netherlands.

Posted by: nobodee | Nov 24 2011 20:47 utc | 5

It is finally here -- the inevitable Hitler spoof on the Euro collapse:

Posted by: Cynthia | Nov 24 2011 20:52 utc | 6

Germany has an ~80% debt-to-GDP which is 'a bit' above the supposed (and irrelevant) debt-to-GDP limit in the Maastricht Treaty (irrelevant since the day France and Germany decided in the early 00s it wasn't written for them) . Then it also has a lot of underwater banks (that always get to pass all the 'stress' tests without problems) with more or less exposure to the 'bad southerners' debt (not as much as France though). I don't know if it has exposure to Eastern Europe (that it's not on the news but there are also problems there and it's starting to affect Austria).

It may not be in a worse situation that other countries (including the US, UK or Japan ... who don't have that religious belief against 'printing', Japan has been 'printing' for decades already) but it isn't clean water either. And if whole European financial system falls they will tank like all the others whatever their current delusions of superiority are. Of course they may also recover faster (but that's not surprising even taking into account just the size of their economy and population).

At the end the problem is shared by the whole western economic system. Income and wealth concentrated on an even smaller number of hands. Too much debt to compensate the impossibility of infinite growth and the lack of a proper distribution of income and wealth. The imbalance produced by most of the production moving to Asia (cheaper labor, bigger benefits for fewer) and the new competence for the energy resources (that are not available or limited in the western economic area with the existing energy infrastructure).

The system doesn't work. It has become worse in this stage in Europe because of the absolute lack of will to solve the problem as a single entity (sharing benefits and loses) between all the parties involved. It has been much easier in US and UK because they didn't to negotiate with anyone (and they can 'print'). Also I guess it has been the golden opportunity of the neoliberals to make European 'more like the US': a nightmare for workers and a paradise for the plutocracy).

Posted by: ThePaper | Nov 24 2011 20:54 utc | 7

Any hard references/citations to persistent rumors Germany has been quietly printing and stockpiling Deutschmarks and Ireland has been doing the same as a contingency for abandoning the Euro ?

Posted by: Outraged | Nov 24 2011 21:35 utc | 8

Going right to the top in Europe
Wir wollen Brot!
The hypocrisy of the Euro cabal is staggering

Posted by: c | Nov 24 2011 21:35 utc | 9

@ Outraged: "and Ireland has been doing the same as a contingency for abandoning the Euro ?"

As an Irish person I'm as certain as anyone can be that Ireland wouldn't be reprinting the Irish Punt currency. Firstly the Enda Kenny Government has been promoting a narrative that Ireland is the "good boy" of the PIGS grouping. Its quietly clearing off the debts through shocking cuts and has no riots. The ruling party "Fine Gael" has made it clear they would sell the entire country for pennies rather than leave the Euro.

Secondly the Irish government is notoriously leaky. Even its plans for further budget cuts in the December budget which were top secret and not even shared to members of the parliament were leaked to German politicians last week. Same thing around 6 months ago in a private IMF meeting with the government that leaked to the media.

If the Irish government cannot even keep the fact that it is raising the motor tax by 2% a secret without people leaking it how could the Irish Central Bank secretly be printing the old Irish currency? Also all this assumes that the dull cowards that run Ireland are actually capable of planning more than 1 week in advance.

@ Hans: On the German bond sale "Any one care to elaborate why?"

The only thing I can think of is that this is open financial warfare and that someone is tightening the screws on Germany to pressure it. Who wouldn't want to own German bonds?

Posted by: Colm O' Toole | Nov 24 2011 23:15 utc | 10

@ Colm O' Toole
Thank you for the 'in situ' insight.

Posted by: Outraged | Nov 25 2011 0:18 utc | 11

Medvedev's special statement on missile defense

On US-NATO intransigence over the ABM systems being deployed in Poland, Romania, Turkey and Spain, Medvedev had several things to say a couple of days ago including these highlights:
"Therefore, I have made the following decisions:
4. I have ordered the country’s military to develop measures enabling the troops to destroy ABM control and information systems in the event of an attack. The above mentioned measures are relevant, efficient and low-cost,

5. If the above mentioned are not enough, Russia will deploy cutting–edge ballistic missile systems capable of the total destruction of US ABMs in Europe. One of the measures will be deploying is the 9K720 Iskander Mobile Theater Ballistic Missile System in a special area in Kaliningrad."

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Nov 25 2011 1:15 utc | 12

The Eurozone Sovereign Debt Crisis (Henry C.K. Liu)
Part III: Supranational Globalization vs Nation State Sovereignty

This page is useful because it contains links to Parts 1 and 2 of his assessment of the Euro crisis PLUS links to a 12 part, 2010, overview "Global Post-Crisis Economic Outlook"

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Nov 25 2011 1:22 utc | 13

As Thanksgiving Day draws to a close here in the U.S., I feel it is appropriate to thank b for all his endeavors at MOA. I look in at MOA continuously and b posts have remained 1st Class.

Thanks again to b and everyone who posts.

Posted by: Rick Happ | Nov 25 2011 1:29 utc | 14

My three cents:

• The current Euro-zone exercise is about sustaining the large financial institutions. Propping up the various governments is relevant only as a means to that end. It is not at all about benefitting the residents of Europe.

• Some Euro-zone entity will eventually ‘print’, i.e. commit taxpayer/government backing to new bonds, funds, or currency that will be disbursed to the large financial institutions via ‘special entities’ or (zero interest) lending ‘facilities’.

• I suspect that part of the delay in 'printing' is that East Germany-raised Merkel has an idealized view of the 'free market', and that Geithner is having trouble bringing her around to the realities of contemporary crony capitalism: regulatory capture and corporate welfare.

And permit me to add my Happy Thanksgiving to all !!

Posted by: Watson | Nov 25 2011 4:42 utc | 15


Why would Germany, the only member of the EU with financial rectitude, not be able to sell 35 per cent of its offerings of 10-year bonds? Germany has no debt problems, and its economy is expected by EU and US authorities to bear the lion’s share of the bailout of the EU member countries that do lack financial rectitude.

I suspect that the answer to this question is that the failure of the German government’s bond auction was orchestrated by the US, by EU authorities, especially the European Central Bank, and private banks in order to punish Germany for obstructing the purchase of EU member countries’ sovereign debt by the European Central Bank.

The German government has been trying to defend the terms on which Germany gave up control over its own currency and joined the EU. By insisting on the legality of the agreements, Germany has been standing in the way of the ECB behaving like the US Federal Reserve and monetizing the debt of member governments.

From the beginning the EU was a conspiracy against Germany. If Germany remains in the EU, Germany will be destroyed. It will lose its political and economic sovereignty, and its economy will be bled in behalf of the fiscally irresponsible members of the EU.

If Greeks will not submit to the tyranny, why should Germans?

Paul Craig Roberts

Posted by: nobodee | Nov 25 2011 5:04 utc | 16

Dr W Yueh @ 4.

This might answer your Iceland question.
(via Xymphora, Nov 15)

"Vulture Capitalism: Iceland’s New Bank Disaster" by Olafur Arnarson and Michael Hudson and Gunnar Tomasson.
(The extract below starts 8 pars from the end)
After the September 2008 crash, Iceland’s government took over the old, collapsed, banks and created new ones in their place. Original bondholders of the old banks off-loaded the Icelandic bank bonds in the market for pennies on the dollar. The buyers were vulture funds. These bondholders became the owners of the old banks, as all shareholders were wiped out. In October, the government’s monetary authority appointed new boards to control the banks. Three new banks were set up, and all the deposits, mortgages and other bank loans were transferred to these new, healthier banks – at a steep discount. These new banks received 80 percent of the assets, the old banks 20 percent.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Nov 25 2011 5:40 utc | 17

Regarding the Paul Craig Roberts article.

The germans (or at leat their economy) have been who have benefited most from the Euro: a ECB that is just a branch of the Bundesbank and targets exclusively Geman monetary requirements, rules that are bent to serve the German fiscal requirements, a market for their.products without the defense of monetary policy or tariffs, a cheaper currency for their exports (when they needed it the most). Wonderful that when there is some price to pay they are supposed to get out as soon as possible and dump the crashing 'bad' europeans (good luck with the new Ribbentrop-Molotov pact that will be required to keep Germany as a relevant and relatively safe country). Of course its very naive, and deceiving, to say or think its that getting out is easy or free of cost (eventually the 'bad' europeans will retaliate making the situation worse).

Posted by: ThePaper | Nov 25 2011 6:49 utc | 18

We are th 1%

Posted by: hans | Nov 25 2011 12:33 utc | 19

What is happening, both in the US and in Europe, is that the bondholders are being made whole, and hundreds of billions, and more likely trillions, of dollars in losses are being piled onto each country's exponentially growing sovereign debt load. Meanwhile, the banksters are richer than ever, and their "too big to fail" banks are more powerful than ever. As countries default, the banksters will swoop in and buy hard sovereign assets for pennies on the dollar, and the majority of the western world's populations will complete the transfer from wage slave to indentured servant, and then from indentured servant to forced laborer. Welcome to the New World Feudal Order.

But isn't that what Globalism is all about? Isn't it about harmonizing all western governments and banking rules to bring in a corporatist system with a police state overlay (in case anyone objects), whose endgame is to sell all the jobs to China and India for next to nothing, thereby making sure they never lost money and quadruple their profits, while impoverishing western workers and western taxpayers.

Posted by: Cynthia | Nov 25 2011 13:15 utc | 20

actually the "debate between the "Anglo-Saxon" Keynesians and the "hard money fiscal conservatives" is hardly a debate coz they're just looking for the same thing, maintainaing afloat a sinking ship. ie current worldwide economic system (mind you, after attacking eurozone, guess what'll be next & terminus)
There are many places discussing ways of coming with alternatives, even if chances being heard by politics etc tend of course to zero, the most famous being Paul Jorion blog. But it's in french, sorry :)

Posted by: rototo | Nov 25 2011 13:18 utc | 21

Today's Italian debt auction was even more horrible than the latest Spanish debt auction at the start of the week (and after the 'failed' German bond auction). Both nations are already clearly out of the debt markets (exactly like Greece, Ireland and Portugal) though they could still pretend that the game isn't over for a while.

Very, very well played. France debt is finished the second (and the second happened already) Italian fails to roll its debt.

There isn't even the time anymore for 'emergency measures'. I wonder what will come to the rescue. The Euro Zone is dead.

Game over.

Posted by: ThePaper | Nov 25 2011 15:55 utc | 22

Surprisingly good comment for a ZH poster (I'm tired of those gold fanatics and doomers, they are on the same level that the 'evil bankers' and 'captured politicians' they complain about) giving the perspective from Germany.


If you are speaking of car sales, Germany is depending on Europe and North America. But China is also a very important market for them.

You will not and cannot survive depending on only one market. The German interior market is basically dead (just look at the average German merc client - he is well above 55 years old - that's a red flag and bad for your image (not saying 55 year old people should not drive Mercs or that they don't count as customer; they are important (especially with the age pyramid in mind) - and that worries those in the middle management.

In bad times Germany could fall back on it's strong interior market - that's gone. That was the price for the Euro and the export driven economy. The management decided it was more important to sell elsewhere, meaning that you had to compete. Thus they reduced the average wages of workers. There is another thing many foreigners usually don't know. They think of Germany as of 1995 Germany or 1999 Germany - back then, if you had a job, you had a job almost for life. That has changed with the new labour rules - introduced ironically by the Socialists (Labour party of Germany - SPD) and now it is 'hire and fire', something which German employers always wanted to copy from the USA.

Another thing - unemployment data in Germany is heavily manipulated. And there is a reason - first, an interior reason (1 politicians will use that for their campaigns; 2 employers can put more pressure on workers, knowing that the data is distorted); second: Germany wanted to polish it's own image - to look attractive for foreign investors and also important for foreign "specialized" workers (which they urgently need);

You can say - Print! And many will so. It's not only a question of popularity here - it is unpopular due to our own history and our lessons with monetizing debt. BUT: Currently the majority of Germans who do not earn above 4000 Euro per month have lost money since the introduction of the Euro - there were almost no strikes - like in Greece where a strike is basically every day - no, Unions here work on the top level very good (and bad for those that they represent) with higher management of many companies. Some lost a staggering 22 percent of what they earned before the introduction of the Euro. They had already their austerity Greek style - but over 10 years. And now imagine - you put more pressure on those people (speaking of at least 12 million Germans here) - that'll be the end of social peace, class warfare and more pressure on the interior market that is already basically dead. I am not kidding you. That concerns me really.

So German elite is in a catch 22 situation. They would have to raise wages - and that is something they really don't want to do. Which is ridiculous; but that's adding fuel to the problem of the Eurozone. I saw an article where they admitted - "ooopps, it's bad; inflation has eaten your lifestyle, man that's bad luck, but we cannot raise your wages, really, that would increase the problem, please understand. Can't do that. Sorry."

On the other hand the German people see that their companies are doing very well. And they ask - but what about me? Shouldn't I be integrated in that success story? Etc.

Just my point of view as an ordinary German that is doing well.

Posted by: ThePaper | Nov 25 2011 16:05 utc | 23

Wooooooosh. Economics, and the international political machinations that drive economies are waaaaay over my head. Its gibberish to me. My gut informs me of the importance, and I'm certain, just like war based on false pretense, economies rise and fall on the whims of people that are far too evil to hold the power they do.

So, my consternation, fears, and angers seem to focus more on those issues whose mechanics are more understandable to me. Two such issues, events, currently ongoing are the environmental disasters occurring at Fukushima and the Gulf of Mexico. Our media is hiding the FACTS from us. And this sack of shit Obama, like he has done on so many issues, has dropped his pants, and bent his easily purchased ass over the Oval Office desk for the oil and nuclear industries.

There is a high probability that two reactors at Fukushima are in fact experiencing "the china syndrome", and the scum at Tepco, and the Japanese government, in league with our own government and the nuclear industry, are engaged in a MASSIVE cover-up about just how truly DEADLY this disaster is.

And the gulf? Read the shrimp catch counts, pre and post disaster. There is speculation the well is STILL leaking, and the chemical content of fish caught in the gulf is being downplayed by the usual corporate and governmental pimps. Great swaths of the gulf floor are lifeless and devastated wastelands.

It is truly despicable what a shameless coward and political eunich this piece of shit Obama is. He betrayed every American that helped him slither, slime, and lie his way into the Oval Office. And to be sure, the greatest harm his legacy will reveal is his disastrous Presidential tenure paving the way for the neo-cons to once again install the horns of the devil on the Capital Dome.

Posted by: PissedOffAmerican | Nov 25 2011 16:42 utc | 24

Here Here! PissedOff,

I agree with you on Fukushima and the Gulf. Down the memory hole. We won't have to worry much about financial situations as the system breaks down even further when, not if, the next nuke goes critical or another pristine environment (not there are any or many left) goes toxic. The main questions will be which gets us first; Nuclear or Chemical? And will there be any escape routes?

And I consider myself an optimist.

Posted by: juannie | Nov 25 2011 17:09 utc | 25

@ Hannah 1, and all, a less well known Econo blogger, is Golem XIV, David Malone, who wrote the book Debt Generation. His blog also has very good comments (like naked capitalism.) It is ‘generalist’, mostly concerned with banks, the Euro, monetary matters, etc. UK.

I would also recommend Steve from Virginia, Steve Ludlum. He is more idiosyncratic and polarized towards energy matters. USA. Good comments as well. But not to everyone’s taste I'm sure.

The problem with discussing finance is we see a tip of the iceberg in two ways:

a) what is communicated, published - much is kept back, secret;

b) far more than 50% of the world’s economy is not tallied at all, be it with GDP, exports, and all the standard ‘econo’ measures. Includes not just mangoes and barter in Africa or soccer moms in the ‘west’, that kind of trivia.

Thus, many actors take decisions based on alliances and data that we know nothing about, in the world of Finance and Military. The very slim, cherry picked, partial, profile or data and its interpretation is pushed forward as it favors a few.

Why would Germany, the only member of the EU with financial rectitude, not be able to sell 35% of its offerings of 10-year bonds?

Because if the Euro is in question, shaking on its foundations, and Germany is carrying weaker countries, the melded at the hip aspect is offputting..who knows what will happen...I see Lysander said the same. Second, the various ‘debts’ of EU countries depend very much on the eye of the beholder and on what measure one’s eyes fix on - Germany is not a paragon of virtue, it is large and exports a lot, that is all.

Posted by: Noirette | Nov 25 2011 17:56 utc | 26

They can't draw attention to Fukushima. As how many millions of Americans would realize they are sitting on ticking Time Bombs with every deadly potential an actual nuclear war portends?

What, these lying scheming pieces of shit don't think coastal California is going to have a quake rivaling the power of the Japan quake? There is very real evidence that the disastrous nuclear reaction at Fukushima was occurring BEFORE the tsunami. Diablo and San Onofre are the nuclear WMDS they should be warning us about, already placed in population centers.

And what of the pathetic state of our national radiation monitoring system? IT IS AN EFFIN' JOKE. All the while these fearmongering self-serving traitorous elitists have been sounding the klaxon, warning us about the nasty heathen Muslim thats going to irradiate us with a "dirty bomb", while doing NOTHING to actually protect us infrastructurally. So, really, how much credence should we lend to their screeching about such a threat?

Our own leaders, and their self-serving narcissistic personalities, twisted further by partisan zealotry and corporate greed, pose a far greater threat to us than the boogy men they provide as an endless list of justifications and rationales.

Posted by: PissedOffAmerican | Nov 25 2011 17:59 utc | 27

Cynthia @20.

Thank you for succinctly summarizing predatory, globalized capital in your opening sentences.

I've echoed your comments elsewhere - and linked back to you here.

-- Jeremiah

Posted by: Jeremiah Cornelius | Nov 25 2011 18:16 utc | 28

Thanks to rototo @ 21 for the link to the Paul Jorion blog, and to all those elucidating Paul Craig Roberts'
comments. If the euro game is indeed really over, what is likely to be the after-game clean-up process? Then again, is the game really over? A few days ago the Naked Capitalism site cross posted a very pessimistic
analysis from Edward Harrison of Credit Writedowns

The euro zone periphery was a sideshow. This stuff with Italy is the real deal. With yields at 6.7% and rising, it’s game over for the euro zone. The extend and pretend stuff ain’t gonna work.

And if you are an investor, this is the moment of truth. Everything – every asset class – depends on how the euro zone performs in the Italian Job. There are only two outcomes, here. If Italy blows up, a Depression is upon us; banks would be insolvent, CDS triggers would implode the system, bank runs would begin, stock markets would crash, and you will would see sovereign debt yields go to unbelievable lows for nations with a lender of last resort. If Italy survives, I would expect a monster rally in periphery debt, stock markets, and bank shares and a selloff in CDS at the minimum. However, the euro zone is already in recession so that rally will not be sustained.

Forget about Berlusconi and austerity in Italy. That’s a sideshow too. Austerity is not going to bring Italian yields back down. These days are over, folks.

Here’s the real problem: Italy needs to run a primary budget surplus (excluding interest payments) of about 5 percent of GDP, merely to keep its debt ratio constant at present yields. That’s never going to happen. So the yields for Italian bonds must come down or Italy is insolvent. More than that, a stressed Italy means a stressed euro zone and a deepening recession with all of the attendant ills that means: Ireland would suddenly start missing deficit targets for example. Bank shares would be under stress, triggering more Dexia’s. So even if Italy limps along at 7 percent yields, we will see a nasty double dip recession and bank failures. And we know that yields will rise. Last November, we were discussing Ireland in the same way with its yields at these levels. Soon, the yield went to 9% and Ireland was forced into a bailout – one that Italy is to big to give.

So we are definitely facing a real financial Armageddon scenario here

Italy's gross national income in 2010 was roughly 2 trillion dollars (1.883 is the quoted figure). Five per cent of that would be close to 100 billion dollars, or slightly under 75 billion euros. Achieving a primary budget SUPLUS of that magnitude does indeed seem utterly and irremediably impossible, but do these critics (and others like Mish Shedlock or Reggie Middleton) really know what they are talking about? Their figures seem to be apocalyptic, but they also seem to be the most credible figures that are being introduced to the debate. (Correct me here, if I err, as may well be the case.) If the Euro has become unsustainable, what happens "after the financial armageddon" of a market collapse of horrific proportions.

It is not necessary to see the plutocracy as benevolent to suspect that they can not be happy as they watch events unfold, or perhaps even witness their world spinning out of control. I admit to being not at all enthusiastic at similar prospects, since like most posting here, I doubt that the malefactors will be the principle victims, and suspect that, as usual when elephants battle the grass will be crushed. It is also of interest to speculate on what P.C. Roberts alleges, and to ask whether the currently evolving crisis is the result of a mounting wave of acute panic after generations of irrational faith, or, as many here seem to think, the fruition of an evil project overseen by Shadow Masters. I tend to favor the former (Kondratieff type) explanation, but am also intrigued by the possibility that new actors and directors are now running the show.

Finally let me add my belated Thanksgiving thanks to b for his superlative work.

Posted by: Hannah K. O'Luthon | Nov 25 2011 18:42 utc | 29

How much do you respect these people turning the screws in Washington DC??? Well, all they need do now, is tack a label on YOU, and merely by virtue of that label, your rights as an American are forfieted. And they are working diligently to buttress their ability to tattoo "Public Enemy Number One" on the foreheads of ANY American that opposes them.

Read this. If it doesn't scare the shit out of you, then you have no clue what it means to be free.....

Posted by: PissedOffAmerican | Nov 25 2011 18:58 utc | 30

Your invective resonates strongly with me but for me it PissesOff more amerikans than it informs. You're in sympathetic company so it actually is a relief to hear the truth so expressed.

I live within the deadly zone of a 40 yr old GE (same design as Fukushima) reactor (VT Yankee) that Entergy (the owning 'sack of shit') wants to recommission for another 20 years against the protestations of the majority of Vermonters and their (surprise) legislators.The recent Irene floods here in VT just missed inundating the plant on the Conneticut river. However my reverse optimism fell short of the scope of the myriad of possibilities awaiting us.

The canary in the Arctic is another such possibility. And the unknown ramifications that are already accompanying it's demise. I think we both know a few of these so I'll offer no links.

However, I think we can possibly deal/adapt to new climate but toxic environments I'm not so sure. I asked our local state legislators for more radiation monitoring and information but to no avail. Too many other pressing problems like the state financial crisis. I like the acknowledgement of Derrick Jensen acolytes that bringing down civilization before it does us in is paramount. But I don't think their activities stand a snowball's chance in the new world climate. Too many WMDs at their disposal and lack of compunction to their use on the part of the 'political eunuchs'.

End rant.

Yeah, your link in the previous is another of the few concerns.

Posted by: juannie | Nov 25 2011 19:09 utc | 31

@ 30: That IS scary !!

Back to economic policy, rather than focusing on surpluses and deficits measured in ‘money’, which inevitably takes us into the Looking Glass world of the corporate accountants, it would be better to think about our resources, and how best we can mobilize them.

There’s enough mud to make enough bricks to make everyone a nice home.

Posted by: Watson | Nov 25 2011 19:11 utc | 32

Answering from top to bottom:

@Hannah, yes I should write about the issue. And there are good questions to ask and yes, European union is a very good project.

@Hans - Why would Germany, the only member of the EU with financial rectitude, not be able to sell 35% of its offerings of 10-year bonds?

Because it did not want to sell them!!! Everything else is just noise.

For a rather lengthy and technical explanation see Bill Mitchell's entry on this:

The German government is manipulating its own rules – by withdrawing much more to sell in secondary markets than it could justify for operational reasons.
I don't agree on the reasons Mitchell names why this was done. I believe it was done to lower the value of the Euro (and to thereby increase exports from Europe to everywhere else). It worked!

And yes Colm, this is economic warfare, the U.S. wants to destroy the Euro as a reserve currency. Its the only way to keep the U.S. dollar at world reserve status.

@rototo - the next place to attack will be Japan and other "Asian tigers"

@The Paper @23 - That comment has some truth in it.

@Noirette - far more than 50% of the world’s economy is not tallied at all, be it with GDP, exports, and all the standard ‘econo’ measures.

The Economist recently had a piece, linked somewhere in the last OT, that the world in total exports $300 billion more per year than it imports. That according to official statistics. So either there ARE aliens we sell to, or the statistics are wrong.

In my view the Euro crisis will solve itself when the attention goes back to the U.S. which is in a worse state.

The Euro countries do have the tax base to serve its borrowing and will have, after some near disaster events, the will to use it especially at the upper realm of income. In the U.S. that is seriously in doubt.

Posted by: b | Nov 25 2011 19:39 utc | 33

At least the Germans aren't invading and bombing the hell out of every country that they want to influence, like the cabal in control of the US government is doing. So if there is a Fourth Reich, it is right here in America.

And if Paul Krugman knows anything about Medieval history, he'd know that Alexander Nevsky was a Russian, not a German:

And if this world-renowned economist knows anything about what the Russians are currently doing with their money, he'd know that they're using it to buy up gold rather than Euros:

Which means, at least to me it does, that Russia is seeking self preservation, and not making plans to dominate and control Europe. Venezuela appears to making a similar move to do the same:

But hey, what do you expect from a country that's slowly but surely making its way down the yellow-BRIC road!

Posted by: Cynthia | Nov 25 2011 20:34 utc | 34

b it would be wonderful if you are right and this is just a carefully crafted plan to lower the Euro value against other currencies (the German obsession with trade surplus and BTW 'printing' would achieve the same objective without so much destruction of the real economy, just like every other sovereign is doing right now) and fight back the evil and bankrupted US/UK bankers.

The situation is completely out of control already. To expect that eventually someone will appear in the European scene and make the right decision and tax those who have not been taxed for years to fund the European socio-economic model (and pre-existing debt) is close to magical thinking right now.

The ones directing the show are not social-democrats in any sense of that word. They are the other side of the same coin of neoliberals that has created the post-soviet economical system that is burning through the worker and now the middle class to the benefit of a pseudo-feudal elite. Check who is getting into power in Greece, Portugal, Italy and Spain, aided some or directly installed by the ECB and the France/German directorate. At this point it's meaningless that Sarkozy may be politically wasted and will likely be replaced by a (fake) socialist in a few months or that eventually the SPD and Green Party will replace Merkel's CDU at the helm of Germany.

You are right that Europe, or the countries in the Euro, have the wealth required to roll and finance the existing government debts (if that wealth could be touched without a flight to the multiple local and global fiscal paradises). But that's not true for all the individual countries and the current scenario seems to show that being bailed by other countries won't happen or will happen with some very heavy 'chains' attached and benefiting only the bankers, not the general population.

The US has the tools to out-live the current crisis for much longer that the Euro countries can stay solvent (without their central banks buying their debt). Many of the Euro large banks are on the US/UK side of the play.

Posted by: ThePaper | Nov 25 2011 21:15 utc | 35

what be happening? twice I post somethin & twice it disappeared.

Posted by: Debs is dead | Nov 26 2011 2:56 utc | 36

That one didn't. Is there an undeclared limit on links or verbosity nowadays?

Posted by: Debs is dead | Nov 26 2011 2:57 utc | 37

@Debs - after hitting "Post" scroll down to the very end, then fill out the spam challenge, and submit it.

That challenge can only be seen when you scroll down below your comment.

I have tried to fix this but haven't found a trick yet that works with all browsers.

Posted by: b | Nov 26 2011 4:23 utc | 38

This HARDtalk interview was on BBC Radio last night.
Should Govt Pay off our debts?

Economist Steve Keen says "Yes. We are already in another Great Depression. He advocates bankrupting the banks, nationalising the financial system and paying off people's debt."

Much of what he had to say made a lot more sense than the sludge and procrastination from Obama's 'Super Committee' and the EU and IMF's Clue Free Zone. If what we've seen so far from the EU and US is what passes for expertise I'd hate to see what clueless incompetence looks like...

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Nov 26 2011 7:38 utc | 39

what is going on in Timbuktu?

"Doubts surfaced Friday over the identity of the two French nationals initially described as geologists who were kidnapped Thursday in the town of Hombori, close to the border with Burkina Faso.

France's Europe 1 radio said the two were known to French secret services. One, of Hungarian extraction, took part during the 1990s in the recruitment of Yugoslavian mercenaries to fight in then Zaire, now the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The second was arrested in September 2003 in the Indian Ocean archipelago island Comoros for his part in an attempted coup d'etat, it said.

The French Foreign Ministry declined to comment on the report, saying only it was doing all it could for their release."

plus a take of the situation in Libya which is I guess close to the truth

Libya - TNC Leadership all Abroad - Moeen Raoof

Posted by: somebody | Nov 26 2011 11:47 utc | 40

Pakistan outrage after 'Nato attack kills soldiers'

Pakistani officials have responded with fury to an apparent attack by Nato helicopters on an Afghan border checkpoint(s) they say killed 26 soldiers(and wounded 14).

... Within hours of the alleged attack it was reported Pakistan had closed the border crossing for supplies bound for Nato forces in Afghanistan - a move which has been used in the past as a protest.(last time supplies blocked for 11 days until 'formal apology receieved')

Posted by: Outraged | Nov 26 2011 13:19 utc | 41

@ 41.
Looking at news footage about this, and assuming it's current and not archival, one is tempted to wonder if this frenzy-fire incident was a deliberate attempt to make some of the supplies trapped in the valley 'redundant' - necessitating large re-supply contracts and attendant commissions and kick-backs for the war profiteers.

The pics on the evening news showed more than 500 container trucks crammed together in a half-mile stretch of road where the floor of the valley is a couple of hundred yards wide.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Nov 27 2011 8:57 utc | 42

WikiLeaks wins major journalism award in Australia

The Walkley Awards are the Australian equivalent of the Pulitzers: that nation’s most prestigious award for excellence in journalism. Last night, the Walkley Foundation awarded its highest distinction — for “Most Outstanding Contribution to Journalism” — to WikiLeaks, whose leader, Julian Assange, is an Australian citizen. The panel cited the group’s “courageous and controversial commitment to the finest traditions of journalism: justice through transparency,” and hailed it for having “applied new technology to penetrate the inner workings of government to reveal an avalanche of inconvenient truths in a global publishing coup.”

Posted by: Outraged | Nov 27 2011 20:46 utc | 43

Zero Hedge looks at the recent report on value of Credit Default Swaps.

Numbers are...astonishing...gobsmackingly.

Posted by: jawbone | Nov 28 2011 2:40 utc | 44

Thanks to Noirette for the useful links.

I agree with jawbone that the figures involving CDS's are mind-boggling. It's impossible not to view this as "funny money", but maybe it's all just the implementation of a long-held dream of mine: to convince the bankers
that not only do positive and negative numbers exist, but so too do complex numbers, and that each of us has a fortune located on the imaginary axis just waiting to be "rotated into reality" (preferably on the positive real

Almost in this same vein, this report from RAI-News (picked up from La Stampa) alleges that Christine Lagarde, the director of the IMF is willing to concede the new Monti government in Italy 18 months to launch all the "necessary reforms" to end the current crisis and, above all to get the Italian economy growing again.
In this period, should it prove necessary, Washington (i.e. the IMF ?) would arrange for a loan of between
400 and 600 billion euros at below-market rates.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, Italy's GDP (or really its gross national income) last year was
on the order of $1.88 trillion , so this loan would be for between a fifth and a third of that amount.
Needless to say, this loan would be "financed" via "Special Drawing Rights" in cooperation with the the ECB.
I wrote "needless to say" since a loan of this size made with real money (whatever that might be) is well-nigh inconceivable. Of late, however, we have observed that the fertile imaginations of the banksters now permits them to rotate funds from the imaginary axis into reality. Heretofore, alas, they have erred in their choice of the sense of the rotation, landing in negative territory rather than positive, but this is undoubtedly mere experimental error, to be expected at the dawn of a revolutionary new theory and praxis.

Posted by: Hannah K. O'Luthon | Nov 28 2011 6:30 utc | 45

To be filed, perhaps, under the category "never believe a rumor until it has been officially denied":according to the NYTimes the IMF has denied the reports cited in 45 above:

"There are no discussions with the Italian authorities on a program for IMF financing,"
an IMF spokesperson said.

It seems to be flat-out denial of the story, but perhaps a more subtle reading is required: is the IMF talking to the ECB or other authorities about such matters? It is true that there remains a dense aura of incredibility around any loan of such proportions.

Posted by: Hannah K. O'Luthon | Nov 28 2011 9:55 utc | 46

Couple interesting comments from the Zero Hedge link in #44:

Sat, 11/26/2011 - 21:04 | 1916504 Turd Ferguson This is incredible! $107T in just the past six months? It's obvious that they don't even care anymore! Everyone knows that the whole system will completely fucking explode before any new CDS would have to be paid off so why care? Sell those fuckers like there's no tomorrow because, frankly, there isn't going to be a tomorrow. Get your bonus and party like it's 1999.
Sat, 11/26/2011 - 21:07 | 1916509 flacon

Is $707T greater than the value of all the earth and every thing in it combined? What happens when we hit that point - if we haven't already? We really will need some sort of extra-terresterial cosmic something to add more value to all those imaginary binary digit "money".

Posted by: jawbone | Nov 28 2011 15:50 utc | 47

When was it that you last read an in depth article or series of articles on the smarmy tentacles of the Rothschild family's private international banking consortium(s)? It just doesn’t happen. These financial terrorists might as well not exist for all we know about them.

And until that happens none of us will be any wiser about the why's about Germany's supposed bond sale "failure" or about Italy's imminent financial collapse, or, in fact about the systemic gutting of the middle class throughout the whole of our "western" political world.

Remove these bloodsucking criminal scum and their ancillaries from the equation and watch how quickly things improve for the rest of us. And the only way we can do that is by turning searchlights on their financial and political shenanigans – exposing them to the light that will force them to shrivel and die.

Who deserves to be a trillionaire? I mean, really! Certainly not the bastards who are bringing our world down around our heads so that they can own even more of it without having to pay more than pennies on the dollar!

Posted by: arthurdecco | Nov 28 2011 20:30 utc | 48

I'm going to throw this out for PissedOffAmerican (whose jib I quite like the cut of) and anyone else who is trying to keep a scorecard of recent American legislative proposals with far-reaching potential for abuse.

There's a big problem right now keeping track of which bill is which and which version of which subheading contains the offensive language. They seem to be shifting public versions around very quickly and even opengovernment is having trouble staying on top of what is current.

Posted by: Monolycus | Nov 28 2011 23:41 utc | 49

Guh... here's something a bit more recent.

And the language probably is better described as "deliberately opaque" than offensive. Honestly, the sponsors should be required to disclose their justifications and intent when they draft these things in order to alleviate the natural suspicion that measures like this are bound to generate.

Posted by: Monolycus | Nov 29 2011 2:57 utc | 50

Same criminals, different crimes...

Iran-Contra 25 years on

Peter Kornbluh, of the National Security Archive, has written an article about Iran-Contra coinciding with the release of the Reagan/Bush 'criminal liability' evaluations(contains video of Reagan's testimony). Confused about what exactly the Iran-Contra affair was? Here you go.

Oh, regarding Monolycus's #50

I think we're already there, been there for a while, only they just want to get it out in the open.. Laws for them, and a completely different set of laws for them. Like Zappa said,“The illusion of freedom will continue as long as it's profitable to continue the illusion. At the point where the illusion becomes too expensive to maintain, they will just take down the scenery, they will pull back the curtains, they will move the tables and chairs out of the way and you will see the brick wall at the back of the theater.”

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Nov 29 2011 4:19 utc | 51

Here's an issue that Occupy Wall Street and the Tea Party could both see eye-to-eye over if they weren't being played against one another by the very beneficiaries of it.

Posted by: Monolycus | Nov 29 2011 7:01 utc | 52

In memory of Samuel Langhorne Clemens (November 30, 1835 – April 21, 1910), better known by his pen name, Mark Twain

The War Prayer (full text)

"Lord our Father, our young patriots, idols of our hearts, go forth into battle -- be Thou near them! With them -- in spirit -- we also go forth from the sweet peace of our beloved firesides to smite the foe. O Lord our God, help us tear their soldiers to bloody shreds with our shells; help us to cover their smiling fields with the pale forms of their patriot dead; help us to drown the thunder of the guns with the shrieks of their wounded, writhing in pain; help us to lay waste their humble homes with a hurricane of fire; help us to wring the hearts of their unoffending widows with unavailing grief; help us to turn them out roofless with their little children to wander unfriended in the wastes of their desolated land in rags and hunger and thirst, sports of the sun flames in summer and the icy winds of winter, broken in spirit, worn with travail, imploring thee for the refuge of the grave and denied it --

For our sakes who adore Thee, Lord, blast their hopes, blight their lives, protract their bitter pilgrimmage, make heavy their steps, water their way with their tears, stain the white snow with the blood of their wounded feet!

We ask it, in the spirit of love, of Him Who is the Source of Love, and Who is the ever-faithful refuge and friend of all that are sore beset and seek His aid with humble and contrite hearts. Amen.

A 2007 animated short, in two parts, based on 'The War Prayer' on YouTube

About The War Prayer

"No, I have told the whole truth in that, and only dead men can tell the truth in this world. It can be published after I am dead." Mark Twain

Posted by: Outraged | Nov 30 2011 3:28 utc | 53

Re: IMF denial mentioned in #46 by Hannah -- Is this agreement for central banks around the world to provide dollars to the EuroZone what was at the root of the IMF providing $6 Trillion rumor?

From Zero Hedge:

Did Fed make decision to bail out Europe on Monday? and was that leaked? A la Hank Paulson during the Big $h*t Meltdown in '08? Is that a role for either the Fed or Treasury Secty? Hhmmm....

And, here's what happened after last globally coordinated central bank intervention:

Posted by: jawbone | Nov 30 2011 17:50 utc | 54

@jawbone - reading too much zerohedge will give you little insight but a lot of headaches :-)

Posted by: b | Nov 30 2011 18:13 utc | 55

U.S. Settles Suit Over Anthrax Attacks

WASHINGTON — The federal government has agreed to pay $2.5 million to the widow and children of the first person killed in the anthrax letter attacks of 2001, settling a lawsuit claiming that the Army did not adequately secure its supply of the deadly pathogen.

Here's your money, now keep your mouth shut.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Nov 30 2011 20:09 utc | 56

I have my own army in the NYPD, which is the seventh biggest army in the world.

I have my own State Department, much to Foggy Bottom’s annoyance. We have the United Nations in New York, and so we have an entree into the diplomatic world that Washington does not have.”

Bloomberg was speaking about why he prefers City Hall to the White House. But later in the speech, he raised the possibility that he would seek the presidency. He claimed the executive duties performed by mayors prepared them for the White House better than other political positions.

Bloomberg recently came under rhetorical fire for the NYPD’s actions in Zuccotti Park. When police moved to evict “Occupy Wall Street” protesters, reporters were prevented from witnessing the scene and some were even arrested.

The city also closed airspace in lower Manhattan to prevent news helicopters from taking aerial footage of the police crackdown.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Dec 1 2011 2:20 utc | 57

China Syndrome - Study Shows Worse Picture of Meltdown in Japan

Molten nuclear fuel may have bored into the floor of at least one of the reactors at the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, the complex’s operator said Wednesday, citing a new simulation of the accident that crippled the plant in March.
In the No. 1 reactor, the overheated fuel may have eroded the primary containment vessel’s thick concrete floor, and it may have gotten almost within a foot of a crucial steel barrier, the utility said the new simulation suggested. Beneath that steel layer is a concrete basement, which is the last barrier before the fuel would have begun to penetrate the earth.

Posted by: b | Dec 1 2011 5:33 utc | 58

b@55 but no more or less than reading about the latest EU 'leaders' ramblings and new 'solution' to the crisis.

So must I assume that Germans feel safe and that they are going to win one way or another? The situation is under firm control of our competent and visionary leaders for the good of all the European people.

And El Pais publishing two large reports in the last 5 days about the (dangers of the) return to the 'Peseta' and the demise of the Euro is just that they are reading too much ZH. Today they announce that the next 9 days with 'Muppet Napoleon' and 'Mrs. Nein' theoretically presenting their real-real plans and a string of new meetings are key. But given early experiences of other key events I don't expect much.

I have no problem with being ruled from Germany but then I want to be able to vote out Merkel (or whoever is at the helms of the UE at that point). And in the 'very unlikely' case that everything else fails I'm sure the German are fully prepared to give up some of their sovereignty ... to Russia.

Posted by: ThePaper | Dec 1 2011 8:26 utc | 59

Bloomberg's Army also cracked the lens of Greg Palast's videographer. Mayor Mike and his Army do seem to have an unusual* view of Freedom of the Press. I would think Bloomberg believes only Big Corporate Press has any freedoms, and that they know what not to cover and report they're OK.

But lone reporters from even the NYTimes were harrassed and, iirc, arrested. But those were still little people, so it's A-OK for the Oligarchs.

*Or...maybe not so unusual....

Posted by: jawbone | Dec 1 2011 15:29 utc | 60

Tax Havens.
In the spirit of HKO's comment @ #1, here's the link to Wiki's entry.

Interestingly, given the corrupt origins and nature of tax havens, it begins with this rather contradictory intro:

A tax haven is a state or a country or territory where certain taxes are levied at a low rate or not at all while offering due process, good governance and a low corruption rate.

The BBC and ABC Australia's Radio National have recently broached the subject of tax havens in relation to the current financial crisis. In the course of these discussions many factoids have emerged.

A few of the more fascinating ones are:
1. Tax havens exist with the tacit support and co-operation of Western governments in general, and the City of London in particular.
2. Tax havens exist primarily to facilitate money laundering.
3. The 'experts' draw a distinction between tax haves and Swiss bank accounts.
4. Estimates vary, but some 'experts' put the value of the cash diverted from mainstream economies to Swiss and similar bank accounts, and tax havens, at circa $3 Trillion per annum over the last few years

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Dec 2 2011 2:09 utc | 61

In a single month, Congress introduces SOPA, the National Defense Authorization Act and Amendment 1068, so in 2012, you could be sitting in a military prison being tortured for life and the internet wouldn't be there to raise awareness about you. And Moon has yet to discuss this..??

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Dec 2 2011 6:23 utc | 62

In a single month, Congress introduces SOPA, the National Defense Authorization Act and Amendment 1068, so in 2012, you could be sitting in a military prison being tortured for life and the internet wouldn't be there to raise awareness about you. And Moon has yet to discuss this..??

I'm hoping someone more technically adept than I am is writing a 'dns botnet virus' that will turn infected computers into a distributed network of dns servers.

" birth cry will be the sound of every phone on this planet ringing in unison. "

Posted by: Dr. Wellington Yueh | Dec 2 2011 9:13 utc | 63


Yeah, these are the rules that will officially turn America into Nazi Germany (or choose your favorite dictatorship, they're all the same regarding these rights). I hope there is a hell and that the politicians who've created the America we know today get to, ahem, vacation there for a long, long time.

I spend a lot of time talking to strangers about what I see happening to America... and though many people I talk to understand our country is 'different' than what the founders envisioned, they can't understand how different it has become. What happened to the 4th amendment? Oh, yeah, the fucks who've live in Washington have used it for toilet paper. I guess times must be tough if congress can't afford to buy toilet paper and instead are using the very Constitution they swore to uphold as asswipe.

We're probably one false flag event from National martial law in the U.S. and then what? I can't wait to see what all the gun nuts do when their local sheriff comes by to collect their weapons.

When it comes to freedom and liberty the modern american human is stupid... we act more like stock animals than the magical creations we profess to be. Oh well, it was all fun while it lasted, save me a good spot in the line to the slaughter house – I'd hate to miss out on that.


Posted by: DaveS | Dec 2 2011 13:13 utc | 64

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Dec 3 2011 8:27 utc | 66

Israeli AG: Bills Targeting Human Rights Groups Unconstitutional
AG Warns He Couldn't Defend Bill's Legality in High Court

Israeli Soldiers Arrested Over Ties to ‘Price Tag’ Attacks
Accused of Sabotaging Military Vehicles in West Bank

Mom who shot kids, self during standoff at Texas welfare office denied food stamps

Grimmer first applied for food stamps in July but was denied ...

... Baeza said it wasn’t clear what specifically triggered the standoff.

Posted by: Outraged | Dec 7 2011 13:09 utc | 67

Both the Republican and Democratic parties are currently trying to coopt the Occupy movement. Both are failing spectacularly to get it.

Posted by: Monolycus | Dec 8 2011 9:43 utc | 68

outing the oligarchy

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Dec 8 2011 16:07 utc | 69

Thanks to giap for the oligarchy link, and to all those who have shed light on what remains (and is undoubtedly destined to remain) an extremely murky politico-economic impasse. What does emerge clearly is that European politicians are in a veritable frenzy, outdoing themselves in efforts to "save" Europe. I suspect that the views of Watson @ 15, Cynthia @ 20, and Noirette @ 26 express the essentials, but I remain hungry for the "mechanical details" and the "psychological intricacies" of the unfolding drama. As to the former,
this discussion of unregulated hypothecation (picked up, improbably, from a link given by a reader of Pat Lang's SST) seems to me interesting (and worthy of discussion or deconstruction). As to the psychological intricacies which attend the visible frenzy, I am more interested in what the financiers are thinking than in the pols blatherings, except insofar as the latter reflect a repressed ire for "suggestions" imparted with rather more than the usual sense of urgency and rather less than the usual deference. Can it actually be the case that the very class of "financial wizards" who produced the 2008 "sub-prime" fiasco, are now giving an encore to that debacle by using the same techniques on the next remaining sure-bet, European sovereign debt? If so, what in God's name are they thinking now? More specifically, what will be the topic of the unofficial but frank chatter at the next Bilderberg summit? If we are all very lucky, it may be about what a "close call" and "narrow escape" we have had. Otherwise?

Posted by: Hannah K. O'Luthon | Dec 9 2011 11:31 utc | 70

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