Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
July 02, 2015

Greece: Sane Voices Call For A "No" Vote

The IMF still wants austerity for Greece but is now also demanding a huge debt relief which the European governments do not want to give. They earlier transferred the private risks from the banks who had stupidly lend to Greece to their tax payers. Having to admit now that this will cost their taxpayers a lot of money is a political threat to them.

James K. Galbraith is right with his description of those leaders:

[T]he leaders of today's Europe are shallow, cloistered people, preoccupied with their local politics and unequipped, morally or intellectually, to cope with a continental problem. This is true of Angela Merkel in Germany, of François Hollande in France, and it is true also of Christine Lagarde at the IMF. In particular North Europe's leaders have not felt the crisis and do not know the economics, and in both respects they are the direct opposite of the Greeks.

Galbraith hopes for a "no" vote in the Greek referendum. The "offer" the Troika made would be refused. This would give the Greece government a new mandate to negotiate and to not surrender.

Joseph Stiglitz, with an economics Nobel prize under his belt, says he personally would vote "no":

[A] no vote would at least open the possibility that Greece, with its strong democratic tradition, might grasp its destiny in its own hands. Greeks might gain the opportunity to shape a future that, though perhaps not as prosperous as the past, is far more hopeful than the unconscionable torture of the present.

His op-ed was also printed in today's Handelsblatt, the main German business paper. It may even have some effect on some politicians in Berlin.

The officialdom, and commercial interests, are trying to push for a yes vote. In that they don't even refrain from deception and outright fraud. That claim in the media that a poll showed that the Greek would vote "yes"?

Greek polling company GPO disown PNB Parisbas "sell side" sponsored vote survey widely reported in press today.


PS: (I am still very busy and posting will be light.)

Posted by b on July 2, 2015 at 16:02 UTC | Permalink

next page »

thanks b...

rt article quote ""The arguments in favor of a ‘Yes’ vote grow every minute the ATM machines don’t dispense money,"... right.. thanks msm for the big push for a yes vote, lol..

Posted by: james | Jul 2 2015 16:05 utc | 1

thanks b

James K. Galbraith could have said that about his country too..

"The arguments in favor of a ‘Yes’ vote grow every minute the ATM machines don’t dispense money," chief investment officer at Cumberland Advisors in Florida, David Kotok told Reuters. big push by the msm for a yes vote...

Posted by: james | Jul 2 2015 16:07 utc | 2

b, thanks for lifting my spirits with the link to the polling company disowning the widely reported poll. A 'no' vote could be a great thing for Europe, if Syriza knows what to do with it.

Posted by: fairleft | Jul 2 2015 16:31 utc | 3


The only full poll to be released since the referendum was announced at the weekend showed the "No" vote ahead but with support slipping sharply and the "Yes" camp rising after the announcement that banks would be shut.

Another poll, compiled for French bank BNP Paribas and published on Greek news site euro2day showed "Yes" in the lead by 47 to 43 percent although the head of pollsters GPO, which conducted the survey, told Greek television it was just a partial snapshot from one day and opinion was very volatile.

Posted by: fairleft | Jul 2 2015 16:45 utc | 4

Tsipras' delay tactics on financial mafia pressure

Posted by: nmb | Jul 2 2015 16:53 utc | 5

it's a referendum on a conractual process. if a 'yes' vote is capitulation, why would any Greek in his right mind not vote 'no?'

Posted by: john | Jul 2 2015 17:10 utc | 6


Yves Smith, at would no doubt disagree. She views the referendum as craven political gaming. She believes that Tsipras has set back "whats left of the European Left" by 10 years. Then there this:

James Levy (a long-time and well-respected commenter at NC): So, since they “should have known” the Troika would not blink first, they should have rolled over and taken it up the tush on Day 1?

Yves Smith: In word, yes.
See Yves full response here:

This exchange came after MONTHS of push-back in comments of Yves depiction of Syriza and the negotiations. Summarizing that push-back (which continues to the present) would not do justice to either side. Anyone that is interested should have a look back at NC Greek posts.

Full disclosure: I was a frequent commenter at NC for over 5 years. I was put into moderation (for the first time ever) because I persisted in pushing back and found that my comments were no longer being posted on Greek-related posts.

I was very critical of Syriza and Yanis after the February agreement. But after re-thinking Syriza's strategy and recalling that Syriza had wanted to have a comprehensive negotiation, I had a change of heart. This was confirmed as it became clear that Syriza was resisting the Troika.

The Troika had forced (by threatening Greek banks) a 2-step negotiation whereby Greece would describe how it would service the debt BEFORE any talks about debt restructuring. As a result, the Greeks resisted by being noncooperative (they didn't deliver a proposal until well after the deadline of April 30, and it wasn't acceptable). The Greeks were NOT incompetent and debt restructuring was still an important issue (because it was a big reason why the Greeks were resisting). Note: The Greeks had been promised debt restructuring/forgiveness in the past which never materialized.

I believe that what Tsipras and Yanis have accomplished is to bring elevate the crisis from a commercial negotiation to a political issue for Europe. In the process they have galvanized the anti-austerity/anti-Troika sentiment in Greece (and in Europe) to a point where they now have a chance to win the mandate that they need to make a GRexit possible (if negotiations ultimately fail).

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 2 2015 17:45 utc | 7

The earlier declaration from the Monarchs of the European voting commission was telling. They demanded a two week delay to allow their minions to browbeat and propagandize the poor Greeks before a 'fair', read controlled, referendum could take place.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Jul 2 2015 17:51 utc | 8

Michael Hudson and Bill Black are also 'NO' votes. Krugman is too. And Larry Summers (!) has recently written that there should be debt restructuring.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 2 2015 17:52 utc | 9

#6 yes I was in moderation yesterday and have been the past. I tried to post this.

Michel Hudson and Bill Black interview on Greece and what needs to be done.

Ives today pointed that MH is wrong and hasn't pointed what needs to change, I guess she not going to read the interview.

I do hope Greece/Greeks run as fast as they can in Greece from the banksters other wise there will be Greeks just no Greece for them to live in.

Posted by: jo6pac | Jul 2 2015 17:55 utc | 10

The only voters who count in this referendum are Greek voters who must face the fear of the unknown which is a powerful negative motivator. It will take individual courage to make this decision with a 'no' vote.

What Western talking heads, who will not suffer the consequences of this decision, claim they would do is rather arrogant IMO.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Jul 2 2015 17:58 utc | 11

I'm in agreement with Jackrabbit. Yves Smith of Naked Capitalism has been unrelentingly negative towards Syriza while tacitly embracing surrender to the poisonous fiction of austerity. I'm skeptical that a No can win at the polls. Elections are not the place were personal courage is usually on display. That is why I think we need to start thinking about what a Yes votes means -- the likely collapse of the Syriza-led government. If Merkel can wrangle it the smoothest ratcheting down of the crisis would be for eurozone honchos to embrace Tsipras's Wednesday capitulation and proclaim a done deal. That way new elections would not be necessary and Syriza would be on the hook for austerity; banks could open. But there is no indication eurozone leadership is this shrewd.

Posted by: Mike Maloney | Jul 2 2015 18:42 utc | 12

@11 mike.. i always appreciate reading your perspective.. thanks.. if the yes wins - what does this do for greece getting out of the straight jacket it is now wearing? at some point, it ain't going to work even if the yes vote wins.. more financial hanky panky of the highest order, like shifting chairs on the titanic..

Posted by: james | Jul 2 2015 18:52 utc | 13

I'm hoping for a No, James, because that means a majority is willing to take control of its destiny rather than remain passive consumers in the increasingly pauperized "Just continue shopping and go to Disneyland" neoliberal world order. But a Yes vote is potentially very dangerous for the eurozone because then -- if Varoufakis and Tsipras are to be taken for their words -- Syriza's leadership will resign and new parliamentary elections will most likely have to be held, worsening the crisis. That is why I think Merkel has to make concessions if Yes wins on Sunday.

Posted by: Mike Maloney | Jul 2 2015 19:03 utc | 14

North Europe's leaders have not felt the crisis and do not know the economics, and in both respects they are the direct opposite of the Greeks.

Has Galbraith "felt the crisis", non-vicariously? Perhaps Galbraith neither knows the economics. In any case, he's not revealing the politics.

The capitalist system, being in war, now is attracted to a political economy of threat and punishment and psychological warfare. All this without a "communist" opponent! These liberal authorities, Mr. WoW, are not arrogant; they are burnishing their reputations while projecting ignorance. Stiglitz cannot even bring himself to as weak as condemnation as Galbraith. Such pathetic performances are not surprising from this somnambulent crew.

Black and Hudson's RealNews dolt's dance, jo6pac, is little better. E.g., Hudson: "We want to create a real market economy by getting rid by getting rid of the exploitation, by writing off the bad debts, by reforming the tax system." A real market economy without exploitation! Dream on, idiots!

Posted by: Comrade X | Jul 2 2015 19:41 utc | 15

A "frictionless" capitalist "information" economy is replete with fraud and precipitous violence.

And no capitalist paradise to follow the war for an informational capitalism, well, at least for proles and even most compradors.

Posted by: Comrade X | Jul 2 2015 19:50 utc | 16

a Yes vote is potentially very dangerous for the eurozone [...] Syriza's leadership will resign and new parliamentary elections will most likely have to be held, worsening the crisis. That is why I think Merkel has to make concessions if Yes wins on Sunday.

That's a load of baloney, Mr. Maloney. Greek capitulation and acceptance of Eurozone ultimatums and Syriza resignation is a crisis.

WoW, see the pretzel logic?

Posted by: Comrade X | Jul 2 2015 20:00 utc | 17

Jubilee anyone? Someone should ask Pope Francis. He seems to be interested in finding "real Christians".

Posted by: Curtis | Jul 2 2015 20:10 utc | 18
also with Pablo Iglesias

Posted by: okie farmer | Jul 2 2015 20:12 utc | 19

I see it being simple: A No vote enables the debt already determined to be mostly Odious to be declared as such. Then new negotiations begin reflecting the new reality created by the Odious declaration. Thus, Greece stays within EU and Eurozone while the Banksters get their just desserts. Viola, the debt load's restructured and Greece can begin to regain its economic strength and self-respect.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 2 2015 20:25 utc | 20

There is no way in the world, that an upcoming No vote, would mean a clean break out, and a new level of political consciousness for the majority of the Greek people, or any other people.

That this financial war for the economic destruction of Greece has been going on for years and has been known by the Syrza party, but Syriza keeps engaging with financial and European political terrorists and that betrays their intent, makes them complicit in the crimes and the resulting deaths of Grecces planned economic destruction ( with the responsible Western political and financial elites being far more guilty of course ) and obliterates the propagandised principles that they want to project onto fools, who are desperate to believe them.
Sure, Syriza is better than most political parties in Greece, but their solutions and actions against a long time adversary in an evil war against their people has been quite simply, pathetic.

I've seen it countless times, where people are desperate for a saviour against; neo liberal/right wing / fascist Neo-con ( pick any combination ) war against humanity in its countless forms, so most people accept the whatever looks to be the closest thing to being their Saviour according to their political world view.

In the west, most people are living off the political morality fumes of the utter disaster of World War II, which was the most transformative political event for middle class westerners. If you want to talk about reactionary, most of the People's reactionary action to extreme violence against their humidity and dignity, is what caused the most political and social progress ever, and that was a reactionary result because of WW 2. That's what I think is the most important way to think about the word reactionary. And that's why there is no way from the historical record, that the people have suffered enough to change their state of mind or point of view for what's beneficial for themselves, humanity, or to truly recognise their enemies.

And by the way I have zero all encompassing political or economic ideologies. Human characteristics and qualities are far more important than that.

Posted by: tom | Jul 2 2015 20:27 utc | 21


I appreciate your deeper analysis of these celebrity reformist's latest performance, Comrade. Your mention of compradors is important because the internal enemies of the Greek people may be more dangerous than the external Troika.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Jul 2 2015 20:29 utc | 23

Syriza keeps engaging with financial and European political terrorists and that betrays their intent, makes them complicit in the crimes and the resulting deaths of Grecces planned economic destruction

Here's the problem. The authoritarian vanguardists are not allowed to lead, possibly for good reason. Syriza tacks because it can't speak forthrightly. Meanwhile, they expose the venality of the Troika.

It takes a lot to educate a stupefied proletariat.

You musn't forget that Greece was disciplined by NATO and her oligarch's are their monsters (c.f., Russia).

Posted by: Comrade X | Jul 2 2015 20:58 utc | 24

Comrade X @ 16: "Greek capitulation and acceptance of Eurozone ultimatums and Syriza resignation is a crisis." You don't read very well. That was my point. 1) Tsipras already capitulated on Wednesday; hence, if the troika is smart, if they win a Yes vote, they will accept his proposal and declare victory. 2) If Syriza calls new elections then the troika potentially loses because no deal can be brokered for at least a month and Greece only has a few more weeks worth of cash reserves and the crises deepens and a solution gets more difficult.

Certainly long term neoliberalism is in crisis state, but it has shown time again the ability to muddle through, offloading the costs to the poor and working class.

Posted by: Mike Maloney | Jul 2 2015 21:29 utc | 25

Sorry, Mr. Baloney, it is you who I confused. I was paraphrasing you but you fell to think I was making my own assertion. So there you have it: you believe a success for the Troika is a crisis because "Greece only has a few more weeks worth of cash reserves and the crises deepens and a solution gets more difficult")! What, you think Syriza may call for a revolution at that point?

Isn't this pretzel logic from another anti-neoliberal capitalist?

Posted by: Comrade X | Jul 2 2015 21:42 utc | 26

The Greeks have to make their decision as to what they are going to do. This is not a vote about staying in the EU. If the Greeks are kicked out, there is no one to blame for that decision except the EU masters. The Greeks are making only one decision - wether or not to agree to the terms of the EU for the repayment of the debt - and thereby wether the debt was incurred legally.

All those who claim that this is a referendum on the EU are liars who are not being honest with the Greek people. Those who are trotting out the endless stream of confusion as to what this referendum is about - like the BBC, the New York Times, and even Greek parties like Potomi, etc - are clearly no friends of the Greek people. Because to be a friend is to speak honestly.

"Your mention of compradors is important because the internal enemies of the Greek people may be more dangerous than the external Troika."

The internal and external enemies of the Greek people are one in the same. The Greeks are paying the Troika who gives the money to prop up Greek banking oligarchs. There is no difference between a banker in Athens, a banker in Frankfurt, or a hedge fund vulture in New York City holding Greek debt. All are ghouls who are profiting from the destruction of Greece.

The Greek comprador class supported the Nazis in the Second World War, fought against the United Front in the civil war, made the neo-fascist 1970s regime, and today they support EU/NATO integration and austerity. They are an integral part of the European ruling class that is holding the working and middle classes of across the whole continent by the balls. The ruling class which has divided Europe, once again as they did in the 1930s, into "Germans" and "Greeks" instead of the reality - of workers and rulers. So, there is not one "more dangerous" than the other. They are the same.

To add to the anti-Syriza noise machine, wether from a reactionary stance or a "ultra-leftist" stance, is to do the people of Europe a disservice. Syriza is the only left-wing, anti-austerity party with power inside the EU. It is unique. It fought the Golden Dawn on the streets of Athens. It engaged the Greek people and asked for their vote, and it is living up to their mandate without - and this is key - claiming more of one than they earned.

The referendum vote will be their true mandate. The Greek people have had a chance to see Syriza in action, the referendum will be the Greek people's chance to show or deny their trust in Syriza before embarking on a long struggle for independence, or maintaining the constant drain of austerity.The stakes are clear: Syriza's success means a stake in the heart of the EU debt vampires who are feeding off of not just Greece, but on all of those nations deemed "the periphery". Success for Syriza is success for the very idea of democracy in the 21st Century. It is that cut-and-dried.

If Syriza fails, then the last good hope for European democracy vanishes until, perhaps, the next escalation of crisis, whenever that might be a year or two years down the road. Or perhaps for the foreseeable future. Because this is the simplest question of the referendum: do a people have the right to say "no" to those whom wish them ill, to say "no" to those who, by whatever "legal" power, are seeking to oppress them? As Martin Luther King, Jr stated: “One has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws.” And clearly this debt - and the refusal of those who imposed it to make any compromise, even for the sickest and the poorest - is unjust. So which is worse - to face the morse losses for ones shattered economy, or the loss of ones national will and democracy? Because after Syriza, there is the abyss. There is no one offering to speak for the Greek people if Syriza falls.

If Syriza succeeds, though, then all over Europe, we could see these sham technocratic, ruling class regimes fall. These regimes whose only reason for staying in power is naked fear. This is a good time to recall the words of Franklin Roosevelt, when the US found itself crushed between a failed economy on one side, and a nest of powerful oligarchs on the other who refused to offer any support to the citizens of the country:

This is preeminently the time to speak the truth, the whole truth, frankly and boldly. Nor need we shrink from honestly facing conditions in our country today. This great Nation will endure as it has endured, will revive and will prosper. So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance. In every dark hour of our national life a leadership of frankness and vigor has met with that understanding and support of the people themselves which is essential to victory. I am convinced that you will again give that support to leadership in these critical days.

The Greeks are facing a moment of truth as stark and as clear as any in human history. As stark as any 20th Century war for independence. They can choose to continue down their current path, only to have to face the same choice in a year or two years from now with conditions far, far worse (there is no one arguing that there is any hope for their recovery - no one). So it is either continued depression under the "guiding hand" of those who seek only one thing from Greece: the transfer of its wealth. Or they can say "No" and take their destiny, again, into their own hands. Only once they have made their collective will known will Europe decide what course of action to take: compromise, or split Europe. And if it is a split, then the only party responsible will be the masters of the EU.

Posted by: guest77 | Jul 2 2015 21:59 utc | 27

You know, the whole name-calling thing, Comrade X, escapes me. Why people feel like it enhances their persona I don't know. To repeat: the troika has already won this contest because Syriza capitulated. You quote me incorrectly. I think failure for the troika is if they get the Yes vote they want and then refuse to offer concessions, which will push Tsipras and Varoufakis to resign. Without a deal shortly the ECB will have to step in and expand emergency liquidity assistance to make sure all those retirees who don't use debit cards have enough cash to buy food.

Posted by: Mike Maloney | Jul 2 2015 22:08 utc | 28

As this isn't a vote about EU membership, then the Greek people should have no fear. They should vote as their conscience dictates.

Who knows what form the EU Masters want the Union to take? The Greek people won't have a say in this and they should recognize that. The Greeks should recognize their limits - they do not have the power to vote to stay or leave the EU, they have only the power to vote on to wether or not to pay this odious debt. Europe will do with them, after that, as it will. So they should be clear that they are voting only on the debt, and ignore all those who are trying to cloud the issue.

The real danger, as always, is that we know the USA is busy manipulating every European political system. And we know that US geopolitics will insist on Greece remaining in the EU and in NATO no matter what it means for the Greeks. So the Greek people must be extremely wary of all those going onto the streets, EuroMaidan-style, for "Pro-EU" rallies... they're dishonest at best, and more likely they are pawns of the only power even less interested in the welfare of the Greek people than even the EU - Washington Imperialsim.

Posted by: guest77 | Jul 2 2015 22:20 utc | 29

A, Yes vote would mean that the Syriza government must resign since the implication is that the Greek people have voted a motion of no confidence.

A, No vote would mean the ball is in the Troika court. They can a) choose not to fund the Greek banks anymore which would imply that the banks would collapse immediately and no more pension payments under the current Euro system; b) Choose to give Greece an ultimatum of accept or reject whatever their offer will be. Non acceptance would mean once again they can cause Greek banks to collapse.

The Greek people are caught between a rock & a hard place. Risk the collapse of their banks and a new unknown future in a non-Euro currency system or accept whatever terms the Troika is willing to provide to keep their banks afloat. There is a decent probability that there is a "civil war" in Greece between those that would prefer to be in the Euro currency bloc under whatever terms the Troika offers and those wanting out of the Euro currency system.

BTW, this is not advocacy, only analysis.

Posted by: ab initio | Jul 2 2015 22:53 utc | 30

The real danger, as always, is that we know the USA is busy manipulating every European political system. And we know that US geopolitics will insist on Greece remaining in the EU and in NATO no matter what it means for the Greeks. So the Greek people must be extremely wary of all those going onto the streets, EuroMaidan-style, for "Pro-EU" rallies... they're dishonest at best, and more likely they are pawns of the only power even less interested in the welfare of the Greek people than even the EU - Washington Imperialsim.

Posted by: guest77 | Jul 2, 2015 6:20:38 PM

Well put. Thanks for your posts.

Posted by: Nana 2007 | Jul 2 2015 23:04 utc | 31

Comrade X - you've taken yourself right out of the conversation based on what i view as comments based on an ignorant and hostile attitude.. that wow likes your comments is no surprise either..

thanks mike... we'll see what takes place in a few days...

Posted by: james | Jul 2 2015 23:14 utc | 32

I have to agree with guest77. And thank him for making such a clear statement of what I agree are the facts of the matter. I imagine the Greeks will say 'no' on Sunday. I imagine the horns will keep blaring until then. And after.

But the Greeks can build on a 'no' to debt-slavery and I hope and expect they will. And their actions will act as a salubrious balm for all of Europa, and Oceania too.

As far as 'there is no one arguing that there is any hope for their recovery - no one', note that it was the banksters/vultures from the Plutocrats Republic of China who snapped up the port at Piraeus at a firesale price, and - looking to spend their greenbacks before they won't spend no more - they would like some more, please.

Posted by: jfl | Jul 2 2015 23:23 utc | 33

The IMF release of a few hours ago that there must be some debt relief say a 20 freeze on debt repayment if Greece goes for the full austerity package is a simple good cop bad cop stunt to trick Greeks into voting 'Yes' without the Troika formally committing to anything.

Meanwhile the msm appears to be studiously avoiding any discussion of the Wikileaks publication of nsa gathered merkel phone chat back in 2011 where she asserts that Greece will not be able to pay up even with the 'haircuts' on debts.
So the fact that merkel set Greece up to fail - a time honoured bureaucratic stunt (One I saw many times in Canberra particularly when dealing with Indigenous Australians) isn't newsworthy cause the rest of Europe are being cranked up to bay like wolves at "the lazy, greedy & parasitic" Greeks.
Oh well their turn will come. That is the most frustrating part of this not so long ago back at the time of the Athens Olympics everyone was a Greek "Je suis Bubble" they were all shouting and then the mugs just turn simply because they are conditioned to and they don't see that the same thing will happen to them if they foolishly imagine that a fraction of what they paid out during the 50 years they slaved making money for others, will be returned to them once they become too old to work.

Watch this space because boomers the world over are gonna cop a kick in the guts on that if the take down of Greece goes forward.

How long before younger generations are conditioned into supporting complete destruction of retirement funds and pensions because 'it is unsustainable and all boomers are bludgers'.

Posted by: Debs is dead | Jul 2 2015 23:43 utc | 34

REF: To those comments above addressing Naked Capitalism censorship of comments with opposing views.

Naked Capitalism has become a one note monkey grinder since Lambert got his parasitic teeth into the flesh of that blog.

Lambert chased away his readers & commenters from his blog with his overbearing dictatorial style...which is fair's his blog...but having chased off his readers, he then decamped, took his show [and list of enemies] over to Naked Capitalism. I don't read/comment NC anymore, Lambert has Yves ear and that is all she hears.

Lambert is a character out of Animal Farm...a little more equal...any blog he's associated will have a certain amount of Sovietization.

Posted by: S Brennan | Jul 2 2015 23:50 utc | 35

Debs is dead @ 33: "How long before younger generations are conditioned into supporting complete destruction of retirement funds and pensions because 'it is unsustainable and all boomers are bludgers'." Good point. I think we're already there.

Posted by: Mike Maloney | Jul 2 2015 23:54 utc | 36

# in Amerika this might be true but other nations young have better educations and are more in tune with what is happening. This is amazing in the fact those in Amerikas youth are waking up to they have taken on loans for education and are now at 7.00 jobs if they're lucky.

Posted by: jo6pac | Jul 3 2015 0:03 utc | 37

Very emphatic and stirring, guest77 @26. This is another moment of truth for non-Greek capitalist slaves as well. They are discouraged from seeing the Greek whip as their own.

In every dark hour of our national life a leadership of frankness and vigor has met with that understanding and support of the people themselves which is essential to victory.

Oh. Pray I may ask, President Roosevelt, "Why do we not need a leadership of frankness and vigor in good hour?" Perhaps this is why we don't get one in the dark ones?

"Those who claim that this is a referendum on the EU" are propagandists and sowers of confusion and discord. All vigorous capitalist systems need them, good times and bad.

Compradors are distinguished by their divided loyalties and false allegiances. Oligarchs cannot be mistaken for compradors. Compradors are an integral part of capitalist political economy and their false allegiance is more dangerous because it disarms. We could speak as well of German compradors, those who would vote to continue the immiseration of Greece though the bankers and brokers fraudulently saddled German and European taxpayer with their losses. Compradors don the hypocritical morality their oligarchs so affordably produce. They love playing the fools, because it so well pays.

Do the ultra-leftists who critique Syriza do only disservice? I doubt it. Even if "Syriza is the only left-wing, anti-austerity party with power inside the EU", that is not enough. Even Syriza would confirm that they and their pragmatism is not enough to achieve their ends. I agree that "ultra-left" critics risk being confused with dissemblers, but they should not silence themselves for that reason. KKE asks of Greeks, instead of yah or nay, to demand:


Is it not clear what Syriza should do with these "votes"? I have seen a Syriza supporter dissemble on KKE's position; that's bigotry.

Can Syriza mobilize the electorate against their oppressors? Have they propagandized enough? This referendum is not on whether "people have the right to say "no" to those whom wish them ill", i.e. a vote for their own oppression, but whether they have mobilized the Greeks, beyond Syriza's election, for the coming fracas.

Syriza cannot bring "these sham technocratic, ruling class regimes" to fall. We must fight on, whether they fail or no.

Posted by: Comrade X | Jul 3 2015 0:04 utc | 38

Only the polite insult, Mr Maloney, deserves respect, eh?

Do you do risk-shifting for a living? You first assert, the "Yes vote is potentially very dangerous for the eurozone" then you extenuate, if the Troika "then refuse to offer concessions". Now, are we to assume that Syriza should be responsible for the barbarism of the Troika?

Pretzel logic, Mr Maloney.

Posted by: Comrade X | Jul 3 2015 0:20 utc | 39

Mr James @31: I've taken myself right out of the conversation based on what you view?

You practice pretzel logic, too. This should be fun.

Posted by: Comrade X | Jul 3 2015 0:26 utc | 40

@guest77 Great summary.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 3 2015 0:46 utc | 41

@Mike Maloney

I think you are confusing substance with negotiating ploys. The Greeks were forced into a 2-step negotiating process (whereby the Greeks would describe how they would service the debt BEFORE any talks about debt restructuring) that would almost certainly result in Syriza being turned out of office because this process would not deliver a deal that put an end to austerity. Once Syriza described how they would service the debt, they would have disadvantage themselves in later discussions on debt restructuring (if, indeed, they ever happened)!

Given the intransigence and 'bad faith' of the Troika via forcing the 2-step process (by threatening Greek banking) Syriza chose to resist/not cooperate. First hoping to find allies among the EuroGroup, then forcing the matter to the political level, then establishing the Troika as a bully.

The Greeks did not put forth any real proposal for structural reforms/debt service before the April 30th deadline. Then they did so ONLY when they learned that the Troika was going to put forth a proposal of their own (this was covered at The Greek proposal was clearly not acceptable to the Troika. Ensuing negotiations went nowhere.

At the point at which the Troika was fed up (yet again), the Greek side put forth a proposal that bridged most of the differences - with tax increases (7.3b of the 7.9b was tax increases). The Greeks - who are well aware of what the Troika wants to see - MUST have know that this would be unacceptable. The Troika is very wary of any promises of tax increases (except VAT) given the Greeks past inability to reliably collect taxes. The tell: the Greek economy minister loudly announced that "Greece is saved" - before the Troika even had a chance to review the proposal in detail. Sure enough, the new Greek proposal was shot down, with the IMF leading the criticism. The Troika then produced a take-it or leave-it offer (the subject of the referendum).

Tsipras may have hoped that the Troika's revulsion about the referendum might lead to a break-thru in negotiations. It didn't. In any case Syriza's strategy has always stressed their devotion to Europe. As such they never want to be the one that walks away from the table. And that is how they were being portrayed by Troika/Troika-friendly media: that Tsipras' calling a referendum was effectively walking away. So I view Tsipras' letter in that light. He already knew that it would not be accepted.

The Troika rejected the Greek's revised proposal. Then the Troika rejected the referendum (how dare they take it to the people!?!) Then, finally, the Troika rejected any negotiations until the referendum vote - despite the fact that the referendum is focused on a specific offer (Greeks are voting 'YES' or 'NO' to THAT offer).

It is also important to remember that:

a) Troika/EU leaders first rejected the referendum, then lobbied for a 'YES' vote.

b) The Euro Group refused to extend the bailout

c) The ECB forced capital controls by keeping freezing ELA

d) Tsipras' request for emergency funding was rejected.


PS there are some (notably Yves Smith at nakedcapitalism) that have pushed the view that Syriza has "already accepted austerity" because of the false truism that any primary surplus is effectively causes austerity (as it creates a drag on the economy). But,

1) that is only valid when the economy is in recession. In a growing economy, a primary surplus wouldn't be harmful, just a drag on growth; and

2) this opinion stubbornly ignores the fact that Syrizas' program calls for investment and debt restructuring. The include a primary surplus in their program to attract the financing that would grow the economy (and then point #1 applies).

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 3 2015 0:57 utc | 42

the rest of Europe are being cranked up to bay like wolves at "the lazy, greedy & parasitic" Greeks

Yes, they must more make monsters in their own image. After training for greed comes the training for punishment, then the training for murder. Now does the apocalyse come? These morality manipulators should never be governing.

Can we pardon the boomer bludgers despite their idiocy? "O, thank you bludgers, for teaching us a hard lesson!" Nah, that won't catch on.

Posted by: Comrade X | Jul 3 2015 0:58 utc | 43

A 'NO' vote isn't a vote for GRexit. It is a vote of support for Syriza that would effectively give Syriza much more authority in determining the future of Greece. IMO that implicitly includes the authority to GRexit because a rejection of what the Troika termed their take-it or leave-it deal implies that GRexit is a real possibility.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 3 2015 1:08 utc | 44

Jackrabbit @41: 1) The Greek economy is in recession. 2) Austerity is investor-friendly, as it demonstrates commitment to capitalists.

I suppose you could argue that austerity would not austerity if it were to lead to growth. The proponents of austerity aren't this confused.

Are their intentions good? No. Are yours?

Posted by: Comrade X | Jul 3 2015 1:29 utc | 45

Some months ago I read an article written by a Spanish Podemos advisor that rebuffed the very idea that Greece or any of Europe could return to a growth based economy. Developing a new minimal or no growth model is necessary because we have reached the end of cheap resources and unlimited populations.

The Capitalists may be on that track already concentrating on end-stage accumulation and acquiring rent producing assets.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Jul 3 2015 1:31 utc | 46

Jackrabbit @43: "A 'NO' vote isn't a vote for GRexit." Sure. The authoritarian Troika propagandize their definition of the vote so as to blame Greek voters for a Troikan decree of expulsion.

'S how crapitalist power works.

Posted by: Comrade X | Jul 3 2015 1:41 utc | 47

WoW @45: Mos Def. The left would hedge for the failure of growth in favor of labor; crapitalists would hedge for themselves while pretending growth is their object.

Posted by: Comrade X | Jul 3 2015 1:45 utc | 48

1. a person who scrounges
2. a person who avoids work
3. a person in authority regarded as ineffectual by those working under him

I should have known better. This would be a boomer indictment of busters, not a buster indictment of boomers.

Posted by: Comrade X | Jul 3 2015 2:23 utc | 49

Comrade X, you're very attached to that term "pretzel logic." I don't think I was displaying any salty baked twists and twirls. Once again, here is what I wanted to say (and as Jackrabbit notes, I might have confused negotiating rhetoric with substance):

**Both Tsipras and Varoufakis say they will stand down if Yes wins, i.e., they won't implement austerity.

**This likely means new elections will be called (I say likely because there might be some long-shot scenario where Syriza could carry on with new leadership).

**Assuming Yves Smith's post yesterday is accurate, new elections will take a month.

**In one month Greece will not just be in default to the IMF but to basically all its creditors.

What I am saying is this is an outcome that eurozone leaders do not want. They would love to see Syriza go up in flames but they don't want to write off all those billions of euros either.

So, Comrade X, a Yes vote poses problems for the troika. One way to remedy this is for the troika to offer to bargain again after Sunday's vote and then basically accept Tsipras' Wednesday proposal. Do I think this is going to happen? Given the sheer spite of Dijsselbloem, Schauble, et al up to now, probably not. But from the troika's perspective it makes sense. You get Syriza to implement a program that is largely the same as the one New Democracy would implement -- increased VAT and a significant hike in retirement age.

Posted by: Mike Maloney | Jul 3 2015 2:37 utc | 50

Mike @49

Given recent statements, I think the Troika will refuse to deal with Tsipras/Yanis if there is a 'YES' vote. They will wait for a new government.

After the failure to pay the IMF, some press reports made it clear that missing a payment creates an arrearage, not a default. A default occurs when a creditor makes a determination that the breach (in their legal agreement) can't be / won't be cured. The creditors could withhold declaring default with the expectation of an agreement with a new Greek government.

The IMF has specific rules for calling a 'default'. For example, the Director must report the failure to pay to the IMF Board within a month. The process goes on from there until a determination of 'default' is made (it takes months).

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 3 2015 3:03 utc | 51

Point well made, Jackrabbit. You're right. Look at Ukraine. Special dispensation will be granted Greece if Antonis Samaras is the wings cobbling together a majority. I do think Tsipras made his offer on Wednesday because he was led on by Jack Lew or some other apparatchik in the U.S. Treasury to believe that eurozone leadership was open to a last-minute deal.

Posted by: Mike Maloney | Jul 3 2015 3:10 utc | 52

Why was the debt allowed to be assumed or purchased by the governments if it was issued by private banks, why were they relieved of the risk? I hope my question is not entirely naïve, but so be it.

Posted by: rexl | Jul 3 2015 3:24 utc | 53

Given a YEA vote, the troika will assemble a technocrat government from the existing parliament, i.e. without elections. MPs of New Democracy, PASOK and To Potami will join MPs from SYRIZA and ANEL who will be jumping off the sinking ship (many of them are ex-PASOK and ex-New Democracy anyway) to form a majority in the parliament. Once this is done, the troika won't have an incentive to play nice with the Greeks. On the other hand, a NO vote may bring the market turbulence that Tsipras has been praying for and which may scare the Eurocrats a bit.

Posted by: s | Jul 3 2015 3:32 utc | 54

Why was the debt allowed to be assumed or purchased by the governments if it was issued by private banks, why were they relieved of the risk?
Posted by: rexl | Jul 2, 2015 11:24:01 PM | 52

The Bankster Bamboozle effect?
Paulson congratulated the US Congress for believing the Too Big to Fail bs and bailing out the US banks after the S-P crisis. Had the Congress not bailed the banksters out they, and their directors and shareholders would have gone to the wall. That act effectively legalised fraudulent behaviour by banks. And a lot of crooks who should be bankrupt and rotting in jail were given a clean slate and unleashed on the world to continue plying their trade and/or act as advisors to, or participants in, the Eurotrash's New, Improved ponzi scheme.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jul 3 2015 3:58 utc | 55

Mr Maloney: Your further refinement, "Greece will not just be in default to the IMF but to basically all its creditors," depends upon Troika's actions midst the uncertainty of possible elections. Not only is this also in the Troika's hands (like your second refinement), you exaggerate the threat of elections (they may not be necessary and they most ameliorate some of Troika's difficulties.)

You advocate this wise choice for the Troika to prevent your imagined "crisis" (which you've re-labled "problems"). This follows this pattern of Stiglitz and Black: pretend the capitalist malefactors do not see what you do, so you solicitously advise them. It's comprador pretense. The malefactors don't fail to practice your wise choices because they lack your intelligence, you fail to represent their motivations.

It's not "spite" which drives the Troika. Your clever advocacy, which none will heed anyway, misrepresents the situation. Your argument, loaded by refinement but built in quicksand, sinks deeper.

Posted by: Comrade X | Jul 3 2015 4:12 utc | 56

[W]hy were [private banks] relieved of the risk?

Yes, bankster fraud, but what does that mean? In crises, capitalists will socialize their losses, if possible. This is unsurprising. The kicker is that they like risky too-big-too-fail-bets because the risk premium does not factor in the the state's backstopping. That risk premium is all gravy!

Naturally, a neoliberalised (and traumatized) capitalist state goes along with this fraud, so it says, to protect the "makers" at the expense of "takers".

Posted by: Comrade X | Jul 3 2015 4:39 utc | 57

Things are getting quite insane over at the Naked Capitalist, Ives Smith is now predicting that the Greek people will be quickly reduced to starvation if these Syriza Socialists are allowed to continue their madness of not submitting to their Capitalist betters.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Jul 3 2015 4:42 utc | 58

Posted by: rexl | Jul 2, 2015 11:24:01 PM | 52

Because the whole banking (and investment) system runs on trust and belief. When people lose that and stop investing but withdraw their money they will find there is no money left for anybody.

That is what the EU regime change policy for Greece destroyed and won't be able to regain by the old set of politicians.

Posted by: Comrade X | Jul 2, 2015 9:29:49 PM | 44

1) The Greek economy is in recession. - Very True
2) Austerity is investor-friendly - arguable, as it is hard to find projects to invest in and causes social unrest ie political instability.

A lot of this is psychological, about equality in society (and the EU) and public services. With 50 percent youth unemployment and health service cuts you have a real problem. Apart from that, Greek GDP per person is higher than Russia's, Turkey's and Eastern Europe's though lower than northern Europe's.

The problem with the debt is that they are a disincentive to pay taxes - you know they end up in some EU bank but not in your community.

Posted by: somebody | Jul 3 2015 4:46 utc | 59

Predictably twisted. The capitalist blame must land on the less-powered.

Posted by: Comrade X | Jul 3 2015 4:51 utc | 60


"If wishes were fishes, blind men would fly", or something germain like that.

Para los santos, y para sa yawa, pour a 40 for Greece, ...and for all of us.

Posted by: Chipnik | Jul 3 2015 5:05 utc | 61


With US GDP at $16.8 T, that means my personal GDP is $52,406!
So I went into the bank today and asked the teller where the
missing $40,000 in my savings account went to!! I was pissed!

She gave me a wry little smile, and wrote this on a note:
$-$18,000,000,000,000, and increasing by the NY nano-second.
Then she laughed at me, "I guess you owe the bank $80,000!"

Posted by: Chipnik | Jul 3 2015 5:13 utc | 62

Posted by: somebody | Jul 3, 2015 12:46:34 AM | 58
"When people lose [trust and belief in the banking system ...] they will find [they have no money left.]" Sure, that's what central banksters harp on but how low will they sink to maintain credibility? Pretty fucking low. Low enough to abet crapitalist fraud, mask collusion, and maintain they are protecting people.

They are cynical, not stupid.

"[Austerity makes it] hard to find projects to invest in and causes social unrest ie political instability." Projects are already hard to invest in because of the economy, not austerity. Austerity demonstrates the commitment of the state to asset-holders in spite of austerity's consequences. It may not be investor-friendly re normal profitability but it demonstrates the will to protect asset-holders when their investments are flagging.

Per ideology, capitalists are supposed to be best equipped to restore profitability of their investments. Keynes would tide them over and use public investment both to keep people from starving and for infrastructure development. The proliferation of austerity occurs not because smart people have forgotten how to take care of capitalists but because smart people now benefit in contraction. Call it a loss of faith.

Jackrabbit counters Yves Smith's claim that Syriza has already accepted austerity with, "Syrizas' program calls for investment and debt restructuring", as if austerity would exclude them. That's ludicrous. I will let him hop his way out of that. Yves Smith's qualification of primary surplus in recession as austerity, stands.

Posted by: Comrade X | Jul 3 2015 6:22 utc | 63


Yves Smith et al may not be as loony as you think. Check out this piece by William Engdahl, in which he has identified Varifoukas as a modern version of a Trojan horse, but in this instance, acting in the interest of the Greek oligarchs. It is this particular segment of the Greek population which has in large part been shielded from public view, most because of all the focus on the evil troika. Engdahl quite rightly put much of the blame for the current Greek crisis on a long established practice by the corrupt Greek political class, that has not only plundered and looted the country for the past 70 years (he actually sees that this is a centuries old practice), but has willfully subjected their fellow country folk to never-ending debt enslavement.

An interesting point, and this is on reason that NC could be cut some slack, is that Tsiprias and Varifoukas played nothing other than a game of brinkmanship that was a sure loser. Given that they had no plan-B to fall back on, and that they refused Putin's offer of assistance, it is hard to argue against Engdahls' conclusion that this was a rigged game all the way - one rigged by the Greek oligarchs, with Tsiprias and Varifoukas acting as their proxies.

I was always suspicious of the smile that never ceases to leave Varifoukas' face.

Posted by: bjmaclac | Jul 3 2015 6:43 utc | 64

IMF and Ukraine agree on terms for release of $1.7 bn in bailout funds

The International Monetary Fund and Kiev’s representatives have agreed on a set of measures to be taken by Ukraine in order to receive $1.7 billion in bailout money, according to the IMF press service. The much needed 2nd tranche of a promised $17.5 billion support package will be released when the IMF’s Ukrainian mission determines that the requirements of the agreement have been met, though the press release did not specify what those conditions might be. The IMF’s management and board will also have to approve the final release of funds. Initially, the IMF predicated their support on Ukraine reaching a deal with its private creditors to restructure its debt to reduce its payments by $15 billion over four years. This has not proven easy, however, and the IMF now says it may release funds to Kiev even if it defaults on its private creditors.

Posted by: okie farmer | Jul 3 2015 7:03 utc | 65
Presuming the referendum occurs, the range of outcomes can be distilled thus:

A> Greece votes “Yes”: Tsipras resigns (as Energy Minister Panagiotis Lafazanis has already hinted), EU rejoices but unless a technocratic government can be rustled up in Parliament, the ensuing election campaign will waste valuable weeks and add to uncertainty and instability. Any subsequent negotiations will see Greece economically immolated by its unrepentant lenders.

B> Greece votes No:

Technically referenda are considered consultative and need a 40 percent turnout to be deemed relevant.

With Greece in default on its IMF loans, the concept that a strong ‘no’ vote strengthens its hand in negotiations is a dubious assertion verging on folly. There is no negotiation, thus no strengthened position. Egos may be soothed but that won’t feed Greek pensioners.
Neither vote enables a simple resolution. No delivers a poisoned chalice. A petulant EU, rattled by Greece’s refusal to be supplicant to the superpower of delusion, won’t receive Alexis Tsipras back into the fold prodigal son-style.

2) Greece maintains the euro: Syriza’s apparent (self-defeating) choice. Athens must release the currency pressure valve to rebalance Greece, enabling future export and tourist growth fuelled by a cheaper New Drachma.

(Incidentally, this default is Greece’s sixth since 1826).
4) Greece introduces parallel currency to pay bills. Thus a New Drachma will emerge and Greece will de facto exit the eurozone. By this stage the EU will be too preoccupied with its own credibility gap to hold Greece within the eurozone’s structures.
6) Third party motivated regime change cannot be discounted: Some angry creditors are likely pushing for Syriza to be ousted. However a No vote gives Syriza a mandate to govern, albeit against a very volatile, probably quite chaotic, background.

8) Greece abandons the euro and adopts bitcoin - a lovely idea which would at least guarantee citizens could no longer be subject to summary devaluation at the knee. Alas only slightly more plausible than lenders accepting a No vote is a basis for debt relief.

And what of the eurozone?

The EU has egg on its face and a sickly currency whose sanctity is being undermined. Economically, Greek GDP is barely 1.8 percent of the 335 million citizen eurozone. However contagion risks will be a huge worry. Europe has delayed vital structural reforms and will pay a greater price than the ‘mere’ high unemployment relative stagnation of recent years where Asia rose and Europe froze. Investors will be spooked to realize the euro is not merely perishable, it is in mortal danger. Greece is a small but debt-laden Mediterranean nation, behind the narcissistic political hubris, the EU remains an, albeit fading, giant of global influence.

Posted by: okie farmer | Jul 3 2015 7:12 utc | 66

Posted by: okie farmer | Jul 3, 2015 3:12:42 AM | 65

Sure, they played this lose lose, that is the part that really worries me. You cannot trust politicians who enter that type of game. And this is all the EU.

Posted by: somebody | Jul 3 2015 7:40 utc | 67

Posted by: Comrade X | Jul 3, 2015 2:22:41 AM | 62

"smart people now benefit in contraction", sure, as the fire sales concentrate ownership to the very few. This model has been tested and proven politically unsustainable before, it leads to war, where "smart people" are bound to benefit, too.

Posted by: bjmaclac | Jul 3, 2015 2:43:06 AM | 63

Engdahl certainly is right in that Syriza is made an example of to disencourage (Southern) European national politicians from challenging the system. The result, however, is very much the end of Europe, as there is no way now to sell European initiatives to the - very diverse - national publics. The discussion in Germany has been framed in a way that makes it virtually impossible to transfer any more billions to creditors or agree to a debt cut meaning the billions granted before on saving German and international banks have to be written off.

European politicians got themselves in such a quandary that they depend on the IMF to solve the crisis whilst making the solution more and more expensive themselves. By defaulting on the IMF Greece presumably has taken that option from the table. The BRICS will not pay for the "European problem".

Posted by: somebody | Jul 3 2015 8:50 utc | 68

The earlier declaration from the Monarchs of the European voting commission was telling. They demanded a two week delay to allow their minions to browbeat and propagandize the poor Greeks before a 'fair', read controlled, referendum could take place. Posted by: Wayoutwest | Jul 2, 2015 1:51:47 PM | 7

I have to say that I totally didn't get that point so far. Of course they're going nuts about a short-noticed referendum, because usually in these cases the public gets brainwashed for months in advance. Can't believe I didn't notice that right away. It's the essence of western democracy: let people vote, but only the things you want them to choose from. Nice move by Syriza btw! Now that I think about it, it's obvious that they planfully came up with the referendum as suprise! Kudos!

Posted by: radiator | Jul 3 2015 9:21 utc | 69

China may help Greece directly through its new financial instruments, director of the Quantitative Finance Department at China's Institute of Quantitative and Technical Economics told Sputnik China.

"The Greek crisis has an undoubtedly seriously influence on China's trade with Greece and investment into the country. But I think that European countries together with China can help Greece overcome the problems that arose," Fan Mingtao said.

"I believe there are two ways to give Greece Chinese aid. First, within the framework of the international aid through EU countries. Second, China could aid Greece directly. Especially considering the Silk Road Economic Belt and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. China has this ability," Fan added

Posted by: okie farmer | Jul 3 2015 10:00 utc | 70

"With US GDP at $16.8 T, that means my personal GDP is $52,406!
So I went into the bank today and asked the teller where the
missing $40,000 in my savings account went to!! I was pissed!"

GDP is a flow…savings is a stock. Apples and oranges..

Savings = Income not spent or Income minus spending.

Just because someone has $52,400 in income does not mean they also have $52,400 in savings. Most people have to spend most or all of their income to live.

65% of the population has zero or negative savings.

Posted by: paulmeli | Jul 3 2015 11:45 utc | 71

okie @65

A 'YES' vote is capitulation.

A 'NO' vote means negotiation backed by the possibility of GRexit.

GRexit has not been an option so far because Syriza had no democratic authority to contemplate such a move. Allowing for the possibility of GRexit gives the Greek side a much stronger hand.

Both sides are playing games. You can't take what they say at face value. The Greeks are pro-Europe until the are not. Tsipras says that a 'NO' vote is not a vote for GRexit. But a 'NO' allows for GRexit if negotiations fail.

If a GRexit occurs, the Greek side will blame the Troika, pointing to how determined Syriza has been to stay in Europe. This political blame game is meant to raise the stakes.

I think Greece would issue a parallel currency like Tax Anticipation Notes (TANs) during a transition period (maybe starting right after a 'NO' vote). If Greece exits, they will likely get support (loans, trade deals) from BRICS. Russia has an incentive to see that Greece does not fail, while the Troika has an incentive to see that Greece does fail.


I think there will be a 'NO' vote and, armed with the recently released IMF report on the sustainability of Greek debt, Greece will get a favorable agreement. The BIG question in my mind is whether the Troika will insist on Greece to agree to support tighter EU integration. That would then also be asked of other PIGS that seek debt relief.

So this Greek crisis could represent the beginning of the end for the EZ or an significant advance for those that want to see a "United States of Europe".

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 3 2015 12:24 utc | 72

Syriza had no democratic authority to contemplate such a move.

It's worse than that, there's no mechanism in Monetary Union itself for anyone in to exit.

Posted by: okie farmer | Jul 3 2015 13:13 utc | 73

ADL Poll: 85% of Greeks Believe the Jews Have Too Much Power Over Global Finance

A new poll by the Anti-Defamation League found that the majority of Greeks continue to hold anti-Semitic views about Jewish control over finance and the global economy, despite a recent drop in anti-Jewish attitudes in other parts of Europe.

They are desperate! The Greeks are NAZIs! Wow! It is amusing to see them going insane, breaking down right on stage before the audience ... roaring with laughter? I know I am. If you lose your money, good god don't you lose your mind!

Come on Greeks! You've got 'em on the run! As that great stateswoman Nancy Reagan once said with regard to drug dealers - "Just say NO!"

Posted by: jfl | Jul 3 2015 13:17 utc | 74

And now it is Jeffrey D. Sachs coming out for a no

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble has a clear negotiating strategy, aimed at getting Greece to agree to leave the eurozone. Unfortunately for him, Greece does not want to exit, and it cannot be forced to do so under the treaties governing the European Union. What Greece wants is to remain in the eurozone, with a lower debt burden – a position that is both economically astute and protected by treaty.

There are plenty of precedents for such a course. Sovereign debts have been restructured hundreds, perhaps thousands, of times – including for Germany. In fact, hardline demands by the country’s US government creditors after World War I contributed to deep financial instability in Germany and other parts of Europe, and indirectly to the rise of Adolf Hitler in 1933. After World War II, however, Germany was the recipient of vastly wiser concessions by the US government, culminating in consensual debt relief in 1953, an action that greatly benefitted Germany and the world. Yet Germany has failed to learn the lessons of its own history.
I propose a four-step path out of the Greek crisis. First, I recommend that the Greek people give a resounding “No” to the creditors in the referendum on their demands this weekend.

Second, Greece should continue to withhold service on its external debts to official creditors in advance of a consensual debt restructuring later this year. Given its great depression, Greece should use its savings to pay pensioners, provide food relief, make crucial infrastructure repairs, and direct liquidity toward the banking system.

Third, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras must use his persuasive powers to convince the public, in the style of US President Franklin D. Roosevelt, that the only thing they have to fear is fear itself. Specifically, the government should make clear to all Greeks that their euro deposits are safe; that the country will remain within the eurozone (despite the false claims by some members of the Eurogroup that a no vote means a Greek exit); and that its banks will reopen immediately after the referendum.

Finally, Greece and Germany need to come to a rapprochement soon after the referendum and agree to a package of economic reforms and debt relief. No country – including Greece – should expect to be offered debt relief on a silver platter; relief must be earned and justified by real reforms that restore growth, to the benefit of both debtor and creditor. And yet, a corpse cannot carry out reforms. That is why debt relief and reforms must be offered together, not reforms “first” with some vague promises that debt relief will come in some unspecified amount at some unspecified time in the future (as some in Europe have said to Greece).

Posted by: somebody | Jul 3 2015 13:24 utc | 75
Greece is sliding into a full-blown national crisis as the final cash reserves of the banking system evaporate by the hour and swathes of industry start to shut down, precipitating the near disintegration of the ruling coalition. Business leaders have been locked in talks with the Bank of Greece, pleading for the immediate release of emergency liquidity funds (ELA) to cover food imports and pharmaceutical goods before the tourist sector hits a brick wall. Officials say the central bank will release the funds as soon as Friday, but this is a stop-gap measure at best. “We are on a war footing in this country,” said Yanis Varoufakis, the Greek finance minister. The daily allowance of cash from many ATM machines has already dropped from €60 to €50, purportedly because €20 notes are running out.

Large numbers are empty. The financial contagion is spreading fast as petrol stations and small businesses stop accepting credit cards. Constantine Michalos, head of the Hellenic Chambers of Commerce, said lenders are simply running out of money. “We are reliably informed that the cash reserves of the banks are down to €500m. Anybody who thinks they are going to open again on Tuesday is day-dreaming. The cash would not last an hour,” he said. “We are in an extremely dangerous situation. Greek companies have been excluded from the electronic transfers of Europe’s Target2 system. The entire Greek business community is unable to import anything, and without raw materials they can’t produce anything,” he said.

Posted by: okie farmer | Jul 3 2015 13:26 utc | 76

Troika Maneuvering to Rig Greek Referendum (Martin Armstrong)
In a TV interview, Mr. Varoufakis said very clearly, “This is a very dark moment for Europe. They have closed our banks for the sole purpose of blackmailing what? Getting a ‘Yes’ vote on a non-sustainable solution that would be bad for Europe.” I must admit, most politicians do not come even close to the truth, but Varoufakis seems to be the ONLY finance minister who understands the demands of the Troika are not plausible for any nation. Merkel has tried to skirt any responsibility by saying this is a Troika decision. One must seriously ask, are those in the Troika just totally brain-dead? Their blackmail and economic war against Greece will be evidence to ensure that Britain leaves the EU. The ONLY thing that saved Britain was Maggie Thatcher’s effort to keep Britain out of the euro for she knew far too well where it would lead.

The view in Poland is also now anti-euro. Any Brit who now does not vote to get out of the EU and the grips of the Troika is ignorant of world events and the political power play going on. The EU leaders will not travel to Athens until after the referendum. Suddenly they realize that their powers are so off the wall that they dare not expose their own schemes. Hollande of France wants a resolution for he fears a Frexit is gaining momentum. Obama wants a resolution, fearing Greece will be forced into the arms of Russia, breaking down NATO. Yet through all of this, there is no hope because those in power are clueless. The Troika refuses to solve the euro crisis because they only see their own self-interest and assume they can force their will upon all the people.

The Troika is doing everything in their power to rig the Greek referendum to make it appear that the Greek people want Brussels. The Troika deliberately closed the banks to punish the people of Greece, and to show them what exiting the euro means. This appears to be their only way of diverting the crisis with orchestrating a fake “YES” vote to economic suicide. The Troika will attempt to rig the referendum as they did with the Scottish elections. So expect biased vote counting in favor of a “YES” vote to stay in the euro. As Stalin said, “Those who vote decide nothing. Those who count the vote decide everything.”

Posted by: okie farmer | Jul 3 2015 13:48 utc | 77

So, do you think the large banks in the US have any loans still in their vaults or did they sell them all to the FED when it was buying 85 BILLION per month? I mean, most of the real estate loans are FHA, so never show up anyway. And the banks received dollar for dollar value on the exchange of bad and marginal loans and even, why not, good loans?

Posted by: rexl | Jul 3 2015 13:53 utc | 78
After the hell of World War II, the Federal Republic of Germany – commonly known as West Germany – got massive help with its debt from former foes. Among its creditors then? Greece. The 1953 agreement, in which Greece and about 20 other countries effectively wrote off a large chunk of Germany’s loans and restructured the rest, is a landmark case that shows how effective debt relief can be. It helped spark what became known as the German economic miracle.

So it’s perhaps ironic that Germany is now among the countries resisting Greece’s requests for debt relief. Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis claims debt relief is the key issue that held up a deal with creditors last week and says he’d rather cut off his arm than sign a deal that does not tackle the country’s borrowings. The IMF backed the call to make Greece’s debt manageable with a wide-ranging report on Thursday that also blames the Greek government for being slow with reforms. Despite years of budget cuts, Greece’s debt burden is higher than when its bailout began in 2010 – more than €300 billion, or 180% of annual GDP – because the economy has shrunk by a quarter.

Posted by: okie farmer | Jul 3 2015 13:57 utc | 79

US domestic banks have 11.3 billion in loans to Greece.

Posted by: okie farmer | Jul 3 2015 14:01 utc | 80

Posted by: somebody | Jul 3, 2015 4:50:22 AM | 67: "This model has been tested and proven politically unsustainable before, it leads to war, where "smart people" are bound to benefit, too."

From your link: "The Krupp family [is] a prominent 400-year-old German dynasty" ...
That's pretty sustained. The "political sustainability" of the capitalist branded "smart people" herd, is less impressive, but the herd cannot seem to care ...

Posted by: Comrade X | Jul 3 2015 14:05 utc | 81

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 3, 2015 8:24:26 AM | 71: "The BIG question in my mind is whether the Troika will insist on Greece to agree to support tighter EU integration."

Your mind needs expanding.

Posted by: Comrade X | Jul 3 2015 14:08 utc | 82

Posted by: Comrade X | Jul 3, 2015 10:05:30 AM | 80

It is terribly sustained. This dynasty (with others) is supposed to have lost two world wars.

Posted by: somebody | Jul 3 2015 14:11 utc | 83

How can so much nonsense flourish 'mongst smart and rational agents?

Posted by: Comrade X | Jul 3 2015 14:27 utc | 84

okie farmer @75

The social fabric in Greece is likely to unravel completely providing the fascist New Dawn an even larger opening. Those that want to accept whatever terms the EU/IMF offer to insure their banks get the emergency funding to stay open and will vote Yes in the referendum are neck and neck with the No vote group. Syriza knows that at the end of the day they have a Hobbesian choice. The majority of Greeks want to be in the Euro. If Syriza want their banks open under the Euro system they have to agree to whatever the EU offers, otherwise they'll have to go against the wishes of the majority of Greeks and move to another currency. They have no other choice.

Posted by: ab initio | Jul 3 2015 14:40 utc | 85

jfl @73, have ADL acknowledged Israel's reassurances from Ukranian NAZI's?

ADL condemns Greeks for thinking Jews exercise inordinate control over finance and the global economy (implying their resistance arises out of antisemitism). Israel supports fascists where they commit to “oppose all [racist] phenomena, especially anti-Semitism, with all legitimate means.” If ADL does not request such commitment from Syriza (which is obviously unnecessary), is that because they don't want it? Do they not want it because the Greeks are right?

Posted by: Comrade X | Jul 3 2015 14:50 utc | 86

Re somebody @74: Sachs, ever the schmuck-comprador, concludes "No country – including Greece – should expect to be offered debt relief on a silver platter; relief must be earned and justified by real reforms that restore growth, to the benefit of both debtor and creditor." Why does he neglect the issue of odious debt, you may ask:

[SNOWDEN] do you see ‘odious debt’ as a workable concept?

[SACHS] That’s a tough question. I am sympathetic to the idea but I have taken a
somewhat different view. I of course agree with Michael Kremer that cer-
tain debts need to be forgiven, and his view is that certain debts ought not
to be enforceable at all. There are two aspects that concern me with his
approach. First, even non-odious debt should be forgiven in many circum-
stances. So I don’t think that the answer to sub-Saharan Africa’s debt prob-
lem depends so much on where the debt came from, as opposed to what
the current implications are of the accumulated debt. Some countries get
themselves into a mess through bad luck or bad governance and in my
view these countries need help.
Societies should not be trapped by debt
when it is a life and death issue. Second, I am not sure that we know, or can
define what ‘odious’ means in a clear-cut, unambiguous way. Tastes vary a
lot about what is or what is not good governance.
I worry that rich and pow-
erful countries are likely to manipulate decisions on which debts are to be
defined as odious. I would not want to see the Pentagon deciding whose debts
are odious and whose are not. So the applicability of the concept worries
me. However, there is something particularly troubling about a brutal dic-
tatorship that takes on debt by mortgaging national assets and then the cit-
izens of that country, for decades to come, having to pay for that debt. After
all, in most countries private citizens are not responsible for the repayment
of debt incurred in their name by fraudsters. So I sympathise with the
idea, but have a problem seeing how the idea can be put into operation.

Forgive me, I cannot waste any more time deconstructing that obvious bullshit. SACHS is a legendary good cop. The "NO" possibility must be bracketed and so his "approval" is unsurprising.

Posted by: Comrade X | Jul 3 2015 15:17 utc | 87

Posted by: Comrade X | Jul 3, 2015 10:27:05 AM | 83

Very simple, because there is no such thing as rational agents.

Smart is different, if you take the - original - UK meaning.

Posted by: somebody | Jul 3 2015 15:24 utc | 88

To okie farmer @76; Armstrong is hysterical: e.g. "One must seriously ask, are those in the Troika just totally brain-dead?" and "there is no hope because those in power are clueless." Blimey, 'e sounds like a fooking war correspondent. 'E must like war.

Posted by: Comrade X | Jul 3 2015 15:36 utc | 89

∃body @87, no such thing as God either but he in hot pursuit, too. Funny too, all this crapitalism supposedly based on initiative and innovation but founded on slavishness and dogma.

Smart, as in having the surplus to afford to follow fashion. How clever, a boast and humiliation, in one.

Posted by: Comrade X | Jul 3 2015 16:00 utc | 90

Posted by: Comrade X | Jul 3, 2015 11:17:38 AM | 86: "[Sachs] "approval" is unsurprising."

I would've deployed the Chomsky-esque put-down, '[Sachs] "approval" carries no information' if I'd had my coffee.

Posted by: Comrade X | Jul 3 2015 16:18 utc | 91

From TRNN on Greece:

Posted by: ben | Jul 3 2015 16:50 utc | 92

Posted by: Comrade X | Jul 3, 2015 12:18:10 PM | 90

:-)) Chomsky should have known better. The information in the approval is that there is a transatlantic economist establishment party supporting the "no",
apart from Syriza, Beppe Grillo, Podemos - and British media. Looks like the regime change plot is a German one.

Posted by: somebody | Jul 3 2015 16:56 utc | 93

Investment Bank RBS has done the math

PM Tsipras said that Euro members will never allow Greece to exit,
because it would be too expensive. But what is, really, the cost of Grexit?
We estimate the minimum direct cost of Grexit at around €239bn or 2.4% of Eurozone GDP.

Is Greece too big to fail for the Eurozone, as Tsipras argues? No. Grexit costs are manageable for creditors. Yet, Grexit is twice more expensive than keeping Greece within the Eurozone (even with debt relief). Making Greek debt sustainable again by restructuring it and bringing close to 100% of GDP, would cost roughly half that (€140bn, or 1.4% of Eurozone GDP). The real issue, of course, would be moral hazard for other countries, which may be incentivised to ask for debt relief as well. This issue may be avoided with a conditional form of debt restructuring...

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 3 2015 18:04 utc | 94

According to the RBS analysis, it makes financial sense for the Troika to help Greece instead of risk GRexit. Its only that other countries might seek debt relief that prevents them from doing so (plus their dislike of the Tsipras government).

And, we now know that the IMF agrees: Greek debt should be restructured.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 3 2015 18:16 utc | 95

There seems to be an EU climbdown

Tusk refused to get drawn out on what this alternative solution might look like. “If you imagine too much, you get self-fulfilling prophesies,” he said, adding that it was above all necessary to “avoid this dramatic scenario: the breakup of the eurozone.” He added that the stakes in Greece go well beyond the debt or future of the euro, and are at heart geopolitical: “Greece and the Balkans are the traditional soft underbelly of Europe,” and the EU needs to move “very, very cautiously.”

Posted by: somebody | Jul 3 2015 18:27 utc | 96

Berlin dreaming - Gremain scenario - in German

Let Greece go bankrupt within the Euro. ECB control capital flows. Foreign banks to take over bankrupt Greek national banks. Personal hardship to be softened by humanitarian EU programme.

Posted by: somebody | Jul 3 2015 19:00 utc | 97

official stenographer's viewpoint ...

Mr. Tsipras’s unexpected decision to call the referendum was the equivalent of a frustrated chess player trying to break open a match with a daring last-minute move that his opponent considered to be against the rules.

Posted by: james | Jul 3 2015 19:44 utc | 98

We are witnessing a black swan event. The Greek banks have run out of cash. Either the EU seizes Greece or a failed state in Europe has been born with Ukraine soon to follow. All of the Greek debts are void and trillions in derivative payments will be due. This is 2008 all over again with the collapse of the western financial system possible. This is why everyone is so desperate. Yet, for pennies on the total cost of the default, Greece could be saved. Magnanimity may yet win out but it would mean the end of the current rule of extinction capitalism in the West.

Posted by: VietnamVet | Jul 3 2015 20:46 utc | 99

Just like any Euro influenced elections, the Greeks will be made to vote until they vote "correctly".. Greece leaving the EU will be a massive blow to the union. Brussels won't let this slide easily.

I think Tsipras's gamble might not pay off. The stakes are way too high for the EU to watch it slide...

Posted by: Zico | Jul 3 2015 21:22 utc | 100

next page »

The comments to this entry are closed.