February 15, 2010

Tower of Debt, or Greeced Pole?


It looks like we have shaping up in Europe a reprise of 2008. Everyone’s comparing Greece to Bear Stearns, or Lehman, or AIG, depending on the point of view.
The AIG angle looks especially enticing when you look at the inevitable entanglements of Goldman Sachs. Goldman encouraging Greece to spend like a drunken sailor, Goldman helping it hide the debts from the EU and its accounting rules, Goldman meanwhile taking on lots of CDS protection vs. the inevitable default, and Goldman then seeking to trigger that default, to force a bailout of Goldman’s positions.
Yes, in that sense it’s like rewriting a play. Greece ~ AIG, Germany/the EU ~ Treasury/the Fed, Goldman = Goldman.
On the other hand, if you leave out the actual mechanism of crime and take the eagle’s-eye view, this sure looks like Lehman – it’s collapsing, everyone wants to pretend they can let it collapse without crashing the system – but this time everyone knows you can’t let Greece default and still keep on with business as usual. Nope, Portuguese and Spanish default would probably follow hard on a Grecian jubilee, and from there the dominoes quickly get much bigger. There are dark allusions to the big European banks’ exposure to Greek debt, and the UK itself is being held together by duct tape.
What this all adds up to is that they have to figure out something, but they don’t know what. That’s why so far they’ve just issued unsatisfying declarations of moral support and nothing more. I guess they’ll have to try to bail out Lehman this time around (especially if it’s also AIG and Goldman is demanding its terrorist payoff).
(They’re also saying the EU charter doesn’t allow bailouts, but I think we can imagine what that’s worth. Watch how they evade it or openly flout it, compare that to America’s PCA law which was also ignored, and then ponder how much credence we should put in American “reform” proposals involving “resolution authority.” It’s always been a scam, it’ll be a scam today in Europe, and it’ll always be a scam in days ahead.)
The basic delusion with the EU is the same as in the American finance sector. They assumed assets would forever appreciate, that marking to market would always mean marking upward, and that no level of anyone’s debt servicing would ever outrun asset appreciation. That’s why no one worried about Greece’s Goldman-assisted profligacy.
While reading that NYT piece I found myself nodding and saying, “Greece played by the rules.” Including the “cheating” of which many are now accusing them: “If a government wants to cheat, it can cheat”, the NYT quotes an IMF cadre. It can indeed; that’s the way you all set it up with the IMF and with every other aspect of financialized globalism.
But don’t listen to the scapegoating – Greece did what it did with tacit German approval, because the Tower of Debt was supposed to climb forever while the banks raked in tremendous tolls. Collecting bingeworthy tolls doesn’t work if everybody fails to binge.
And when the crash comes? Disaster capitalism: bailouts, “structural adjustments”, privatizations, liquidation, expansion of tyranny. It’s set up to be win-win for the criminals. That’s the way it’s playing out so far in America, and now they’ll try to take the next step in Europe.
(Anybody who ever doubts a word of what I say must answer the two simple questions: (1) Why was the wealth so unevenly distributed in the good times, and more importantly (2) when the crash and depression come, why don’t those who benefited the most during the boom now have to sacrifice the most during the bust?
I think the record proves the criminal intent of all system ideology and practice throughout the cycle.)
So the Euro elites are having a little problem with one of their junior members? The Greek local bosses are getting uppity? But what did Greece really do? It’s just a microcosm of the whole scam. “Borrowing” while cooking the books. Stealing from the future. The way it’s piled up today, all government debt is exactly that; everyone cooks his books. The whole point of the EU is to run up debt. The whole point of exponential debt in general is to allow the already rich to live even further beyond their means, and to faciliate even further stealing from the non-rich who have to go catastrophically into personal debt just to try to keep up appearances. The financialized debt economy is simply a vast repetition of the original physical and geographic accumulation under feudalism. But this time the accumulation is not “primitive”, and a precursor of capitalism, but rather the terminal accumulation as capitalism dies out completely and feudalism returns. (Capitalism was only a temporary outgrowth of cheap, plentiful fossil fuels.)
The only reason the power structures of Germany and France set up this “EU” in the first place is because they thought it would provide them with even more exploitation opportunities at the expense of the smaller countries, and eventually of their own people as well.
How much responsibility does Greece have here, as opposed to Germany and the EU themselves, as opposed to Goldman? In looking at the whole gangland network, I rank everyone, from bosses to capos to the made men among soldiers, to the rank and file soldiers, to all the lowly hangers-on, and assign responsibility accordingly.
According to that ranking, Goldman and the EU/Germany are bosses, while the Greek establishment is pretty far down – a soldier, I guess.
So if Germany is whining because another boss directly advised one of the EU’s lower level guys on how to secretly run up debt, I say that’s mainly the fault of the bosses, while the Greek government is small potatoes.
As for the allegedly spendthrift Greeks in general who are being demonized by the establishment, I doubt much of this bingeing went to benefit the people as opposed to Greece’s own rich parasite gang, who will now try to socialize the pain after having pocketed the gain. (Just look at all the public revenues they already promised to Goldman as “collateral.” I’d love to see the Greek people tear up those “contracts.”)
And that’s just what Germany will end up trying to do, as it has to take the lead in a new round of Bailouts.
(And Spain is up next? Of course, it was mostly German banks who pumped up Spain’s housing bubble. Let’s remember that when German elites are whining about the Spanish Bailout.)
Yes, imposing totalitarianism by stealth and gradual economic strangulation is hard work.
So now, thanks to Greece, it looks like the Eurocrats will have to move into Bailout/disaster capitalist mode sooner than expected. “Austerity” measures, “structural adjustments”, like in Weimar Germany, are now demanded for Greece (and increasingly for America). Privatize the gain and then socialize the pain.
Greece, Germany, America – the taxpayer is the target, in exactly the same way that the poor of the Global South previously have been the target of globalization. The tsunami is now to engulf all of us, and we’re to be liquidated and feudalized.
If we let that happen.
Maybe we can look at each taxpayer base as a potential insurgency. So far the Americans have proven craven and docile. So now we look to the Greeks, and soon to the Germans. Maybe they’ll show a little more life in the face of their proposed liquidation.
I would call to all peoples. Greeks! Germans! Americans! The governments in Athens, Berlin, most of all in Washington and Brussels, are your enemies! The banks are your enemies! And the governments serve the banks!
We’ll see. Disgustingly, the Big Lie of trickle-down, a-rising-tide-lifts-all-boats, still seems to have a lot of traction.
No! The rising tide is a tsunami to smash all but the biggest boats!
Will anyone, anywhere, Stand Up? Complaining, the way the taxpayers have contented themselves so far, will do no good.
A country must cleanse itself. Purge, burn, purify.       


  1. Non-pertinent question.

    What is your assessment of the proposal to create state banks as in ND?

    Comment by chas — February 21, 2010 @ 9:27 pm

  2. It sounds like a step in the right direction. I haven’t studied that closely yet (I’ve been meaning to), but any step away from centralization is a good one.

    Does the ND bank have a good record of doing real banking in the interests of the people of the state and not on behalf of powerful outsiders against the state’s people? In the end that’s always the real measure of a financial institution: is it a servant of a community, or a traitor against the community?

    There’s a depositor-owned credit union at one extreme, the Fed at the other. If a state bank takes the deposits of the people of the state and uses that money for the constructive good of the state, that’s a good thing.

    That’s what proved the Bailout a disaster capitalist Big Lie: if it were really meant to help Main Street, the support would’ve gone directly to Main Street, and not to Wall Street from which it would allegedly trickle down.

    It was never meant to trickle down.

    Comment by Russ — February 22, 2010 @ 4:19 am

  3. […] every step of the Bailout has been so far. I earlier wondered whether, in this Bailout iteration, Greece is more like Lehman or AIG. Either way, it’s the same fraud, the same robbery, and the same insanity. The whole Tower […]

    Pingback by Bailout War, New Theater: The Assault on Greece « Volatility — May 2, 2010 @ 6:29 am

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