Tuesday, 7 July 2015
Far more to worry about than diabetes !
Long after Greece has left the Eurozone and Germany is using the Deutsche Mark as its currency, the people of the two nations, antagonized to a level unseen since World War II, will be accusing each other of benefiting more from the brief but tumultuous period of the common currency.
In reality, nobody had put a gun to Greece's head and told it to lever up, enriching local oligarchs and corrupt politicians, taking advantage of credit that was artificially cheap only due to the common currency and an implicit monetary, if not fiscal, union.
Germany, whose exports account for nearly 50% of GDP, on the other hand experienced an unprecedented exporting golden age, made possible only due to an artificial currency, the Euro, that was by definition created to be weaker than the Deutsche Mark and benefitted from any bout of weakness in Europe's periphery, such as the past 5 years.
The truth is, when things were good nobody second-guessed any decisions for a second, and since the rising economic tide lifted all boats, nobody cared.
And then the tide rolled out, displaced by trillions in bad loans and gargantuan mountains of sovereign and financial debt, which ultimately would lead to the first, then second, then third and then an all-out cascade of sovereign defaults.
Sadly, the losers - regardless of the propaganda and jingoist rhetoric - are the ordinary, common, taxpaying people of Germany and Greece (and every other European nation), who enjoyed a few brief years of artificial prosperity, which in retrospect was entirely due to debt, masked well by the "currency swaps" and other financial engineering concocted by banks such as Goldman Sachs, in clear violation of the Maastricht treaty which is now a long-forgotten memory of the founding ideals behind the Eurozone.
For every loser there is a winner, and in the case of Greece and its tragedy, just as millions are about to lose everything, a few not only made billions but quietly, under the guise of "sovereign bailouts" transferred their entire risk onto the taxpaying public.
More on this article here.
For years this has been coming, the great Euro project was doomed from the start. As we have seen in recent years in the UK, when Banks operate like a casino and suffer huge losses the liability is shifted to the tax payer. Banks are seen as too big to fail and they know it. Few people realise only around 5% of money is cash (paper or coin) the rest is debt, with never enough issued to pay the interest. Therefore the worlds monetary system is a massive ponzi scheme, which can only carry on with ever more debt. In short, it is a mathematical certainty the whole bent scheme must come crashing down. We are seeing the start of the financial Armageddon now.
When the Tories came to power the UK sovereign debt was around £700 billion now it stands at over £1500 billion, doubled in five years. It will not be reduced, but will continue rising until we cannot afford to pay the interest. This is the situation in Greece, they will never be able to pay off the 300 billion plus euro debt. The Greek economy is reducing and is about to go to third world levels. Even if all the sovereign debt of Greece is written off, they will still require huge sums of money to stay afloat.
In the UK much has been said about the £12 billion welfare cuts. This will have a massive effect on the poor and disabled, but in the overall scheme of things is petty cash. We are heading in the same direction as Greece, it's just a matter of time.
From the excellent blog of a retired Army Officer here.
"The Greek tragedy is now an epic political ‘game’ about saving the Euro and, by extension, saving the European Union. On the one hand, the bankers and all the banking vested interests are desperate not to lose (more) money in Greece and so are unwilling to chuck good (?) money after bad; on the other hand, the politicos need money to be poured in to the black hole that is the Greek economy to sustain the unsustainable (the Euro). Everybody’s now buggered if they do and buggered if they don’t, whatever they do! The situation in Greece is truly extraordinary; predictable, but truly extraordinary nonetheless. Notwithstanding, it seems to me that the majority of my fellow citizens here in the UK and the other peoples of Europe have yet to grasp the enormity of what’s going on at the moment. The Euro/EU crisis has barely begun. This is but the thin end of a very thick wedge.