Monday, November 11, 2013

Eurostat’s failures greatly increase the size of Greece’s debt

Let us think for a moment what would happen if, all of a sudden, the debt of the French transport system, covering buses, trams, the metro, the RER and OPTILE and the PAM network for disabled people and so on, were all transferred to the government’s accounts. After all, the French transport system is heavily subsidised by the state. Well, the disaster one can only imagine did not happen in France, and rightly so, but it did happen in Greece! Greeks and all other European citizens have the right to know what happened in Greece and why it happened.

All of us in Europe have agreed to comply with certain terms and conditions called European Regulations and the first to do so is, alas, the European Commission. Therefore, if.....

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Cautionary Tale: Austerity, Inequality Europe

European austerity programmes have dismantled the mechanisms that reduce inequality and enable equitable growth. With inequality and poverty on the rise, Europe is facing a lost decade.  An additional 15 to 25 million people across Europe could face the prospect of living in poverty by 2025 if austerity measures continue. Oxfam knows this because it has seen it before.
The austerity programmes bear a striking resemblance to the ruinous structural adjustment policies imposed on Latin America, South-East Asia, and sub-Saharan African in the 1980s and 1990s.
These policies were a failure: a medicine that sought to cure the disease by killing the patient. They cannot be allowed to happen again.
Oxfam calls on the governments of Europe to turn away from austerity measures and instead choose a path of inclusive growth that delivers better outcomes for people, communities, and the environment.

The wave of economic austerity that has swept Europe in the wake of the Great Recession is at risk of doing serious and permanent damage to the continent's long-cherished social model. As economists, including my-self, have long predicted, austerity has only .......

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Why Austerity Is a Dangerous Idea

by Mark Blyth
 
The current debt and deficit panic is nothing new. It’s been a staple of American politics since the Republic’s inception. But this season it has taken a new turn. Congress, the fiscal arm of the government, is engaged in asymmetric siege warfare. On one side the Republicans want only cuts, on the other the Democrats want both cuts and tax increases. Both agree however that cuts are absolutely necessary; the only question is the timing and magnitude involved. Unfortunately, budget cuts are exactly the wrong thing to do at this moment. And before anyone throws up their hands and says “Keynesian claptrap,” there is nothing necessarily Keynesian in what I am about to say. Simple logic and arithmetic will suffice.
 
Austerity, the policy of cutting state spending to solve debt and growth problems, sells itself to us through a strange combination of morality and seduction. Its moral claim lies in the love of parsimony over prodigality that characterizes economic thought from Adam Smith onward. In this morality play, saving leads to....

Saturday, March 16, 2013

TWIN EXPLOSION: The Current Debt System has Reached it’s Expiration Date

At the end of the millennium, a perfect convergence took place between the forces responsible for today’s looming storm: Indebtedness, the rise of neoliberalism, the collapse of communism, the information revolution, globalization and the «liberation» of the banking beast.

Surplus countries of the Euro-zone do not seem willing to either limit their excessive surpluses (by increasing the wages of their employees, so that domestic demand will increase), or to transfer «resources» to the members running a deficit, nor are they willing to «mutualize» public debt, or allow the transformation of the ECB into an actual central bank of the Euro-zone (Euro-bonds, direct purchasing of bonds from member states etc.).

As a result, the vicious cycle of banks «rescuing» states and, later on, states rescuing banks will perpetuate – thereby....

Monday, January 14, 2013

The Advent of Berlin (Part 2 of 2)

by Vasilis Viliardos
 
NEO-MERCANTILISM
Mercantilism was ultimately rejected by the liberal and British Adam Smith, who also refused to wade into monetary policy – believing that products, people and institutions constitute the foundations, on which general well-being can be built on peacefully, and under conditions of freedom and democracy.However, many economists believed that mercantilism, in some cases, is not erroneous.
The most important among them was J.M. Keynes, who incorporated some elements of mercantilism in his theory – stating that the money supply, the foreign trade balance and prime interest rates are very important for an economy (believes that where later used to set the grounds for modern monetarism).
Adam Smith rejected the sole focus on production mercantilists thought to be the key – believing that consumption is the only way to develop an economy. In contrast, Keynes considered both the production and the consumption as being equally important for economic growth – recognizing also, that...

Friday, December 28, 2012

The Advent of Berlin (Part 1 of 2)

The escalation of the war, the correlation of forces, neo-mercantilism, the zero-sum policy, the sustainability of public debt, Greece’s negotiation capabilities, and the currently available solutions for Greece

‘’In broad terms, the swift attack against a nation and the instantaneous prevalence, keeps the environment under control and paralyzes or overwhelms the opponent’s senses, affecting one’s ability to understand the facts. The purpose of the method «shock and awe», is to make the opponent completely unable to function – let alone resist’’.

‘’Mercantilism is a centralized, systematic economic policy, where government revenues are necessary for the maintenance of a costly state power, and the functioning of its expansionistic character. Its key elements are:

Monday, November 26, 2012

EXCEPTIONAL REASONING


To vote on austerity measures equal to 11.5 Billion, while taking on bank debts of 49 Billion Euros is rather silly – although silence is what justifies the collective submission of a nation that was once proud.

“Exploding debt in 2012 at 340.6 Billion Euros, compared to an initial estimation of 316 Billion Euros; these numbers where revealed by the Greek Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) and the General Accounting Office to Eurostat, during the interim Excessive Deficit Procedure.
The same data show that the deficit for the year 2012 is expected to be around 13.4 Billion Euros, a target level that will most likely be achieved through heavy public spending cuts. Specifically, from a central government perspective, the deficit target is set at 11.4 Billion Euros.
GDP is also projected to decline to 194.7 Billion Euros, from approximately 232 Billion Euros (the GDP before the ΄΄invasion΄΄ of the IMF in Greece).
Furthermore, according to data of.....

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Greece flirts with tyranny and Europe looks away

Greek democracy is in peril and much of the fault lies with the EU's hard stance

Nick Cohen

  • The Observer, 

  • When those madcap Scandinavian satirists awarded the Nobel peace prize to the European Union, they let everyone in on the joke by praising its commitment to "reconciliation, democracy and human rights". If the committee's 2012 citation were anything other than a spoof, you would have read denunciations of the rise of oppressive state power and neo-Nazism in Greece from concerned Euro commissioners long before now.

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Austerity has never worked

It's not just about the current economic environment. History shows that slashing budgets always leads to recession.

Last week saw a string of bad economic news reports. The eurozone leaders seem unwilling or unable to change from their austerity policies, even as Greece and Spain fall apart and the core eurozone economies contract. Britain watches on as its economy is heading for the third consecutive quarter of contraction, with an unexpectedly sharp fall in manufacturing. Last week's jobs figures confirmed that the US recovery is stuttering. The largest developing economies that have so far provided some support for world demand levels – especially India and Brazil but even China – are slowing down too. Four years after the financial crisis began, many...