An Ambush by a Psychopath

An Ambush by a Psychopath

David Dayen wrote the quote from which I take my title. Here’s the line –

As a side note, some in the Greek government did in fact see this coming, if you believe former Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis. But to prepare for such sadistic behavior on the part of the central bank is akin to preparing for an ambush by a psychopath.

An Ambush by a Psychopath

An Ambush by a Psychopath
An Ambush by a Psychopath

I think my title is entirely appropriate. What we have here is an assault on a nation’s sovereignty and integrity on the same scale as on a nation that lost a war. This more resembles a dictated peace to a conquered people than an economic agreement.

Let’s be absolutely clear. By the International Monetary Fund’s own research, the Greeks cannot pay their debt under this kind of plan. It isn’t possible.

Let me quote from The Guardian: 

Putting into question its involvement in the bailout, the IMF report paints a far darker picture of Greece’s public finances than contained in the blueprint released at the end of the marathon eurozone leaders’ summit on Monday.

“The dramatic deterioration in debt sustainability points to the need for debt relief on a scale that would need to go well beyond what has been under consideration to date – and what has been proposed by the ESM,” the IMF said, referring to the European Stability Mechanism bailout fund which will be used to bankroll the Greek bailout plan.

Throughout the Greek crisis, the IMF has consistently urged deeper debt relief but has met resistance from European finance ministers, who have been unwilling to make their taxpayers pay the cost of a write-down.

Tsipras has also insisted that debt relief must form an important part of the package, but the Eurogroup statement on Monday said only that further measures might be taken provided Greece adhered in full to the reforms demanded by its creditors.

This isn’t about money. You would have thought with all this talk about the financial crisis and the amounts of money being thrown about on this and that, not to mention the incredible savagery and just plain nastiness of a horde of editorial writers condemnation of the Greeks and their government, that this was about financial responsibility and the payment of loans. It’s not.

I’ve already established above that the IMF says this deal can’t work. I read a good part of that leaked report. Basically it says that the Eurozone’s terms are impacting the economy so dramatically, the Greeks are not going to be able to generate enough growth for rising income to make possible debt repayments in the amounts now contemplated. More bluntly, the economy is so badly damaged by austerity, that they will never be able to pay back the debt.

So, if it isn’t about money, what is it about? David Dayen has his point of view as follows:

None of the satellite countries in the German empire missed the message. Step out of line, try to reverse an austerity agenda that has brought recession, if not outright depression, to the countries forced into its maw, and you will be pulverized, humiliated, forced to grovel and beg forgiveness.

Of course, that’s almost identical to what I said yesterday:

... Whole nations, states, counties and communities can get into financial trouble and if we do, who we will turn to for help? Banks, the IMF, or state imposed administrators, technocrats from business, banking and corporate law will be our only choices and what will they demand? You can see it right here, right now. This will be the prototype in the future for dealing with creditor governments, whatever their size. If we have a great a power differential like they have in Greece there will be no negotiations. You will accept what is offered to you and you will do it without question. And above all else, forget that democracy thing.

What is being implied her is that it is not the people that are sovereign; it is the international financial system of interlocking banks, finance ministers and multinational corporations.

David Dayen is angrier at Germany and with good reason. But I think the Germans are not so much imperialists in the traditional sense but modern neo-liberals who see reality in just one way, a world of “makers and takers.” 

Just like in the United States, we’re not talking so much about money as we are talking about virtue, and a lack of virtue must be punished.

The Germans view themselves as moral arbiters punishing the unworthy. They are cheerfully forgetful about their banks part in the debacle, suffer incredible amnesia over other nations’ forgiveness of its debts in the past and have forgotten all about the profits made from Greece on German weapons’ sales (Remember the 130 Leopard 2A4 type tanks?)

And who lacks moral virtue more than anyone else?  – The undisciplined mob, the people, the ones who keep the good honest virtuous bankers from their just deserts. You know, the people, the greedy ones that want retirement when they’re old and medicine when they’re sick and some form of government assistance when the “right” people tank the economy periodically.

The people of Greece got out of line. They weren’t virtuous. When they were told to go without jobs, without benefits, etc. etc., they got mad and their anger translated into votes. How dare they?

David Dayen says this is a warning to other members of the European Community. He is right and wrong on this point. He is right in that the Europeans are being sent a message but wrong about where the message is really intended.

It’s for all of us, certainly, the towns, counties, cities and states of this United States. We are all being warned. We are being told where real power lies and that obedience is expected.

James Pilant

An Ambush by a Psychopath

The rise and fall of the German Empire: What Greece’s crippling bailout deal reveals about the future of Europe – Salon.com

(As a side note, some in the Greek government did in fact see this coming, if you believe former Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis. But to prepare for such sadistic behavior on the part of the central bank is akin to preparing for an ambush by a psychopath. There’s not much for one to do.)

None of the satellite countries in the German empire missed the message. Step out of line, try to reverse an austerity agenda that has brought recession, if not outright depression, to the countries forced into its maw, and you will be pulverized, humiliated, forced to grovel and beg forgiveness.

via The rise and fall of the German Empire: What Greece’s crippling bailout deal reveals about the future of Europe – Salon.com.

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