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How Europe Theatens The World Economy

The threat from Greece to Europe and the world economy. Your economy.

e temple of Parthenon is silhouetted against a cloudy sunset atop the Acropolis hill in Athens, Thursday May 17 2012. Fitch ratings agency downgraded debt-crippled Greece deeper into junk territory on Thursday, warning of a "probable" Greek exit from the euro currency union if new national elections next month produce an anti-bailout government. Fitch said it had cut Greece's rating by one notch, from B- to CCC, the lowest possible grade for a country that is not in default. (AP)

The temple of Parthenon is silhouetted against a cloudy sunset atop the Acropolis hill in Athens, Thursday May 17 2012. Fitch ratings agency downgraded debt-crippled Greece deeper into junk territory on Thursday, warning of a "probable" Greek exit from the euro currency union if new national elections next month produce an anti-bailout government. Fitch said it had cut Greece's rating by one notch, from B- to CCC, the lowest possible grade for a country that is not in default. (AP)

Leaders of a bunch of the world’s richest countries, the G8, met at Camp David over the weekend. Their number one focus was one of the world’s most dramatically troubled countries at the moment – little Greece. It matters because it’s part of the EU and the euro zone. It’s melting down, and it’s threatening to take the EU with it.

Markets around the world slid in fear last week. A lurch to full-on crisis seems to be happening faster than anyone predicted. The fear is dominoes: Greece, Spain, Italy. And somewhere in that line, the US gets hit too.

This hour, On Point: Euro-crisis.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Howard Schneider, Washington Post financial reporter.

Simon Johnson, professor of entrepreneurship and economics at the M.I.T. Sloan School of Management.  Co-author with James Kwak of “White House Burning: The Founding Fathers, Our National Debt, and Why it Matters To You.” He blogs at The Baseline Scenario.

Martin Wolf, chief economics commentator at the Financial Times.

From Tom’s Reading List

Project Syndicate “Postponing the exit after the June election with a new government committed to a variant of the same failed policies (recessionary austerity and structural reforms) will not restore growth and competitiveness.”

Der Spiegel “Recent weeks have been tough on German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s center-right coalition. The already shaky alliance has undergone a series of state election setbacks, the latest of which culminated in Merkel summarily firing her environment minister, Norbert Röttgen, on Wednesday.”

Wall Street Journal “Europe has begun to prepare for Greece’s exit from euro zone ahead elections next month that are fast becoming a referendum on the country’s membership in the common currency.”

Project Syndicate ” The eurozone crisis unfolded primarily as a sovereign-debt crisis mostly on its southern periphery, with interest rates on sovereign bonds at times reaching 6-7% for Italy and Spain, and even higher for other countries. And, because eurozone banks hold a substantial part of their assets in the form of eurozone sovereign bonds, the sovereign-debt crisis became a potential banking crisis, worsened by banks’ other losses, owing, for example, to the collapse of housing prices in Spain.”

 

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  • Sam Walworth

    The decade of 2000s was of terror, the decade of 2010s seem to be of Economic perils and the recovery from it..

    This decade has been one of the toughest decades in the recent history post WWII

  • direct democracy now!

    Greece threatens to expose the fraudulent lies of fascist economic thinking–free trade, globalization, centralized power, power-mad banksters–its all unraveling.  this is a good thing.  damn the bankster class to hell. 

    fair trade–not free trade.  more unions and cooperatives!  bring on democracy!  local farming, local markets, mass transport.  a green world. 

    incarcerate the banksters and war criminals–i.e. bush, cheney, rummy-tummy

    • William

      Also, the failure of Socalism.

      • nj_v2

        Yes, it’s a tragedy. The Scandinavians are reeling! 

        • Hidan

           Good thing Ireland has one of the lowest tax rates otherwise it would have needed to be bailed out.

          Amazing how failure is “socalism” or “entitlements” yet success is always “capalism” or “free Market” no matter the country.

        • jefe68

          Except that most of the Scandinavian countries are not Socialist. They are Social Democracies. There is a difference.

          By the way “Socialism” has an i before the a. That was meant for William.

          • denis

            and Greece?

          • jefe68

            Greece is a mess.
            Before you go on about Greece you might want to do a little research on how this all happened. The Greece has a history of corruption and tax evasion is a national past time. There is a huge difference between how Greece is governed and Denmark or France.

          • Don_B1

            Or, particularly relevant now, Spain or even Italy. Spain had a fiscal SURPLUS before the financial crisis (caused by PRIVATE bank lending).

          • denis

            not questioning the mess they are in.. I know that beter than you will ever know; however, they are far from being socialist and the more people like you cloud the issue the less likely it will be solved. 

          • denis

            I apoligize… I meant to say the more people like William cloud the issue

          • RolloMartins

            “Most of the Scandinavian countries are not Socialist.” You may be correct in your definition, however try telling that to a member of the GOP when even a health plan that mandates individuals buy from private corporate interests is somehow classified as “socialist.” In the US “socialist” now means “anything Obama tries to do.”

          • TFRX

            Tell that to a Republican?

            I’ll settle for telling that to our mainstream media.

          • Don_B1

            And neither is the United States and NO policy proposed by Obama will make it socialist, either.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

         It’s the failure of our model of capitalism – that you can have ever increasing government debt as long as you have ever increasing growth.

        • William

           But is increasing government debt a good thing for a stable economy? The government has to take the money from someone to pay the interest on the debt or someday pay back the loans. This is robbing the economy of funds to keep it growing.

          • TFRX

            Demand is the limiter of the economy now.  Rich people and firms have almost more money than they know what to do with. The umpteenth car for Jay Leno or mansion for John McCain simply isn’t being bought like it was by them thirty years ago.

          • William

            Creative people always see demand but won’t take much risk if the government takes an anti-business attitude.

          • TFRX

            The “confidence fairies” gambit hasn’t been kind to your information level.

          • Don_B1

            Right NOW, people are RUSHING to put money in Treasuries that pay interest LESS than inflation; so why are they paying the government to hold their money when the PRIVATE sector could supposedly offer better payback? An investment in the private sector (at least a lot of it) is considered risky: without enough aggregate demand the companies will not sell enough goods and services to pay back the investment principal, not to mention the interest. Fortunately, the economy is making a slow recovery but it is only an election away from a Tea Party/Republican Congress which will bring back the recession with wide losses by businesses.

          • William

            Is it a lack of demand or the anti-business climate by Obama? This was the exact same problem during the Great Depression. FDR went after business so they sat on the sidelines. The radical Liberals in control of the Senate refuse to even get a budget passed after three years so this does not encourage the business community to take risks. How can we manage a country with no budget?

          • Don_B1

            It is not an anti-business attitude either by Obama now or FDR in the 1930s. You are either making this up or have a horrible source which you need to discard immediately.

            Every discussion of the causes of the Great Depression attribute its cause to various monetary sources, from the general attempt to revive the Gold Standard after WWI and resulting market excesses, which in 1931 led to a series of bank runs. The the failure of the Federal Reserve to expand the money supply, even raising interest rates at one early point in time, led to and made worse the debacle. One of the widely acclaimed analyses of the Great Depression was that by Milton Friedman and Anna J. Schwartz, “A Monetary History of the United States,” shows that the Fed could have prevented or at least greatly weakened the Great Depression; but Friedman went a bit too far in claiming that it had CREATED the Great Depression.

            Ronald Batchelder and David Glasner have some additional claims that the conditions for its creation were set in international events, with the Bank of France acting to build its gold supply, etc.

            But I find NO ONE talking about business sitting on the sidelines because FDR (or Obama today) creating an anti-business climate, except hack pundits who do not know which side of bed to get out of every morning. That is a hypothesis not worthy of you.

    • Charles A. Bowsher

       Did you mean incarcerate or incinerate?

  • Victor Vito

    I challenge the premise of the show.  Europe isn’t threatening the world economy, Europeans are challenging the free trade globalization plutocratic paradigm.  They aren’t buying the “austerity or the world ends” nonsense.  They also are not accepting a solution that protects the wealthy from shared sacrifice.

    Fight on “PIGS”!  Be a beacon of humanism for us to follow!

    • Don_B1

      But that is because of the “small” turn resulting from the elections in Greece and France plus the loss by Angela Merkel in local elections, the fourth in a row for her party.

  • Still Here

    As usual, Europe refuses to make the tough choices required by living within their means.  They continue to delay the inevitable.  In the meantime, they will become more reliant on borrowing as the interest rate environment becomes more hostile.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

       As if we do anything different here in the US.

      • Still Here

        Well, we recapitalized the banks, taking insolvency off the table.  Spanish bank capital is basically wiped out and bank-runs are inevitable.  

        • Don_B1

          And just why is that? Spanish PRIVATE banks borrowed from German and French banks to invest in a real estate bubble which burst with the financial crisis of 2008. Spain had a fiscal SURPLUS until that crisis reduced tax revenues and increased the safety net spending.

          It would be the same for Florida here except that the safety net spending came from the FEDERAL government, not the STATE government.

          The problem is a BALANCE of PAYMENTS (TRADE DEFICIT) problem not a social safety net problem. Spain’s safety net is less generous than that of Germany, not to mention the Scandinavian countries which are doing just fine (with their own currency).

  • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

    What is the real basis of this crisis? The cows need too much food and aren’t yielding enough milk? Let the beatings continue until moral improves!!!

    Bread and Circuses? Not enough bread and the populace will revolt.

    Are the 0.01% are starting to feel threatened that they’ll have to actually make a contribution to support the economic system from which their value is derived?

    Who pushed for the EU anyway? Wasn’t it the 0.01% trying to maximize the efficiency of their economic system to maximize their profits? At what cost to now humanity?

    I was asking what real sense the EU made when it was proposed and it looks no different today than any corporate merger I’ve seen fail in the past because it was based on wishful thinking and didn’t take into account historical reality.

    Let’s embrace even more magical thinking!!! Thank God for the Republican Party and Tea Baggers. They’ve got the lock on magic fairy pixie dust here in the USA these days: they are snorting it up like it’s an addictive drug.

    When are we going to learn from the past?

    • Don_B1

      Certainly the 0.01% was brought on board the effort for the “European Project” as it is called by the prospect of reduced intra Europe shipping costs and delays plus elimination of tariffs, etc.. That project is to implement a coherent community of Europeans which would prevent the type of militarism that had created the worst, most destructive wars over a period of 35 years in the history of man. And it has created some movement in the desired direction until now that this crisis has occurred and some of the hatreds that had been suppressed by the previous economic growth have reemerged.

      The conservative economic policies implemented by Chancellor Heinrich Brüning (austerity) guaranteed the the increasing economic pain of the German people, who then elected a Parliament with unworkable parties which led to the Nazi takeover. Does that unworkable legislature and how it increased the strength of the fascist party in Greece remind anyone of the direction the current House of Representatives is going?

  • Hidan

    cheaper gas prices the longer Europe is in the Tank

  • Hidan

    Greece  gave the finger to Europe because it used Greece to bail out it’s own banks first and started with 100% to the dollar(claiming anything else would be default) Than like 70% (claiming anything else would be default) while undemocratically putting in a guy that would help such banks, than cried that elections may happen, than cried when elections happen and is crying again that the Greeks were able to have them.  All while the majority of the country have “shared sacrifice” that excludes the rich and the class that Europe wanted to run the country. This is the “shared sacrifice” that Republicans and many Democrats want for the U.S. where poor and the middle class suffer while the “sic” Job creators get bailed out and subsided.

  • Obama Happens

    The current U.S. administration has added more than six trillion dollars to the federal debt since January 2009.  It seems like America is a bigger threat to the world economy if this country becomes insolvent as a result of reckless federal spending.

    • Still Here

      Facts like that will get you on Obama’s Enemy List!  Tread carefully.

      • Obama happens

        I’m not worried.  He’s only got six months left in office.

        • jefe68

          What will you do if President Obama wins a second term? Romney is going to crash and burn, he’s already on the way with his recent comment on JP Morgan. Which made no sense on any level whatsoever and for a man who prides himself on knowing about finance this was even more troubling.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            O.H. will move to Costa Rica, to be with Rush Limbaugh?
               Limbaugh HAS kept his word, and moved to Costa Rica, IMMEDIATELY after the Affordable Health Care Act was passed?  Surely he isn’t a LIAR?

          • Charles A. Bowsher

             I guess if he moves to Costa Rica he won’t avail himself of their universal health care?

          • Terry Tree Tree

            And make himself a LIAR again?

      • arbitrary delusinal colors

         u people are stupid–cheney and bush put us in debt–its is cheny’s war–and obama had to clean it up for him–tho he hasn’t ended it quite fast enough.  But to say he has run up a trillion dollar debt is nonsense and a lie. 

        To talk of obama’s enemy list is absurd and tarded–that is a favorite republican-fascist tactic –we had this to fear under the nazis cheny and bush but not likely form obama.  Tho his bending the knee to the corpratocracy for further destruction of the constitution–assassination of americans and martial laws are disgusting–he would probably never use them–tho fascist republicans–i.e–Romney would, or somebody worse than Romney the likes of nazi cheny.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

      I think you’d have to balance that against what the outcome would have been without that level of infusion of capital. Jan 2009 Dow was in 8k’s and dropping like a rock, dropping another 2k before it hit bottom. Where would it have gone without massive government intervention?

    • Victor Vito

      And all that happened in complete isolation from the events that preceded it, right?

    • jefe68

      Do you understand the bond market? Right now investors are paying a premium for US treasury bonds. We have some huge fiscal problems to deal with. One needs to understand the difference between short term and long term when dealing this issue. We are not Greece, nor are we Spain. Try to parse that idea.

      • Don_B1

        You, (and everyone else) has to realize that “Obama Happens” and “Still Here” DO NOT WANT to understand that (or certainly PRETEND that they don’t) because they want to return to the Bush/Reagan policies that enriched the 0.1% to the WHOLE WORLD in a great DEPRESSION to boot.

        If they get their way, hold onto your ass(ets) because it will be a tumultuous ride.

    • augluc

      A monetary sovereign nation will always be solvent.  Your Federal debt is denominated in US Dollar
      which happens to be your own currency.  Europe’s country have their debt denominate in
      a foreign currency which is in the hands of Private Banks and Bondholders.  There is a huge, huge difference between the
      US and Europe.  I’d agree with you if you
      had your federal debt denominate in Yen. 
      Japan has a Debt/GDP ratio of 220%. 
      Japan, US, GB, Australia and all the nations that issue their own
      currency will never fail.

      http://neweconomicperspectives.org/2012/05/playing-monopolis-monopoly-an-inquiry-into-why-we-are-making-ourselves-so-miserable.html

       

    • Still Here

      If, in an effort to generate a surplus and pay down the debt, the government only confiscates savings and not spending, we might be able to keep our import engine going and keep the world’s imbalances in place.

  • Terry Tree Tree

    Rich and powerful Greeks DON’T pay their taxes, poorer Greeks follow these leaders, as well as they can, and the country cannot pay their debts?  Corrupt tax-collectors, take bribes, so people don’t pay their taxes, ALLOWING the rich, and poor to defraud the country?
       When the RICH set the example for the country, which the RICH get the MOST benefit from, Greece may be able to recover?  HOW could it recover, otherwise?

    • http://twitter.com/drphilxr Philip Kousoubris

      Terry you are very right about what happens behind the scenes in Greece. I know firsthand about the ridiculous amount of tax  (euro € ) physicians hide/ don’t pay in Gr: one Athenian orthopedist was found to have 
       €37 Million! in just one of his swiss accounts. Other personal friends have been offered 
       €1M / yr. jobs in Athens too, and they all pay off tax inspectors still – despite tax dodging becoming much, much harder. 

      The Greeks feel oppressed all of a sudden by having to pay. Which to me, is ridiculous (considering the tax i pay here in the US!) This is also a delicate situation : Germany’s austerity is too harsh, too fast, and threatens to topple all Greece and maybe the Euro itself. That’s even more ridiculous. No one in the US should want any EU  ‘PIIG’ country to fail.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        THIRTY SEVEN MILLION EUROS in ONE Swiss account?  WHINING about paying taxes?  Letting their country FAIL, to stay GREEDY rich?
           THEY call themselves Greek Patriots?

  • Ellen Dibble

    “Project Syndicate” projects (quoting from above):  ”
    the same failed policies (recessionary austerity and structural reforms) will not restore growth and competitiveness” (in Greece).  I’m thinking “restore”?  Maybe Greece doesn’t have a model to reset to.  Certain European countries seem to have got their act together post WWII very well.  Did Greece?  In medicine, they speak of the placebo effect as reminding a body to center back to a well-functioning model, but that depends on that model having existed.  I don’t think you can ask Greece to reset to transposing German prosperity onto that peninsula.

    • Don_B1

      You do have a point; in the some 180 years since Greece broke away from the Ottoman Empire in May 1832, it has been in default on loans for roughly half that time. So there are a lot of precedents of corruption and civil strife with coups, etc.

      But Greece had been experiencing economic growth for the last 10 years or more, and while it was at a much slower rate than the rest of the Eurozone, because of a low tax compliance and also a lot of labor constraints, and other structural problems, but it WAS GROWTH.

      The austerity imposed from the European Central Bank (its German-sourced directives) have led a sizable number of Greek voters to turn to demagogues with the fascist party rising to an 8% block in the legislature. This is not good, and one can see at least some parallels between this and the Brüning Chancellorship in 1930-32 Germany. Hopefully those who got Europe to this point to prevent that path from ever being taken again will see this and change their policies. Greece has to be helped to correct the corruption and structural problems, but it will take a while. In the meantime the Greek workers cannot be driven into poverty with no hope of a decent future. That road has been seen before and it did not work out well for ANYONE.

  • brettearle

    The Right Wingers, who contribute here (and other Right Wingers who simply listen to the program), have an opportunity, today, to see how narrow-minded their unwavering policies of austerity are; that is, if they can concede how intricately connected the US is to the flagging world economy.

    But the intransigence of the Right is often more potent than a category IV Hurricane.

    As long as the Right remains obstinate, any adjustments our country can make–to accommodate, effectively, the threat from the faltering European economy–will be more difficult than tilting the angle of the Earth’s axis. 

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

       So we see Greece trying to get out of an economy that they messed up, and your solution is to send them more money?  Europe allowed this to happen.  Europe must take care of its own.

      • Don_B1

        How much of a loss should be taken before it becomes the U.S. problem also? And if that is coming, and the costs can be greatly lessened by some action now, would that be the right thing to do?

    • William

      Eventually, economics catches up to all of us. Certainly, there is always the choice of just paying higher interest rates and borrow more money, if someone will lend it to you. A better choice is to live in the real world and make cuts now.

      • TFRX

        Why is it “make cuts now” is never the ringing cry of Reasonable Righties when Republicans are in power?

        Convince your own kind, the ones who resemble alcoholics on a bender when in power, and when they’re out of power, nobody in a hundred miles can have a drink.

        (Oh, and don’t forget the business cycle.)

        • William

           The same reason the “Reasonable Lefties” never make cuts either. Greed. You need to convince your own that after 50 years of failed Great Society programs more of the same is not working.

          • TFRX

            Nice false equivalence, bub. Why don’t you tell everyone that Medicare is a failure and they don’t deserve it.

            The random forays outside your bubble show.

          • William

             Why don’t you tell everyone how successful Head Start has been? Don’t forget that 60-80 billion a year Medicare gives up to fraud. Step away from the kool-aid glass and live in the real world for a change.

          • TFRX

            In the real world, a Texas Tea Party stalwart has stolen a third of a billion dollars from Medicare, and that’s not evidence of “entrepreneurship” criminalization.

            Half of our gov’t–your side–is trying to run it to ruin it. I don’t care how reasonable you sound, because you’ve lost the battle to the kleptocrats on the right and the rich.

            But, please, keep telling me and all assembled, how the pennies we spend on the poor to tide them over to their next job, aren’t working.

            You’re flailing. And, lemme guess, you’ve never taken a dime of gummint money. Just like Dick Cheney.

          • William

            You can defend your big government program to the death, but it is still losing billions of dollars to fraud.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            That’s FRAUD, and is a CRIME!  How many Republicans can YOU name, that have worked for the prosecution of their own financial backers, that have defrauded the government?
              MORALS?

          • Terry Tree Tree

            They CANNOT practice what they preach, so WHY do they keep preaching it?  Like homosexual-pedophile priests preaching that homosexuality is an abomination, then claiming to be able to give absolution to sinners?

          • Don_B1

            The pedophile priests were NOT homosexuals! They did have sexual/power/control issues, but homosexuality was not one of them. Homosexuals are pedophiles at a much LOWER rate than heterosexuals.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            I could have worded that better!  THANK you! 
               I meant the priests that molested boys!  There were priests that molested and abuse girls, too!
               I do not think that openly homosexuals are child-molesters, except maybe a small percentage.

    • Charles A. Bowsher

       Well said!

  • Ellen Dibble

    “Project Syndicate” points to contagion due to eurozone sovereign bonds figuring into sovereign debt (and surely American banks are infected too), ”
    owing, for example, to the collapse of housing prices in Spain.”  

    I’m curious how Spain figures in this and not other countries.  To me, it is paradoxical to think of housing as a good enough kind of investment to be favored by tax treatment here in the United States, as homes are great drains on human time, money, and attention.  It seems to me people should be encouraged too vest their earnings in the creative/innovative/productive economy, and money in homes is taken OUT of that productive economy.  So if that was America’s folly, how did it get to be Spain’s and not, say, Italy’s?  (Anything Simon Johnson says about that — or anything — I’m all ears.)

    • Don_B1

      The recovery from most recessions is mostly DRIVEN by a recovery in spending on housing. This generates lumber, glass, durable goods (stoves, refrigerators, washing machines) production and that spending creates the jobs that had been lost when the recession kicked in.

      Whether the ownership is by the occupier or a landlord, the building of homes is a big part of our economy. And at least in poorer sections of cities, owner-occupied homes are kept better on average, which leads to higher real estate taxes for schools, etc. and a happier populace.

      One area that has been growing is the building of rental units as the number of renters has increased. But the fact that so many graduates are living at home with their parents has slowed the growth of both owner-occupied and rental housing. It is probably the biggest reason for the slow recovery in aggregate demand and therefore the general economy. And the refusal of banks to renegotiate mortgages has been a big contributor to homeowners not returning to the consumer spending that had been some 70% of our yearly GDP.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

    Can someone provide an example where austerity was successful?

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

       What proposal do you have that doesn’t involve Greece spending a whole lot of someone else’s money?

      • Victor Vito

        You didn’t answer the question, which was the entirety of his post.

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

           Thanks, Victor – the only examples of austerity I remember ever seeing was the World Bank and IMF pushing austerity on 3rd world countries who could not pay back their loans – if any of it was successful for helping these countries or paying back their loans, I must have missed it.

          • Victor Vito

            In fact, many South American economies have now dumped IMF policies and are only now beginning to thrive.

          • TFRX

            Weren’t these loans those developing countries really didn’t need until someone decided they needed to, say, compete with first-world farmers by exporting food to the world market?

            (Yeah, it’s repetitive, but it bears repeating.)

          • Don_B1

            In the late 1990s Southeastern Asia crisis, the country that stiffed the IMF recovered much quicker than the countries that followed the IMF.

      • Mia41003

        It’s a legitimate question, where are the examples where austerity has been successful?  Nobody said anything about Greece spending other people’s money.    

        • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

           Oh?  Where are the new loans coming from?  Who will pay back those loans?

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

            Greg – good, valid questions – I’m just saying austerity is being offered as a “fix”, and I can’t think of an example where it ever fixed anything. The idea that neither path will “fix” the problem is not being presented as a possible scenario.

          • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

            What about Argentina at the turn of this century?

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

            Didn’t they default on their debt? Their crash, I think more than austerity put them in a position to grow again. But crashing is what they are trying to avoid for Greece.

          • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

             Right–Greece would have to leave the Euro system and default.  Basically a reboot.

          • Mia41003

            Yes. That’s right. Argentina defaulted.  

          • Don_B1

            The big part of the Argentine recovery was not the default, but the breaking the tie between the Argentine peso and the American dollar, a feature that was equivalent to Greece using the euro or any country using the gold standard. it prevents the country from devaluing its currency and making its exports cheaper, thereby getting growth through exports.

      • Don_B1

        People spend other people’s money ALL THE TIME! That is what banks do: facilitate the lending of money by someone who does not want to spend their money right now to someone who can use that money to grow a business or some other useful endeavor.

        Letting the Greeks go to work and grow their economy will be productive relative to the costs of not doing so. It does not mean that the Greeks will not have to make substantial changes to tax paying and their job market. But making over half the populace suffer economic privation of the size that was occurring will not be to ANYONE’s advantage.

        Bumper sticker slogans miss the reality for snark; no wonder you speak from fantasyland so often.

    • Still Here

      Germany at the time of the reunification, that’s why they’re such believers; very fresh.

  • Ellen Dibble

    I thought Germany’s environmental policies were trend-setting, forward-looking, clean, bold.  So does the firing of Rottgen mean Germany is stepping back?

  • Victor Vito

    You have a choice.

    1.  Retire later and with less benefit.  Less help with medicine when you are old.  Less food aid if you are poor.  Lousy public schools and prohibitively expensive higher education.  Crumbling roads, bridges, and infastructure.  Near to non-existent government services.

    2.  Refuse to believe #1 is the ONLY viable option.  Refuse to believe that increased tax burdens on the wealthy will end our civilization.  Refuse to submit to globalization that harms everyone except financial wheeler/dealers and owners of production.  Refuse to accept the breaking of our social contract that once promised dignity to all Americans.  Refuse to become flotsam and jetsam in the wake of the luxury yacht driven by the 1%.

    What’ll it be? 

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

       Raising taxes on the rich alone won’t solve a situation like this.

      • Victor Vito

        If it didn’t raise a single cent of revenue, it would have huge symbolic value.  People wouldn’t automatically assume the 1% were perpetually protected and flipping the avergage guy the bird.  SHARED SACRIFICE.

        • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

           Symbolic measures count for little without substance.  What’s your substance?

          • Victor Vito

            Drastic cuts to military, infrastructure improvements, move from free trade to fair trade, etc.  Lots of alternatives to austerity.

          • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

             Um, does Greece have a large military infrastructure?  Which country are you talking about?

          • Jochen

            As a member of NATO they are being pressed  to invest more in their military. And of course they claim to have to be prepared to defend themselves against Turkey, just another NATO member.

            And – by the way – we Germans just sold them some submarines for a few hundred million euros. At a bargain price! And the Greeks borrowed the money from German banks – guaranteed by the German Government – to pay for them.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Interesting to see how that works, isn’t it?

          • jefe68

            One has to ask, what are the German banks up to? It must be noted that one of the first banks to fail in Europe at the beginning of this mess was a German one. 

          • TFRX

            I’d put more stock in the dismissal of symbolic measures if our Beltway Inbreds would stop flogging, say, the “moral hazard” of things that make economic sense. That really smarts to people like us in the real world.

            For one example, I’m speaking directly about how in every recession with unemployment rates at this level since WWII, UI was extended until the unemployment went down below 7%. But now, it’s a “moral hazard”.

          • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

             Extending unemployment benefits isn’t symbolic.  That’s a substantive action.  I’d accept the idea of moral hazard more if Wall Street had as much hazard as the rest of us.

          • TFRX

            This proves my point exactly: We’re not extending the unemployment benefits this time around, and the right wing, the conservadems, and the media uberlords–the people who don’t know many people affected directly by the recession–the recession ended for their strata months and months ago–are all hepped up about “moral hazard” in direct contradiction to all economists’ evidence.

            And none of them seem to narrativize “moral hazard” for Wall St the way you and I have.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        GREEDY rich keep promoting this stupid idea!  50% tax on $2 MILLION leaves $1 MILLION to ‘survive’ on? Yet they WHINE! 
           When ALL the WHINING GREEDY rich survive ONLY on minimum wage, that they actually put in work hours for, for over TEN YEARS, then I’ll believe they might know what to WHINE about!

        • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

           1.  Turn off your caps lock.

          2.  We were talking about solving problems, not striking out blindly to soothe your resentments.

      • Don_B1

        No, that by itself won’t, but eliminating a good number of the loopholes in the tax code, which really are tax expenditures that amount to as much as a $trillion/year would make more than a good-size dent.

        Plus, at lot of those billionaires have more money than they know what to do with and thus they spend it on gambling, and less than likely presidential candidates like Gingrich, Santorum and Bachman (never mind Cain). That money could be better spent for the betterment of all Americans by supporting some alternate energy, etc. rather than local TV stations that do not do their duty of educating their audience.

      • Charles A. Bowsher

         No, but it is a start. It will take some time to recoup from them their ill-gotten gains vis-a-vis the TEMPORARY Bush Tax Cuts that they lied to get passed, but it needs to be done.

        I propose we “assess” everyone in the country according to their level of wealth (both here and overseas) to begin to pay off the deficit.  I of course will be getting a check since I have negative net worth.

    • Charles A. Bowsher

       Keep talking!

  • http://twitter.com/drphilxr Philip Kousoubris

    Most of my Greek relatives are all despondent, and ‘severely dislike’ Chancellor Merkel. My mom also withdrew most of her small pension out of Greece. Don’t think it could never happen elsewhere, or here!

    • jefe68

      Philip, the Greek banking system does not have an FDIC.
      They also do not have their own currency.

      • http://twitter.com/drphilxr Philip Kousoubris

        Yes, that’s clear. Im not a fan of the Fed as a former R. Paul supporter. I’m not saying Greece is similar enough to the US for a domino effect. But look at all the other comments here re: the US fiscal crisis. We have a (different) crisis too.

        • jefe68

          You do understand the difference between the Federal Reserve and the FDIC?
          The FDIC came into being to prevent the very thing that is happening with the Greek banks. A run on the banks.  Do yourself a favor, read up on the Great Depression.

        • Don_B1

          Ron Paul is SEVERELY mistaken about the FED. He is confounding a correlation with a cause. The FED was established BECAUSE of the bubbles and recessions and the economic instability that resulted. It is BECAUSE Alan Greenspan did not exercise his responsibility to enforce the law and regulate the “shadow banks” and the big investment banks (J.P. Morgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, CitiBank, etc.) that the housing bubble got beyond what was controllable and resulted in the over-leveraged banks and below water homeowners. Combined with the lack of SEC enforcement, it soon became Katy-bar-the-door.

          And that is what the Republicans want to happen AGAIN. Every country that has been on the equivalent of the “gold standard” has eventually run into a financial crisis ranging from what the U.S. experienced in 2008. Argentina from tying its peso to the American dollar; Europe by using a common currency without a common fiscal spending power, etc. are all examples.

          Get one of Mankiw’s textbooks, preferably the first edition which has not been modified to not disagree with the false claims of current Republicans on “supply-side” economics.

  • Cory

    Great show today and fantastic guests. Question for them: when and how can we judge the efficacy of Greece’s austerity measures? 

    I feel like austerity programs are like the economic version of Patraeus’ COIN strategy of nationbuilding, which seems by design to not be able to be judged over the short or medium terms. But Greece’s program began at the start of 2010 – we now have two years of data, but don’t hear much about how effective it has been. 

    Could the guests comment on that?

    Thanks!

    Cory 

  • arbitrary delusinal colors

    they always use this credit rating downgrade to frighten us al linto submission–f that!  Greece–please, please, please secede from the union.  bring back the ‘drachma’–is that right, did I say that currency right?  Down with the banks down with the banks!

     Stand in solidarity against the fascist corpratocracy!  Stand with Greece!  

    • http://twitter.com/drphilxr Philip Kousoubris

      yes, it is drachma (δραχμή with that odd raspy “h”);from a ‘handful of precious metal’. the very light lepto (penny like coin) actually had a hole in it, ironically…

    • Steve

      A reset may indeed be required but the consequences of reset are dire – especially in the economy as it exists in current day Greece.

      I fear you are asking for the sacrifice of a generation or violence –

      This seems to be a tinder box.

  • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

    This looks more like a complete meltdown of right wing Randian economic theory: the self interests of the ‘altruistic’ wealthy are completely out of line with the reality of human nature in the market and the very real needs of people and society.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      The ‘altruistic wealthy’  is a MYTH!
          About 500 MILLIONAIRES in my county, compared to 144 Volunteer Fire/Rescue personnel, and we Volunteer Emergency personnel HAVE to do fund-raisers to buy essential equipment and materials.  FEW of those MILLIONAIRES even help then!
         One recent fund-raiser cleared 90 CENTS, from 5 people working over 8 hours!  ‘Alturistic Wealthy’?   GREEDY rich!!

      • William

         Yes, but you guys get to ride around in those cool fire trucks.

        • Terry Tree Tree

          I’ll GLADLY trade the ‘priviledge’ of riding around in a ‘cool’ fire truck to them, IF they will do the fire-fighting and rescue!
             IF they trade, I’ll actually CREATE JOBS with the money they trade!
             How many do you think will trade?  How many will STAY GREEDY rich?

          • William

            It is all about who is willing to take the risk and start a business. Unless the economic climate is positive many people with money will stay on the sidelines.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            GURANTEED PROFIT?  Is THAT the ‘positive economic climate’ the ‘job creators’ DEMAND? 
               What about the ‘business risk’ the ‘risk takers’ BRAG about taking? 
               They’re just GREEDY cowards?

  • Ian

    I have a feeling a small handful of Greeks made a lot of money. These are not the kind of people who will use that money to grow the economy. Only grow their own personal fortunes.
    Sound familiar?
    USA and Greece are not the same, except for this one particular thing.

    • http://twitter.com/drphilxr Philip Kousoubris

      Both Gr and the US indeed cater to the 1%/0.1% – perhaps unbridled capitalism yields the same as untempered socialism? Is there a middle ground?

  • jefe68

    Greece is in a depression. Spain is on it’s way with 25% unemployment. The question is will the EU be able to stand this crisis? Will the US go into a double dip recession?

    • William

      You mean “recession”?

      • jefe68

        From what I’ve read on this, when you have a prolonged recession and unemployment in double digits it’s a depression. Greece has not only high unemployment but also a huge credit problem.
        One of the definitions of a depression is a severe and prolonged recession. Greece is definitely in that situation. Spain, Italy and Portugal are heading in that direction. Spain has 25% unemployment, that’s not good.

        • William

          It is almost a “perfect” storm for the EU. The weaker countries were added to the EU and never really had much to bring to the table other than new markets for stronger countries like Germany. Now these “weak sisters” are faced with long term high unemployment which might be the new normal for them.

          • ana

            In addition, they are so  located as to absorb much of the Arab and African refugee population; not so for  the more northern countries.
            Column in today’s Bos Globe by Juliet Kayem explains.

          • jefe68

            What? Who do think lives in those slums outside of Paris?

            Why do you think in the Netherlands that an ultra nationalist party has gained huge ground there?

            Have you been to Great Britain and the district of Brixton? 

            All of Europe has people from their former colonies living and working there. In Germany it’s mostly Turkish immigrants. The issue of economic refugees is one that will be a political catalyst in the coming years all across the European continent in my view. Not unlike our own anti-immigration movement here.

          • jefe68

             What’s happening in Greece can turn real ugly and that could spread like a bad virus all over Europe. There is now a Greek fascist party (Golden Dawn Party) that has gained seats in their parliament.  This is not a good development and could lead to a civil war in Greece. This could spill over into Italy and into Spain which have  recent histories with fascism. Spain, as people should remember, was under Franco’ rule until the mid 70′s.

            There is a significant rise in neo-nazi groups and nationalist political parties in Europe. Hungry is one nation that needs to be watched very closely in this regard. 

          • William

             Political changes in Greece will happen no matter how much money they receive from the EU.

          • jefe68

            You’re not getting this, are you.

        • Don_B1

          A recession is that period of time where the economy is declining. A depression occurs when the recovery from a DEEP recession, no matter how short, takes a long time. The Great Depression was actually two recessions which were so deep (the first one in 1930 in particular) with strong balance-sheet aspects (housing owners with mortgages under water) that recovery is inhibited by a large segment of the population not having money to spend. This lack of aggregate demand holds back the spending that would drive the recovery.

          The VSPs that set the agenda for this country could push away “moral hazard” to help the bankers because they rightly felt that there had to be strong banks for the economy to prosper. But every attempt to get mortgages refinanced, principals adjusted, etc. was rejected by conservatives on the basis of “moral hazard” when for most people in that condition that was caused by dropping real estate prices because of the number of foreclosures in their neighborhood.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      The time-limit for a recission, is probably long past?

  • Obama happens

    The B.R.I.C. nations have made agreements amongst themselves to stop trading in U.S. dollars.  The rest of the world is saying they want no part of the endless money printing of the U.S. Fed.

    With the dollars status as the ‘world’s reserve currency’ quickly coming to a conclusion, it’s the U.S. that should be panicking when rest of the world no longer wants the dollar. 

    • TomK in Boston

      Mr Market has spoken, and we can borrow for 10 years at 1.74%, a record low. Yet you say the world wants no part of us??? Don’t you have any understanding of markets or finance? Mr Market is saying that the rest of the world can’t get enough of us. They love our debt. Those are the facts. Please, try to pay some attention to reality.

       Voodoo economics has been a disaster in the USA, and austerity economics has been a disaster in europe. All we have to do is open our eyes to see what NOT to do.

      • Still Here

        The market used to love Greek debt too, the market’s fickle that way.  What’s more voodoo than relying on government spending to grow an economy; you end up with projects to dig holes and then refill them.  Lots of money spent, yet nothing done.  

        Austerity economics hasn’t even kicked in in Europe so seems too early to judge.  The alternative is paying 20% to bondholders.

        • TFRX

          Nothing done?

          Enjoy that jetpack to Galt’s Gulch.

          • Still Here

            You’re the message board equivalent of gov stimulus: many words used, nothing said.

          • Obama happens

            Best comment of the day.

      • Sam Walworth

        Mr. Market is a very selfish guy and doesnt have an ounce of emotions. He simply loves money, and will go with her, as long as he is treated like a king.

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    Tell the European Union to look at the United States during the period of the Articles of Confederation.  We had the same problem.  The answer is to break up or to unify more.

  • sue hindersmann

    Greetings..I have money in Euros in German banks. What should I do? Should I take the money out and change it back into dollars or leave it in Euros. What is the best course to take?

    • Victor Vito

      From your post I will make the assumption that you have a good deal of money, so I’d say give this segment of your portfolio to charity.  You’ll not only be helping someone in need, but you’ll be setting yourself up for some good karma.

    • TFRX

      One may suggest that you should be on the phone to your broker or advisor. This hour will be a “birds’ eye” kind of view, it seems to me, but with your situation you may be “ahead of the class” here.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      German banks usually CHARGE to hold your money.  Unless you have $MILLIONS? 
         Either way, you could invest your money in actually creating jobs, and HELP others, AND the economy where you create jobs, while making MORE than banks pay for interest on savings!
         Three, or more ways to ‘profit’!  Are you interested?

  • augluc
  • Mia41003

    It gets to the point where the market squeezes so much that it becomes unsustainable.  Spain’s economic situation was not the same as Greece’s.  Spain did not cook its books like Greece did.  It is unfair for all of the mediterranean countries to have been thrown into the same sack.  

    If the bond markets keep squeezing Spain and Italy, it will be no good for anybody.  If the EU is permitted to fall apart, it will bring down the US and Asia along with it.  And Germany will not do well in the long run. I cannot see that sensible people will allow this to happen.  It’s in no one’s interest or is it?

    One should ask who benefits from this scenario.  Is this inevitable or is this hype to get us all excited and start screaming that the sky is falling and to short sell our euros?  

  • Kevin

    WOW! Great call from Lebanon, TN. VERY revealing. To the Greeks, it’s the fault of everybody else…whatever you do, Greeks, DON’T look in the mirror! Blame the US, Germany, and everybody else for your internal problems. That, and keep demanding more from the nanny-state. Incredible!

    • Victor Vito

      Because of course it is entirely the Greeks fault.  No responsibility by anyone else.

  • Obama happens

    Europe will continue to regress financially as long as the Europeans continue to prop up socialist goverments and insolvent banks,

    which is exactly what’s happening here.

    • TFRX

      Are you getting paid to type “Obama” and “socialist” in the same paragraph?

      You’re setting a low bar for yerself.

      • Obama happens

        ‘yerself’ ?

        Must be the word of the day for the few remaining Obama supporters.

    • jefe68

      Name one Socialist government in the EU.
      They are social democracies that are heavily into being capitalist. How do think this whole mess came about anyway?

    • Zero

      What about Germany and the Nordic countries?  

      Why wouldn’t America want to use them as an economic model? 

      How about Brazil, South Korea, Japan? 

      Pray tell, where’s your economic model?

  • augluc

    Imagine the US without a Central Bank….how many states would
    go broke if they don’t have the FED backing as a lender of last resort?  The US conception was well done with a
    central bank, In Europe there isn’t a central bank, no Eurobonds etc.  The European project is totally flawed and
    undemocratic.  The European project
    started upside down with the intension to squeeze peripheral countries. The
    southern countries were admitted only because German’s industry would have been
    able to kick out competitors.  The ECB is not a central Bank becouse is not able to remouve the solvency issue. 

  • Guest

    It seems like Germany needs to be kicked out of the Euro.

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

      That would be good for Germany.

      • augluc

        If it were good for Germany they would have already done
        it.  Again, Germany allows the PIIGS
        country to enter the EU because they knew that removing the sovereignty would
        have essentially destroyed competitors. 
        Germany knew that the Greek’s books and also Italian’s books were
        cooked.   Please, have a look at the links posted below.
        Marshall Auerback clearly outline the big picture.

    • Jim

      how do you feel as Germany if you had to continuously bailout countries who refuse to balance the budget every year?

      Greece must go…

      • augluc

        Germany is not bailing out anybody.
         It is the only very nation that is having great advantage from this
        system.  I really hope Germany get out of the Euro.  Why they stay if
        they have to bailout others countries? They are controlling the ECB and they
        strongly oppose Eurobonds. 

  • M. A.

    I am surprised that the usually excellent On Point did not present a “balanced” point of view today. Of course the Greeks themselves should be blamed for their economic situation, but why aren’t the hard questions being asked? For instance, why is Greece in the Eurozone? Who has benefitted from this, when everyone knew that they had “cooked” their books? Also, what part did the big investment banks (I.e. Goldman Sacks, j.p. Morgan, etc.) play on this? There are some excellent programs and articles on this. (See for instance the PBS Frontline series Money, Power and Wall street, in particular Part Four.) Also, I find it disconcerting that people who seem to ignore European History to be suggesting in the show that aEuropean country, like Greece, which is one of the continuous democracies in Europe since 1973, and has been since then continuously PEACEFUL, to be described by one of the guests as being and having been on the brink of civil war, without being challenged!

    • Terry Tree Tree

      THANKS!

    • jefe68

      Because there is a rise in extremism and the Golden Dawn Party has gained seats in the Greek parliament. Greece has had a military junta from 1967 to 1974 which was anything but democratic.  As to continuous democracies, well all of Western Europe has had this as the norm since the mid 70′s. That Frontline series was excellent and it should be noted that the German banks were right there along with all the American investment banks and in my view are one of the central causes of this entire crisis. That said, the Greeks cooked their books with the help of Goldman Sacs if I’m not incorrect, to get into the EU.

      • TomK in Boston

        As was said in an earlier show, the Germans have discovered that, paraphrasing woody g, the fountain pen works better than the six gun for conquering europe.

        I think it’s crazy to have a single currency for otherwise independent nations. Worse, the individual nations still issue their own bonds. If you’re gonna have a eurozone, Eurobonds are essential.

        Despite all the mandatory ideological howling about socialism, the euro nations except for greece did not have excessive debt before the crash. They do have extreme tax evasion by the rich, however.

        • Mia41003

          Ha, ha.  That’s a good one.  The fountain pen works better for conquering Europe.  Yep.  That about says it.  

          I agree about the Eurobonds.  There really should be Eurobonds.  It doesn’t make sense for every country to continue to have its own bonds.  Who does this benefit? 

          The way I see it, this has to be worked out.  What a disaster if it isn’t.

      • http://twitter.com/drphilxr Philip Kousoubris

        The Golden Dawn is quite out of their minds, and an EU ‘infectious disease’ problem to watch…

        • jefe68

          I agree, they are scary and not to be taken lightly.

    • Mia41003

      I’m glad you said that.  I was going to say the same.  It’s easy to blame the Greeks but they had a lot of help along the way.  Goldman Sachs did lend a hand in the kitchen, as Jefe68 says.  And that Frontline program was pretty good.  

  • Obama happens

    “Socialism works until you run out of other peoples money”.

    Margaret Thatcher

    Europe should have taken her advice when she said that decades ago.  Now socialist Europe is learning a hard lesson, and the U.S.S.A. isn’t that far behind.

    • jimino

       “The United States of America will cease to exist when the ‘other people’ no longer consider themselves to be part of ‘we the people’.”

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

      Funny and she lives in a Socialist Monarchy State.

    • Sam Walworth

      Trust me people have no clue what is real Socialism that Thetcher meant, and what they have got in Europe.

      Socialism is a fancy word in USA, which works like a magic word, whenever you dont have an answer to any question, throw that word and people will stop questioning about the real issues.

      Get real my friend, stop drinking from the kool aid of faux and friends.

      • Obama happens

        The ‘kool-aid’ drinkers are people like yourself who foolishly believe that the nanny-state has the answers to all of life’s problems.

        • RChicago

           I heard socialism is responsible for cancer, traffic accidents and bad hair days.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      You advocating for Corporate Facism?

      • jefe68

        Ignore this person. How can anyone who posts comments such as the one above be taken seriously. Notice the replies are all steeped in learned rhetoric that one can find on right wing blogs or hear on right wing radio.

  • brettearle

    Jefe68 made, earlier, what I consider to be, an essential comment.

    Deja vu all over again, with regard to the Weimar Republic?

    Jefe68 spoke of Fascism, in the future, in Europe.

    Indeed, it seems to me that this could happen again.

    What’s more, it could happen in 20 years, or less, in the United States–if our economy does not demonstrate enough of a recovery and continues to be sluggish, until it possibly tanks again.

    The problem with such `DoomsDay’ predictions is that no one wishes to take this sort of prediction seriously.

    And so the prognosticator–if, indeed, he/she proves to be a prognosticator–is marginalized and regarded as a kook…..because no one wants to think the unthinkable.

    We, here, in America are still so attached to the American Dream that we simply can’t understand that all countries can become unstable–so much so that civil unrest/political upheaval may someday become an inevitable reality.

    And it could be much sooner than anyone thinks.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

      BS there will be no Fascism in Europe. How can you listen to a commentor who never live and work in Europe?

      I am concern about the Anti-Christ emerging from the Greek depression to lead the Greeks to salvation of fake.

      • brettearle

        Please explain how you could possibly know whether, or not, Fascism could remerge, in the coming years, in Europe.

        You call it BS.  You therefore seem  confident of your opinion.

        Back it up.

        Why wouldn’t unstable societies be prone to Fascism?

        I think they would be. 

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

          Tell me who will be the emerging Fascist Leaders in Europe that you know? No One. Why do the Europeans wants to go back the past that almost totally destroyed Europe in WW2? Who wants to go back to that era of Violence.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

            it is not the unstable societies, it is the unstable governments that distabilized the people that leads to anarchy.

          • jefe68

            Well it’s interesting how you claim to know so much about Europe and yet are blind to the rise of extreme right wing nationalist political parties in Europe. Look up the Golden Dawn Party who are making becoming more popular everyday in Greece.
            In the Netherlands one of the main parties is the Dansk Folkeparti, who hold 22 seats in the Danish Parliament and 2 on the EU Parliament. In France the National Front party took about 25% of the popular vote in the general election. It’s not about going back to the past and doing a 1930′s brand of fascism. It’s about nationalism, extremist on the right pulling the agenda towards their goals.

            The Fidesz-KDNP party is very conservative and has a majority of seats in parliament in Hungry. They are being pulled even more to the right by the Jobbik (Hungarian radical nationalist) who took about 16% of the vote in recent elections.

            In France there is Marine Le Pen.

            In Hungy it’s Krisztina Morvai. and Gábor Vona.

            Denmark: Pia Kjaersgaard

            Austria: Jörg Haider and Susanne Riess-Passer

            Belgium: Frank Vanhecke who leads one of the most forceful NF parties in Europe.

            The Netherlands: Mat Herben

            Norway: Carl Hagen

            GB: Nick Griffin (BNP)

            Greece: Makis Voridis of the Hellenic Front.

            Italy: Umberto Bossi

            As you can see there are plenty of extreme National Front parties in Europe. You were saying?

            By the way lived in GB for 8 years and have ties to Europe. I have family in Belgium.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

            Because it is not going to happen and you are wishing for death wish for all Europeans. I tried to be positive about the economic crisis in Greece instead of putting Fears in the public minds. That’s what’s wrong with your comment about Greece and the rest of Europe.

            Paranoia can be deadly for Europeans.

          • jefe68

            How is pointing out that there a growth in right wing nationalist and neo-nazi parties in Europe wishing for all of Europe to become fascist. Which is what I take from your comment above.
            It’s not a matter of people making positive comments or not. The reality is that these extreme right wing parties are gaining ground again in Europe and to deny this is a folly.

            For the record, the Philippines is not Europe and Europe is not the Philippines.
            I’m not sure why you are doing that. It does not make any sense.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

            Those countries are not even in trouble yet and those Parties or Organizations are common with developed nations.

          • jefe68

            What? Hungry is a basket case.

            The Netherlands, France, Belgium, and  Italy are all in a recession.

            Only Norway and Denmark are doing well and one wonders if that’s because they are not in the EU. Well Denmark is but not in the Eurozone and they kept their currency.
            They do however have far right nationalist parties.

          • http://twitter.com/drphilxr Philip Kousoubris

             Hungary. Right? (sorry)

          • jefe68

            Yes, sorry I was typing fast and misspelled it. 

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

            Great Britain is not Greece and it’s not the 80s or 90s anymore.

          • jefe68

            What does this have to do with the topic?

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

            Even in the Philippine Congress the Filipinos voted for a Communist leader and won see Satur Ocampo and the leaders of the Reform Armed Movement like Senator Enrile and Senator Honasan former Coup leader that wanted to overthrow the Cory administration.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

            Is the Philippines in Fascist or Military Junta government after those people won the elections?

            Hell No!!!

          • brettearle

            What about the US, jefe68?

            Whom do you see as Fascist threats, in the future, in the US?

            Who, or what faction, is to the right of, for example, Demint?….who might have political clout,
            in the US

          • jefe68

            Well DeMint is pretty far to the right. The GOP has moved pretty far to the right and has some very extreme right wing ideologues.
            Look at all the legislation that has been passed in states such as Virginia, Texas and so on on woman’ reproductive rights.
            How about the anti-immigration laws in Arizona and Alabama.  Look at all the time spent on demonizing gays and illegal immigrants and woman who speak up.

            I’m not sure we have to worry about neo-nazis as they tend to be so out there. However in Europe it’s different. There extremist parties, Le Pen’s NF party is one example, have been very clever and successful in how they have marketed themselves and modernized. If you strip away all the modern body politic you will find some serious fascistic types.     

    • Zero

      Hitler fabricated a communist threat, burned down parliament, burned books, and created an image-culture.

      In America, there are certainly fabrications of a communist threat, we’re cutting humanities, and we are a low text, high image culture.  We’re losing our democracy to a corporatocracy, but not many people care.  I certainly don’t think there would be death camps or anything.  I have seen right wingers call people “parasites,” and the social Darwinism is apparent. 

      I hope the right wingers will get sick of unions and corporations financing the democrats, so they’ll get in bed with the left and pass an amendment restricting campaign finances.  The stronger our democracy, the more politicians have to please everyone (instead of the people filling their pockets).  

      • jefe68

        You are all over the map here.
        What Communist threat do you see?
        You then put the Unions, which are getting smaller as I write, into the same boat as corporations.
        The GOP is now getting more money from Wall Street than the Democrats due to their wishy washy attempt to rain in the outlandish gambling that the investment banks have been engaged in.

        The threat in this nation is from the extreme right, not the left. The extreme elements of the right, such as Grover Norquist have moved the GOP so far to the right on tax issues that nothing can get done in Congress. Look at recent legislative laws in states that have gone after women and their reproductive rights. Which is really stupid as women make up about half the working population of this country.

        It’s not a 1930′s kind of right wing ideology that is taking stage here. It’s more of an ideology based on the same kind of nationalism, using scapegoats and economics to create division and to gain power.

        The weird thing is that Norquist has equated a bill by Senetor Schumer that attempts to deal with a recent event in on of the FB founders wants to renounce his American citizenship to avoid paying taxes. I’m not sure I’m for a such a bill, if Eduardo Saverin is such an asshole I say let him leave and he can take his money with him. But to equate a bill that would target people taking advantage of our country to make a killing with Nazi Germany is the height of sensationalism and absurdity.

        Anti-tax activist Grover Norquist compared it to the actions of Nazi Germany.

        “I think Schumer can probably find the legislation to do this. It existed in Germany in the 1930s and Rhodesia in the ’70s and in South Africa as well,” Norquist said, as quoted by The Hill. “He probably just plagiarized it and translated it from the original German.”

        Norquist is such an ass.

        • Zero

          I think you misunderstood me.  The right wing is fabricating a communist threat.  Obviously, there is not a communist threat in America. 

          Hitler ran around saying that the communist were going to take over Germany, and it was nothing more than a lie to spook people to the right.  The republicans today have the same robust individualism and Social Darwinism sentiments at early 1930s Germany.  Thankfully, America has a constitution that would prevent a one party state, et cetera.

          As for the unions and corporations being lumped in together…I want republicans to get pissed off about campaign financing as much as the left is.  They are always telling me that unions finance the democrats, to which I say, “Okay then…but now it is time for the right wingers to get in bed with the left and end campaign financing.”

          Obviously, unions are not malignant like corporations, but I think it is better for democracy if we get a political movement to have only individuals fund campaigns with limitations on how much they can donate. 

          That way, politicians will have to please everyone instead of the few people funding them. 

          Does that clear it up?

          • jefe68

            Actually in Wiemar Germany there was a real threat from the Communist and during the late 20′s and early 30′s the Nazi Party and the Communist party had real battles in the streets of Berlin. Hitler was pretty smart in how he was able to use the fear of foreigners, Jews, and Communist (read Slavs) as external threats to the very idea of being German. He appealed to the myth of what it meant to be a German as well as building up Germany. Which after WW1 it was evident that GB and France did everything in their power to keep Germany from rebuilding and made them pay dearly for the war.
            This was a huge mistake, one that President Wilson saw and objected to. You know the treaty of Treaty of Versailles.

            I do apologize for misunderstanding your post, I get what you’re on about.  

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

    Why is everyone blaming Socialism for the demise of the Greek Economy?
     
     It has nothing to do with Socialism it has something to do when government Doctored their books to show profit but actually losing money. Remember Enron?
     
    Their other socialist type of government in Europe the Scandanivian countries, Germany, England, etc.
     
    Of course if the Greek economy is going to be broke every country in Europe will be affected and the rest of the world.
     
    Whatever we do we will be affected. There is no way out of the domino effect of a economic collapse.
     

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

    iOnePoint:

    The cold war is over but the minds of some Americans are stuck before 1989.

    Socialism continue to dominate the political thinking of the older American generations.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

    Greece problems is not about BEING SOCIALIST!!!

    It was rampant tax evasion, government corruption, excessive borrowing from the private and public sectors but it has nothing to do with Socialism.

    Stop pushing your Anti-Socialist rhetoric that’s why the Chinese are laughing at us.

    Instead thinking of buying Made In USA or making businesses in America we keep pushing for this socialist unimportant never ending cold war Paranoia.

    Think about productivity to help the US economy not trying to embed socialist paranoia to the American people.

    • RChicago

      People who complain about socialism are one trick ponies and are too lazy to understand complex issues so they get behind
      a party that slaps a one word label on it. It’s all about marketing in
      order to get one party elected over another.

      The problems with the economy are complex. People have enough problems managing their own money, can you imagine trying to manage a world economy?

  • Sam Walworth

    Greek infact Lied their way into the Euro Zone, and when the money started pouring in, in the form of cheap credit, they made further merry regardless of the balance sheet.
     
    Then all of a sudden in I guesss in 2010, they woke up and said, oops we have a Red ,,, and thats what is shaking the Greece..

    Irish and Spanish wanted to copy the US Bankers, and these bankers in turn lied to the public about the exposure to the CDS in the mortgage saga, and got the tax payer money, and then claimed they are too big to fail, taking down the economy of their entire countries.

     
     

    • Guest

      I heard an interesting program about Greece that I think Ira Glass had on NPR.  It echoed what you said — that Greece lied its way into the Euro Zone.  The program also said that before Greece joined the Euro Zone, debt was unheard of or minimal in Greece, both in government and at a personal level.  With the Euro came explosive debt and explosive growth in government, all paid for with debt.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

    Those people pushing for Socialist black propaganda against the Obama administration to destroy his reputation before the November election will never work for those already decided to vote for another term for Obama.

    The American people has already decided who will be the next President.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

    When President Marcos left the Philippines 1986. He left a debt that will take 10 generations of Filipinos to pay.

    The Philippines never file for Bankruptcy to reduce the debt to get rid of the debt instead President Cory Aquino privatized a lot of crony companies, exported Filipino workers all over the world, open the market in foreign investment, reduce democratic red tape, passed a new a constitution, passed tons of VAT and other company taxes, distributed lands to farmers etc etc. The economic instability was 1/2 solved but it is great step to a new economic power plant in Southeast Asia.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

      If the Filipino people can do it the Greek people will be able to do what the Filipino people did to gain momentum in the world economy.

    • William

      Exporting it’s most talented citizens seems a bit over the top. That country is still one of the most corrupt countries in the world.

  • at

    My two cents is don’t take anything anyone with a British accent says as gospel — do the real research.  Of all the nations on earth — England is the one with the biggest financial industry and not much to fall back on now that the plunder of the world by colonies and militarized corporations is more or less over.  They have yet to realize their true place in the world, and their banking industry in the city is the finally illusion of empire they have been able to maintain.

  • http://twitter.com/drphilxr Philip Kousoubris

     Yes, here in Boston there are many ex-patriot Greek physicians and I’ve got that number right, firsthand, as it was exposed by a tax audit. The crowd was amazed at whatwas being exposed by tax inspectors in the last year expecially – and horrified.

  • Pingback: How Europe Theatens The World Economy « From My Heart, Out Of My Mind

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Aug 22, 2014
Attorney General Eric Holder talks with Capt. Ron Johnson of the Missouri State Highway Patrol at Drake's Place Restaurant, Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014, in Florrissant, Mo. (AP)

The National Guard and Eric Holder in Ferguson. ISIS beheads an American journalist. Texas Governor Rick Perry gets a mug shot. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

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Aug 22, 2014
In this image from video posted on Facebook, courtesy of the George W. Bush Presidential Center, former President George W. Bush participates in the ice bucket challenge with the help of his wife, Laura Bush, in Kennebunkport, Maine. (AP)

The Ice Bucket Challenge: ALS, viral fundraising and how we give in the age of social media.

 
Aug 22, 2014
Attorney General Eric Holder talks with Capt. Ron Johnson of the Missouri State Highway Patrol at Drake's Place Restaurant, Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014, in Florrissant, Mo. (AP)

The National Guard and Eric Holder in Ferguson. ISIS beheads an American journalist. Texas Governor Rick Perry gets a mug shot. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

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