Tag Archives: Grexit

Greece Can Return Us to Sanity

What a party the banks have had over the last 10 years. An orgy of endless money printing and debt leveraging Derivatives, (or gambling slips to you and me!). When it all blew up in 2008 with sub-prime mortgages, the taxpayer was forced to quickly bail them out and off they went again with sub-prime auto loans by the million and Sovereign debt by the billion, all of which is feeding yet more odious debt into an already very sick global financial system.

If this was not enough, a group of them then became involved in rigging the LIBOR global interest rate structure, whilst others played with vast tax avoidance and money laundering schemes.

Aficionados of Monopoly will quickly recognise that in spite of all of this unsavoury activity the banks are holding limitless “Get out of Jail Free” cards. Even these are not really necessary, because there are no “Go to Jail” cards in a game that has been heavily rigged in their favour!

Reprimands are levied by the authorities, with fines of seemingly vast sums of money, which in reality just come out of petty cash. Even the reprimands have been rigged, as the fines are ‘tax deductible’ and so the very people the banks have screwed find themselves helping pay their fines. You really can’t make this sort of stuff up!

Our global financial system, seriously weakened by odious debt, is now further challenged by a derivatives market few understand and which, according to the Bank of International Settlements, was worth a staggering $710 trillion in 2014 and growing.

And so the party continues uninterrupted, as little legislation has been put in force to separate this devastating gambling activity (as we found to our cost in 2008), from traditional banking practices. In the case of sub-prime mortgages when the banking loans began to default the derivatives they were linked to became worthless, bringing the world to its knees.

We now have another default in the making as Greece stands up and says “Enough. We don’t want to play this silly game of austerity anymore!” Their debt has also been ‘parcelled’ out to join all of the other bad debt arrangements still there from 2008 up to the present, precariously waiting to come tumbling down with greater devastation than before.

The reaction of both Brussels and the Troika to this tiny country and the responsible actions it is now contemplating demonstrates the fragility of the present financial system and its inability to withstand such action and just how frightened those in the know really are.

So why has Greece finally stood up to this banking abuse? Interestingly it comes from human rather than financial motivation. The Greek people have voted in a government that has values quite unique in the present world of politics and something simply not entertained in the world of finance.

The Greek government is fighting for the dignity and self-respect of its people. It has called “enough” in response to the increased and continuing suicide rate of good people brought to their knees with despair at seemingly endless austerity measures that are not solving anything. People and families, who until recently had been working and raising their children, are now reduced to scavenging in the rubbish for food.

(Remember it was the boss of the IMF who declared only last year that “the global economy’s ‘new mediocre’ phase of low growth could well become the ‘new reality’”, ensuring millions remain without prospects of future employment or purpose to their lives.)

Human dignity and self-respect is inbuilt within all of us and knows when to call a halt to abuse. Just think for a moment about our own current abuse with:

  • Surveillance
  • Austerity
  • Secret ‘democracy destroying’ TTIP deals
  • Ignoring our wishes over country wrecking Fracking
  • Constant reneging of political promises by those we have elected to power.

It is here that Greece could return us all to sanity by bringing down this unreal world of abuse and financial deception that has been allowed to grow over the last decade. The bully boy tactics towards Greece standing up for itself shows a fear by the EU and the banks that others might follow, causing the destruction of the present global power structure.

By supporting Greece in bringing down the financial system, rather than letting the banks do it again, is not as irresponsible as it sounds, allowing us to take back our dignity and self-respect over an increasingly autocratic and abusive global regime. The alternative is that offered by Christine Lagarde, as mentioned earlier.

Certainly it will mean a painful time for all of us, (which has to come one way or the other), but that time would be limited, with economic growth and jobs waiting at the other end, as Iceland has already demonstrated.

The standoff with Greece and The EU is simply history repeating itself, as David once again faces up to Goliath . . . and we know the outcome of that first seemingly uneven confrontation.

Until the next time


Thinking from his Book: Global Magna Carta. Returning Power to the 99% . . . If They Want It! By J T Coombes

The Reality of Greek Debt

After months of seemingly fruitless negotiations between the Greek government and its creditors the IMF have now walked away and the country faces its ‘moment of truth’, according to Bloomberg yesterday. I would argue that it is not only Greece’s moment of truth but also that of its creditors.

There is a mind-set amongst the Greek people that takes a manana attitude to everything and particularly the payment of taxes and other financial responsibilities. Please, this is not a judgement but a simple observation of a national attribute that is well known internationally.

I have been to Greece and its islands on a number of occasions and fell in love, not only with the terrain but also the people and their way of life. So too have the bankers and politicians, indeed many own properties there, giving them a first-hand insight into the Greek way of Life.

With this knowledge why have they have been lending Greece more and more money over the decades, turning a blind eye to their already bankrupt state and growing inability to repay the equally growing debt? Yes, the situation has also been aggravated by corrupt Greek officials, who have played an integral part in this abuse to cover their incompetence and mismanagement of the country and its resources.

As the politicians and bankers rant, rave and throw more toys out of the pram at the ‘Greek Problem’ let us just look at what is really going on. We are told of massive “right offs” of Greek debt, “haircuts”, stability mechanisms (whatever they are) and debt restructuring that have been applied to the problem. In spite of this vast ‘massaging’ by the experts, the country is still sinking under its debt obligation. My question is, just how did Greece come to amass such an incomprehensible amount of debt?

Am I missing something or are we seeing here a repeat of the 2008 sub-prime banking scandal? Instead of naïve and ignorant people being sold mortgage debt they had no chance of repaying however, we are now dealing in countries. The only benefactors of this debt overload, like the sub-prime fiasco, are the banks and businesses who are vacuuming up the county’s assets at heavily discounted prices, whilst turning the people into a nation of beggars.

The fact that the banks have mirrored the sub-prime experience, by lending on bad risks to gain higher interest, is now being submerged in a propaganda smokescreen to divert attention away from yet more bad banking practices. Sympathy is poured upon the German taxpayers and other member states for coming to try and rescue “those irresponsible Greeks”. What utter nonsense!

Who was it that engineered this assistance but a bunch of incompetent bureaucrats whose blind ambition to get as many member countries into their club as possible resulted in a total lack of respect or consideration for existing members and how their money was managed and lent out?

Now it has all hit the fan and Greece is fighting back, as Iceland did, we are seeing the millennia old strategy of ‘divide and conquer’. The Troika is seeking to deflect attention away from its own incompetence and greed by blaming the Greeks for abusing German aid, stoking internal member conflict at a time when the club should be closing ranks, as all other clubs do in such circumstances.

What is lost in all of this posturing is that if Greece, as the pundits suggest could happen, does opt out, go through a couple of years of pain with the drachma and then return to some sort of financial stability not currently possible, the credibility of the global financial system and the euro will be tarnished for good, if they both last that long.

Be under no illusion, Greece is in a power struggle that will affect all of us into the future. If the banks win again, as they did in 2008, debt will become the tool of enslavement and profit the ruler of our lives, as social contracts are ripped up globally. TTIP is yet more of the same writing on the wall, as Brussels secretly supports this odious, democracy wrecking trade agreement.

I am no fan of the EU in its current fragile political and financial format. It is designed by politicos and bankers for politicos and bankers, with the people who pay for it pushed farther and farther into the background as cheap employment fodder to be hired and fired at will.

Life is so much more than debt and profit. We owe it to our young to fight back and create a world where individual human endeavour, the family and social cohesion are not only nurtured but prized and rewarded . . . Our beautiful Planet also has a vested interest and anxiously looks on as well!


Until the next time


Thinking from his Book: Global Magna Carta. Returning Power to the 99% . . . If They Want It! By J T Coombes