01 July 2015

Óχι* Euro?

So Greece has now officially defaulted on its IMF loan:
Greece has officially missed its payment to the IMF.

Though this is not technically considered a "default" — the IMF now considers Greece "in arrears" — Greece has now officially not paid the 1.6 billion euros (or about $1.8 billion) it owed the IMF by Tuesday.

IMF managing director Christine Lagarde, however, said in June that she would consider Greece in default if it did not pay.

This is the largest missed payment ever owed to the IMF.

Greece is now no longer in a bailout program for the first time since 2010.

In a statement, the IMF confirmed that Greece missed the payment due on Tuesday and added that Greece requested an extension of its repayment, which the IMF's executive board will consider "in due course."

Greek banks and the Athens stock exchange remain closed through this week ahead of a July 5 referendum to vote on the latest bailout proposal from Greece's creditors.
This is a big deal, but I do not think that the Greek government was left with a choice.

It has become increasingly clear that the goal of the Troika has been regime change ever since Syriza won the last election, primarily because they are a bunch of moralistic idiots, who do not realize that the alternative to Syriza is not a return to the center-left and center-right parties, but rather the rise of the fascist Golden Dawn party".

This is why Greek PM Alexis Tsipras felt compelled to call a referendum.

The demands of the Troika have always been about a number of things, none of which have anything to do with the well being of the Greek people:
  • Protecting their own domestic banks from thrie exposureto Greek Debt.
  • Reinforcing German hegemony of the Euro Zone. (Berlin only on this one)
  • Making a public example of Greece as a warning to others.
  • Preventing other "leftist" (social democrat by the standards of the 1960s) parties, particularly Die Linke (The Left) in Germany, from coming to power.
  • Discrediting the modern social safety net.
It should be noted that I do not see any way to a happy ending here:

But a former deputy governor of Cyprus’s central bank, Spyros Stavrinakis, has warned that reopening the banks will be hard.

Stavrinakis lived through the 2013 Cyprus crisis, in which capital controls were imposed for almost two years.

He says:
Once you impose capital controls, you immediately send a message that there is something wrong with the banking sector.
It is very difficult to phase down and unwind capital controls, once they are imposed, Stavrinakis adds.


Most things in the European Union are designed to actively obfuscate reality. These are called deposit insurance schemes but that is a legal lie. In the United States the FDIC is Federal (its right in the name). The EU imposes a requirement that each country “insure” their deposits but it provides no financing for this. The last data I saw (which I can only verify from 3 years ago) is that the Greek deposit insurance fund has a paltry 3 billion dollars in it. In short there is no current backstop for Greek depositors. This is why they are talking about implementing a European wide deposit insurance union but that isn’t supposed to come until next year at the earliest and who knows if that will really happen and to what extent it will be universal among current Eurozone members. relevant links below.


Three-and-a-half billion euros. That is roughly how much cash Greece’s banks need to get through the week if each adult takes out the €60 ($67) they are allowed each day. It isn’t much for Greeks to live on, but it may be more than the banks have.
Also, in the realm of the absurd, there is a  crowdfunding project for the Greek Bailout Fund on  Indiegogo, with about €¾ million raised, out of the €1.6 billion needed raised so far.

The German insistence on Versailles Treaty economics, when juxtaposed with the Greek tradition financial profligacy and corruption, has produced a truly toxic mix, which will probably break up the Euro Zone, if not the whole European Union.

*Greek for no.
The word for "debt" in German is "Schuld". This is also the word for "guilt" or "blame", which explains why the Germans are so fond of Sado-Monitarism. The Germans see this as a morality play, and the last time that Germans tried to enforce a morality on the rest of Europe, it was pretty unfortunate.


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