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Comment: Re:Citizen of Belgium here (Score 1) 1266 1266

Of those EUR 300bn, somewhere around EUR 240bn went to rescue German (and other European) banks with toxic debts. You should ask them to pay it back.

They may soon discover the one ahead is manifold worst than what was imposed upon them by the European Union so far

By staying in Greece is probably going to be under German administration forever. Since Germany does a terrible job of administrating Greece, that's probably not a good idea. If Greece exits now, declares bankruptcy, it will probably take two to three years of really bad times, but then they will again experience real growth. Greece should look to Iceland who told Europe to go fuck themselves, imposed massive currency restrictions and who are now back at one of the strongest economic growths in Europe.

Five years of the "medicine" prescribed by the IMF, ECB and Angela Markel has not worked. The patient is sicker than ever. There is no doubt that a continued treatment of this kind will kill the patient. It's time for another treatment. It is also time for Greece to stop taking the blame for the misadventures of European banks.

Comment: Re: Good for greece (Score 1) 1266 1266

They could have, but they were pushed really hard not to. Had Greece restructured its debt back then several German banks could have toppled. Massive pressure were put on Greece to follow the course they did, despite advice from rational economists not to. The loans to Greece were then used, actively by EU, to move toxic debt from the private sector to the public sector (the vast majority of funds were used this way).

The "loans" given to Greece were never used to fix any Greek problems, they were used to fix a (mostly) German problem. Now Germany wants the Greek citizenry to keep paying for rescuing German banks. That's insane.

Comment: Re: Good for greece (Score 2) 1266 1266

refusal to float an infinite supply of loans that will never be paid back

You have, without looking at facts, swallowed the German War Ministry's PR entirely.

Some reality - most of the "loans" issued to Greece (about 80%) have been used, not to assist Greece, but to shift German and to a degree French banks debt from the private sector to the public sector. In other words, the money didn't go to help Greece but to support failing European banks and their bar private sector investments.

There are two main goals behind this, to salvage what was basically bankrupt European banks that were "too big to fail". In addition, by forcing Greece to use the "loans" to purchase to a high degree German the funds have also been used to support low unemployment in Germany. No, Germany hasn't escaped the horrors of the financial collapse mostly unscathed due to German financial sobriety but through blackmail of poorer countries who wants to stay in the EUR.

Imagine - when Germany wants sobriety within Greek spending, that does not extend to the point where Greece does not buy five German submarines. It also does not extend to the point where Greece does not spend money on French frigates or military helicopters. According to EU-MPs, the Greek bail out was contingent upon Greece purchasing military supplies from Germany and France.

Comment: Re: Good for greece (Score 2, Interesting) 1266 1266

Let's try a more real example.

You are a movie star with bad economy. You are wanted in this new high-cost neighborhood due to your celebrity status. You are audited by a firm that reports to the Home Owners Association (HOA), and the firm finds you do not qualify to live there. The HOA tells the firm doing the analysis to go eff them selves, they want you in their neighborhood. The HOA muddles the rules (as they have done for everybody in that neighborhood) and eventually you are let in. After being let it, you forge some debt numbers to impress your new neighbors. You also rent some of the rooms in your house to try to keep up with HOA fees and your mortgage.

It quickly becomes clear that your lack of qualifications might become a problem, and when there is a insect infestation and you can not afford to share the cost of pest control, its out in the open. You are not qualified. At this point, one of the attractions of the neighborhood is that it has a genuine (but broke) celebrity living there. so the HOA is unwilling to see you move out. Therefore they give you a few options.

Firstly they lend you some money at higher than market rate, so that you can pay, for a while, the HOA fees and your mortgage. You are not thrilled, but realize that it beats moving out. You are hoping for some decent paying jobs down the line, so it doesn't seem like a bad idea.

After agreeing, the HOA comes to you with a list of "austerity" measures they have. Firstly, the rooms you are renting will from now on be owned by the head of the HOA. Income goes to him. Also, that movie deal that you see coming, forget it, the movie is not according to HOA standards, so you will be not allowed to do that. Your protestations that cutting your possibility of gathering an income by 40% is going to make you even less qualified falls on deaf ears. Subsequent problems on your part and the HOA part leads to higher loans and more restrictions on your income possibilities.

Finally you point out to the HOA that you, with your current (forced upon you) levels of debt, paired with your severely restricted abilities to earn an income, now there is not even a theoretical possibility of you ever getting out of debt. The HOA director shrugs his shoulder and tells you that you are wrong, and that going forward you are to take on some more debt, and also, there will be more restrictions on your ability to earn an income. He is entirely surprised when you shoot him in the head.

You have swalloeed the PR from the German Ministry of War hook line and sinker. Stop being a useful idiot. The base cause of the problems of Greece is that they are members of the Euro zone. They never should have been. They wanted it, of course they wanted it, who wouldn't. They never qualified though, and all the governments of Europe knew. Hell, even I knew back then. Not suspected. Knew, and I'm just a regular guy.

Comment: Re:Goldman Sachs (Score 2) 1266 1266

Goldman Sachs did no such thing. The number cooking Goldman Sachs did occurred after the qualifications and had no impact on whether Greece qualified or not.

From the wiki:
An error frequently made in press reports, is the confusion of the discussion regarding Greece’s Eurozone entry with the controversy regarding usage of derivatives’ deals with U.S. Banks by Greece and other Eurozone countries to artificially reduce their reported budget deficits. A currency swap arranged with Goldman Sachs allowed Greece to 'hide' 2.8 billion Euros of debt, however, this affected deficit values after 2001 (when Greece had already been admitted into the Eurozone) and is not related to Greece’s Eurozone entry.

Comment: Re: Good for greece (Score 1) 1266 1266

One more thing to note - yes, the calculations made to justify the Greek entry into the EUR were "creative" to put it mildly. Greece never did actually qualify. Interestingly though, neither did a number of other countries, for example Italy, Spain and Portugal (who are often mentioned) but also France and Germany (who are usually not mentioned as being creative with their accounting). Some of the countries took a while to formally (if not actually) get in line with the rules. Germany took longer than most.

Comment: Re: Good for greece (Score 1) 1266 1266

then we can tell it was just horse shit without even viewing it

Sorry, you are wrong. Eurostat stated, again and again, that Greece didn't qualify. Eurostat was told, again and again, by mainly German and French politicians, that this was an unacceptable conclusion no matter what relationship it had with the truth. Don't start talking about Goldman Sachs, the magic of Goldman Sachs took place after Greece was already admitted to the EUR, and had no impact on its admission.

You have swallowed the PR from the German Ministry of War hook, line and sinker and are now what Stalin used to call "a useful idiot".

Comment: Re: Good for greece (Score 2) 1266 1266

Who said the Eurocrats believed what Greece told them?

The Eurocrats (represented by Eurostat) never believed Greece, or, they did, since the reports out of Greece always said that Greece was unqualified. The politicians of Germany and France would not accept that that was the answer though. The politicians felt that it was important to let Greece in no matter what. The "rules" where therefore altered again and again, and even though Eurostat clearly stated Greece was not qualified, they were let in.

There is in fact no reason to think that Greece lied, the rules were so muddled and riddled with exceptions etc that it is quite probable that the Greek ministry of finance actually thought they qualified. Perhaps they even did.

Some might bring up Goldman Sachs at this point and how they helped Greece hide about 2.8bn in debt, but that move is irrelevant since it occurred after Greece was admitted into the EUR.

Comment: Re: Good for greece (Score 2, Insightful) 1266 1266

It may be hard to understand, but in reality it is quite simple:

Greece never qualified for entry into the EUR. Ever. Eurostat said this again and again. The politicians of EU demanded, again and again, that Eurostat revise its numbers so that Greece would qualify. In other words, EU politicians were going to get Greece into the EUR no matter what. Greece also desired this, but so did France and Germany. To the extent that they eventually threw the rule book out and admitted Greece.

Side note - some will point to the Goldman Sachs situation where they "hid" EUR 2.8bn in Greek debt, which was a dubious move for sure, but it had no impact on Greece joining the EUR. People bring up this all the time, but it is in fact irrelevant. Greece had already been admitted into the EUR when Goldman Sachs pulled it's magic, and it had no impact on Greece being inside or outside of the EUR.

So, the non-qualified Greece is let into the EUR and things start going sideways quickly. Partly because the EUR is not a suitable currency for Greece, but also because the ide of the EUR is fundamentally retarded in the first place. You can have a single currency in an area with a single fiscal policy, a single central bank and (in effect) a single minister of finance. This means that you can have a single currency when you have a single foreign (and mostly domestic) political scene. In other words, Europe got it ass backwards. You can't use a single currency to create a cohesive singe federation with a single government, you can have a single currency after you have a single federation with a single (mostly) government. Europe is not ready for that solution, and probably won't be for at least a century.

Now, things are moving sideways in pear-shaped boats, and we hit the financial crisis of 2007-08. Basically, incapable of adjusting by using fiscal policies, Greece completely collapses. Given the above, this is inevitable, and the main cause of the collapse is that Greece has no real control over its fiscal policies - in other words, the Greek collapse is mainly caused by them being in the EUR and not having its own currency. Thanks to German and French politicians who wanted this despite the idiocy of it. Under pressure Greece begs for help. It doesn't get any. It's given loans. That's like giving new credit cards to a kid that has just over-drawn five of them. Its idiotic, moronic and seriously counter productive. It also comes with serious strings attached.

What does Germany do after Greece basically has collapsed and begged for help? They lend money to Greece, with strings attached. "You gotta buy three submarines from us". "You have to buy five frigates from France too". In other words, not only do EU do the decidedly moronic thing of lending Greece money, they also force Greece to spend up the wazoo with their new credit cards. This is not only unhelpful, it is basically tantamount to a declaration of war. The added debt is used to force Greece to sell of national assets to German and French companies. So the war makers are now getting their grubby hands on Greek property and national assets without firing a shot. Finally, by forcing Greece to take loans and implement austerity measures that are designed to ensure Greece can never grow its economy, Germany makes sure that there is no practical way Greece will forever be slaves to their European overlords.

This crisis was caused by Germany and France forcing Eurostat to "change the rules" to let Greece in. It was exacerbated by instead of helping out when the crisis hit, they made it worse by forcing more debt on Greece and forcing austerity measures that are designed to prevent economic growth.

Angela Markel is missing two personal features, a curiously stiff right arm and a silly little mustache, but other than that, she handles Greece in the way Germany always thought Greece should be handled. Angela is also using monetary measures rather than paratroops to terrorize the Greek citizenry, but that is a technicality.

Comment: Re: How is this news for nerds? (Score 1) 1083 1083

Bzzzzzt! Wrong. Let me use an example. Marriage gives you certain rights and privileges if your partner is hospitalized or even dies. They have nothing to do with procreation at all. Also, they do not pertain to singles since singles have no.partners. You are hiding your bigotry behind your ignorance. Get educated!

"It takes all sorts of in & out-door schooling to get adapted to my kind of fooling" - R. Frost