Monday, July 6, 2015

SAR #15187

Greece is not the only democracy in Europe.

Getting Down To Business: After Greece did a Nancy (61/38) the euro fell, stock index futures fell, crude oil fell and the Germans said the results were “to be respected.” Merkel and Hollande immediately called a euro-zone summit for Wednesday to plan how to respectfully ignore the referendum or overthrow the Greek government. They may have to hurry, for when Greek banks open Tuesday with no money, collapse will commence.

Snapshot: In resigning, Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis leaves as a winner – maybe. In the months leading up to the vote, debt relief, which the IMF says is essential, to the tune of another €60bn, a 20-year grace period, and a 30% haircut that yields a reduction in debt of more than 30% of GDP, was never on the bargaining table according to EU officials. If fact there was no bargaining to be had - because creditors needed assurances that Greece did not could not provide. The troika saw the Greek referendum as blackmail. Even if (or when) the Greeks capitulate, there will be no writing off of even some of the debt. Varoufakis' departure was undoubtedly pre-planned, it was Europe's pre-condition for even considering emergency funding from the ECB to Greek banks, which is now immediately essential to prevent economic collapse. This tragedy is not over.

Implementing Ignorance: Republicans in Congress have once again forbidden the CDC to do any research on gun violence, nor to collect even basic data on the havoc guns wreak on our society. 
Table Talk: With US health insurance companies seeking 20–30-40% premium increases for policies issued under the ACA, claiming their enrollees turned out to be actually using healthcare and eating up their profits, and the money to pay the increases undoubtedly coming from the taxpayers, maybe it's time for a bit more discussion of a single-payer system that cuts out the insurance middlemen. 
Another Verse: The US is claiming that yet another “top ISIS leader” has been killed by a drone strike in Syria. Other reports claim that ISIS has executed 13 “top commanders” after a failed coup attempt. 
In The City: London has once again been named the world's moneylaundering center for terrorists and the drug trade, but doesn't much care because the fees are high and “there aren't corpses on the street.” The UK's National Crime Agency – charged with fighting organized crime – says that “hundreds of billions of US dollars of criminal money... continue to be laundered through UK banks.” The banks' CEOs, of course, know nothing about these reprehensible though profitable practices.

Futility In-Action: The entire staff of the Decatur County, TN county clerk's office resigned rather than do their job, because they were afraid they would burn in hell if they gave gay lovers access to their Constitutional right to marry. Just to the north, a county clerk in Kentucky has been sued for not issuing same-sex marriage licenses.

Big Secret: TISA documents released by WikiLeaks show that “the United States wants to preserve its national security infrastructure and be able to snoop on individuals and companies" in all the signatory countries. Quite how this fits in a trade agreement is obscure.

Report Card: When nominal interest rates are at zero, putting people to work “for the government” either directly or through public infrastructure improvement imposes no real future tax burden. In the last 6 years the US government has done the exact opposite, undertaking no significant public spending and cutting 1.8 million government jobs relative to the long term trend. This is “a total and complete macroeconomic disaster.”

Porn O'Graph: Where the jobs aren't.


kwark said...

Re "Report Card": It's not just downsizing the government, it's shedding the older, more expensive employees. Standard business practice right? But my observation is that it's the flip side of the downsizing coin that is even more important to the suits in DC these days - it's about quietly ushering-out the most experienced ones who tend to ask uncomfortable questions. Regardless of the blather from the Republican echo chamber it's clear that regulators with experience and corporate knowledge are a "burden" irrespective of the party occupying the White House.

TulsaTime said...

It has been plainly obvious for some time that TPTB are not well served, in their own eyes, with an effective central government in a purported democracy. The internet has accelerated the trend to transparency 'whether you like it or not'. Thus the trend to government small enough to drown in the bathtub. Where the plutocrats think their money can be safe when this trend reaches the ultimate conclusion is beyond me, and may well be beyond them when Florida and the sundry lowlands are submerged, and food is a precious element.