Hello dear reader(s)!
Since I consider myself to be a world citizen, and because I have this little thing called “empathy” toward people regardless of where they live…I have been following the events in Greece in regards to their EU membership, debt, default and subsequent EU exit.
I’ve been trying to understand and figure out what was happening through the complicated economics and politics involved. Then, as I was watching some BBC coverage (because that shit never gets beyond the money pages of MSM in the US) it began to sink in. Greece was set up. I recalled as I realized this, a book “Confessions of an Economic Hitman” by John Perkins. If you haven’t read the book, you need to. It is no hack conspiracy book, it is an accurate description of economic subjugation, perpetuated by the IMF, largely under the direction of the US. It was also a New York Times Bestseller.
The book explains how loans are issued in exchange for a say in governmental policies, allowing for corporations in the West to exploit the country’s resources, or people. Usually the loans are for promised development in those countries, and under the terms of those loans, all the development is done by Western corporations at inflated rates. Then, the loans and interest must be paid back to the IMF for the privilege of letting a Western corporation profit from them.
The situation in Greece is a little different. After the economic crisis of 2008, Greece, like all Western economies, was suffering from the mega-banks’ bad and fraudulent investment bubble bursting. In October, 2009 Greece announced that its deficit would soar to 12.5% of GDP. Now that isn’t good at all, but in December of 2009 the US deficit was 10.1% of GDP. Unlike in the US however, the EU, IMF, banks, and the credit rating agencies all got together to pounce. The only reason the US credit rating was ever downgraded was because of the GOP’s refusal to raise the debt ceiling, in order to fund the money they had already spent.
The credit rating agencies all downgraded Greece’s rating within the next couple of months, using the deficit percentage as reasoning. This of course led to many investors moving their investments elsewhere, hurting revenue. Keep in mind that prior to that deficit announcement Greece had a credit rating that was considered a good investment by all 3 agencies. After, they became neutral. As if that didn’t hurt the economy of Greece enough, they also added a negative outlook telling investors there was a good chance they would do it again. As investment and credit dried up, so too did any chance of a quick or even moderately paced economic recovery.
Then came Austerity to add fuel to the fire. As International investors were running around like Chicken Little thinking that Greece’s sky was falling, the government of Greece decided to implement austerity measures to slow the growth of its debt. This only made things worse because the last investment in Greece’s economy, (domestic investment), was substantially reduced. As salary freezes were implemented, and bonuses and overtime were cut; the economy only worsened as now people could not afford to invest or consume in Greek companies. Next, they passed even stricter austerity measures that included public sector pay cuts, a rise in the sales tax, rises in taxes on fuel, rises on cigarette taxes, rises on alcohol taxes, and rises on luxury taxes.
Spending in Greece ground to a virtual halt.
Seizing on this opportunity, the credit rating agencies pounced again and dropped the ratings further.
The downgrade worked exactly as intended and forced the Greek PM to ask for a bailout or risk the collapse of the Greek financial system. The money came from the IMF, EU, and the EBC, in exchange for another round of austerity measures. The loans, were to keep Greece from defaulting on their debts, and really were designed to do nothing to aid the economic situation of Greece. The loan was the banks and financial sector (including the rating agencies) using the taxpayers of the EU (specifically Germany) to pay for their investments. The money was just enough to cover the interest on the debt. Germany, and the EU it leads, would get political control and subjugation of Greece, and reap any economic benefits that resulted. It could keep applying austerity measures and continue to ensure that the Western banks get their money back for as long as possible, before eventually austerity would force Greece into total collapse and there would be a fire sale on all Greek assets which could then be snatched up by the investors and banks.
But Greece had other ideas.
Russia and China have been courting Greece steadily, ready to step in and assist Greece when they default, nationalize their banks, create a new currency and give a proverbial middle-finger to the EU. Greece will take another economic hit once they default, but the damage should be mitigated by continued investment from countries who do not subscribe to the IMF system of economic subjugation. Russia and China will spend money to score political points that undermine the West, the US, and the EU.
Regardless of whether or not the latest offer with more austerity attached including taxes on food makes it to a referendum, and regardless of how Greece votes in that referendum; the Greek exit from the EU and a default is almost guaranteed. If not now, then in 6 months, when this loan runs out.
The investors and banks have already made their money back and then some. When Greece defaults, it will not be a major economic hit to the rest of the world. For the people of Greece, times will be tough for a while, and they might be trading one ruler for another.
The plan to keep Greece on the hook paying interest and signing away more and more of their sovereignty failed because Greece decided it didn’t want to play anymore. The economic impact to the EU is not disastrous, but the political fallout for the entire Western IMF scheme may be huge.
As Greece leaves the EU, and eventually scrapes by and rebuilds with their new friends, other nations indebted to the EU and IMF may realize they can do the same.
Money isn’t real. It is all numbers in accounts stealing resources from the people and consolidating them in the hands of the few. Digits and paper used to control. Rather than sign on with Russia and China’s money schemes, Greece should opt-out entirely. And we all should follow suit.