Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Breathtaking German hypocrisy: Germany owes Greece 11 billion euros in unpaid loans



This little fact changes everything.

In 1943, Germany forced the Bank of Greece to lend it two loans worth 11 billion euros in today’s money.

And Germany has still not paid back the debt.

This money is not war reparations, which are a separate and much more complex issue.
The debt is a straightforward loan from Greece to Germany – albeit a forced one – which the Germans have not bothered to repay.

Which – considering the Germans have been bleating on and on and bloody on about how the Greeks should honour their present debts – is a case of breathtaking hypocrisy writ large, I’d say.

Wouldn’t you?

SOURCE: https://tompride.wordpress.com/2015/01/26/breathtaking-german-hypocrisy-germany-owes-greece-11-billion-euros-in-unpaid-loans/

See Also: http://democracyandclasstruggle.blogspot.co.uk/2015/01/remembering-britain-and-americas-war.html

Monday, January 26, 2015

Yanis Varoufakis “Greek democracy today chose to stop going gently into the night. Greek democracy resolved to rage against the dying of the light,”



Political Economy Research sends Yanis Varoufakis our best wishes and supports the Greek People in their fightback against austerity.

We do not underestimate the difficulties, but Yanis Varoufakis is the right man for the task ahead.

We are all Greek People Now.




Yanis Varoufakis, 53, is known for his running commentary on the financial crisis in a series of blogposts that have won him thousands of Twitter followers and the respect of Syriza’s leadership.

John Maynard Keynes with a hint of Karl Marx is how one analyst described the self-proclaimed “accidental economist” who is now to become Greece’s finance minister and a key negotiator with its international creditors.

With a typically literary flourish, he celebrated his party’s victory by paraphrasing Welsh poet Dylan Thomas.

“Greek democracy today chose to stop going gently into the night. Greek democracy resolved to rage against the dying of the light,” the Greek-Australian wrote on his blog.

One of the first two ministers to be confirmed by prime minister Alexis Tsipras, Varoufakis studied at Essex University and has taught in Australia, Greece and the United States. In pre-election interviews he vowed to destroy Greek oligarchs, end what he called the humanitarian crisis in Greece and renegotiate the country’s debt mountain.

“We are going to destroy the basis upon which they have built for decade after decade a system, a network that viciously sucks the energy and the economic power from everybody else in society,” he told Britain’s Channel 4 television.

But the muted market reaction to Syriza’s decisive win was at least in part because investors expect the thoughtful powerbroker to adopt a more emollient style ahead of tough negotiations.

Writing before the election, Paolo Pizzoli, senior economist at ING Financial Markets in Milan, highlighted the economics professor’s “constructive attitude” after he talked about the need to “minimise conflict and maximise the chances of a mutually beneficial agreement”.

“We believe that, if in power, Syriza could prove more pragmatic than many anticipated,” said Pizzoli.

Source: http://www.theguardian.com/business/economics-blog/2015/jan/26/profile-yannis-varoufakis-greece-finance-minister

Thursday, January 22, 2015

The BBC and the Economist Combine to Try to Defeat Syriza by Bill Black

          

By William K. Black
Bloomington, MN: January 20, 2015

As the Greek election nears, the mainstream media is ramping up its efforts to attack Syriza. As I have often explained, the trauma caused by the Washington Consensus’ economic malpractice in inflicting austerity on Latin America led to the election of a substantial number of leaders opposed to austerity and the troika’s infliction of austerity may lead to a similar dynamic in the EU. The BBC and The Economist agree that this could occur – and it terrifies them. A January 19, 2015 BBC article, presented as news rather than opinion, is entitled “BBC Democracy Day: Europe ‘faces political earthquakes.”

The article abounds in unintentional self-parody. First, the article admits austerity is a major driver of the “political earthquakes.” For reasons that pass all understanding the BBC hired the Economist’s “Intelligence Unit” to write what any right-wing BBC columnist would have written for no additional fee. Given that the Economist is one of the entities most culpable for the economic malpractice of inflicting austerity on the eurozone the idea that it is good journalism for them to opine about their opponents is sad or laughable depending on how one responds to absurdity.

The Economist criticized the Prime Minister Papandreou for proposing a referendum on whether the Greek people wished to agree to austerity. How dare Greece engage in democracy! The BBC compounded the self-parody by hiring the Economist to criticize the Greek Party Syriza because it enjoys (according to polls) the plurality support of the Greek people in the upcoming elections – in a column supposedly celebrating “Democracy Day.”

Democracy, the will of the Greek people, and Syriza are the Economist’s great fear.
“[T]he most immediate political challenge – and test of how far the growing populism translates into success at the polls – is in Greece. A snap general election takes place there on 25 January, triggered by parliament’s failure to choose a new president in December.
Opinion polls suggest that the far left, populist Syriza could emerge as the strongest party. If it did and was able to form a government, the EIU says this would send shock waves through the European Union and act as a catalyst for political upheaval elsewhere.
‘The election of a Syriza government would be highly destabilising, both domestically and regionally. It would almost certainly trigger a crisis in the relationship between Greece and its international creditors, as debt write-offs form one of the core planks of its policy platform,’ the EIU says.
‘With similar anti-establishment parties gaining ground rapidly in a number of other countries scheduled to hold elections in 2015, the spill-over effects from a further period of Greek turmoil could be significant.’”
Unsurprisingly, the Economist does not say a word about what the “establishment parties’” insistence on inflicting the economic malpractice of austerity has done to the peoples of the eurozone’s periphery. It is the establishment parties’ insane and inhumane austerity policies and the war on workers’ wages on the peoples of Europe that forced Spain, Italy, and Greece into Great Depression levels of unemployment. The economically rational, and humane, party of Greece, Syriza, is described as “far left, populist.” What does this make the “establishment parties?” “Ultra-right wing parties of the plutocrats” would have to be the answer.

It isn’t Syriza that is “destabilising” – it is the troika’s insistence on forcing Greece into a Great Depression that is more severe and longer-lasting than the Great Depression of 80 years ago that is “destabilising.” It was the Washington Consensus’ demands for austerity and the resultant lost decade in Latin America that was “destabilising.”

Conclusion

It is telling that an article driven by the analysis of an “intelligence unit” does not mention one word about the economic catastrophe that austerity and the war on workers’ wages caused and continue to cause.   It does not one contain one word about the suffering of the vast majority of the people of the eurozone. It does not devote a single word to the immense increase in wealth and political power of the plutocrats. As I explained in a prior column, it turns out that the New York Times called Syriza “populist” because it “put ordinary Greeks first.” The Economist/BBC partnership displays the opposite approach in their column – the plight of “ordinary Greeks” is ignored.

David Harvey : Puerto de Ideas 2014


Puerto de Ideas 2014: David Harvey from Puerto de Ideas on Vimeo.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Friday, December 5, 2014

Princes of Yen: Central Banks and the Transformation of the Economy




The Editor of Political Economy Research worked in Japan in the 1980's and 1990's and watching this film brought back many memories - it is a remarkable story by Professor Richard Werner and all the more important because it is true.

This film may be one  hour thirty minutes long but if you watch this film you will advance your knowledge by years not hours.

Saturday, November 22, 2014