World Financial Crisis Part 6

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Doug
World Financial Crisis Part 6

This Irish paper gets it right in commenting on the government as it prepares to pass a renewed austerity budget:

 

 

Here's the plan:

 

Key points of the recovery plan include:

 

 

The Irish government probably hoped this would all please bond traders, but it didn't - perhaps because they think it's insufficient or undeliverable.

Doug
siamdave

A "disturbing pattern" is emerging all over the place - we're (that is, we the 'common people') are being robbed blind - and nobody seems to be catching on as to the basic scam, which is very simple, and needs to be stopped if our future is to have anything resembling freedom, democracy, a decent place to live - those nice things (a lot of) our ancestors fought for for centuries.
Most important fact almost nobody seems to know - we allow private banks to create almost all of our money - and they create the money as loans, out of thin air, and charge interest on this debt-'money' they create out of thin air.
This should strike anybody immediately as unacceptable in a 'democracy' - why should one small group of citizens have this great power for themselves? The creation of a national money supply should be the prerogative of the democratically elected government only - created and controlled democratically, for the benefit of every citizen, not just a small, highly privileged group.
There are other very serious consequences besides the unfair enrichment of a small group of privileged people.
When your entire (effectively) money supply has to have interest paid on it every year, you have systemic inflation, which is not good in general, but especially impacts those of 'the common folk' who are not wealthy or do not write their own paycheques - anyone over 50 or so can easily remember the 60s and 70s when one working adult could maintain a family in a middle class sort of lifestyle - these days it takes two such adults, and even then the financial pressures are far greater than they were 40 years ago, with much higher debt and much smaller savings. Systemic inflation at work, largely due to paying interest on the entire money supply every year. It's no secret that working people fall behind when inflation is systemic, as wages never keep up with the increasing cost of living.
We also have massive government debt, which is used to justify slashing social support programs and otherwise implementing neocon policies, as when the government needed money as this scam was getting under way, they did not create that money through the central bank as they had previously, but they allowed commercial banks to create that money and borrowed it from them - thus creating and feeding the national debts that now overwhelm most countries - and every penny of which should NOT have been created as debt, but created by the *sovereign* governments themselves.
The current global eocnomic meltdown is also directly related to this policy of letting banks create our money with no effective oversigh, as commercial banks look out to maximize their profits rather than creating a stable economic environment for their citizens, which a government money-creation-control process would (should, at any rate) do. So commercial banks create massive amounts of money for nothing more than speculation, leading to asset bubbles and crashes which further decimate the wealth of 'average' little investors, and then even greater government debt as they look for government bailouts.
It's bizarre that such a simple but deadly scam is still ongoing. Cdns seem to think they have escaped the worst of the global meltdown, but they haven't - it's just a bit longer hitting here. The government currently is running the biggest deficit ever - this will be the excuse for our own special 'austerity' measures in the very near future - as soon as either Bay St party gets their 'majority' and is free for 4-5 years to dismantle whatever was left of the dream of social democracy in Canada.

A slightly longer look at this here What Happened? http://www.rudemacedon.ca/what-happened.html for anyone ready to shine the light on this mastodon in the living room ....

NorthReport

It's amazin' how people with a little bit of money, and/or a little bit of power can hoodwink the rest of society. But it is their control of propaganda, the mainstream press, that usually allows them to get away with their dastardly deeds. 

NorthReport

Irish to protest over austerity plan

Tens of thousands expected on Dublin march against Ireland's four-year plan to cut spending and raise taxes

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2010/nov/27/irish-protest-austerity-p...

NorthReport

Can Ireland bounce back? How five other nations fared in financial crisis

Five countries that faced meltdown in the past 20 years have all recovered - with or without IMF bailouts

 

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/nov/26/ireland-bounce-back-five-crisis

Doug

Doug
NDPP

This is the Wall Street equivalent of the Pentagon Papers

http://ampedstatus.com/the-wall-street-pentagon-papers-biggest-scam-in-w...

Doug
Fidel

Before it was just the banks and a few flagship capitalist corporations that needed bailing out. Now it's whole nations that need bailing out. It's finished.

Michael Hudson wrote:
[url=http://michael-hudson.com/2010/11/dollar-war-in-detail/]Imagine that in ten years[/url] you find an ad in the New York Times by the Chinese government seeking to attract immigrants from America to work on its railways, in its laundries, to mow lawns, sort through recyclables, harvest rare-earth metals from old computers, work in coal mines, clean swimming pools, and so forth. What a role reversal from the 1880s and 1890s!

Nations will have to return to mixed economies according to Hudson. Finance will have to be subordinated to the real economy as it was before the neoliberal era at the very least. Laisez-faire capitalism is proving once again that it is a road to serfdom.

Doug

Swiss bank tries to reestablish confidence in it with 43 page dress code

 

As if taking a cue from style manuals, which often stress the importance of well-cut basic outfits in neutral colors, the bank expects its retail banking staff to wear suits in dark grey, black or navy blue, since these colors "symbolize competence, formalism and sobriety."

Short skirts are off limits for female staff, who are told the ideal length should reach the middle of the knee. Showy accessories and trendy spectacles are a no-no. The document isn't short of handy grooming tips.

 

 

Fidel

[url=http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=21969]From Bush to Obama - America's Fiscal Collapse[/url]
Excerpts from "The Global Economic Crisis: The Great Depression of the XXI Century." - Michel Chossudovsky

Quote:
What is ultimately required is to disarm the financial establishment:

– confiscate those assets which were obtained through fraud and financial manipulation

– restore the savings of households through reverse transfers

– restore home ownership to those who lost their homes through the process of foreclosures

– return the bailout money to the Treasury

– freeze the activities of the hedge funds

– freeze the gamut of speculative transactions including short-selling and derivative trade

Perestroika in America coming soon. First order of fascist business is to destroy the economy and wage war on labour.

Fidel

[url=http://michael-hudson.com/2010/12/deficit-hawks-one-two-punch/]Deficit Hawks One Two Punch[/url]

Financial parasites with one-track minds believe reducing labour costs by 20% will miraculously fix the economy. But instead of just taking over the brain of the host, the government, financial parasites have consumed their own brains. They believe that bringing about economic depression will lead to a renaissance of capitalism. And it's never going to work. US and British capitalism is hopelessly bankrupt.

Doug
Fidel

US Taxpayers ask Inspector General for The Fed, [url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SAcbl5NXpVE&feature=related]"What have you done to investigate off balance sheet transactions totalling $9 trillion in the last 8 months?"(YouTube)[/url] (...besides nothing?)

 A: Not very much at all.

Quote:
"No nation can survive treason from within." Marcus Tullius Cicero (January 3, 106 BC – December 7, 43 BC)

Doug
N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

What about "sucksANDblows" ? lol.

NDPP

War and The Global Economic Crisis: Blame America's War Economy Not China  - by Paul Kellogg

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=22494

"When put in this bigger context, the message that must be sent to Krugman and others making similar arguments is quite clear: blame the wars, not China.."

Doug
NDPP

Welcome to The Collapse  -  by Linh Dinh

http://dissidentvoice.org/2010/12/welcome-to-the-collapse/

"The collapse will not be televised. Ignored and alone, each of us will experience it singly. As blemish and accusation, you will be photo-shopped from the American Dream group portrait. The lower you slip, the more invisible you become. The disconnect between what's real and what's broadcast will become ever more obscene by the day.."

NDPP

The International Currency War and the Looming Financial Crisis In Canada  -  by Dimitri Lascaris

http://therealnews.com/t2/component/content/article/71-more-blog-posts-f...

"despite the urgency of the crisis that the Fed's dollar debasement policies have precipitated in Canada, both Carney and Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty have done little...It is therefore time for Canada's leaders to take the gloves off and to declare publicly that it is grossly unfair for the US to debase its currency at our expense. Will Canada's leaders have the courage to speak out?"

George Victor

NoDifferencePartyPooper wrote:

War and The Global Economic Crisis: Blame America's War Economy Not China  - by Paul Kellogg

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=22494

"When put in this bigger context, the message that must be sent to Krugman and others making similar arguments is quite clear: blame the wars, not China.."

 

And when Paul Kellogg has to go to war against the GOP/Tea Party set, and China's clearly developed internal needs can be satisfied without exchange manipulation, we'll know he's talking about real possibilities, not just engaging in wishful thinking...accurate as his analysis may be.

George Victor

Canadian Auto Workers' Jim Stanford tells the Canadian Press' Julian Beltrame today that "Canada could have fallen as far as sixth (place) in recent growth. That is Stanford's conclusion after comparing average gross domestic product gains in the last two recorded quarters - the second end third of 2010, which encompasses six months from April to September."

Canada's averaged 1.7 per cent growth beat out Italy's 1.5 but was topped by ALL others. On a per capita basis, Canada is dead last...0.9 per cent gain per person.

And "It's one thing fior Germany to boast that it has recovered all the lost jobs" Stanford explains, "since Germany has a stable population. In Canada, where the working-age population is rising by about 1.5 per cent a year, the economy must create 300,000 jobs just to keep up. "Les than one-fifth of the damage done to Canada's labour market by the recession has been repaired," he says. "

Fidel

George Victor wrote:
Canada's averaged 1.7 per cent growth beat out Italy's 1.5 but was topped by ALL others. On a per capita basis, Canada is dead last...0.9 per cent gain per person.

The same ideology of the 1990s was bad for Canada, too. Our overall aggregate economic performance compared to 35 other rich economies in the "roaring nineties" ranked about the same - worst of all. They need cleaning out of Ottawa.

Fidel

Good thread.

[url=http://tpmlivewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/2011/01/econ-professor-average-... Average US Stock Holding Lasts Just 22 Seconds[/url]

Michael Hudson wrote:
Buy! Sell! Repeat. Quickly.

In a thorough discussion of America's economy over the past century with TheRealNews.com, economist Michael Hudson noted that the average financial transaction in the U.S. lasts an astoundingly short 22 seconds. According to Hudson, President of The Institute for the Study of Long-Term Economic Trends and a professor of economics at the University of Missouri, the average foreign currency investment lasts just 30 seconds. [snip]

"All of a sudden you have the economy encouraging speculation in real estate, in stocks and bonds, instead of direct investment," Hudson said.

Hudson also criticized theories that low taxes lead to economic growth, calling that "junk economics."

"Prosperity and wealth grow fastest when income tax rates are highest, and wealth slows and the economy slows when taxes are cut," Hudson said. Watch the full interview:

"Higher Taxes on Top 1% Equals Higher Productivity."

We can only assume that when the superrich end up owning everything through corporate welfare programs for the wealthy, they lose any and all incentive to be capitalists.

They simply stop striving.

NDPP

The Metaphysics of Money

http://onlinejournal.com/artman/publish/article_6794.shtml

"Imagine for a moment that people who speak the same language are unable to communicate because the word supply has been artificially contracted by a third party who is hoarding nouns and verbs..."

ygtbk

I wonder if Michael Hudson can provide a reference for his claim. Some researchers have found that the relationship is neutral to positive. See:

http://ideas.repec.org/p/ecl/harjfk/rwp09-018.html

Quote:

Pooling data for 1905 to 2000, we find no systematic relationship between top income shares and economic growth in a panel of 12 developed nations observed for between 22 and 85 years. After 1960, however, a one percentage point rise in the top decile's income share is associated with a statistically significant 0.12 point rise in GDP growth during the following year. This relationship is not driven by changes in either educational attainment or top tax rates. If the increase in inequality is permanent, the increase in growth appears to be permanent, but it takes 13 years for the cumulative positive effect of faster growth on the mean income of the bottom nine deciles to offset the negative effect of reducing their share of total income.

This is NOT an argument that increasing inequality leads to more growth. It might be that pro-growth policies, all other things being equal, lead to more inequality, so that pro-growth policies must be supplemented with targeted public spending if an increase in inequality is to be avoided.

Fidel

American Michael Hudson is an economic historian. He knows US economic history fairly well and has rubuked even some renowned left-leaning economists in the states for their innaccurate comments in recent years. But he has no use for the neoliberal ideology whatsoever and calling it "junk economics" for a long time. Even during the roaring nineties when too many on the left were speechless about apparent successes with the new liberal capitalism, Hudson was very negative about it. Our progressive economics forum in Canada mentions Hudson as one of the handful few economists who forecasted the meltdown.

ygtbk wrote:
I wonder if Michael Hudson can provide a reference for his claim.

He's written a number of books. He's a university researcher and former Wall Street economist. He would probably begin by quoting himself and his own research.

[url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taxation_history_of_the_United_States]Taxation history of the United States[/url] wikipedia

Fidel

[url=http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=22846]The Spectre Haunting Europe: Debt Defaults, Austerity, and Death of the “Social Europe” Model[/url] Michael Hudson and Jeffrey Sommers

Europe threatened by post-modern neoserfdom and a return to the pre-modern state. "There is an alternative." 3,350 words

M. Spector M. Spector's picture
Fidel

THAT was hilarious!

Fidel

[url=http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=23431]Global Financial Fraud, Global Hope[/url]

The world financial system is one gargantuan Ponzi scheme...

Paul Hellyer wrote:
A world system where all the money is created as debt is a perpetual disaster in the making. It is like a giant balloon that the banks pump full of debt. The balloon gets larger and larger until the debt load becomes too heavy to carry, and then it is like a balloon with a pin stuck in it. The system crashes and thousands or sometimes millions of innocent people lose their jobs, homes, farms and businesses.

Almost any high school student should be able to see that any monetary system based on debt creation is totally insane. The total world debt, mathematically, is always tending toward infinity – and there is no possible way of paying it off. The real money (legal tender) to do so doesn’t exist. And the real economy that depends on cash to grow shifts into low gear whenever the supply of credit money dries up.

Not surprisingly, there have been 25 recessions and depressions in the United States since 1890. In several cases, including the Great Depression of the 1930s and the current Great Recession, the evidence indicates that the meltdown was anticipated by a few insiders who helped trigger the catastrophe.

Milton Friedman flip-flopped from being a proponent of 100% cash reserves to zero reserves by 1974. International central banks adopting the zany idea has resulted in disaster. The monetary system has become a weapon of mass destruction.

Fidel

[url=Why">http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142405274870331330457613217018101324... the Dollar's Reign Is Near an End[/url]

WSJ wrote:
I believe that over the next 10 years, we're going to see a profound shift toward a world in which several currencies compete for dominance.

The impact of such a shift will be equally profound, with implications for, among other things, the stability of exchange rates, the stability of financial markets, the ease with which the U.S. will be able to finance budget and current-account deficits, and whether the Fed can follow a policy of benign neglect toward the dollar.

[url=http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=23489]China Takes Giant Step Towards Making the Yuan the World's Reserve Currency[/url]

Dollar imperialism in its twilight years.

NDPP

China 'Attacks the Dollar'

http://www.zerohedge.com/article/china-moves-making-renminbi-reserve-cur...

"In a surprising turn of events, today's biggest piece of news recieved a mere two paragraph blurb on Reuters and was thoroughly ignored by the broader media. An announcement appeared shortly after midnight on the website of the People's Bank of China..."

I concur with Fidelio

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

DAvid Harvey (recently at MIT) on The Enigma of Capital. This guy is brilliant and does an excellent job of conveying in an understandable way, and in an historical context, the whole financial crisis.

Fidel

N.Beltov wrote:

DAvid Harvey (recently at MIT) on The Enigma of Capital. This guy is brilliant and does an excellent job of conveying in an understandable way, and in an historical context, the whole financial crisis.

 

I'm not sure why, but youtube videos just play better for me than those loading from most other servers. Here is a baker's dozen of David Harvey's readings on Capital on YouTube.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gBazR59SZXk

[url=http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1843/letters/43_09.htm][... ruthless criticism of everything that exists[/color][/url] early Marx

 

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

That sort of thing depends on your defaults (for videos in this case) and stuff like that. But you knew that. I try to avoid having any defaults relating to Microsoft or Apple Products. There is a little bit of work sometimes selecting the right application, but IMHO it's worth it.

NDPP

A99 Operation Empire State Rebellion - Communication #1

http://ampedstatus.org/a99-operation-empire-state-rebellion-communicatio...

"We are a decentralized non-violent resistance movement, which seeks to restore the rule of law and fight back against the organized criminal class..."

 

Fidel

Nope didn't know exactly what was up. Yes, I adjusted my Adobe Flashplayer settings for local storage, and the video plays a-okay now. Apparently my local storage was set to zero. Increasing local storage to just 1 Mb made the video play for me. Thanks N.B.

Slumberjack

Get Ready for the Meltdown of the US Treasury Bond Market

Quote:
But beyond the Japanese and Arab shocks (see GEAB N°52 ), the process of US Federal debt market implosion in the second half of 2011 is accelerating under the effect of four other events:

. the introduction of budget austerity in the US (as anticipated in GEAB No. 47) which condemns US local authorities to a major crisis in the market for their debt ("Munis")
. impossible for the Fed to introduce QE3
. the inevitable rise in interest rates against a backdrop of global inflation
. the end of safe-haven status for the US currency.

Of course, these events are related and, characteristic of a major crisis, we are entering a period that will see a mutual strengthening of their effects, leading to this sudden shock in the second quarter of 2011. Incidentally, we could add a fifth event: the complete decisional paralysis of the US powers. The daily confrontation on virtually all subjects, between Republicans (hardened by the "Tea Parties") and Democrats (demoralized by an Obama administration that has betrayed the substance of its campaign promises (7)), tends to show, a little more each day, that Washington has become a sort of "Ship of Fools ", tossed about by events, without any strategy, without willpower, incapable of action(8); in other words, according to LEAP/E2020, when the US Treasury Bond collapse begins, one cannot expect anything from Washington other than a colossal squawking that will only worsen the crisis.

NDPP

George Soros Looks To Establish New Global Finance System (and vid)

http://rt.com/news/george-soros-new-world/

"A new global economic policy is on the table at a meeting in the American town of Bretton Woods. Economists, finance experts and scholars from across the world are gathered at the conference, held by billionaire George Soros.."

 

 

NDPP

Billionaires Flourish, Inequalities Deepen as Economies 'Recover'  - by James Petras

http://www.voltairenet.org/article169059.html

"the bailouts of banks, speculators and manufacturers served their real purposes: the multi-millionaires became billionaires and the latter became multi-billionaires.."

George Victor

ygtbk wrote:

I wonder if Michael Hudson can provide a reference for his claim. Some researchers have found that the relationship is neutral to positive. See:

http://ideas.repec.org/p/ecl/harjfk/rwp09-018.html

Quote:

Pooling data for 1905 to 2000, we find no systematic relationship between top income shares and economic growth in a panel of 12 developed nations observed for between 22 and 85 years. After 1960, however, a one percentage point rise in the top decile's income share is associated with a statistically significant 0.12 point rise in GDP growth during the following year. This relationship is not driven by changes in either educational attainment or top tax rates. If the increase in inequality is permanent, the increase in growth appears to be permanent, but it takes 13 years for the cumulative positive effect of faster growth on the mean income of the bottom nine deciles to offset the negative effect of reducing their share of total income.

This is NOT an argument that increasing inequality leads to more growth. It might be that pro-growth policies, all other things being equal, lead to more inequality, so that pro-growth policies must be supplemented with targeted public spending if an increase in inequality is to be avoided.

 

Some concern for tax policy would help a lot, as Krugman shows us today in the Times:

 

Let's Take a Hike
By PAUL KRUGMAN

If the federal budget and national deficit situation is so serious, shouldn't we be raising taxes, not cutting them?

ygtbk

Apparently the plan is in fact to raise them. See:

 

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-04-27/warner-says-debt-plan-weighs-3-in-cuts-to-1-in-taxes-raised.html

 

Quote:

Senator Mark Warner said his bipartisan group of six senators working to strike a deal to cut the national debt is considering a plan to slash $3 in federal spending for every $1 of tax revenue it raises.

While the emerging proposal by the so-called Gang of Six won't increase tax rates, the Virginia Democrat said it will include scrapping some tax breaks and limiting others, such as shrinking to $500,000 from $1 million the size of mortgages on which interest payments can be written off or scaling back deductions for charitable giving.

Fidel

bloomberg.com wrote:
Obama's plan to cut $4 trillion over 12 years includes a tax increase on high earners. While Warner supports that idea, he said it stands little chance of enactment. A Bloomberg National Poll last month found that 59 percent of the public backs repealing the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts for households earning more than $250,000 annually, while 37 percent oppose doing so.

There's not much time to bridge the gap:/.../

In the 1950s and 60s, tax rates for US incomes over $100,000 dollars was 91%. Today it's about 35%. That's a huge tax cut for the rich in America. In the 50s and 60s unemployment was lower and US economy bustled.

Since then the tax burden in America was shifted from corporations to individuals and now toward middle and lower class Americans. It's class warfare. No one 50 years ago would have imagined the new liberal economy would see a financier oligarchy usurp industrial capitalists for control of the economy and basically seizing control of US government as well.

bloomberg.com wrote:
"If Congress does not raise the debt limit some time over the next 60, 90 days and America defaults, you will see interest rates spike 3 or 4 points at least," Warner told constituents at the hospital. "This economy will not just slow down, it will come to a grinding halt."

And unless US government hacks off pieces of the common good and throws them to their corporate friends, and unless US taxpayers agree to allowing the banks to finance their own bailouts, the debt rating agencies threaten them with higher interest rates on their indebtdedness to the parasitic banksters/financial oligarchy dictating their agenda to the Government.

The other side of the problem is that the US economy is growing at a snail's pace, about 2.5%, while US government debt is growing around 10-12%. They need to export stuff to other countries in order to pay the bills and pay returns on interest-bearing bonds and treasuries to foreigners holding trillions of dollars in US debt.

Does anyone see a problem with these numbers? because the parasitic banking industry and the politicians they lobby refuse to acknowledge that there is a problem. Debt is growing while at the same time they are promising, through their own numbers, to shrink the economy as a favour to their parasitic Wall Street friends and the richest 1 percent of Americans. This is what corruption looks like in the numbers. No nation or empire can survive corruption from within.

NDPP

As The US Reaches The Keynesian Endpoint..

http://www.zerohedge.com/article/pimcos-observations-us-reaches-keynesia...

"Just as Charles Ponzi needed donuts to turn back a suspicious crowd of investors, the Fed needs 'donuts' in order to fill the bellies of the literally millions of investors worldwide who worry about the alarmingly large US budget deficit and the impact that the US debt dilemma could have on their Treasury holdings...The US has reached the Keynesian Endpoint where the last balance sheet has been tapped..."

Fidel

[url=http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/the-real-housewives-of-wall-st... Stone: The Real Housewives of Wall Street[/url] Why is the Federal Reserve forking over $220 million in bailout money to the wives of two Morgan Stanley bigwigs?

Quote:
America has two national budgets, one official, one unofficial. The official budget is public record and hotly debated: Money comes in as taxes and goes out as jet fighters, DEA agents, wheat subsidies and Medicare, plus pensions and bennies for that great untamed socialist menace called a unionized public-sector workforce that Republicans are always complaining about. According to popular legend, we're broke and in so much debt that 40 years from now our granddaughters will still be hooking on weekends to pay the medical bills of this year's retirees from the IRS, the SEC and the Department of Energy.

Why Isn't Wall Street in Jail?

Most Americans know about that budget. What they don't know is that there is another budget of roughly equal heft, traditionally maintained in complete secrecy. After the financial crash of 2008, it grew to monstrous dimensions, as the government attempted to unfreeze the credit markets by handing out trillions to banks and hedge funds. ...

"The age of America is over." - IMF

George Victor

Springtime for Bankers
By PAUL KRUGMAN

Republicans are ensuring that bailouts will be bigger, costlier and more frequent.

 

(That's "Republicans", G.O.P., including Trump and Tea Party... )

josh

The debt crisis in Greece has taken on a dramatic new twist. Sources with information about the government's actions have informed SPIEGEL ONLINE that Athens is considering withdrawing from the euro zone. The common currency area's finance ministers and representatives of the European Commission are holding a secret crisis meeting in Luxembourg on Friday night.

 

http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/0,1518,761201,00.html

Sven Sven's picture

josh wrote:

The debt crisis in Greece has taken on a dramatic new twist. Sources with information about the government's actions have informed SPIEGEL ONLINE that Athens is considering withdrawing from the euro zone. The common currency area's finance ministers and representatives of the European Commission are holding a secret crisis meeting in Luxembourg on Friday night.

http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/0,1518,761201,00.html

I had just read that article as well.

I'm not sure which alternative (staying in EU or leaving) is going to be worse for the Greeks.  In either case, their future for many, manyt years looks very bleak indeed.

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