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European Salon de News, Discussion et Klatsch - 26 May

by DoDo Fri May 25th, 2012 at 03:39:42 PM EST

 A Daily Review Of International Online Media 


Europeans on this date in history:

1822 - 117 people perish on Pentecost in the Grue Church fire, Norway's worst fire disaster. Subsequently, doors swinging inwards were banned on public buildings.

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*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Fri May 25th, 2012 at 01:45:25 PM EST
German bank chief trashes eurobonds | Business News | DW.DE | 25.05.2012

German Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann refuses to accept jointly issued eurobonds as the right answer to the eurozone's current financial woes.

"I don't think we'll be successful in trying to resolve the crisis with more debt outside regular budgets," Weidmann told Friday's edition of the French newspaper Le Monde.

..."Even in countries where governments are demanding eurobonds, like France, I see no public debate or any popular support for the transfer of sovereignty that would surely be required for such a move," Weidmann stated.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri May 25th, 2012 at 01:45:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
German Government Wants to Create Special Economic Zones in Europe - SPIEGEL ONLINE

SPIEGEL has learned that the German government has developed a proposal calling for special economic zones to be created in crisis-plagued countries at the periphery of the euro zone. Under the plans, foreign investors could be attracted to those zones through tax incentives and looser regulations.

OAS_RICH('Middle2'); The proposal is part of a six-point plan the German government plans to introduce into the discussion on measures to stimulate economic growth taking place in the European Union. The proposal also calls for the countries to set up trusts similar to the Treuhand trust created in Germany at the time of reunification that then sold old off most of former East Germany's state-owned enterprises in order to divest those countries' numerous government-owned companies.

The greatest danger in Hollande's push for pro-growth measures is that he may be satisfied with plans that are just another application of the Shock Doctrine.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Fri May 25th, 2012 at 01:45:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Is he that stupid?

The good news ... it's only a life sentence. You eventually leave this planet of idiots.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Fri May 25th, 2012 at 04:21:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The German economic establishment is truly toxic.

guaranteed to evoke a violent reaction from police is to challenge their right to "define the situation." --- David Graeber citing Marc Cooper
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri May 25th, 2012 at 04:23:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2012/05/germany-to-the-euro-drop-dead/257693/

But then the Bundesbank reverted to form. In an interview on Friday with Le Monde, Bundesbank chief Jens Weidmann "helpfully" explained (translated from the French) that if Germany has higher than 2 percent inflation that would "concern only the decimal points". In other words, German inflation will stay below 3 percent. That's likely still far too low to matter much for southern Europe. He might as well tell Spain to drop dead. If the euro does not endure, this will be its epitaph:

Here Lies the Euro; 1999-2012; Killed by Decimal Points.

by Upstate NY on Fri May 25th, 2012 at 05:13:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Not just the establishment. The rulings of the constitutional court are quite consistent on the rights of parliament concerning the budget right. Parliament is not allowed to give it away, not even with a supermajority.

It would require a referendum. The most likely answer would be "no".

by oliver on Fri May 25th, 2012 at 05:20:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That would depend on what the proposal is. Why should the creation of a European economic policy that is accountable to the voter not get a majority?
by Katrin on Fri May 25th, 2012 at 05:32:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Why is a good question. I suppose the voters just don't approve of transfers of money abroad after a certain point. However, the popular opinion about Eurobonds is quite clear and consistent in all polls.
by oliver on Sat May 26th, 2012 at 01:41:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, with the current form of "debate" that could be the case. However, part of every referendum ought to be a deliberative process. In this deliberative process we should be aware that Germany happens to be located in the centre of Europe and that everything that happens somewhere in Europe has an influence on us. Islanders can afford europhobia, we can't.

Germany's industry has profited a lot from selling things to people who couldn't pay them but who got loans from German banks. Now one southern country after the other is squeezed and the rest of the debt is on the German taxpayer. That sucks, and it is perfectly right to reject that. But transfer payments that enable the south to get their economies re-started? Don't be so sure that the voters would reject that. First of all, most of us know what good relations in Europe are worth. There is a selfish reason too: they used to buy 44% of Germany's exports. They'd better go on doing that or else we will have a problem.

Germany is large enough and economically potent enough to try to impose her will on the rest of Europe. We should know by now that it is not large and potent enough to get away with it. We know that European cooperation in the post WW2 era brought prosperity to all, while the present policy of competition brings misery.

Now it's your turn. Are there any arguments against a transfer union?

by Katrin on Sat May 26th, 2012 at 03:58:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In this deliberative process we should be aware that Germany happens to be located in the centre of Europe
Quite.

RT: Geography gone bad: Merkel moves Berlin to Russia (VIDEO) (25 May, 2012)

At one point, Merkel decided to join the pupils as they tried to locate their home cities on a map.

Challenged to spot her native Hamburg, the Chancellor decided first to locate the capital. But to much amusement, searching for Berlin she found herself in Russia.

...

It would only be fair to mention though, that the map was a blank one used by teachers to color and label cities and countries.



guaranteed to evoke a violent reaction from police is to challenge their right to "define the situation." --- David Graeber citing Marc Cooper
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat May 26th, 2012 at 04:11:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Now it's your turn. Are there any arguments against a transfer union?
"They don't deserve our money."

There, 5 words to your three paragraphs. Don't you love politics?

guaranteed to evoke a violent reaction from police is to challenge their right to "define the situation." --- David Graeber citing Marc Cooper

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat May 26th, 2012 at 04:20:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Who's "they", banksters?
by Katrin on Sat May 26th, 2012 at 05:27:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The European periphery who would be receiving "our" money in a fiscal transfer union.

guaranteed to evoke a violent reaction from police is to challenge their right to "define the situation." --- David Graeber citing Marc Cooper
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat May 26th, 2012 at 05:28:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I can't guarantee you that the people will be able to understand the truth. Oliver shouldn't rely on their not understanding it, though.
by Katrin on Sat May 26th, 2012 at 05:45:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I wouldn't. Nor does it matter. Scheduling a referendum with a likely negative outcome would be enough. A lengthy campaign might change attitudes. But by then it would be too late.
by oliver on Sat May 26th, 2012 at 08:39:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A lengthy campaign? I didn't make that clear enough then: a referendum without deliberation is a sham, completely undemocratic. The public opinion is formed by discourse or else it is formed by a powerful minority. Claiming that there was no time for deliberation is the same as a coup.
by Katrin on Sat May 26th, 2012 at 09:13:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
How long would that take?

The most realistic scenario is the government and the opposition doing this in a slinky manner hoping that the Constitutional Court won't have the balls to make a decision that has a good potential to sink the Euro and miscalculating. Then the referendum would have the additional problem of reeking of an attempt to circumvent the constitution and democracy.

Even in the best case we wouldn't vote before autumn. Most likely too late.

by oliver on Sun May 27th, 2012 at 06:38:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The question should have been put to the voter much earlier then. Do you think that decisions made in that way possess democratic legitimacy? Or do you think democratic legitimacy doesn't matter?
by Katrin on Mon May 28th, 2012 at 05:57:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
1. the undeserving banks

2, the undeserving, shiftless southerners

3. The greek elites plundering their country who would send the money within minutes to Switzerland anyway.

The beautiful thing is you can create hybrids of these arguments.

by IM on Sat May 26th, 2012 at 11:28:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
East Germany. NRW. Bavaria. (The parallel that should be drawn in such a debate.)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat May 26th, 2012 at 05:45:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But those are "us", we're talking about "them".

guaranteed to evoke a violent reaction from police is to challenge their right to "define the situation." --- David Graeber citing Marc Cooper
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat May 26th, 2012 at 05:47:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Depends on who is talking. For a Southwest German today, East Germany is "them" when it comes to tax money.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat May 26th, 2012 at 05:53:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
quite.

guaranteed to evoke a violent reaction from police is to challenge their right to "define the situation." --- David Graeber citing Marc Cooper
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat May 26th, 2012 at 05:57:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Maybe you also remember this.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat May 26th, 2012 at 06:02:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That's right. About time to focus on a narrative that unites us. I claim that it exists. Europe is more than a project of the elites to rule them all. It's more than straight cucumbers too.
by Katrin on Sat May 26th, 2012 at 05:56:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I hope you're right.

guaranteed to evoke a violent reaction from police is to challenge their right to "define the situation." --- David Graeber citing Marc Cooper
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat May 26th, 2012 at 05:58:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I hope so too. I propose a bit more than just hope, though: narratives are constructs, not fate. I suggest we actively shape it.
by Katrin on Sat May 26th, 2012 at 06:18:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I have said before that I suspect we have to wait until at least 2025 when the "Erasmus generation" will have aged to start being part of the silverbacks of the day.

guaranteed to evoke a violent reaction from police is to challenge their right to "define the situation." --- David Graeber citing Marc Cooper
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat May 26th, 2012 at 05:59:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The trouble is, we don't have that much time.
by Katrin on Sat May 26th, 2012 at 06:19:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
How unfortunate.

guaranteed to evoke a violent reaction from police is to challenge their right to "define the situation." --- David Graeber citing Marc Cooper
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat May 26th, 2012 at 06:36:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Just wait and see what kind of "silverbacks" you will be.

Past expectations are no guarantee of future performance.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat May 26th, 2012 at 07:55:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Anyway, can we trace our current woes to the fact that the formative years of the current coterie of figureheads was the 1970's?

guaranteed to evoke a violent reaction from police is to challenge their right to "define the situation." --- David Graeber citing Marc Cooper
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat May 26th, 2012 at 08:02:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Difficult. It sound plausible and would explain all his inflation talk, but e. g. Merkel was perhaps formed in the seventies - but on another planet. And Jens Weidmann, to use him as an example for a whole crowd, was only born in 1968. See also Asmussen etc.

There is a whole crowd of young neoliberals here in Germany. See also young Cameron and Osborne in the UK or the strong woman of the spanish government, she is what, 40, 41 years old?

by IM on Sat May 26th, 2012 at 11:44:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You mean Soraya?

guaranteed to evoke a violent reaction from police is to challenge their right to "define the situation." --- David Graeber citing Marc Cooper
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat May 26th, 2012 at 11:53:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes. Not yet forty-one.

Rajoy himself of course fits into the formed by the  seventies explanation.  

by IM on Sat May 26th, 2012 at 12:00:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And not in charge of economic policy. We don't really know what she thinks. She's more likely to be a young neoliberal than a middle-aged aust(e)rian.

One strange thing about her is that she ofter has an amused face as if she were getting away with something.

guaranteed to evoke a violent reaction from police is to challenge their right to "define the situation." --- David Graeber citing Marc Cooper

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun May 27th, 2012 at 03:37:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No.
by PerCLupi on Sat May 26th, 2012 at 12:53:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If I were not a post-soixante-huitard boomer, I would not have posted that comment.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat May 26th, 2012 at 02:05:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No, we can trace them to be not suffering from the post-war trauma. The EU is a very important institution, but the European project no longer has a semi-divine status to this generation.

Now you add that the basic deal of giving up independence for prosperity has been broken. And it has been broken by the pro-European establishment.

This is not about a basic aversion to inflation. You might note that some parts of Europe, namely Germany, are about to see a retirement wave and doing so after spending a lot of time and effort on switching pensions to a capital based solution. It's about the worst time to unleash inflation.

by oliver on Sun May 27th, 2012 at 07:01:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The very idea of a "capital based solution" to pensions is wrong, of course. We have known that since Mackenroth proved it in the 1950's. Neoliberals decided to give their buddies in the financial sector an advantage although they knew it wouldn't work.
by Katrin on Sun May 27th, 2012 at 07:49:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Katrin:
Neoliberals decided to give their buddies in the financial sector an advantage although they knew it wouldn't work.

...for anyone but them.

"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sun May 27th, 2012 at 08:52:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Never heard of Mackenroth.

Von überall könnte das Volk, Urbrut alles Undemokratischen, Zelle des Terrors, über die gewählten Hüter von Wachstum und Wohlstand® kommen. - flatter
by generic on Sun May 27th, 2012 at 09:19:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Mackenroth theory
says that all benefits of a given period can only be funded by the national income of the same period.
by Katrin on Sun May 27th, 2012 at 10:04:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Maybe, but still businesses rather pay dividends or interest than taxes. And people have based their retirement oh bonds. You cannot ignore the problem.
by oliver on Sun May 27th, 2012 at 03:44:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Businesses who dislike the tax the state tells them to pay are free to not transact business. When there is sufficient demand for business, other businesses will be happy enough to take their market share.

And if you reinstitute adequate public retirement benefits, people's retirement income will no longer be based on bonds. Problem solved.

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun May 27th, 2012 at 03:49:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
People have based their retirement on bonds because there was (and is) a policy of making them do so. It wasn't Greece that made this policy. It was Mr Riester and Mr Rürup, of the financial firm Maschmeyer, Rürup, Riester, who did.
by Katrin on Sun May 27th, 2012 at 04:26:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
After it has been done, it has been done. The reason no longer matters. The country which has done it now needs to guard its interests.
by oliver on Mon May 28th, 2012 at 03:26:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
shrug

Reinstate strong public pensions.

Pension problem solved, and the bondholders can go to Hell.

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon May 28th, 2012 at 03:36:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
After it has been done, it can be undone, Oliver. You say the reason no longer matters, but you say it had been "the country" that has done it. Oh no. It was Maschmeyer and his buddies. A few hundreds of families that profited, not "the country". I know perfectly well that what they did to the Greek pensioner, they will do to me too, if we let them. It's definitely not "the country guarding its interests", Oliver.
by Katrin on Mon May 28th, 2012 at 05:52:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It has been done by public law. If it is to be undone, it will cost money. A lot of money. However much you'd like to play the blame game, it still doesn't help to point fingers.
by oliver on Mon May 28th, 2012 at 03:55:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If it is to be undone, it will cost money. A lot of money.

All fiat. There is no need for central bankers to shit gold ingots to compensate for the money loss.

guaranteed to evoke a violent reaction from police is to challenge their right to "define the situation." --- David Graeber citing Marc Cooper

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon May 28th, 2012 at 04:03:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It has been done by public law. If it is to be undone, it will cost money.

shrug

Money can be printed, and creditors have no constitutional protection for the purchasing power of their fixed-income assets.

A simple majority in parliament can raise public pensions. If this causes more inflation than is desirable (i.e. more than 8-9 % annually for the foreseeable future, and more than 5-7 % long term), the same simple majority in parliament can always just tax (payouts from) private pensions.

Problem solved.

If you don't like that solution, present political arguments against it. Because your technical arguments are all fake and/or based on gold standard quackery.

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon May 28th, 2012 at 04:09:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I am not pointing fingers, I am indicating whose side I am on. "The country" my foot. What made you say that? What you favour is not the "interest of the country", it is the interest of a very small group in the country, and don't believe you can fool most of the people most of the time.

Do you really think you can scare me with the info that my plans cost a lot of money? Whose money? What makes you think that the 1% are entitled to any money? Did they work for it? Is the use they put it to serving the public good? Can you really claim that? Money can be raised by using the printing press, or by taxation, or by expropriation. So, don't tell me about the law, this works both ways. What makes you so sure that the majority will swallow your spin of "the interest of the country"?

by Katrin on Mon May 28th, 2012 at 06:36:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I can't find anything in English on M. Which reasons for pay as you go systems have the Anglophone, I wonder?
by Katrin on Sun May 27th, 2012 at 10:09:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
How very interesting
Now the simple and clear sentence applies that all social expenditure must be always covered from the national income of the current period. There is no other source and has never another source given, from which social expenditure could flow, it gives no accumulation from period to period, no "saving" in the private-economical sense, it gives simply nothing at all different one than the current national income than source for the social expenditure. That is not also a special or Ungunst of our time, which lives from hand to mouth, but that was always like that and can never be different."

The Mackenroth thesis could not be disproved until today, is however by no means undisputed. The basic idea that all social expenditures can be never covered in each case by current incomes, however by overall economic reserves, has however enormous practical consequences for the completion and organization of the legal social security systems, in particular for the old age pension insurance. If the thesis is correct, then it is practically impossible to develop a Kapitaldeckung in economical orders of magnitude.

This viewpoint played an important role in the discussion into the 1950er years over a large social reform in the Federal Republic of Germany. Reserves of the principal old age pension insurance existing at that time had been destroyed to a large extent by inflation and currency reform. Besides one had been able to date never to collect reserves in sufficient height. The old-age pensions were financed actually by current incomes and national subsidies. Before this background gradually a scientific discussion came on whether a Kapitaldeckung was at all possible and necessary. The question was finally generally answered in the negative. Thus Wilfrid writer, the "father of the dynamic pension" spoke of the "wrong obsession cover reserves to form to have":



guaranteed to evoke a violent reaction from police is to challenge their right to "define the situation." --- David Graeber citing Marc Cooper
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun May 27th, 2012 at 10:44:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]


Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.
by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun May 27th, 2012 at 10:58:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ah you have found something in Googlenglish. The Wilfrid "writer" in the text, in reality Wilfrid Schreiber, was one of the Catholic Social Ethics economists whose ideas sound so revolutionary in our neolib-infested era. His idea, based on the Mackenroth theory, was to share the national income between the active generation, children, and the old. In other words, place the obligation to provide for children and the old on society, not the families. And all the society, not just workers as it is now.

Adenauer rejected the children part, but reformed the pensions accordingly. Note that this CONSERVATIVE policy increased the pensions considerably, and in times of an empty public purse at that.

by Katrin on Sun May 27th, 2012 at 12:18:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
How does a society forget how to do things?

guaranteed to evoke a violent reaction from police is to challenge their right to "define the situation." --- David Graeber citing Marc Cooper
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon May 28th, 2012 at 03:44:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The people who remember why it was necessary to do them die.

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon May 28th, 2012 at 04:37:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
We're fucked as a species.

guaranteed to evoke a violent reaction from police is to challenge their right to "define the situation." --- David Graeber citing Marc Cooper
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon May 28th, 2012 at 04:43:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That is a problem with privatizing pensions, not with inflation.

Fortunately, there is a simple and easy solution: Nationalize the pensions.

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun May 27th, 2012 at 08:59:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'd be satisfied with a rollback of the undifferentiated "us" and "them" that swept German media and public discourse.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat May 26th, 2012 at 06:30:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And the equivalent elsewhere. Yes.
by Katrin on Sat May 26th, 2012 at 09:15:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Earlier (or at least before 2006), IMHO such undifferentiated talk was clearly less common in Germany than elsewhere (compare the language of British papers for example), so the transition is much more pronounced. You wouldn't read about Griechen in every headline from taz to FAZ.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat May 26th, 2012 at 02:44:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No, that language would have been reserved for non-Europeans. :(
by Katrin on Sat May 26th, 2012 at 03:46:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Katrin:
That's right. About time to focus on a narrative that unites us. I claim that it exists. Europe is more than a project of the elites to rule them all.

amen.

how long has it been in europe since a small gaggle of powerfreaks has held hostage the fate of so many at once?

bankers have stepped into the footprints of the Catholic church and Nazism.

and who's behind the present, (now more than ever) CC, and Nazis, (once upon a time)?

financial elites, that's who.

"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sat May 26th, 2012 at 07:54:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
  1. A debate between citizens across the EU is necessary. In no country, not even on the occasion of European elections, what Europe is and why a European political union is desirable have been explained.
  2. National sovereignty, nationalist sentiments, and interests, need that debate among citizens.
  3. Perhaps such a discussion does not interest politicians. Therefore, we European citizens should establish ways to discuss: Europe of peoples?
  4. Without a European political union, there is no solution. Without the pressure of citizens, there will be no political union. If citizens do not understand its importance, there will be no pressure.
by PerCLupi on Sat May 26th, 2012 at 08:36:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
PerCLupi:
A debate between citizens across the EU is necessary

like ET scaled up by a million or ten?

couldn't agree more...

our euro MPs tend to disappear into the bowels of the bureaucracy.

the people do not feel represented fairly and comprehensively by the EU, and ever less by our respective national (puppet) governments.

twixt the devil and the deep blue sea...

"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sun May 27th, 2012 at 09:01:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Now the Constitutional Court is not part of the Establishment?

guaranteed to evoke a violent reaction from police is to challenge their right to "define the situation." --- David Graeber citing Marc Cooper
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri May 25th, 2012 at 10:57:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Then you will be happy to hear that the Left party is considering giving up on the whole parliamentary opposition thing and elect a "reformer".

Victor Grossman, "Can Germany's Left Party Be Saved?"

Now, suddenly, the picture has altered completely.  Lafontaine withdrew from the race, saying he did not wish to engage in a win-or-lose duel which could split the party.  The media, whose campaign of slurs and cunning innuendo had influenced his decision, now rejoiced, but many in the party were greatly saddened, seeing in him perhaps the most successful fighter the party had ever had.  They now feared an easy Bartsch victory and a switch of the party to one compromise after the other.


Von überall könnte das Volk, Urbrut alles Undemokratischen, Zelle des Terrors, über die gewählten Hüter von Wachstum und Wohlstand® kommen. - flatter
by generic on Fri May 25th, 2012 at 05:25:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Die Partei takes over the German government and nobody notices.
Die PARTEI - Landesverband Hamburg- Programm
Die fünf Länder Thüringen, Sachsen, Sachsen-Anhalt, Branden­burg und Mecklenburg-Vorpommern sollen dabei zu einem starken Ost-Bundesland zusammengefaßt werden. Um wirtschaftliche Impulse zu erzeugen, soll dieses neue, starke Bundesland eine Sonderwirtschaftszone (SWZ) bilden. Niedrige Steuersätze, flexible arbeitsrechtliche Regelungen und eine entbürokratisierte und gestraffte Verwaltung sollen den Aufschwung vorantreiben.

Diese Sonderwirtschaftszone (SWZ) soll auch baulich vom Rest der Bundesrepublik getrennt werden. Auf diese Weise soll unserer modernen, fortschrittlichen und zukunftsweisenden Idee einer solchen Zone Nachdruck verliehen werden.



Von überall könnte das Volk, Urbrut alles Undemokratischen, Zelle des Terrors, über die gewählten Hüter von Wachstum und Wohlstand® kommen. - flatter
by generic on Fri May 25th, 2012 at 08:41:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Freiheit, Gleichheit, Brüderlichkeit... (where have I heard that before?).

And "Wir, die Mitglieder der PARTEI, stellen den Menschen in den Mittelpunkt unserer Politik."

Sounds good to me, and real, hard-tacks policies to go with it. Where do I sign up?

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat May 26th, 2012 at 01:38:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Vom 31. Juli 2004

<jaw drops>

Reality overtakes satire, but it took eight years.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sat May 26th, 2012 at 05:42:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm not sure that regulations are that much of a problem in Greece.

As for "tax incentives" is this code for subsidies?
Is it easier to rewrite that part of the treaty on government aid than any other part?

by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Sat May 26th, 2012 at 04:40:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Tax incentives for whom? Greek shipping magnates are already constitutionally tax-exempt...

guaranteed to evoke a violent reaction from police is to challenge their right to "define the situation." --- David Graeber citing Marc Cooper
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat May 26th, 2012 at 04:44:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Don't you know that tax incentives always are the solution to all economic trouble?

Not much longer and real policy and satire will have become indistinguishable.

by Katrin on Sat May 26th, 2012 at 05:15:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Metatone:
Is it easier to rewrite that part of the treaty on government aid than any other part?

They're all equally easy presupposing the necessary political will.

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman

by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Sat May 26th, 2012 at 07:08:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The point is always: What forces the necessary political will?
by PerCLupi on Sat May 26th, 2012 at 10:04:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
PerCLupi:
The point is always: What forces the necessary political will?

enough information? reaction to unbearable pain? historical happenstance?

we're just grains of sand, but enough of us in the gears...

"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sun May 27th, 2012 at 09:09:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Here's the craziness of one size fits all treaties, especially with no fiscal transfers. The troika asked Greece to install a huge raise on tax on soft drinks. Many countries have adopted this tax because soft drinks are sometimes considered a public health hazard, as there is no faster way to ingest huge amounts of sugar. In Greece, however, you have the world's second-largest bottling company. They told the Greek politicians that if they passed the bill, they would leave Greece for Eastern Europe.

How can you make one size fits all policies like this? Not even the USA does it.

by Upstate NY on Sat May 26th, 2012 at 11:40:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Upstate NY:
Many countries have adopted this tax because soft drinks are sometimes considered a public health hazard, as there is no faster way to ingest huge amounts of sugar. In Greece, however, you have the world's second-largest bottling company.

so limit how much sugar they can add, (and to recycle their bottles and drop the chemicals) then when the sugar companies moan, tell them to source fair trade organic sugar. rinse, repeat.

change the way they do bizniz, people are always going to want cold fizzy drinks, make them products of right action, then watch...

"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sun May 27th, 2012 at 09:06:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
DoDo:
The proposal also calls for the countries to set up trusts similar to the Treuhand trust created in Germany at the time of reunification

Because if it's a supremely bad idea there's no harm in trying it again, right?

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman

by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Sat May 26th, 2012 at 07:12:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Do the peripheral countries get to elect representatives to the Bundestag, too?

guaranteed to evoke a violent reaction from police is to challenge their right to "define the situation." --- David Graeber citing Marc Cooper
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat May 26th, 2012 at 07:51:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Not to mention the Solidaritätszuschlag.
by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Sat May 26th, 2012 at 08:04:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
GREAT QUESTION

"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sat May 26th, 2012 at 08:14:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
SPIEGEL has learned that the German government has developed a proposal calling for special economic zones to be created in crisis-plagued countries at the periphery of the euro zone. Under the plans, foreign investors could be attracted to those zones through tax incentives and looser regulations.

Free fraud zones, United Fruit style. What could possibly go wrong?

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sat May 26th, 2012 at 03:43:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EUobserver.com / Institutional Affairs / MEPs demand right to summon and sanction

BRUSSELS - MEPs want to give the European Parliament's committees of inquiry sweeping new powers following a vote in Strasbourg (24 May).

Under the proposals made by David Martin, the British centre-left MEP leading parliament's negotiations on the regulation, committees would be given new powers including the right to conduct on-the-spot investigations at EU and national level, demand access to documents and summon witnesses to give evidence.

Parliament also wants to establish clear sanctions against false testimony, a refusal to appear before the committee and a refusal to grant access to documents.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri May 25th, 2012 at 01:46:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
MEPs blast Switzerland over workers quota, taxi restrictions | EurActiv
The European Parliament overwhelmingly passed a resolution yesterday (24 May), "highly regretting" the recently-introduced Swiss quotas for workers from the eight Central European countries which joined the EU in 2004. MEPs also blasted Berne for not allowing German and Austrian taxis to take passengers from Zurich airport.

...According to the Swiss press, the labour restrictions seek to appease Swiss public opinion ahead of a nationwide ratification vote on major international treaties to be held on 17 June, at the initiative of the nationalist right.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri May 25th, 2012 at 01:46:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Cameron knew Hunt would back BSkyB bid - UK Politics - UK - The Independent

The political scandal over Rupert Murdoch's battle to buy BSkyB moved closer to David Cameron last night after new evidence undermined the Prime Minister's claim that his Government was scrupulously even-handed in deciding on the £8bn deal.

A damning memo, released by the Leveson Inquiry, revealed for the first time that Mr Cameron already knew his Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt was in favour of the bid, before he handed him quasi-judicial power to rule on it.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri May 25th, 2012 at 01:46:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Neither this nor the Times editor's description of Murdoch as as 'evil incarnate' have made it out of the Indie to the BBC.
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sat May 26th, 2012 at 06:27:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ex-minister denies influencing far-right inquiry | Germany | DW.DE | 25.05.2012
Former Bavarian interior minister, Günther Beckstein, has strongly denied trying to influence a police investigation into a series of murders committed by the far-right NSU group.

At the end of January 2012, the German parliament set up a committee to look into why the police and domestic intelligence services failed to uncover a neo-Nazi group which, it was later discovered, was responsible for the murder of nine foreigners and a German policewoman between 2000 and 2007.

...One question, in particular, was a big headache from the very beginning for the members of the parliamentary inquiry: Why was an extremist right-wing involvement in the attacks more or less brushed aside, although there were early indications that this was the case?

In Bavaria, where five of the ten murders took place, one expert in the murder investigation considered a neo-Nazi motive possible. However, the state's interior minister at the time, Günther Beckstein, warned against voicing these suspicions publicly to avoid unrest within the Turkish community.

...German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble might ... be the next who will have to answer to the panel. In 2006 he was interior minister and in this position he regularly attended meetings between his regional colleagues...



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri May 25th, 2012 at 01:47:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ukraine parliamentary debate descends into brawl - UKRAINE - FRANCE 24

AP - A violent scuffle erupted in Ukraine's parliament Thursday evening over a bill that would allow the use of the Russian language in courts, hospitals and other institutions in the Russian-speaking regions of the country.

The fight broke out between members of the pro-Western opposition who want to take Ukraine out of Russia's shadow and lawmakers from President Viktor Yanukovych's party, which bases its support in Ukraine's Russian-speaking east.

At least one legislator, opposition lawmaker Mykola Petruk, suffered an apparent blow to the head and was taken to the hospital with blood streaming down his face.

I wonder whether the brawl or the opposition of "pro-Western" forces to language freedom is more newsworthy.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Fri May 25th, 2012 at 01:47:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Business Week
In late 2011, through Galbraith, the University of Texas offered Varoufakis a chair in economics. He's also chief economist for Valve, an online gaming company in Bellevue, Wash., that uses a virtual currency in its games. About to board a plane for Seattle, he writes from his phone that the company "asked me to study their `economy' so as to prevent the formation of bubbles."
by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Fri May 25th, 2012 at 04:10:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This is brilliant really. When one company is responsible for the whole world and profits from the mutual beneficence of that world, it will quite rightly set to devising methods to prevent its economy from collapsing.

Why?

Because company revenue depends on it.

by Upstate NY on Fri May 25th, 2012 at 05:16:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You are supposing that the interests of all managers inside that company are aligned with company interests, a rather large assumption...

Wind power
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sat May 26th, 2012 at 09:49:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You're right. With a bubble, presumably, they could cash out quickly. Maybe they are asking him to create bubbles.

That would make more sense if there were other platforms like Half Life out there but so far, they are unchallenged.

by Upstate NY on Sat May 26th, 2012 at 10:39:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Xavier Sala i Martin: 25 Propuestas para Salir de la Crisis (25 May 2012)
Como he dicho en numerosas ocasiones, nos encontramos ante una crisis POLÍTICA e INSTITUCIONAL causada por una cadena de errores políticos (entre los que destaca la creación del euro, una moneda que la teoría económica decía que no debía ser creada, una teoría que fue ignorada por una clase política que ignoró el consejo de los economistas y que cometió unos errores que hoy estamos pagando entre todos). Y dado que la crisis es política e institucional, al final deben ser los políticos y las instituciones las que deben cambiar el rumbo y empezar a hacer los deberes.

Antes de empezar, dejadme recordar otros dos puntos importantes: Primero, aunque muchos analistas digan lo contrario, la crisis europea actual no tiene nada que ver ni con los bonos tóxicos americanos, no con Lehman Brothers, ni con la desregulación financiera estadounidense, ni con la codicia y la avaricia de Wall Street. Al fin y al cabo, en España no había ni un solo bono tóxico americano. Por el contrario, habían centenares de miles de millones de bonos tóxicos provenientes de la costa del sol. Y es que la burbuja española era insostenible y hubiera explotado con o sin la caída de Lehman en Estados Unidos. Segundo, Europa está muy interrelacionada. Muchos de los problemas que aquejan a un país ya no pueden ser arreglados por el gobierno de ese país sino que requieren la cooperación y la intervención del resto de Europa.

...

El Problema de la Deuda

  1. Promesa inmediata de que se convergirá hacia la unión fiscal ...
  2. Los activos del sistema financiero, sobre todo el español, deben ser valorados inmediatamente por auditores independientes.
  3. Abandonar inmediatamente la política de fusiones.
  4. ... Una vez cometido el error de no dejar quebrar a los bancos insolventes (que hubiera sido mi solución preferida) ... Europa debería separar claramente lo que es el déficit fiscal normal de lo que es el dinero que se utilizará para rescatar bancos.
  5. El Banco Central Europeo (BCE) tiene que crear mecanismos creíbles y permanentes de compra de deuda pública directamente
  6. El BCE debe garantizar la liquidez de todos los bancos de la eurozona y despejar así la posibilidad de que se creen corralitos.
  7. Creación de un Fondo de Garantía de Depósitos (FGD) a nivel europeo

Déficit Público

  1. Posponer los objetivos fiscales uno o dos años.
  2. Abandonar la política de subir impuestos o bajar gasto con objetivos electorales y pensar en el crecimiento.
  3. Copiar a los mejores.
  4. Recortes inteligentes.

Crecimiento Económico

Crecimiento a través de la política monetaria

  1. Reducción de los tipos de interés.
  2. El valor del euro debe bajar de manera progresiva pero segura.
  3. Alemania debe aceptar una inflación superior.
  4. La periferia debe aceptar reducciones de precios y salarios.
  5. Devaluación Fiscal: aumento del IVA y reducción de las cotizaciones sociales del trabajo.
  6. Inversiones productivas en la periferia financiadas por el Banco Europeo de Inversiones (BEI).

Crecimiento a través de la política de oferta o productividad

  1. Regulación que fomente el crecimiento.
  2. Eliminar las barreras a la competencia.
  3. Meritocracia
  4. Fomento de la Movilidad Laboral.
  5. Sistema financiero no bancario.
  6. Educación.

EURO

  1. Garantizar que la salida de Grecia será amistosa.
  2. Cortafuegos entre Grecia e Italia.

...

Y estas son mis 25 propuestas para salir de la crisis. Como propina, dejadme añadir una recomendación para todos los líderes: si no están dispuestos a hacer los sacrificios necesarios, dejen de hacer cumbres europeas que anuncian la solución definitiva a los problemas de Europa. No hay nada peor para la salud económica de un país que ver cómo sus líderes son incapaces de resolver los problemas ya sea porqué no saben cómo, ya sea por egoísmo político, ya sea por incompetencia. Y cada vez que anuncian que la siguiente cumbre es la definitiva, pierden un poco de ese capital tan escaso: la credibilidad.

25 Proposals to get out of the crisis (25 May 2012)
As I have said on numerous occasions, we're in a POLITICAL and INSTITUTIONAL crisis caused by a chain of political mistakes (high among them is the creation of the Euro, a currency that economic theory said should not have been created, a theory which was ignored by a political class which ignored the advice of economists and committed errors we're all paying now). And given that the crisis is political and institutional, in the end it must be the politicians and institutions that must change course and start doing their homework.

Before starting, let me recall a couple other important points. First, although many analysis say otherwise, the current European crisis has nothing to do with American toxic bonds, or with Lehman Brothers, or with US financial deregulation, or with the greed of Wall Street. After all, in Spain there wasn't a single American toxic bond. On the contrary, there were hundreds of thousands of toxic bonds coming from the Costa del Sol. And the thing is that the Spanish bubble was unsustainable and would have blown up with or without Lehman in the US. Secondly, Europe is very interrelated. Many of the problems afflicting one country can no longer be fixed by the government of that country but they require the cooperation and intervention of the rest of Europe.

...

The problem of debt

  1. Immediate promise to converge towards a fiscal union
  2. The assets of the financial system, in particular the Spanish one, must be valued immediately by independent auditors
  3. Abandoning immediately the [failed bank] merger policy
  4. ... Once the error was made to not allow the insolvent banks to go bankrupt (which would have been my preferred solution) ... Europe must clearly separate the normal fiscal deficit from the money that will be used to rescue banks
  5. The ECB must create credible and permanent mechanisms for direct debt purchases
  6. The ECB must guarantee the liquidity of all Eurozone banks and so dispel the possibility of corralitos
  7. Creation of an EU-level deposit guarantee fund

Public deficit

  1. Put off fiscal goals by one or two years
  2. Abandon the policy of raising taxes or lowering expenses with electoral aims and think about growth
  3. Imitate the best
  4. Cut intelligently

Economic Growth

Growth through monetary policy

  1. Lowering interest rates
  2. The Euro must devalue slowly but surely
  3. Germany must accept higher inflation
  4. The periphery must accept lower prices and salaries
  5. Fiscal devaluation: raising VAT and lowering labour social contributions
  6. Productive investment in the periphery financed by the EIB

Growth through supply or productivity policy

  1. Growth-enhancing regulation
  2. Eliminating barriers to competition
  3. Meritocracy
  4. Encouraging labour mobility
  5. Non-banking financial system
  6. Education

EURO

  1. Guarantee that Greece's exit will be amicable
  2. Firewall between Greece and Italy

...

And these are my 25 proposals to get out of the crisis. As a tip, let me add a recommendation to all leaders: if you're not willing to make the necessary sacrifices, stop making European summits announcing the final solution to Europe's problems. There's nothing worse for the economic health of a country than to see how its leaders are incapable of solving problems, be it because they don't know how, be it for selfishness, be it for incompetence. And any time they announce that the next crisis is the defining one, they lose a little of that scarce capital called credibility.




guaranteed to evoke a violent reaction from police is to challenge their right to "define the situation." --- David Graeber citing Marc Cooper
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri May 25th, 2012 at 04:22:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So..... Greece gets the shaft? Amicably?

There are many points I disagree with but let's focus on the EURO part.

What's in it for Greece to subject itself to such humiliation and even offer firewall assistance to whomever?
It would make more sense for them to leave the EZ, leave the EU and leave NATO if it can form an alliance with China amd Russia who would be willing to help them during the hard times.
That would create a transatlantic rift which would give Europe more problems than it now has.

by Euroliberal on Sat May 26th, 2012 at 04:22:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Garantizar que la salida de Grecia será amistosa. Es decir, que los europeos la van a ayudar y no la van a castigar todavía más. Hay que recordar que la experiencia de la primera guerra mundial que destruyó el último experimento de "moneda única europea" que existió en Europa, cuando el imperio austrohúngaro se desintegró en muchos países (Alemania, Austria, Hungría, Yogoeslavia, etc) y cada uno de ellos adoptó su propia moneda. Los vencedores castigaron a los perdedores obligándoles a pagar los costes de la guerra. Éstos utilizaron la máquina de imprimir para pagar sus gastos y crearon las grandes hiperinflaciones de los años 20. Algunos historiadores argumentan que fueron precisamente esas hiperinflaciones las que dieron lugar al surgimiento del nazismo, la subida al poder de Hitler y la segunda guerra mundial. Una salida desordenada de Grecia sería catastrófica.
Guarantee that Greece's exit will be amicable. Which is to say, the Europeans are going to help her and not punish her any more.
So far, so good. For the rest, there's a lot to nitpick
It bears remembering the experience of XXI which destroyed the last experiment of "single curency" there was in Europe, when the Austro-Hungarian empire disintegrated into many countries (Germany, Austria, Hungary, Yugoslavia, and so on) and each of them adopted its own currency. The winners punished the losers forcing them to pay the costs of war. These used the printing machine to pay their expenses and created the great hyperinflations of the 1920s. Some historians argue that it was precisely these hyperinflaitons that gave rise to nazism, Hitler's rise to poer and WWII. A disorderly Greek exit would be catastrophic.


guaranteed to evoke a violent reaction from police is to challenge their right to "define the situation." --- David Graeber citing Marc Cooper
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat May 26th, 2012 at 04:31:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
More horrors from our leaders...

It's payback time: don't expect sympathy - Lagarde to Greeks | Business | The Guardian

The International Monetary Fund has ratcheted up the pressure on crisis-hit Greece after its managing director, Christine Lagarde, said she has more sympathy for children deprived of decent schooling in sub-Saharan Africa than for many of those facing poverty in Athens.

In an uncompromising interview with the Guardian, Lagarde insists it is payback time for Greece and makes it clear that the IMF has no intention of softening the terms of the country's austerity package.

Using some of the bluntest language of the two-and-a-half-year debt crisis, she says Greek parents have to take responsibility if their children are being affected by spending cuts. "Parents have to pay their tax," she says.

Greece, which has seen its economy shrink by a fifth since the recession began, has been told to cut wages, pensions and public spending in return for financial help from the IMF, the European Union and the European Central Bank.

Asked whether she is able to block out of her mind the mothers unable to get access to midwives or patients unable to obtain life-saving drugs, Lagarde replies: "I think more of the little kids from a school in a little village in Niger who get teaching two hours a day, sharing one chair for three of them, and who are very keen to get an education. I have them in my mind all the time. Because I think they need even more help than the people in Athens."

Lagarde, predicting that the debt crisis has yet to run its course, adds: "Do you know what? As far as Athens is concerned, I also think about all those people who are trying to escape tax all the time. All these people in Greece who are trying to escape tax." She says she thinks "equally" about Greeks deprived of public services and Greek citizens not paying their tax.

Which bit of "economics is not a morality play" does she not get? All of it, it seems.

by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Sat May 26th, 2012 at 05:34:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Using some of the bluntest language of the two-and-a-half-year debt crisis, she says Greek parents have to take responsibility if their children are being affected by spending cuts. "Parents have to pay their tax," she says.
Maybe they could sell their children into slavery to pay the taxes, like they used to do 2000-3000 years ago.

guaranteed to evoke a violent reaction from police is to challenge their right to "define the situation." --- David Graeber citing Marc Cooper
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat May 26th, 2012 at 05:49:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
she has more sympathy for children deprived of decent schooling in sub-Saharan Africa than for many of those facing poverty in Athens.

There you have it in explicit form: our overlords won't stop 'reforming' us as long as we are any better off than people in sub-Saharan Africa.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sat May 26th, 2012 at 05:51:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Is this what she is talking about?
The huge unexpected price hike for domestic fuel triggered nationwide protests that threatened to bring the economy to a halt by mid-January. The president deftly took the wind out of protester sails by announcing a partial rollback in prices, still leaving prices effectively double that of December. The trade union federation immediately called off the protests. Then, revealingly, Goodluck Jonathan's government ordered the military to take to the streets to "keep order" and de facto prevent new protests. All that took place during one of the bloodiest waves of bombings and murder rampages by the terrorist Boko Haram sect creating a climate of extreme chaos.

What has been buried from international accounts of the unrest is the explicit role the US-dominated International Monetary Fund (IMF) played in the situation. With suspicious timing IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde was in Nigeria days before the abrupt subsidy decision of President Jonathan. By all accounts, the IMF and the Nigerian government have been careful this time not to be blatant about openly announcing demands to ends subsidies as they were in Tunisia before food protests became the trigger for that country's Twitter putsch in 2011.

by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Sat May 26th, 2012 at 06:00:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's obvious she has no idea what she's talking about.

guaranteed to evoke a violent reaction from police is to challenge their right to "define the situation." --- David Graeber citing Marc Cooper
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat May 26th, 2012 at 06:02:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh yes, she has. She is saying that have-nots far away deserve some compassion, but have-nots in her backyard make her feel uncomfortable. And so they should.
by Katrin on Sat May 26th, 2012 at 06:25:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If only they paid their taxes, they'd be fine.
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sat May 26th, 2012 at 06:30:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Of course she knows what she says! Parents are guilty of the evils of their children for not being obedient.
by PerCLupi on Sat May 26th, 2012 at 10:46:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
As a followup (h/t comment on Varoufakis' blog), Lagarde herself pays no taxes.
Sur le traitement annuel de 323 257 euros, auquel s'ajoutent des frais de représentation de 57 829 euros, Christine Lagarde, la nouvelle directrice du FMI ne paiera aucun impôt, grâce à son statut fiscal spécifique de fonctionnaire international.
by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Mon May 28th, 2012 at 03:46:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Euro zone citizens in support of euro | Athens News
Six out of 10 voters who expressed a preference from Greece, Germany, France, Italy and Spain said they would opt to keep their countries in the euro, Thursday's Ipsos poll found, with the same proportion in favour of holding such a referendum.

...Three-quarters of decided Greek voters there said they would back the euro.

But in Germany and Italy a far slimmer majority of voters backed the euro, with 57 percent of those decided in favour in both cases.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat May 26th, 2012 at 06:47:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Poll shows Syriza in ballot lead | Athens News
...The Public Issue/Skai Tv poll in full goes as follows:

Syriza 30%
New Democracy 26%
Pasok 15.5%
Independent Greeks 8%
Democratic Left 6.5%
KKE 5%
Golden Dawn 4%
ReCreate Greece - Drasi 3%
Rest 2%

But another survey published on Thursday by Data RC, a little-known pollster, showed New Democracy slightly ahead with 29.4 percent to Syriza's 28.8 percent.

...The overwhelming majority of Greeks, 85 percent according to Public Issue, want to keep the euro. But at the same time they oppose the austerity conditions agreed with the EU and IMF.

Then there is still a sizeable proportion of ND and PASOK voters who are fools.

With results as per the Public Issue/Skai Tv poll, SYRIZA would get 126-127 seats, so no majority even with Independent Greeks support (20 seats), it would depend on the Democratic Left and/or KKE. Would Recreate Greece (or Golden Dawn) barely fail the 3% limit, they would get a combined 150 seats, one short of majority.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sat May 26th, 2012 at 07:01:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Bloomberg: Hey, Germany: You Got a Bailout, Too (May 24, 2012)
Let's begin with the observation that irresponsible borrowers can't exist without irresponsible lenders. Germany's banks were Greece's enablers. Thanks partly to lax regulation, German banks built up precarious exposures to Europe's peripheral countries in the years before the crisis. By December 2009, according to the Bank for International Settlements, German banks had amassed claims of $704 billion on Greece, Ireland, Italy, Portugal and Spain, much more than the German banks' aggregate capital. In other words, they lent more than they could afford.

When the European Union and the European Central Bank stepped in to bail out the struggling countries, they made it possible for German banks to bring their money home. As a result, they bailed out Germany's banks as well as the taxpayers who might otherwise have had to support those banks if the loans weren't repaid. Unlike much of the aid provided to Greece, the support to Germany's banks happened automatically, as a function of the currency union's structure.

...

Here's how it worked. When German banks pulled money out of Greece, the other national central banks of the euro area collectively offset the outflow with loans to the Greek central bank. These loans appeared on the balance sheet of the Bundesbank, Germany's central bank, as claims on the rest of the euro area. This mechanism, designed to keep the currency area's accounts in balance, made it easier for the German banks to exit their positions.

Now for the tricky part: As opposed to the claims of the private banks, the Bundesbank's claims were only partly the responsibility of Germany. If Greece reneged on its debt, the losses would be shared among all euro-area countries, according to their shareholding in the ECB. Germany's stake would be about 28 percent. In short, over the last couple of years, much of the risk sitting on German banks' balance sheets shifted to the taxpayers of the entire currency union.

A different take on the Target2 balances...

guaranteed to evoke a violent reaction from police is to challenge their right to "define the situation." --- David Graeber citing Marc Cooper
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat May 26th, 2012 at 11:05:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Indeed, we have made this point many times. one might then sympathize with the Finnish and Austrians, etc., footing the bill not only for Greece's imploding economy but also the bailout of German and French banks, the two biggest lenders to Greece.

It's not enough, however, to say, that German banks are being bailed out, we should also ask why did German banks amass hundreds of billions of debt to the periphery, an outsize amount even for a country of its strength? Germany's export sector benefited most. There may be a relationship there.

by Upstate NY on Sat May 26th, 2012 at 11:57:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Government export subsidies are illegal state aid. But private vendor finance to exporters followed by a government bailout of the financiers isn't.

Funny, that.

guaranteed to evoke a violent reaction from police is to challenge their right to "define the situation." --- David Graeber citing Marc Cooper

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun May 27th, 2012 at 03:41:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
 ECONOMY & FINANCE 


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri May 25th, 2012 at 01:47:36 PM EST
Spain's stock market halts trading of Bankia shares - FINANCE - FRANCE 24

AFP - Spain's stock market suspended trade in Bankia's plunging shares on Friday as media reports said the struggling lender may seek up to 20 billion euros ($25 billion) from the state to stay afloat.

Bankia requested the suspension ahead of a board meeting to decide on a recapitalisation plan, "in view of the lack of precision on the figures" ahead of its decision, the bank said in a statement.

Bankia's shares plummeted 7.43 percent on Thursday to close at 1.57 euros, taking total losses to more than 58 percent since their listing in July 2011 when Bankia was formed by the merger of seven savings banks.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri May 25th, 2012 at 01:47:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
25 days too late. Bankia's parent BFA missed a 30 April deadline for filing audited accounts with the stock market supervisor, the CNMV.

guaranteed to evoke a violent reaction from police is to challenge their right to "define the situation." --- David Graeber citing Marc Cooper
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri May 25th, 2012 at 04:25:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
...Bankia's plunging shares on Friday as media reports said the struggling lender may seek up to 20 billion euros ($25 billion) from the state to stay afloat.

If Bankia is not currently a "state owned bank" (whatever that means), will it be "state owned", i.e. public owned, if the bailout goes through? If not, why not?

The good news ... it's only a life sentence. You eventually leave this planet of idiots.

by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Fri May 25th, 2012 at 04:26:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Today the entire board of Bankia resigned after admitting losses of over €3bn for 2011, when they had reported profits of €300M previously.

The equity of the parent company in Bankia, some 12bn, had been cut by 30% by the auditors (still well over market price) at the end of 2012Q1. This wiped out the entire equity of the parent company BFA and prompted the nationalization of the parent as the government's convertible commitments would be exercised and become the new equity.

When this was disclosed 3 weeks ago, Bankia stock started to slide. Today its listing was suspended pending a new audit (why it wasn't suspended 3 weeks ago is beyond me). The remaining equity of BFA in Bankia is all but wiped out. This means BFA is no longer Bankia's parent. There's talk of a €19bn state equity injection. There will be a need for an additional equity injection in the parent.

all in all, at least 20bn if not 25 or 30. So all the government's budget cuts over the past 4 months to reduce the deficits to the EU's content, for naught.

guaranteed to evoke a violent reaction from police is to challenge their right to "define the situation." --- David Graeber citing Marc Cooper

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri May 25th, 2012 at 04:36:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
... the entire board of Bankia resigned ...

They pull off a bank heist and they walk away? That's the way the game is played today?

The good news ... it's only a life sentence. You eventually leave this planet of idiots.

by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Fri May 25th, 2012 at 05:49:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ElPais.com in English: Bankia to ask for a further 19 billion euros in bailout funds
The Bank of Spain's Orderly Bank Restructuring Fund (FROB) is already converting 4.465 billion euros in preference shares given to BFA into common stock, which will give the government control of both BFA and Bankia. The total rescue package of 23.5 billion euros will be by far the biggest bailout in Spain. The government had earlier calculated that a clean-up of the banking system as a whole would not amount to more than 15 billion euros, half of which was earmarked for Bankia.

...

The government is considering folding all of the lenders that have been taken over by the Bank of Spain to form a large public bank. The government has also taken over the reins at Caixa Catalunya, Novagalicia and Banco de Valencia.

Ahead of a meeting with Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, the leader of the main opposition Socialist Party, Alfredo Rubalcaba, said this was an option worth considering.



guaranteed to evoke a violent reaction from police is to challenge their right to "define the situation." --- David Graeber citing Marc Cooper
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri May 25th, 2012 at 05:02:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ElPais.com in English: Crisis will prevent savings banks from financing social projects (11 May 2012)
According to the CMNV market watchdog, as a separate entity BFA posted 439.3 million euros of losses last year. But when listed as a group with Bankia, it declared minimal earnings of 41 million euros. Nevertheless, the losses suffered by BFA will prevent it from passing out any more money to the seven savings banks for their non-profit work, sources say.

Setting up charitable organizations is one of the biggest and most important factors of the Spanish savings bank sector. But the ongoing economic crisis, monetary losses suffered by some financial institutions and the nationalization of others has crippled this type of work.

For example, the future financing of cultural center La Casa Encendida, one of the principal symbols of Caja Madrid in the sector, is now up in the air because of the BFA-Bankia shakeup. How it is going to continue to finance public projects is still unclear, organization sources say.



guaranteed to evoke a violent reaction from police is to challenge their right to "define the situation." --- David Graeber citing Marc Cooper
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat May 26th, 2012 at 05:05:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
EUobserver.com / Economic Affairs / Moment of truth for EU's Caspian gas pipeline
BRUSSELS - The EU's Nabucco pipeline project is shrinking and by the end of June it might vanish for good.

...the project has shrunk and has a new name: Nabucco West. The old project is being called Nabucco Classic.

Nabucco West is to be a 1,300-km-long pipeline to bring 10 bcm of Azerbaijani gas from the Bulgarian-Turkish border to Austria from 2017.

It is in competition with two other options: the Tap pipeline to ship the gas from Turkey to Italy and the Seep pipeline to ship it from Turkey to Austria.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri May 25th, 2012 at 01:47:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Presumably when it disappears it will be rebranded Nabucco Zero.
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sat May 26th, 2012 at 06:31:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Zero calories, same great taste.

guaranteed to evoke a violent reaction from police is to challenge their right to "define the situation." --- David Graeber citing Marc Cooper
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat May 26th, 2012 at 06:36:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
EU-Argentina disputes escalate | EurActiv

The European Union filed a suit against Argentina's import restrictions with the World Trade Organization (WTO) today (25 May), intensifying the disputes between the South American nation and its trading partners.

The EU's executive Commission said the case followed restrictive measures by Argentina, including an import licensing regime and an obligation on companies to balance imports with exports.

...The suit is not directly linked to Argentine President Cristina Fernandez's April decision to seize control of its biggest oil company, YPF, a subsidiary of Spain's Repsol, EU officials said (see background).



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri May 25th, 2012 at 01:48:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Mark Zuckerberg saved $111m by selling Facebook shares before stock slumped - Business News - Business - The Independent

Mark Zuckerberg, the social network's founder, sold shares in the company worth £720m on Friday, the day it floated on New York's Nasdaq stock market. But the price plummeted soon afterwards, from the $38 a share (£23.95) at which Mr Zuckerberg sold his stock. The price difference meant Mr Zuckerberg saved £111m by getting out early.

The shares closed at $32 on Wednesday, 15 per cent below the float price.

Some investors are now suing Facebook and the banks that organised its public listing for not revealing information about the firm's financial health prior to flotation. One of the lawsuits filed in New York by three investors alleges that the company's documents about its initial public offering, or IPO, included various statements that were not true.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri May 25th, 2012 at 01:48:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Facebook could face huge damage claims from IPO - SiliconValley.com
Facebook could be on the hook for $1 billion or more in damages if plaintiffs lawyers can prove allegations that the company and its bankers misled investors in its initial public offering.
"Facebook has plenty to fear," Coffee said. "It's up to a jury to determine what's material, (but) if the case survives a motion to dismiss, it's likely to settle -- and to settle at a dear price."

Under a regulation that was put in place during the dot-com boom, public companies are generally prohibited from sharing material information with some investors but not others. However, there's a loophole in the regulations for nonpublic companies, even those that are about to go public, securities law experts said. So even though investors may feel mistreated, such selective disclosure probably wasn't illegal.

"In every roadshow there tends to be information revealed that's likely material but that does not get given to the ordinary investor," Coffee said.

The key question for Facebook, the banks and its investors is whether the information company officials shared with the Wall Street analysts was significantly different from what the company was telling investors in the documents, securities law experts said.

by Bernard on Sat May 26th, 2012 at 08:50:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Zuckerberg has been involved in big lawsuits almost every step of the way. At some point, you start t wonder about this guy.
by Upstate NY on Sat May 26th, 2012 at 11:58:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Partner sues Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers firm for sex discrimination, retaliation - SiliconValley.com

In accusations that are rocking the staid venture capital world, a female partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers has filed a lawsuit accusing Silicon Valley's premier firm of sexual discrimination and retaliation.

Ellen Pao, a Harvard-educated partner on Kleiner's digital team who has been with the firm since 2005, charged that she was pressured to have sex with one partner, propositioned by another and then punished when she complained to top management.

Can a sexual harassment suit shatter the glass ceiling in tech? -- Tech News and Analysis

Let's be blunt about something else: someone's finally had the nerve to stand up and say what we've all known for years. It is common knowledge that VC firms are one of the last bastions of boys clubs. Whether Pao specifically was excluded from meetings at KP and subjected to gifts of dirty books is still to be determined. But if she wasn't, many other women have been, and it is for those women that Pao had to do this.
by Bernard on Sat May 26th, 2012 at 08:56:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
 WORLD 


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri May 25th, 2012 at 01:48:23 PM EST
Hollande defends troop pullout on Afghanistan visit - Afghanistan - FRANCE 24
AFP - President Francois Hollande visited Afghanistan on Friday to defend France's imminent departure from the war, telling troops that it would be coordinated closely with Afghan and NATO allies.

..."Without having totally disappeared, the terrorist threat from Afghanistan to our and our allies' territory has been partially curbed," he said.

Hollande said 2,000 French soldiers would leave by the end of the year, but added that France would continue development projects. He has also indicated that French troops will continue to train Afghan police and soldiers.

But the time had come, he said, for Afghans to "take the path they choose freely" in deciding the future of their country.

Hollande is right to pull French troops from a mission with no chance to achieve its (unclear) goals, but he doesn't dare to speak clearly.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Fri May 25th, 2012 at 01:50:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hollande has to stop being such a gutless pussy. Maybe he needs me as a spokesman. I'll send him an email volunteering my voice.

The good news ... it's only a life sentence. You eventually leave this planet of idiots.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Fri May 25th, 2012 at 04:29:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Muslim Brotherhood claims spot in presidential run-off - EGYPT - FRANCE 24

AP - The candidate of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood won a spot in a runoff election, according to partial results Friday from Egypt's first genuinely competitive presidential vote. A veteran of the regime of ousted leader Hosni Mubarak and a leftist were in a tight race for second place and the chance to run against him.

The runoff will be held on June 16-17, pitting the two top contenders from the first round of voting held Wednesday and Thursday. The victor is to be announced June 21.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri May 25th, 2012 at 01:50:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Shiite hostages released in Syria - LEBANON-SYRIA - FRANCE 24

AP - A group of Lebanese Shiites who were kidnapped in Syria were released in good health Friday, three days after Syrian rebels abducted the men as they returned from a religious pilgrimage, officials said.

The kidnappings fueled fears that Lebanon is getting drawn into the bloody conflict in neighboring Syria. In the hours after Tuesday's abductions, protests erupted in Beirut's Shiite-dominated southern suburbs, where residents burned tires and blocked roads.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri May 25th, 2012 at 01:50:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Extremist Islamists prohibit alcohol in birthplace of Tunisian revolution | The Observers
Despite the local population's resistance, Salafist Islamists have succeeded in forcefully shutting down nearly every business that sells alcohol in the southern Tunisian town of Sidi Bouzid, best known for being the location of the early protests that sparked the Arab Spring.

According to some of our Observers, armed Salafists - extremist Sunni Muslims who aim to impose Sharia law - stormed the city's bars and cafés and forced them to shut down on May 18. In retaliation, some bar owners and patrons vandalized a local mosque.

Local authorities did not explicitly condemn the forced shutdown, and the regional governor has since proposed that the bars located in the city centre be moved to the industrial part of town. However, Tunisia's justice minister, Nourredine B'hiri, said that the perpetrators of these acts of violence will be "severely punished."



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri May 25th, 2012 at 01:51:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
China rejects US criticism on human rights - CHINA-US - FRANCE 24

Asked about criticism of China in the report, Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei condemned it for being prejudiced.

"The United States State Department's annual report on human rights maligns other countries, and the content concerning China ignores the facts and is filled will prejudice, confusing black and white," he told a daily news briefing.

Since the launch of landmark economic reforms more than three decades ago, Hong said: "China's human rights endeavours have made achievements that are plain for all the world to see. The Chinese people themselves have the most right to speak about China's human rights situation".

Do "the Chinese people" really have the right to speak?... The amount of hypocrisy going around is just insufferable.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Fri May 25th, 2012 at 01:51:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Student protests revive debate over Quebec independence - QUEBEC - FRANCE 24

When thousands gathered in Montreal this week to commemorate 100 days of student protests events soon turned ugly.

As the day wore on, demonstrators began hurling rocks at riot police who in return charged at protesters. Hundreds were arrested.

...What had started as a minority student protest against a projected 82 percent hike in university tuition fees back in February has escalated into a popular movement, bringing together anti-capitalists and environmentalists under the same umbrella.

The protests, which have been backed by the separatist Quebecois Party (PQ), have also given a much needed boost to the independence movement in the predominantly French speaking region.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri May 25th, 2012 at 01:51:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
 LIVING OFF THE PLANET 
 Environment, Energy, Agriculture, Food 


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri May 25th, 2012 at 01:51:50 PM EST
Parliament backs resource-efficiency roadmap | EurActiv

The EU's roadmap for a resource-efficient Europe received a green light from the European Parliament yesterday (24 May), in a bid to "turn talk into reality" for green economic growth.

"Implementation of my report would mean economic growth, creation of jobs, and protection of the environment," said the Dutch Liberal MEP Gerben-Jan Gerbrandy, who drafted the report on behalf of the Parliament. "What are we waiting for?" he asked.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri May 25th, 2012 at 01:51:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Europe's airline CEOs blast "crazy" carbon pricing scheme | EurActiv

Europe's airline executives launched a new salvo against the EU's Emissions Trading System (ETS) yesterday (24 May), just weeks before an international working group is due to make new proposals aimed at resolving the dispute over pricing air carbon emissions.

CEO's from 13 of Europe's top airlines lined up at a press conference in the Brussels airport's Sheraton Hotel to savage the ETS as "crazy" at a time when economic growth was imperative.

"Europe can't afford a trade war at a time like this," said Willie Walsh, CEO for the International Airlines Group, British Airways parent group. "The Commission has to move quickly to defuse the tensions that exist and which are rising on a daily basis."

The airline lobby is shouting ever more loudly on this issue. I'm pretty much resigned to the EU balking on it...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Fri May 25th, 2012 at 01:52:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
 LIVING ON THE PLANET 
 Society, Culture, History, Information 


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri May 25th, 2012 at 01:52:51 PM EST
MEPs want stronger consumer rules for seniors, children | EurActiv
Europe's consumer laws fail to protect the most vulnerable people, say member of the European Parliament who called for tougher measures to prevent senior citizens, children and the disabled from being victims of rip-offs or aggressive marketing.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri May 25th, 2012 at 01:52:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Interview with Daniel Kahneman on the Pitfalls of Intuition and Memory - SPIEGEL ONLINE
Can doctors and investment advisers be trusted? And do we live more for experiences or memories? In a SPIEGEL interview, Nobel Prize-winning psychologist Daniel Kahneman discusses the innate weakness of human thought, deceptive memories and the misleading power of intuition.

...SPIEGEL: Experts, for example, have gathered a lot of experience in their respective fields and, for this reason, are convinced that they have very good intuition about their particular field. Shouldn't we be able to rely on that?

Kahneman: It depends on the field. In the stock market, for example, the predictions of experts are practically worthless. Anyone who wants to invest money is better off choosing index funds, which simply follow a certain stock index without any intervention of gifted stock pickers. Year after year, they perform better than 80 percent of the investment funds managed by highly paid specialists. Nevertheless, intuitively, we want to invest our money with somebody who appears to understand, even though the statistical evidence is plain that they are very unlikely to do so. Of course, there are fields in which expertise exists. This depends on two things: whether the domain is inherently predictable, and whether the expert has had sufficient experience to learn the regularities. The world of stock is inherently unpredictable.

SPIEGEL: So, all the experts' complex analyses and calculations are worthless and no better than simply betting on the index?

Kahneman: The experts are even worse because they're expensive.

SPIEGEL: So it's all about selling snake oil?

Kahneman: It's more complicated because the person who sells snake oil knows that there is no magic, whereas many people on Wall Street seem to believe that they understand. That's the illusion of validity ...



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri May 25th, 2012 at 01:53:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
 PEOPLE AND KLATSCH 


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri May 25th, 2012 at 01:53:20 PM EST
Gaga upsets Thai fans with Rolex quip - Asia - World - The Independent
Lady Gaga upset fans by saying she wants to go shopping in Bangkok - for a fake Rolex. She made the comment to her Twitter followers, sparking uproar among some Thai fans who called it offensive and insulting.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri May 25th, 2012 at 01:53:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Schoolboy cracks age-old maths problem - The Local
A 16-year-old schoolboy has solved a mathematical problem which has stumped mathematicians for centuries, a newspaper report said. The boy put the historical breakthrough down to "schoolboy naivety."

Shouryya Ray, who moved to Germany from India with his family at the age of 12, has baffled scientists and mathematicians by solving two fundamental particle dynamics problems posed by Sir Isaac Newton over 350 years ago, Die Welt newspaper reported on Monday.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Sat May 26th, 2012 at 05:56:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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