But wait, we should have a look at the CBG’s statement that there was no demand increase. According to the official numbers from the Greek Central Bank, it sold almost 5,900 golden British Sovereigns in January whilst it sold a total of 7,857 coins in Q4 2014. If we would extrapolate the 5,849 coins in January, we would end up with a quarterly sales rate of 17,500 coins, or more than TWICE the sales for Q4 2014. That’s a 123% increase, but the central bank is stating it hasn’t seen a noticeable increase. Maybe their and our definitions of ‘noticeable’ are different, but if the demand for gold suddenly more than doubles, we wouldn’t really describe it as ‘no change’.
6th Subversive festival
14/05/2013, 19:00h, cinema Europa
Yanis Varoufakis “Confessions of an Erratic Marxist”
Moderator: Toni Prug
“When I chose my PhD thesis, I intentionally concentrated on a method within which Marx was not simply wrong, he was irrelevant. When I landed my first economics lectureship in Britain, the implicit contract between my university and me was that the sort of economics I would teach our students would be as far removed from Marxism as is humanly possible. When I moved to Australia in 1988, unbeknownst to me, I was recruited by the right wing of the Sydney University Economics Department in order to keep out of the Faculty another candidate whose former supervisor was thought of (quite rightly!) as a dangerous Marxist. Later I moved to Greece where I (foolishly) became, quiet officially, an advisor of George Papandreou — the man whose government was to mediate Greece’s passage to Hell a few years later. While I resigned that position in 2006, having gotten whiff of the impending disaster, I carried on teaching, at the University of Athens, quaint (and admittedly vulgar bourgeois) subjects like Game Theory and Microeconomics to a large number of Greek students, who remained touchingly oblivious to the catastrophe about to befall them. Back in 2002, well before the Global Crisis erupted, Joseph Halevi and I tried to sound a warning — but we failed to make an impact. Even though in 2006 I did my best to warn Greek society, and anyone who would listen, of the impending disaster, I shamefully remained part of Athens’ and Europe’s ‘polite society’, not once taking to the streets. When the Global Crisis erupted in 2008, and soon engulfed the Eurozone, I began writing articles and making frantic appearances in established and less mainstream media alike, promoting a fundamentally bourgeois agenda for saving capitalism from itself! When the going got really tough, at a personal level, in Greece, I migrated to the USA and took up an appointment at the University of Texas. To this day, I am struggling to impress the powers-that-be that they must urgently adopt specific bold policy recommendations in order to prevent an inevitable crisis from crushing capitalism. In summary, not one of my academic publications can be thought of as explicitly Marxist, while my energies are channeled into preventing capitalism’s collapse. Nonetheless, all along, from my student days in Britain to this very day, the only way I could make sense of the world we live in is through the methodological ‘eyes’ of Karl Marx. In itself, this ‘fact’ renders me a theoretical Marxist. Moreover, I feel Marxism in my bones every time I am engaged in any form of intellectual pursuit: from discussing the Arab Spring to debating the intricacies of Art with my artist partner. Furthermore, a democratic, libertarian, socialist future is the only future that I would be willing to fight for. A most peculiar Marxist no doubt, but a Marxist nevertheless.”
Political economist and a professor at the University of Texas, Austin. After training in mathematics and statistics, Varoufakis received his economics doctorate in 1987 at the University of Essex. Before that he has allready began teaching economics and econometrics at the University of Essex and the University of East Anglia. From 1989 until 2000 he taught as Senior Lecturer in Economics at the Department of Economics of the University of Sydney. In 2000 he moved to his native Greece where he was Professor of Economic Theory at the University of Athens. He is an active participant in the current debates on the global and European crisis and the author of The Global Minotaur: America, the True Origins of the Financial Crisis and the Future of the World Economy (2011). Continue reading »
*VAROUFAKIS: GREECE SEEKING ‘SUSTAINABLE LONG-TERM CONTRACT’, WANTS MORE THAN COSMETIC CHANGES TO RESCUE; ILLOGICAL TO ASK GREECE TO COMPLETE PLAN IT REJECTS, GREECE SHOULDN’T BE TREATED AS DEBT COLONY
And warns “ultimatums” never worked well in the Eurozone. Greece is “ready and willing to do whatever it takes,” and “expects Eurogroup to drop its ultimatum.”
UPDATE: *EU FINANCE MINISTERS’ TALKS WITH GREECE OVER FOR TODAY, GREECE SAYS WON’T TAKE ORDERS ON BAILOUT
Well that didn’t last long. It seems – just as earlier in the week – the ability for either side in this Euro-system death match game of chicken to find any common ground to even start negotiations remains lost:
GREEK GOVT OFFICIAL SAYS THAT “THERE CANNOT BE A DEAL TODAY”, EUROGROUP DISCUSSED “UNREASONABLE”, “UNACCEPTABLE” DRAFT TEXT INSISTING ON EXTENDING BAILOUT
In fact, reports sya that the text presented was a reversal of last Thursday’s agreement… The Germans are now calling for Tsipras to replace Varoufakis at the negotiating table. EURUSD is tumbling and S&P Futures are falling fast.
With only a few short hours until the process of everyone’s cards being revealed in Brussels begins, it is once again Greece’ turn to remind the other players on the table that no matter the quality of cards it has, it is not bluffing. Which is precisely what anyone bluffing would say.
In a just released Op-Ed in the NYT (were there no European newspaper willing to accept the Greek finance minister’s Op-Ed one wonders that he had to go all the way to the bastion of the left… in the United States) the new Greek finance minister says that not only is he not bluffing adding “that I have no right to bluff“, but using recent military jargon says that “the lines that we have presented as red will not be crossed. Otherwise, they would not be truly red, but merely a bluff.” Continue reading »
Few people understand the global economy and its (mis)management better than David Stockman — former director of the OMB under President Reagan, former US Representative, best-selling author of The Great Deformation, and veteran financier.
David is now loudly warning that events have entered the crack-up phase, which he predicts will be defined by the following 4 developments: Continue reading »
As anti-austerity protests continue to build in numbers across Europe (and not just in Spain where Podemos now holds a commanding poll lead over the status quo) KeepTalkingGreece reports that Greek parliamentary spokesman for Syriza, Nikos Filis notes “The wave of protests indicates a new beginning… And it scares the dominant forces in Europe. Because Syriza virus can spread and in their communities.” And we suspect that is indeed the Eurogroup’s greatest fear…
Icelandic Foreign Minister Jon Hannibalsson has outlined the reasons why the North Atlantic nation will not be joining the EU.
Despite formal negotiations on the country’s accession into the EU starting back in 2010, citizens were widely split on whether it would be a positive move, and the ruling coalition government was voted into power in 2013 on the promise that it would abandon the talks. Continue reading »
According to Kathimerini, late last night, Greek PM Tsipras chaired a meeting of his cabinet on Friday night to brief ministers on the state of talks with the eurozone. “With the possibility of the government having to make a compromise with the eurozone over the way forward in the next few days, Tsipras was eager to assess the mood of his cabinet. Some members, such as Energy Minister Panayiotis Lafazanis have been adamant that the government should stick to its pre-election pledges.” Which probably suggests that Greece is if not about to fold, then certainly cave on most, if not all, of its demands. Still, Greece is hopeful that some deus ex machina will appear in the last minute, and that delaying the inevitable will give it some further leverage. Which explains why, as Kathimerini reported, “the government is not holding out much hope for a solution in Brussels on Monday.
One of the biggest mysteries surrounding the February 2014 US-staged coup in Ukraine and the violent overthrow of then president Yanukovich, is “who started shooting first” by which we, of course, refer to the lethal shooting escalation between the government’s police force and random snipers who conducted target practice with various citizens and officials of the law during the crackdown at the Euro Maidan square protests, which eventually escalated into all out violence whose culmination was the overthrow of the president. Continue reading »
The game of words continues, and following reports both yesterday and today that first Germany, and then Greece would compromise, and in the case of the latter even do “whatever it can” to reach a deal, it is time for Europe’s bad cop, Eurogroup President Jeroen Dijsselbloem, to pour cold water on the party and crush Greek enthusiasm even more when he said moments ago that he was “very pessimistic” about the chances that a meeting he will chair on Monday of euro zone finance ministers would reach a final debt deal with Greece. Continue reading »
“In other words, despite all the posturing, all the harsh words, all the rhetoric, money once again walks. And it is precisely the threat of the money walking away that appears to have ended the Tsipras goverment’s will to continue pushing hard on its hard-line stance, leading to a government that is now willing to do “whatever we can.”
Which is music to the ears of Merkel and the ECB, as the can appears to have been kicked at least until the next Greek election after which nothing much will change either.”
Three days ago we observed that after surging in January, Greek deposits had slowed to a trickle in February, with just €1 billion in outflows, following the €12 billion redeemed in January. At least that was the case according to Reuters which cited a “senior banker who declined to be named.” The news appeared a little too good to be true, and as we suspected was merely an attempt at boosting “Greek leverage” ahead of the Euromeeting which ended in a spectacular, chaotic fashion, and no decision being made. Remember: the greater the bank outflows, the weaker the Greek negotiating stance when debating the Eurozone (whose leverage in turn is calculated by the level of the Eurostoxx 50). Continue reading »
With tax receipts tumbling and ELA funding hitting its limit, the Greeks are up against it. On the other side, the Greek strength in the face of EU’s demands (and Eurogroup’s realization of the uncertainty this could lead to) has apparently led to the start of compromise. As Bloomberg reports,
*GERMAN, GREEK OFFICIALS SIGNAL COMMON GROUND ON AID DEAL
*GERMANY SAID NOT TO INSIST ALL PARTS OF CURRENT BAILOUT STAY
*GREECE SAID TO BE OPEN TO SURPLUS, PRIVATIZATION DEBATE
As Merkel noted earlier, “Europe is always about finding a compromise,” and it appears they are getting closer – as long as a ‘program’ continues. Bundesbank’s Weidmann has noted that Grexit would not solve either side’s longer-term problems.
Press Statement John Kerry Secretary of State Washington, DC February 12, 2015
The United States welcomes the news that the OSCE-led Trilateral Contact Group, supported by Chancellor Merkel and Presidents Hollande, Poroshenko, and Putin, reached agreement on a ceasefire and heavy weapons withdrawal in eastern Ukraine, and on the implementation of the September Minsk agreements. We particularly commend the diplomatic efforts of our European Allies, Chancellor Merkel and President Hollande, and their teams in making this agreement possible. Actions will be what matter now. The first test of this agreement and the prospects for a comprehensive settlement will be the full implementation of the ceasefire and the withdrawal of heavy weapons by all parties – by Ukraine, the separatists, and Russia. All the parties must show complete restraint in the run-up to the Sunday ceasefire, including an immediate halt to the Russian and separatist assault on Debaltseve and other Ukrainian towns. Continue reading »
In this Keiser Report, Max Keiser and Stacy Herbert warn Greece to beware bureaucrats and bankers bearing bailouts. In the second half, Max continues with the second part of his interview with Kerry-Anne Mendoza about her new best selling book, “Austerity: The demolition of the welfare state and the rise of the zombie economy.”
In this episode of the Keiser Report back in London, Max Keiser and Stacy Herbert discuss the Greek situation and that a nation is not what it thinks it is but what others attempt to hide about that nation – like the fact that it is bankrupt. They discuss the role Goldman Sachs played in helping Greece hide its debts and, thus, strapping it to the euro and the mispricing of real risk by well-compensated bond investors lending to Greece at ultra low interest rates. They also discuss that, while deflated footballs was the main headline on the nightly news in America, a memo was delivered to Obama outlining the various ways that brokers defraud American investors of years worth of retirement income.