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No man is an island, entire of itself...any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.

John Donne (1572-1631)

Europe is slowly committing suicide.  After 50 years of seeking a common path forward, nationalism is dividing Europe once again.  Unlike pre-World War Two nationalism, which drew upon raw emotion, today's nationalism draws upon a "sophisticated" moral superiority.

Frugal Germans lecture their lazy Southern neighbors about the values of thrift and industry, driving a wedge between the righteous and the wicked.  Because no nation is an island, the economic death of Greece is causing the bell to toll for all of Europe.

Shockingly, German leaders are calling for the dismantling of the Greek democracy.  At one time Europeans demanded an end to dictatorships as the price for entering the Union.  Now, the return of a dictatorship is the price for staying in the Union.

"When Wolfgang Schäuble proposed that Greece should postpone its elections as a condition for further help, I knew that the game would soon be up. We are at the point where success is no longer compatible with democracy. The German finance minister wants to prevent a 'wrong' democratic choice."
Wolfgang Schäuble is the German Finance Minister and no small player in the drama.  Does he truly believe Germany can kill democracy in Greece and not kill democracy in Europe?

What is even more absurd is Mr. Schäuble's definition of "success."  Success doesn't mean putting the Greek economy back on the path to growth or even enhancing it's ability to pay its debt.  Success means satisfy a need to discipline bad behavior.  A secret report prepared for European finance ministers clearly lays out the likely failure of the latest round "reforms".

The report warns that the balance of risks is to the downside -- if Greek primary balance does not rise above 2.5 percent of GDP, from -1 percent in 2012, debt would be on an ever increasing trajectory.

If revenues from privatisation are only 10 billion euros rather than 46 billion by 2020, Greek debt would be 148 percent of GDP in eight years.

If Greek economic growth is permanently higher than 1 percent a year, debt would fall to 116 percent of GDP by 2020, but if it is permanently lower, debt would rise to 143 percent.

Because Greece will be financing itself mainly through the EFSF, a rise in the borrowing costs for the fund of 100 basis points would mean Greek debt at 135 percent in 2020.

Where is the "success" here?  More pain, but no gain.  No wonder these changes will require the end of Greek democracy.

There are, however, two real paths to success.   One would require Greece to leave the EURO, while the other would allow it to keep the EURO.  Only the second path allows "Europe" to live.

Greece could leave the EURO and follow the path craved out by Icelanders.  Iceland was not part of the EURO zone when the banking system collapsed.  Average citizens rejected their political leader advice and refused to take responsibility for high flying bankers.  Unlike the rest of Europe, Iceland is growing again.  What did they do?

Iceland’s approach to dealing with the meltdown has put the needs of its population ahead of the markets at every turn.

Once it became clear back in October 2008 that the island’s banks were beyond saving, the government stepped in, ring-fenced the domestic accounts, and left international creditors in the lurch. The central bank imposed capital controls to halt the ensuing sell-off of the krona and new state-controlled banks were created from the remnants of the lenders that failed.

Putting the welfare of the people first.  What a remarkable concept.  Would this decision  have been made in an undemocratic system?  Is it any wonder that Germans are afraid of Greek democracy.  If Greece retains its democracy how long will German banks pull the strings?

What is the other path?  The creation of a truly federal Europe. In the United States, the federal government has the ability to use both fiscal policy and monetary policy to stabilize the economy.   Instead of having 51 states driving in different directions, the federal government can rally the nation around a common goal.  Europe, on the other hand, is acting as if each state is an island.

Hans Humes, President and CEO, Greylock Capital Management, has a more modern analogy.

"I was thinking as I came in this morning, when you start getting a traffic jam, if every car in the traffic jam had its priorities as the ultimate priority, you'd have a smashup pretty quickly...You've got sort of 17, 18 cars driving along in the Greek restructuring, and to some extent I feel that everybody's priorities, the decision makers are for their institutions and they're kind of losing sight of what the real mission should be here."
Hume gets it.  If one car crashes, it really doesn't matter whose at fault.  Everybody gets hurt.

Europe can't do what the US did at the start of the crisis--provide direct aid to states and use the FED to prevent default.  The European  individual states can't do what Iceland did without leaving the Euro.  European leaders have been lying to themselves and their people. Either Europe breaks apart or it creates a federal system.

Instead, they have been following a suicide pact which forces Europe slowing to bleed to death.  Worse, "responsible" leaders are calling for the end of Greece democracy.  If the bankers can do it to one European state, would it be easier or harder the next time?

Ask not for whom the bell tolls Europe; it tolls for you.

 

8:23 PM PT: Fact meet theory. "Pedro Santos Guerreiro, editor of the financial daily Negocios, fears European leaders have lost control of the crisis. 'We have all reasons to fear that we may enter this debt cycle of Greece,' says Guerreiro, 'which is: Austerity brings more recession, which brings austerity that brings more austerity — and then you are eating your babies and your sons.'"

Addition requires adding. Subtraction leave you with less. Basic math.  

http://www.npr.org/...

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Comment Preferences

  •  good diary (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gooserock, Evolutionary, Nice Ogre

    but we can't stop the banksters here,  over there, they have ceded so much of their economies to the shared economic models, I doubt they can stop themselves from ripping it all apart in the name of saving the union.  When they go, they will pull the world economy down again.

    But you can't unring a bell either, it is too late.

    •  Thanks (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      3goldens, Evolutionary, kaliope, DBunn, jfromga

      I guess that I'm programmed to be optimistic.  Up close it's ugly, but in the long train of human events, we are fixing our mistakes at a faster pace than any other time in human history.  

      Knowledge is power.  We have the knowledge.  It's up to the people to provide the will.

    •  It is never too late (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Glenn Melancon, jfromga

      No matter how dire the situation, it is never too late to get the best outcome that current circumstances allow. That is why we never give up. That is always what we are going for.

      •  I call that picking up the pieces (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DBunn

        once the disaster has been fully set up,  the minds of the decision makers set in concrete, the disaster will happen.

        Up to this point, mankind has survived all disasters.  As this one is only metal and money, we will survive it.  Poorer, probably not wiser.   Individual people will lose everything, some will die.

        The real challenge is the environment,  the shit storm stirring there may be too large.   We may have a choice there, but we still have to dislodge the multinational corporation and their interlocking boards of a few handfuls of very rich people from government and policy making.  Otherwise, it will truly be too late.

    •  I Agree (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jfromga

      Let Europe be a lesson on what happens when there is austerity. Even worse is austerity without representation.

  •  It Is Difficult For Me To Believe That... (0+ / 0-)

    the Greek People have the strength to do what Iceland did.  The Greeks are responding by burning down buildings and destroying their own wealth.  That is a bad reaction for any people.  The elected leaders are hurting the people, but so are the unelected leaders.

    •  some are "burning down buildings and destroying" (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      3goldens, Greyhound, Evolutionary, DBunn

      On the other hand, elections would provide a more controlled outlet for their rage.  Eliminating a legitimate means to accomplish a democratic goal will only produce more violence.  Unfortunately, I believe we are witnessing the start of a revolution in Greece.  Many are hopeless and the message from Brussels is simple, "you ain't seen nothing yet."

      •  If there are no elections in Greece, it's not the. (3+ / 0-)

        ...fault of Brussels.

        Rather, it's the fault of Greek pols.

        Greek pols in power realize that the optimal solution for the Greek people is for the country to leave the Euro.

        But if that happened, they would become instant pariahs among the overpaid Eurocrats in Brussels.  Therefore, they are willing to sacrifice their people for the sake of their professional reputations.

        Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project. http://www1.hamiltonproject.org/es/hamilton/hamilton_hp.htm

        by PatriciaVa on Tue Feb 21, 2012 at 03:41:23 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Sometimes The Medicine Tastes Bad... (4+ / 0-)

          Unfortunartely, there will be lots of pain no matter what road they take.  If they take a road like Iceland or Argentina, at least they will have something in 10 years.

          But, if they are looking for a solution without pain, they will follow a huckster and it will get worse.

        •  There are a good many other reasons to (0+ / 0-)

          stay in the euro if you're Greece. Greece isn't a typical country which would gain in the short and medium term by floating their currency.

          But, I am going to admit now that I am wrong and that you have been right all along. For at least a year, I've been saying that Greece needs to default and STAY in the eurozone for the benefit of its long term future. It took awhile but now it's plainly clear that the solidarity Greece showed with Europe 2 years ago (in not defaulting immediately) is not being repaid in kind, and instead the Europeans are engaged in destroying Greece, taunting it with racist jeers, in order to push it out of the eurozone.

          I was suckered the way the Greek leaders were suckered. You were right.

          What I can't understand is why the Greek pols don't realize, at this point, there is no such thing as European solidarity. Europe is run by neoliberal wolves.

          There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

          by upstate NY on Wed Feb 22, 2012 at 09:29:28 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  "good many other reasons to" keep "Europe" (0+ / 0-)

            The EURO isn't just about money.  "Europe" also helps ease the migration of workers around Europe and facilitates an integration well bound economics.  Europe provides a common set of labor standards, universal health care as well as a social safety.  

            •  Out of the eurozone means they stay (0+ / 0-)

              in the EU, so they're not out of Europe.

              The labor standards foisted by the neoliberals through the eurozone project are deplorable. They insist on cuts to health care that literally kill people, over cuts to military weaponry.

              There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

              by upstate NY on Wed Feb 22, 2012 at 07:34:56 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  The Greek people have no power. Greek govt (0+ / 0-)

      is the problem, it's overrun with corrupt and (if not corrupt) subservient members of parliament, subservient to the 1%.

    •  You're comparing apples and oranges (0+ / 0-)

      Greece has cut its national budget by 34%.

      This would be like saying, I don't know if the Greek people circa 1942 can do (resist the German invaders) what the Greek people circa 1940 did (resist the Italian invaders).

      These are two totally different things.

      There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

      by upstate NY on Wed Feb 22, 2012 at 09:25:33 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Excellent diary. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Evolutionary

    Thank you for a thoughtful and thought-provoking look at what the events that are affecting Greece and its people mean.  I appreciated the links you provided.  What happens in Greece bears watching as does the behavior of the governments of Germany and France.  This is uncharted territory and it will have far-reaching implications----not just for Greece.

    We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both. Louis D. Brandeis

    by 3goldens on Tue Feb 21, 2012 at 03:12:59 PM PST

    •  Thanks. I claim nothing original (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      3goldens, Evolutionary

      It's simply my synthesis of the last couple of months.  I've always been fascinated by the European experiment.  I still hope they can come together.

      Besides the global implications, I sure like using a single currency when I travel. :)

    •  What is often overlooked is the fact that this (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      3goldens

      isn't just a European problem.  Banking fingers into Greece include American Corporations.  Our own 1% is getting money out of this deal.  They would sooner see Greece become the new example of what they will do to America.  No voting.  No rights.  No paycheck.  No Unions.  No food.  No Justice.

      George Orwell would be disgusted at the use of his fiction as a guide book.

      #OccupyOMC - "We have a permit, its called The Constitution".

      by Evolutionary on Tue Feb 21, 2012 at 08:02:22 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Excellent diary. The people of Greece are being (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Evolutionary

    culled and enslaved. Whatever happens, I stand with the people of Greece.

    Hope has a hole in it when Republicans come, bringing shackles and sorrow; branding their greed on the backs of the poor. - Wendy Connors

    by Wendys Wink on Tue Feb 21, 2012 at 03:31:10 PM PST

    •  Same here. I've seen lots of blame laid on (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Wendys Wink

      the Greek People.  They won't be the last country in this situation.  I wonder if all of those that like to lay blame on the Greek People will lay similar blame on Estonia, or Portugal, or Uruguay, or South Africa, etc.

      First they came for the Greeks, and I didn't speak up because I'm an American...

      The 1% have taken over an entire country.  They have taken over our country.  We could easily end up just like those people in Greece.  All that needs to happen is for Mitt Romney to become President.  

      But, this isn't Greece either.  Not yet.

      #OccupyOMC - "We have a permit, its called The Constitution".

      by Evolutionary on Tue Feb 21, 2012 at 08:07:31 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Europe does not need the Euro (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    andrewdski, Evolutionary

    Europe is not the United Sates of America.  Europe does not share a common history or language.  

    Furthermore, the second path, the path that would allow Europe to "live" as you describe it, would require a permanent fiscal transfer from Germany to the southern European states, equivalent to about 6% of GDP, annually.

    The German voter was explicitly told that a transfer union would NEVER be necessary.

    So, while you lament the potential loss of democracy in Greece, you seem to overlook the violation of democracy in Germany.

    My solution?

    Greece leaves the EuroZone, devalues, and proceeds to thrive.

    Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project. http://www1.hamiltonproject.org/es/hamilton/hamilton_hp.htm

    by PatriciaVa on Tue Feb 21, 2012 at 03:38:24 PM PST

    •  "Europe does not share a common history" (4+ / 0-)

      Actually, they do.  They share a history of killing each other because of prejudice and greed.  The European Union was designed to overcome that history.  It would be a tragedy if a failure in the banking industry reopened old wounds.

      Also, you write as if Greece leaving the EURO would be economically painless--a win-win.  Paul Krugman has explained many time that the EURO allows southern Europeans to buy German goods.  Take away their ability to buy and Germany's export driven economy suffers.

      http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/...

      Like it or not, they are Europeans.  We have had 200 years to come together and some Texans still have a hard time dealing with that fact.

      •  Do Greeks hate Germans more/less than 20 yrs ago? (0+ / 0-)

        That would be in my closing statement arguing for the dissolution of the EuroZone.

        Many people saw this coming.  You can't have a monetary union without a comprehensive system of fiscal transfers.

        And the Eurocrats sold the concept of the Eurozone as not needing one.

        Glenn, you're big on democracy, as am I.

        Let's have a referendum in Germany.  In every one of the 17 countries.

        I propose a United States of Europe, including a transfer union, comprised of 17 states.

        To be based in Berlin, with 2 legislative chambers.  The upper chamber will disproportionately represent the North, like the US Senate does the smaller states.  

        The official language will be either German or French, and each student will be taught said language for one hour a day.

        Let's have the referendum and see if the "Europeans" united behind the Germans.

        Or if they will do what I expect them to do - reintroduce their sovereign currencies and thrive.

        Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project. http://www1.hamiltonproject.org/es/hamilton/hamilton_hp.htm

        by PatriciaVa on Tue Feb 21, 2012 at 04:18:53 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Nice strawman (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          andrewdski, Timaeus, Lib Dem FoP

          Yes, if you wanted to "sell" a union doomed to failure, you definitely created one.  

          As a student of modern Europe, however, I have seen this drama play out many times.  The British repeatedly raised the specter of a centralized monster; it was remarkable close to your description.  Were there tough votes?  You betcha.  Do the rest of Europe move forward?  Yep.

          On the other hand, many Europeans, like many Americans, realize that you present a false choice.  You throw out "Berlin" in the same way conservatives throw out "Washington."

          I have no doubt that statesmen can chart a path forward that overcomes parochialism and brings people along.

          The idea that they can magically "do what I expect them to do - reintroduce their sovereign currencies and thrive," seems to me the more destructive option.  

          Only time will tell.

          •  Those "statesmen" you describe are responsible for (0+ / 0-)

            ....this mess.

            Again, they realized that this would come to pass.  But they were too coward to ask the Germans and Greeks to agree to a full transfer/fiscal union.

            They thought that by the time economics forced their hand, that either (a) Germans and Greeks would willingly give up sovereignty, or (b) the EuroCrats would unilaterally impose a United States of Europe on the masses, as they have already done in Greece and Italy.

            The overpaid EuroCrats in Brussels (only Mexican pols earn more) also ignore the path of history.  

            50 ago there were x countries, 25 years ago there were x+y, 10 years ago there were x+y+z.

            And ten from today there will be more countries than there are today.

            Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project. http://www1.hamiltonproject.org/es/hamilton/hamilton_hp.htm

            by PatriciaVa on Tue Feb 21, 2012 at 04:59:43 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  The Greeks would obviously give up sovereignty (0+ / 0-)

              for a real working system. It's the surplus countries that would not want any part of a federal Europe. They don't even need to pay for it, nor do they even need to recycle their surpluses. Rather, they need to simply give up control of their currency to a central bank. That does require commitment and common debt, but the control of sovereign finances would also revert to the federal state much as it does in the USA.

              There's no way to leave such a union, however, just as an American state would find it nearly impossible to secede from the USA.

              There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

              by upstate NY on Wed Feb 22, 2012 at 09:06:31 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  Glenn, I appreciate your diary (0+ / 0-)

            and think it's an excellent one, but I believe Patricia has a point.

            People are shocked in Europe at the level of invective.

            Last week, you had a blowup by an octogenarian, Greek WW2 resistance fighter (the ceremonial President of Greece) who is known for his diplomacy and never having said a harsh word to anyone. The epitome of class.

            He left Greece after the war to be educated in Germany, married a German woman, his children are half-German and live on Germany.

            The hatred this has caused is reminiscent of 1930s Europe.

            There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

            by upstate NY on Wed Feb 22, 2012 at 09:32:54 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  "People are shocked in Europe" (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              upstate NY

              No doubt.  The dream of Europe was born, however, out of the carnage of WWI.

              Keynes first warned Europeans against thinking of Europe as "divide."  In the Economic Consequences of the Peace he begged the statesmen in Paris to lead and not follow popular opinion.  http://en.wikipedia.org/...

              Jean Monet then rose to the occasion after WWII.  As the father of European unification, he had to get the Germans and the French to work together.  Does anyone doubt that the French hate the Germans after the war?  Of course not.  

              I have no idea what WILL happen.  I do have a pretty good idea that a divided Europe that turns back to nationalism will be worse.
               

  •  Let Me Echo Others' Praise... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Evolutionary, upstate NY

    for a well written summary.  I read Münchau's column in the FT this morning.  He suggests that Germany wants Greece to leave the Euro, and are deliberately provoking them to do so.

    I'm not sure I agree with that, but it does seem increasingly clear that the demands being made of Greece are simply impossible, an quite unreasonable.  I see no way for this to end well, at least in the short term, whatever happens.

    •  Munchau is right and many statesmen (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Glenn Melancon

      have said this is the game.

      This is my timeline of the last 2 weeks (one thing to remember, the second bailout was passed in June of 2011!!!) and here we are today!:

      The troika showed up in Greece 2 weeks ago and demanded austerity measures, which the Greeks duly passed despite huge demonstrations and a general strike.

      The next morning the Eurogroup demanded 325 million in additional cuts.

      Commentators everywhere said they had moved the goalposts. Some even predicted the Eurogroup would come up with lame additional demands after Greece approved the bill.

      The German FM Roesler and the Dutch FM talked of Greece not meeting deadlines immediately about an hour after the new demands.

      Huge demonstrations occurred as the Greek Parliament voted on the new demands and passed them.

      The very next morning, Schauble and others mentioned new increased requirements. Signed affidavits. On Sunday the day before, Greek gov't coalition member and ND party leader Samaras said of course he would sign such a document. He assured that everything would be ready for Wednesday's meeting.

      Monday the Eurogroup rejected Greece's plans to cut 300 million from the procurement of military weaponry (gee, I wonder why!!???). They said Greece hads not done it homework. They would not proceed with the bailout if Greece cuts its military.

      On Tuesday morning as Greece assured it will come up with a different mix for the 325 million (all within less than the span of 24 hours) the Wed. meeting was canceled. Why? Because they didn't trust Samaras to sign the document. Meanwhile, in Athens, Samaras was wondering what all the fuss is about. He assured two days earlier he would sign the document by the Wed. deadline he had been given. He signed it and sends it, and not only that, he took a .pdf of it on Tuesday morning and plastered it on the ND website.

      Wed. comes and the meeting has been canceled. The Greeks have long met all the additional requirements. Schauble makes his black hole comment and says Greece has not met the requirements of the debt sustainability prerequisite (a study which shows Greece's austerity program is not working -- NO SHIT, SHERLOCK!!!). A Dutch Deputy FM weighs in that the bailout program will be split and Greece will not receive its answer until AFTER new elections in April.

      Wed. night the Greeks received word that a new permanent viceroy would be appointed for Greece, that there will be a new escrow account. The Greeks meekly accept.

      Surprised by the level of scorn and humiliation the Greeks have accepted, Schauble adds one more heaping spoonful: the elections will be canceled, no Democratic elections for Greece, the two party leaders in the unity gov't have to step down for technocrats.

      Apparently, the Dutch flunkie doesn't get the memo because he's still bleating about giving the Greeks an answer after the next election.

      Friday morning comes and we hear of yet another new demand: all minor parties even outside of gov't, even splinter parties and tiny parties, must sign the document avowing fealty.

      People like Hans Werder Sinn come out discussing how Greece must leave the euro, the CEO of Bosch comes out and says the same thing, several others in and out of German gov't...

      Now, what comes next after Greece jumped over all the additional hurdles and even did the limbo?

      Now the agreement has to pass through several national legislatures in the eurozone. In addition, the so-called bailout (of which absolutely not a coin goes to Greece) requires 90% participation in the deal with private banks to restructure Greek debt. But after Greece passed all the hurdles, the ECB pulled a fast one. It automatically swapped all its Greek bonds (purchased at distressed levels and from which it made a huge profit) with totally new bonds it created for itself, as senior notes. I.e. these bonds could not be defaulted upon by Greece, and thereby they put the private loans in a secondary position to the very distressed bonds that were snapped up at a pittance. This literally means that the private investors who take a big loss on their Greek holdings may NEVER be paid back at all because the ECB's notes are now senior. OK, so fuck them, I can care less.

      But wait... what happens now if the private creditors do not come to an agreement with Greece in the face of negotiations to restructure the debt, precisely because all the incentive was taken away by the ECB (a Bundesbank front)? Well, it means the whole bailout collapses!!!!!

      Right back to step one.

      There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

      by upstate NY on Wed Feb 22, 2012 at 09:42:27 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I wrote this on my blog in November (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        upstate NY

        November 2, 2011
        Greeks lead Western Revolution?

        "Writing about the future is much harder than writing about the past. Sometimes, however, certain patterns become familiar. Events in Greece are one such pattern. This is how revolutions start. It seems the Greeks have reached their “1932″ moment. Average Greeks now know another attempt to “balance the budget” will makes things worse not better. For two years they were told that they could cut their way to prosperity. If the European economy collapses, will the American economy be far behind? Will voters demand more austerity fairy dust or real solutions? Learn from the past or repeat it."

        http://www.glennmelancon.com/...

        The Greeks will either burn Europe down or the rest of Europe will have to show leadership.  I really don't see how they put the genie back in the bottle.

  •  The mask is being ripped free: Banks run Europe. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Evolutionary, Andhakari

    It's been apparent that the Banks are in charge of the U.S. government; how else to explain the trillion dollar bail-out of the clowns who crashed the economy while individual citizen/homeowners were left underwater?

    So, good to know Europe is the same. The banks are the puppetmasters there too. Making sure that investors are made whole on the backs of Greek waiters and janitors.

    Nice.

  •  a United States of Europe will ultimately emerge (0+ / 0-)

    from the wreckage of the Eurozone. It may take a couple decades, but it will come about.

    America went through a period that resembled what Europe is going through now. It was called the Articles of Confederation and it didn't last very long because there was no central government powerful enough to weld the separate states into a nation.

    We shelved that after about a decade and set up a real Constitution with a strong central government that could regulate commerce and trade, levy taxes, and eventually, promote the general welfare by providing services such as SS, Medicare, education, public infrastructure, etc.

    The various European nations are too proud and jealous of their sovereignty to do that. Germany and France do not want to think of themselves as being wealthy states in a Union, like New York or California, but as independent nations.

    Once the Eurozone flies apart each country will go into isolationist mode and try to go it alone in trying to grow itself back to prosperity. It won't work, not even for France or Germany. There will be trade wars, and a lot of unemployment and mass migrations as people try to flee to wherever the jobs are.

    After a period of immiseration and social chaos, the governments of Europe just might get desperate enough to try the unthinkable and attempt to create a genuine Union.  

    "In America, the law is king." --Thomas Paine

    by limpidglass on Tue Feb 21, 2012 at 09:21:03 PM PST

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