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Greek Bonds Slump As Austerity Backfires, Country Enters "Death Spiral", And The Violent End Game Approaches

Tyler Durden's picture




 

Those patiently following the Greek Bond-Bund spread to its inevitable conclusion have been fully aware that the plan that Europe is betting its entire future on, is patently flawed: namely that austerity, by its definition does not, and will not work. In fact, instead of bringing stability, austerity will slowly but surely eat away at the economy of whatever country it is instituted in - in some cases slowly, in others, like Greece, very rapidly. Indeed, the Greek spread has now risen to levels last seen during the early May near-revolution in Athens, at well over 800 bps. And for the specific consequences of austerity, Germany's Spiegel has done a terrific summary of what it defines as a "death spiral" for the Mediterranean country: "Stores are closing, tax revenues are falling and unemployment has hit an unbelievable 70 percent in some places. Frustrated workers are threatening to strike back. A mixture of fear, hopelessness and anger is brewing in Greek society." Spiegel quotes a atypical Greek: ""If you take away my family's bread, I'll take you down -- the government needs to know that. And don't call us anarchists if that happens! We're heads of our families and we're desperate." All those who think violent strikes in the PIIGS are a thing of the past, we have news for you. The (pseudo) vacation season is over, and millions of workers are coming back. They may not have money, but they have lots of free time, lots of unemployment, and even more pent up anger. Things are about to get very heated once again, first in Greece, and soon after, everywhere else.

Spiegel summarizes the big picture for those who still don't get it:

The feast of the Assumption of Mary on Aug. 15 is the high point of summer in the Greek Orthodox world. Here in one of the country's many churches, believers pray to the Virgin for mercy, with many of them falling to their knees.

The newspaper Ta Nea has recommended that the Greek government adopt the very same approach -- the country's leaders have to hope that Mary comes up with a miracle to save Greece from a serious crisis, the paper writes. Without divine intervention, the newspaper suggested, it will be a difficult autumn for the Mediterranean state.

This dire prognosis comes even despite Athens' massive efforts to sort out the country's finances. The government's draconian austerity measures have managed to reduce the country's budget deficit by an almost unbelievable 39.7 percent, after previous governments had squandered tax money and falsified statistics for years. The measures have reduced government spending by a total of 10 percent, 4.5 percent more than the EU and International Monetary Fund (IMF) had required.

The problem is that the austerity measures have in the meantime affected every aspect of the country's economy. Purchasing power is dropping, consumption is taking a nosedive and the number of bankruptcies and unemployed are on the rise. The country's gross domestic product shrank by 1.5 percent in the second quarter of this year. Tax revenue, desperately needed in order to consolidate the national finances, has dropped off. A mixture of fear, hopelessness and anger is brewing in Greek society.

The specifics on how the economy is getting skewered:

Unemployment Rates of up to 70 Percent:

There's hardly a worker in the shipbuilding district of Perama who could still manage that. Unemployment in the city hovers between 60 and 70 percent, according to a study conducted by the University of Piraeus. While 77 percent of Greek shipping companies indicate they are satisfied with the quality of work done in Perama, nearly 50 percent still send their ships to be repaired in Turkey, Korea or China. Costs are too high in Greece, they say. The country, they argue, has too much bureaucracy and too many strikes, with labor disputes often delaying delivery times.

Perama is certainly an unusually extreme case. But the shipyards' decline provides a telling example of the Greek economy's increasing inability to compete. Barely any of the country's industries can keep up with international competition in terms of productivity, and experts expect the country's gross domestic product to fall by 4 percent over the course of the entire year. Germany, by way of comparison, is hoping for growth of up to 3 percent.

Sales Figures Dropping Everywhere:

A short jaunt through Athens' shopping streets reveals the scale of the decline. Fully a quarter of the store windows on Stadiou Street bear red signs reading "Enoikiazetai" -- for rent. The National Confederation of Hellenic Commerce (ESEE) calculates that 17 percent of all shops in Athens have had to file for bankruptcy.

Things aren't any better in the smaller towns. Chalkidona was, until just a few years ago, a hub for trucking traffic in the area around Thessaloniki. Two main streets, lined with fast food restaurants and stores catering to truckers, intersect in the small, dismal town. Maria Lialiambidou's house sits directly on the main trucking route. Rent from a pastry shop on the ground floor of the building used to provide her with €350 per month, an amount that helped considerably in supplementing her widow's pension of €320.

A sign on the other side of the street advertises "Sakis' Restaurant." The owner, Sakis, is still hanging on, with customers filling one or two of the restaurant's tables now and then. "There's really no work for me here anymore," says one Albanian employee, who goes by the name Eleni in Greece. "Many others have already gone back to Albania, where it's not any worse than here. We'll see when I have to go too."

A pervasive depression with no way out:

The entire country is in the grip of a depression. Everything seems to be going downhill. The spiral is continuing unabated, and there is no clear way out. The worse part, however, is the fact that hardly anyone still hopes that things will improve one day.

The country's unemployment rate makes this trend particularly clear. In 2009, it was 9.5 percent. This year it may rise to 12.1 percent and economists expect it to reach 14.3 percent in 2011. Those, though, are only the official numbers, which were provided by Angel Gurría, secretary general of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The Greek trade union association GSEE considers those numbers far too optimistic. It considers 20 percent to be a more likely figure for 2011. This would put the unemployment rate as high as it was in 1960, when hundreds of thousands of Greeks were forced to emigrate. Meanwhile, purchasing power has fallen to its 1984 level, according to the GSEE.

And most dangerously, 'Things Are Starting to Simmer'

Menelaos Givalos, a professor of political science at Athens University, has appeared on television, warning viewers that the worst times are still to come. He predicts a large wave of layoffs starting in September, with "extreme social consequences."

"Everything is getting more expensive, I'm hardly earning any money, and then I'm supposed to pay more taxes to help save the country? How is that supposed to work?" asks Nikos Meletis, the shipbuilder. His friends, gathered in a small cafeteria on the pier in Perama, are gradually growing more vocal. They are all unemployed, desperate and angry at the politicians who got them into this mess. There is no sympathy here for any of the political parties and no longer any for the unions either.

"They only organize strikes to serve their own interests!" shouts one man, whose name is Panayiotis Peretridis. "The only thing that interests me anymore is my daily wage. A loaf of bread is my political party. I want to help my country -- give me work and I'll pay taxes! But our honor as first-class skilled workers, as heads of families, as Greeks, is being dragged through the dirt!"

"If you take away my family's bread, I'll take you down -- the government needs to know that," Meletis says. "And don't call us anarchists if that happens! We're heads of our families and we're desperate."

He predicts the situation will only become more heated. "Things are starting to simmer here," he says. "And at some point they're going to explode."

The experiment in saving Europe is coming to a close. Germany had its miracle run as exports surged courtesy of a sub 1.20 Euro, and are now contracting, with the Fed stepping back on the printer gas. And with the imminent resumption of the contraction, the revulsion at having bailed out Greece will return, and with it all the unpleasant xenophobic side effects. Europe needed to buy 3-6 months of breathing room to get its house in order. It got it, but the house is in ever worse place than before. And now it is time for the aftermath of the expiration of the sugar high. European CDS spreads are looking way too cheap all over again. 

 

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Wed, 08/18/2010 - 13:18 | 528479 jswede
jswede's picture

congratulations on your stock picking.   your original comment makes even less sense now.

"cried wolf"?....  "I'll keep [picking] stocks"...?

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 13:54 | 528568 Janice
Janice's picture

If you ain't got no money, take your broke ass home.

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 15:39 | 528830 johan404
johan404's picture

THIS IS SPARTA!!!

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 15:39 | 528831 caconhma
caconhma's picture

The Greek play is very informative since it will provide a preview of event to be taken place here in America.

Conclusion: watch, enjoy, take notes, and be ready to implement it here in America.

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 13:07 | 528449 economessed
economessed's picture

Sold to you.....

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 13:07 | 528450 equity_momo
equity_momo's picture

You do that. You'll probably experience some very nice paper profits.  

When the repo-man comes round for the car and plasma though dont say you werent warned.

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 16:38 | 529003 sethstorm
sethstorm's picture

Invest in a lead delivery vehicle and make it the repo's last trip.

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 21:20 | 529451 Iam_Silverman
Iam_Silverman's picture

"Invest in a lead delivery vehicle and make it the repo's last trip."

I don't understand this reasoning.  Is someone trying to take something that you have already paid in full for?  NO!  It is not yours, so why kill someone doing their job?  Would you also deliver lead to the Sheriffs Department Deputy that usually accompanies the repo man?

I guess that I am unusually sensitive about that kind of thinking since my brother is in that exact line of work.  It would be silly of you to think that they (the repo men) are not also (heavily) armed, with training too.  My brother is also in the reserves and serves in an MP unit.  A special MP unit.

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 13:14 | 528472 doggings
doggings's picture

lol, Greek stocks? good luck with that numpty.

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 13:57 | 528573 Ethics Gradient
Ethics Gradient's picture

You lot 'junk' too easily. I can't get any amusement from the original comment now it's been junked into oblivion!

Please tell me it was Leo.....

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 17:53 | 529164 Ethics Gradient
Ethics Gradient's picture

I've been junked!

I think I have my answer.

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 21:40 | 529491 MsCreant
MsCreant's picture

LOL!

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 13:17 | 528477 Double down
Double down's picture

If those comments does not frighten you then seek help.  This is not about investing.  

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 14:34 | 528685 septicshock
septicshock's picture

On that note, I wonder why 20 million people suffering in pakistan doesn't even make headlines.  That country has 100's of nukes and a starving population.  Put two and two together... disaster. 

War is always the biggest motivator for people to rally... simply because of the fear it causes.  All countries on the brink of collapse will have to go to war. 

Greece already gave a glimpse by instituting martial law during their strikes.  I wonder if the next time... they will declare war against well... anyone.. doesn't matter... to distract people from their problems.

Bigger problems will distract people from smaller problems.  Even our own body's physiology is proof.  A bigger wound causing more pain will mask a small wound causing less pain.

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 14:57 | 528731 JLee2027
JLee2027's picture

All countries on the brink of collapse will have to go to war. 

Plenty of history examples where that happened, and where it didn't happen (Ottoman Empire, Soviet Union, etc).

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 15:35 | 528820 Thurifer
Thurifer's picture

Free Constantinople! 500 years of occupation is enough!

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 17:23 | 529109 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

Let's see would that make it the 5th or the 6th Crusade? I forget how many there were last time around.

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 20:53 | 529412 jakoye
jakoye's picture

Apparently this will be number 10. Didn't realize there'd actually been that many.

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 13:03 | 528433 ghostfaceinvestah
ghostfaceinvestah's picture

This is what needs to happen, give austerity time to work.

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 13:34 | 528526 tmosley
tmosley's picture

Exactly.  This is the bitter medicine that must be taken in order for the economy to reorganize into a form that is productive.  All those who were on the government dole must be tossed out into the street before they can find productive employment elsewhere.

These guys should be glad I'M not the one in charge.  I'd have cut their expenditures by 90%in year one, and I would have done it again in year two.  By year four they would be the most powerful economy in Southern Europe.  

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 14:05 | 528598 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

Part of our predicament is the speed of change; too quick, and the world burns.

Does the BP well get capped in the credit winter?  Are all of OUR (yes our) nuclear weapons accounted for in the credit winter?  Does the supply chain remain remotely together in the credit winter?  How does the wealth gap get utilized to fill the power vacuum created by the credit winter?

I suppose the genius in our stupidity is that we're hamstrung as to possible choices...  austerity is our only possible avenue...  and it will be incredibly brutal...  but, we will also do everything in our power to control the demolition and ease the pain.

Don't worry, you'll get your austerity (be careful what you wish for).  It will just be on a longer timeline than you desire.  Patience.

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 17:39 | 529139 Mark_BC
Mark_BC's picture

"austerity is our only possible avenue"

What about currency destruction followed by a barter system and then a new currency?

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 20:44 | 529400 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

It's doomed anyway...  but the point is austerity is our only avenue to prolong the inevitable.  We've reached the high point of printing with reckless abandon (maybe one more crazy budget, but I doubt it).  The wolves are howling at the door.

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 15:47 | 528853 Lucky Guesst
Lucky Guesst's picture

Exactly "exactly"!

I'd say your pretty close on the 90% cut too.

It's just like the school supplies I have been made to buy every year. They were getting ridiculous with the requests. The teachers were treating back to school like Christmas. Suddenly the economy is bad and I get a supply list with just the basics. The kids didn't really need 3 different size boxes of crayons, 4 different kinds of markers and multiple shapes of scissors and glue. Most people just do not have the ethics to spend someone else's money the same way they would spend their own IMO. The government is treating our tax money in the same manner...... extravagant.

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 16:07 | 528904 kathy.chamberli...
kathy.chamberlin@gmail.com's picture

no shit, sherlock.

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 18:32 | 529220 Lucky Guesst
Lucky Guesst's picture

So you think my comment is too basic to even be said? Maybe so, but I am surrounded by my children and their friends all day long while I work. The most important job I have is to educate and prepare them to be self reliant, positive additions to this world. I am constantly breaking down the most complex issues into simple examples that they can understand. I don't care how intelligent you think you are. It's not only you, your peers and those you hope to impress that will be voting and making the policies that will affect you.

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 20:56 | 529416 kathy.chamberli...
kathy.chamberlin@gmail.com's picture

"The most important job I have is to educate and prepare them".

U forgot to include calorie counting in this list. just remember your fondness for this activity.  ;-)

Thu, 08/19/2010 - 08:03 | 529887 Lucky Guesst
Lucky Guesst's picture

Well duh!

They both play sports and I cook dinner so weight isn't an issue for them. Of course my reward for doing things right is that Michelle O. wants to take my tax dollars and put it towards feeding all the starving fat kids. :-P

Why'd u ditch the boobies?

Thu, 08/19/2010 - 19:56 | 531718 kathy.chamberli...
kathy.chamberlin@gmail.com's picture

they are still on my chest. but have come to respect myself, i guess a little more, with

l e s s   i s   m o r e

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 20:57 | 529417 jakoye
jakoye's picture

Or maybe kathy was just emphatically agreeing with you. I would just assume the positive until proven otherwise! :)

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 17:39 | 529144 Ethics Gradient
Ethics Gradient's picture

Ethics? I'm a bit naive so far as they're concerned.

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 15:52 | 528872 Rick Masters
Rick Masters's picture

LOL Tmosley, really? Guess what....by the end of day one of your reign you'd be looking up at the blade of a guillotine. You simply can't do that; it's not reasonable.

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 21:24 | 529457 Iam_Silverman
Iam_Silverman's picture

"by the end of day one of your reign you'd be looking up at the blade of a guillotine."

I guess he forgot to mention the part about rasing the wages of the military by 25%.  You gotta have friends....

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 13:56 | 528563 Young
Young's picture

+1, take the pain now or follow Bernanke in fulfilling Einsteins definition of insanity.

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 17:06 | 529071 MichaelG
MichaelG's picture

+1,776 How do you think the US will deal with the austerity that will be forced upon them? (99% serious question)

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 20:59 | 529423 jakoye
jakoye's picture

Not well. Spoiled children never react well to having their toys taken away.

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 14:15 | 528629 Ethics Gradient
Wed, 08/18/2010 - 14:27 | 528673 septicshock
septicshock's picture

"Or they could just default"

Default?  How?  As the EU has already assured everyone when they did their 'stress tests'...  default is just not an option.  

I wonder if the media will even show even a tiny glimpse of the rampage that will hit greece this time.   If you ask the average joe, they never even knew riots happened in greece.

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 15:26 | 528793 bigkahuna
bigkahuna's picture

I have thought open war was going to engulf Greece since the beginning of the year. I am not certain why it has not yet. Perhaps it will, perhaps it will not.

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 17:21 | 529103 MichaelG
MichaelG's picture

We have the ECB. It's like the Fed, only worse. It has less of mandate. Fewer ideas. Less ingenuity. More porn.

Anyone not convulsed in laughter - see you on the other side. (I hope.)

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 16:07 | 528909 Phil
Phil's picture

SS

I agree.  Seems to me that if the article accurately defines the position on the ground, the default "restructuring" conversation will start in the end of 2010 and be done within a year of that.  

You can bet Spain and Portugal are watching this closely

 

 

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 17:50 | 529157 Ethics Gradient
Ethics Gradient's picture

I don't know how it works.

They have a fake stress test and it's published by everyone.

They talk about default and no-one is interested.

I can't believe there's a conspiracy featuring so many individuals. Going on experience, it's more likely that most of the population cant deal with change. Or it doesn't sell air time.

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 21:26 | 529460 Iam_Silverman
Iam_Silverman's picture

"I wonder if the media will even show even a tiny glimpse of the rampage that will hit greece this time. "

Not as long as there is real news to report.  How is the Lohan girl doing, oh and that old guy with throat cancer, will he still be starting out the NBC Nightly News?

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 14:25 | 528656 midtowng
midtowng's picture

When has it ever worked? Look at the 3rd world. They've done austerity time and time again. Most of them are poorer now than when they first started it.

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 14:40 | 528692 Arthor Bearing
Arthor Bearing's picture

Bullshit. Do you work for JPMorgan or Goldman? Greece should default immediately, as should the USA, and they should start over without borrowing money.

Edited to add: Austerity is just another word for international banks bleeding a country dry until there's nothing left to steal and leaving a shattered, ruined wreck behind to pick up the pieces. It's like rape except with more victims.

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 15:46 | 528835 Village Idiot
Village Idiot's picture

"Austerity is just another word for international banks bleeding a country dry until there's nothing left to steal and leaving a shattered, ruined wreck behind to pick up the pieces..."

 

"Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose,
Nothing don’t mean nothing honey if it ain’t free, now now.
And feeling good was easy, Lord, when he sang the blues,
You know feeling good was good enough for me,
Good enough for me and my Bobby McGee."

 

Both kind of had the same ring - please move along.

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 20:58 | 528911 kathy.chamberli...
kathy.chamberlin@gmail.com's picture

janis rocked, now it is ani. that babe uses a new guitar with every new song she belts out in a set. kick ass message, but damn she sure holds a guitar with her body mighty mighty fine.

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 15:48 | 528850 MsCreant
MsCreant's picture

When you default, no one extends you credit, austerity is in the bag any way you go. Me, I like defaulting instead of inflating the currency. More honest and forces good behavior.

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 20:35 | 529386 RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

That assumes that people do the right and logical thing, Missy.  That doesn't happen in politics or rigged banking.

The best line in the entire article:

A loaf of bread is my political party.

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 21:01 | 529424 jakoye
jakoye's picture

Reminds me of the Bolshevik mantra "Peace, land, bread".

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 16:51 | 529030 still kicking
still kicking's picture

The people around the world should to.  Just start over, hell I know if I saved a years worth of debt payments I wouldn't need any damn credit unless massive inflation ensues.

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 17:34 | 529134 trav7777
trav7777's picture

100% right.

They will take the country and rent it back to the people who live there.  Seen this time and time again in S. America.

Default and return with a production-backed currency.

Currency scarcity is an ILLUSION created by bankers who LENT you your money at interest!  The system at NO POINT contains enough money to pay all oustanding claims against it (lending money creates only the principal which can extinguish; it does not create sufficient money to extinguish even simple interest)!  Deflation if credit stops growing is INEVITABLE as a mathematical certainty.

At that point, you get the liquidation BY bankers to take all the interest you cannot pay.  The banks created the money lent to Greece out of THIN AIR, not out of REAL capital.

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 21:04 | 529427 jakoye
jakoye's picture

Defaulting is immoral, whether on an individual or on a country level. It's basically lying and stealing all rolled into one.

Greece lived high off the hog for years. Now they're paying the price. Sucks for them, but there are no free lunches.

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 21:44 | 529495 FEDbuster
FEDbuster's picture

What is your moral take on creating money out of thin air (fractional reserve banking) and lending it at usury rates?  No problem creating debt slavery with invisible chains?

Thu, 08/19/2010 - 13:19 | 530785 jakoye
jakoye's picture

I don't think fractional reserve banking is immoral. It has not been proven to me that the system, so much as its operators, is at fault for our current troubles.

No, I am not against charging interest on loans and do not think it's immoral. It makes perfect sense to me that those who loan money should charge interest. I think that makes our economy dynamic in ways that others (like those of the Islamic world) are not.

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 13:05 | 528435 Turd Ferguson
Turd Ferguson's picture


 

"The entire country is in the grip of a depression. Everything seems to be going downhill. The spiral is continuing unabated, and there is no clear way out. The worse part, however, is the fact that hardly anyone still hopes that things will improve one day.

The country's unemployment rate makes this trend particularly clear. In 2009, it was 9.5 percent. This year it may rise to 12.1 percent and economists expect it to reach 14.3 percent in 2011."

 

Is this meant to describe Greece or the U.S.? 

 

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 14:19 | 528643 SheepDog-One
SheepDog-One's picture

I was wondering the same....is this article talking about 14% unemployment about Greece or the US? 

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 15:09 | 528755 papaswamp
papaswamp's picture

Yes is the answer..

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 15:49 | 528854 MsCreant
MsCreant's picture

Yes papa, yes.

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 13:04 | 528437 bob_dabolina
bob_dabolina's picture

SPXU bitchez

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 13:04 | 528439 doolittlegeorge
doolittlegeorge's picture

"the plan" has always been the same.  "Invite American and Russian conquest sandwich, throw in the English just to let 'em know you mean it."  I sense "diaspora"--how about you?

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 14:05 | 528594 Treeplanter
Treeplanter's picture

Nobody wants Greece.  Maybe China would buy the shipbuilding port for a naval base.  

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 14:23 | 528652 Ethics Gradient
Ethics Gradient's picture

There was talk about selling off a Greek island or two to raise some cash.

Can you think of any country with enough money, will and ambition to make an offer?

They shelved the idea pretty quickly. I can only assume they got to the same conclusion as you.

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 15:33 | 528812 masterinchancery
masterinchancery's picture

George Soros?

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 16:02 | 528892 Ripped Chunk
Ripped Chunk's picture

Ah yes, the old land sale. Just like Napoleon did when he became insolvent due to excessive war making. But the Greek debt was caused by different circumstances.

So here at home,  what will be first to go? Hawaii? Alaska? North Dakota?

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 16:31 | 528989 Lucky Guesst
Lucky Guesst's picture

DC, but only "as is". The politicians are included.

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 19:02 | 529258 Ripped Chunk
Ripped Chunk's picture

Excellent thought but we will have to pay them to take DC off our hands.  Kind of like the "tire disposal fee" or "hazerdous waste disposal fee" we now pay regularly. 

Sounds like it would be money well spent.

 

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 20:38 | 529391 RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

I will definitely contribute to the DC elimination fund.  Pass the plate.

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 21:31 | 529473 Iam_Silverman
Iam_Silverman's picture

"we will have to pay them to take DC off our hands"

Yup, but what if we put a toll booth at every entry point to the DC region?  We could make it one bazillion dollars to get out, and ten cents to enter.

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 19:08 | 529267 Mark_BC
Mark_BC's picture

As a Canadian I think we'd like to buy Alaska if the offer comes up, tank you berry much. Haha, you give us all your money to buy our oil because you allowed Big Oil to kill the electric car a decade ago, and now we'll use that money to buy Alaska, stoohpid Americans.

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 21:09 | 529433 jakoye
jakoye's picture

Yay! The "Big Oil killed the electric car" conspiracy theory. Thank you!

We will not rest on ZH until we have at least one mention of every kooky theory that you can get your dirty mitts on!

Think Hillary killed Vince? Let us know! Think aliens landed at Roswell? Share the autopsy photos! Think Angelina Jolie was somehow hotter when she didn't have a gaggle of kids and wasn't getting smushed by Brad Pitt? Me too. :/

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 21:17 | 529444 Mark_BC
Mark_BC's picture

Oh no it's not a theory, it's actually true. I am an energy engineer and I have studied this issue extensively and found the smoking guns, it is undoubtable.

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 21:33 | 529477 Iam_Silverman
Iam_Silverman's picture

"and I have studied this issue extensively and found the smoking guns"

Very well then sir.  Once you have written your expose, please feel free to come back here and shill it.  I enjoy a good read with lots of plot twists.

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 21:50 | 529501 jakoye
jakoye's picture

Oooh and evil villains too... don't forget the eveeel villains!

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 21:59 | 529509 Mark_BC
Thu, 08/19/2010 - 05:13 | 529821 jakoye
jakoye's picture

It's interesting that one of the things that documentary you mentioned, Who Killed the Electric Car, does is to cast aspersions on the viability of a fellow alternative to gasoline-fueled car engines: that of autos powered by fuel cells. Kinda makes the filmmakers seem a bit more like religious fanatics when it comes to electric cars than pure-hearted friends of the environment. You'd think that they'd be for *any* technology that reduced the number of gasoline-powered cars instead of the one that strikes their particular fancy.

Your allegation in your blog post that Chevron held a patent on a particular type of battery that was necessary for the electric car to be successfully produced and that Chevron used that patent to prevent car companies from making a successful electric car in the hopes of protecting their "fuel monopoly" is fairly laughable. Do you think Chevron is the only oil company in the world? What, was Chevron "taking one for the team" and spending good money in order to suppress electric car technology for the good of all oil companies? C'mon man, that's just not how businesses work. Businesses make whatever decisions will help them make the most money and that will allow them to beat their competition.

Obviously Chevron bought the patent on the batteries because they thought they could make money off it, which I'm sure they're doing. Enforcing the terms of that patent by going after car companies that were violating it: that's the world of patents and such things happen in business every day. Would you prefer a world without patents?

As well, there's the little fact that an alternative battery technology was developed and is being used today to PRODUCE ELECTRIC CARS! So what... did Chevron fail to suppress this one? Seems like a pretty massive failure. And what about the other oil companies. Wouldn't they have the self-same interest to suppress electric cars? What about their efforts? Did they fail as well? The dirty truth, I think, is that there was no conspiracy by Chevron or any other oil company and that, instead, they were concentrating on their core business of pumping oil and making billions of dollars.

The problem with all these conspiracy theories is that they always place evil motives on other people. So in the electric car case, it's the evil people of Chevron and the evil people of GM. No thought seems to be given to the idea that the people at each company had rational and moral reasons for the decisions that were made (and here's the link to GM's response to the documentary: http://www.altfuels.org/misc/onlygm.pdf). There are evil people in this world, but I highly doubt they're to be found in the boardrooms of Chevron and GM.

Thu, 08/19/2010 - 13:02 | 530635 Mark_BC
Mark_BC's picture

Fuel cells aren't a solution because hydrogen has to be produced and this comes from fossil fuels (natural gas). Plus there is the whole refueling infrastructure problem with hydrogen, which you don't have with electricity -- most people have a wall plug unless you live in an apartment, and the electrical infrastructure for high capacity recharge stations is everywhere. Plus, fuel cell powered cars are still along ways off being a viable alternative, the fuel cells do not have good longevity and the cars are still way too expensive, actually they don't have a price because none have ever come close to being offered for sale. The problem with hydrogen fool cells is that they a re a red herring the oil industry uses to convince people that there are alternatives besides EV's, when there aren't really. It is a diversion tactic to keep people from focusingon the real solutions, so yes, fuel cells should be demonized because their idea is counterproductive.

I've looked at all of the responses to the movie and I was stuck by how hollow they all are, and the silence from Chevron. It's like they got caught red handed and just didn't say anything in an effort to keep the issue from developing any further.

"Do you think Chevron is the only oil company in the world?"

No, but they were the main American oil company, and Energy Conversion Devices was an American company, and the politicians neeed to ram through the patent and lawsuit were American, so it stands to reason that an American oil company would be involved in this. I don't think Chevron was "taking one for the team", they were simpy trying to extend their business market for as long as possible. Whether this helps other oil companies as well is incidental. If the Big Oil boat sinks, they all drown and that is what Chevron was trying to prevent.

"Obviously Chevron bought the patent on the batteries because they thought they could make money off it"

Yes, because the profits they are making off gasoline sales are way more than they could hope to make off electric cars, that's for sure! Chevron is the third most profitable company in history, and the top 6 are oil companies. You think that bringing a technology to market which completely circumvents their business is in their best interest?

http://bizcovering.com/major-companies/the-top-10-most-profitable-compan...

"Enforcing the terms of that patent by going after car companies that were violating it: that's the world of patents and such things happen in business every day. Would you prefer a world without patents?"

No, I'd prefer a world without patent abuse. Patent laws were invented for a reason, to provide companies with an incentive to invest in development of new technology and ensure that they could profit from it. Patent laws were not invented to be a tool of suppression by established industries who would lose money if alternative technology comes to market and displaces theirs. The fact that you see this kind of manipulation as normal speaks to how corrupt modern business has become. And I do not buy the argument that Chevron would profit more from selling electric cars, they have invested hundreds iof billions in oil infrastructure around the world and this could all be made moot within a decade if electric cars get out.

Lithium based chemistries have not been suppressed by Big Oil because the chemistry varies widely and it can't be held under the umbrella of one patent. There are literally dozens of lithium battery technologies out there and the original patents for a lot of these go back a ways. It is simply too difficult for the oil industry to control them all, although I believe they are trying to buy up a lot of them. As I said, the reason lithium ion took so long to enter real EV's is because they have a thermal runaway safety problem which had to be addressed -- and now it has, which is why we are now seeing all these EV's come to market.

"The problem with all these conspiracy theories is that they always place evil motives on other people."

Well of course! What else is Chevron going to do when it sees a viable alternative technology seeping into the market that could destroy their business within a decade? This kind of backroom corporate bullying is regular. That doesn't mean we aren't all being screwed by it. On the one hand, you maintain that corporate America pushing an shoving in order to maximize profits is just something that happens every day, it's apart of doing business, yet you deny that this is an evil motive? Do you realize the impact that oil is having on our society and economy?

"Each company had "Moral" reasons ".... give me a break, corporate America has zero morality, didn't they teach you that in Economics 101?

 

 

Thu, 08/19/2010 - 13:31 | 530815 jakoye
jakoye's picture

These monolithic companies consist of everyday people, just like you and me. Yes, I do not think they are evil people. I think most people are generally good and moral. You obviously have a lower opinion of your fellow human beings. That's too bad.

So even if your entire theory is true about Chevron suppressing the electric car, they have obviously failed. Doesn't that make you happy? You've won! Now go buy a Leaf or a Volt and be done with it. You've beaten the mighty oil companies!

As for the doc, it's main focus was on disparaging GM's motives for killing the EV-1. But none of these conspiracy theories can explain why the hell GM was even producing an electric car in the first place if their "evil strategy" was to suppress electric cars?! And the fact that GM is producing an electric car now... well it makes the documentary look pretty damn foolish.

Yes, I agree that because we must depend on foreign imports to meet our energy needs that we're in a less-than-ideal situation. I agree that we need to find alternative energy sources to foreign oil. My personal favorite is turning coal into diesel fuel, simplly because we have abundant reserves of domestic sources of coal and because that wouldn't require a massive infrastructure change in fueling stations/types. It also has the added advantage of continuing to use fuels for personal travel that require much less compromises and inconveniences that current electrical vehicles require.

Thu, 08/19/2010 - 14:00 | 530888 Mark_BC
Mark_BC's picture

"I think most people are generally good and moral. You obviously have a lower opinion of your fellow human beings."

I agree that most people are good and moral. What is the percentage? Maybe 95%? 99%? 99.9%? The problem is the other 5%, or even 0.1%, because those are the personality types who seek out such positions of power and work their way up to become leaders and strategists for these kinds of scams, and screw over the remaining 99.9% of the population who actually has morals. Have you not met any narcissistic people in your life? I could name a few people I have personally dealt with who would be ideally suited to lead the scam I have outlined.

"(Chevron) they have obviously failed". Not at all! They supprssed the emergence of EV's for AT LEAST 7 years, more like 10, while oil supplies dwindled and prices rocketed, and they became the 4th most profitable company in the world! Doesn't sound like failure to me! When EV's become mainstream and the average person can go buy one, then I will celebrate. That is probably 2 years away.

"none of these conspiracy theories can explain why the hell GM was even producing an electric car in the first place"

This was explained in the movie. California was mandating that all car manufactureres produce 2% (or something to that effect, I can't remember) of their sales as zero emission, but obviously the car companies did not like that, and neither did the federal government or the oil industry (Bush was an oil man), which is why they all ganged up with the lawsuit and squashed California's requirements. Now, you could argue that California shouldn't have been interfering in the free market to demand zero emission EV's, but I don't buy this argument either because none of the established automakers had any incentive to produce EV's, even if they would have been successful, whern they have invested billions and billions into factories to pump out ICE's. But a startup company would do quite well making EV's because they don't have all this capital baggage holding them back. The problem is that startup companies don't have the economies of scale to be able to make competitive electric vehicles, and this is one of the other main reasons EV's are still not on the market (Tesla initially succeeded but now they face the problem that they will soon be facing competition from Nissan so they may go belly up).

"And the fact that GM is producing an electric car now... well it makes the documentary look pretty damn foolish."

No it doesn't, because the government owns GM and the government made them do it, plus there was so much public outcry over the EV-1 affair that they had to make an effort, plus GM is a different beast now (Wagoner is gone) and they seem to realize that EV's are the only way forward. And they are using LITHIUM based batteries, not NiMH so it perfectly corroborates the movie.

Thu, 08/19/2010 - 20:34 | 531773 jakoye
jakoye's picture

I see we are getting nowhere fast.

So the evil people in America are concentrated at Chevron and GM, huh? Okay. I wonder if they have a checkbox on their applications ("Are you evil?" A) Yes B) No C) Willing to try)? How convenient for you to be able to demonize them.

GM was faking it, eh, when they spent 1 billion dollars to develop the EV1, huh? Okay. So you think that GM would design and build a car and then would stop building that car even though they could make a profit off of it? Hmmm... ever run a business before? Cause it doesn't seem like you have a basic grasp of how one is run. The search for profits is vampiric... no stone is left unturned (or no neck left unbloodied, if we continue the analogy!). If GM could've made money off the electric car back then, I am certain they would've. There is absolutely no way they would've passed up potential profits after a 1 billion dollar investment. In fact, if GM could sell you a tube of toothpaste and make a profit, they would.

And yes, I don't believe that government should be able to mandate a product mix for any company. What if the government suddenly said "all bread manufacturers must produce at least 50% of their output in rye bread", regardless if the demand for rye bread was 50% of the bread market? Seems wrong, doesn't it, and just a bit Soviet-istic? Why should any company be forced to endure losses because government has a wild hair up its ass? And what about the taking away the power of consumers to choose for themselves what they want to buy?

Um, the government didn't make GM produce the Volt. If you seriously think that the Volt could be designed and produced in a little over a year (since the governemnt didn't intervene to save GM until June 2009), then you know very little about how long it takes to create a car, especially one as new and as complex as an all-electric car. The Volt has been worked on by GM for a long time and part of the legacy of the EV1 is to be found in the Volt. Instead of demonizing GM, you should be praising them for producing the first electric car (though it was a failure and couldn't be profitably produced) and now for producing the first commercially-viable electric car.

 

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 21:35 | 529480 Iam_Silverman
Iam_Silverman's picture

"We will not rest on ZH until we have at least one mention of every kooky theory that you can get your dirty mitts on!"

Hey, didja hear - Video killed the Radio Star?

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 21:51 | 529502 jakoye
jakoye's picture

Yes, but who killed the video star? Nobody I know watches music videos anymore. Internet maybe?

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 22:03 | 529511 Iam_Silverman
Iam_Silverman's picture

"Yes, but who killed the video star?"

Why do ask such hard questions?  We all know that conspiracy theories aren't designed to be reworked - only repeated.

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 23:26 | 529623 ambrosiac
ambrosiac's picture

 

Of course.  Internet Killed the Video Star.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BiB0VgOKojg

 

[Brownie points for noticing the Dilbert-style tie on Bill.]

 

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 16:42 | 529015 sethstorm
sethstorm's picture

...promptly followed by another "accidental" destruction of it by the US military.

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 13:04 | 528442 Ray1968
Ray1968's picture

More reason for the US market to rally... on ultra low volume

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 13:15 | 528469 No Mas
No Mas's picture

Appears to be doing exactly that.  I wondered what was goosing the indexs; must have been the good news from Europe.

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 21:37 | 529484 Iam_Silverman
Iam_Silverman's picture

"the good news from Europe"

Dang right!  Think about it - if all of those restaraunts in Greece are closing down, then they will all have to come HERE for Greek food.  Our restaurants will be packed, the airlines will be profitable again, and every hotel will be overbooked!

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 13:08 | 528446 Jason T
Jason T's picture

This is why I find myself going a little nutty on the want and need of self sufficiency.

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 14:00 | 528577 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

It's called survival instinct...  everyone has it, the problem is simply whether or not you can see past your nose.  Good for you that you can.  Best of luck to you.

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 14:31 | 528684 Village Idiot
Village Idiot's picture

"If you take away my family's bread, I'll take you down -- the government needs to know that. And don't call us anarchists if that happens! We're heads of our families and we're desperate."

 

pretty much says it all.

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 13:47 | 528462 plocequ1
plocequ1's picture

This news is already entered into The machines software. It's updated every week. Zorba the Greek says Blue horseshoe loves Anacot Steel.

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 13:15 | 528471 CashCowEquity
CashCowEquity's picture

Long gyros and greek salad. Short deez nuts.

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 13:18 | 528485 carbonmutant
carbonmutant's picture

Greece will burn...

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 15:52 | 528873 MsCreant
MsCreant's picture

But what of the price of Souvlakis?

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 19:20 | 528960 carbonmutant
carbonmutant's picture

Street food keeps the Greeks from breaking things. 

When they have street food they sit around an talk about what's wrong and what to do about it.

When they can't afford Souvlakis they start doing instead of talking.

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 13:20 | 528489 Horatio Beanblower
Horatio Beanblower's picture

'News' from the Emerald Isle:-

 

"The National Economic and Social Council (NESC) has published a report saying membership of the euro has been beneficial to Ireland" - http://www.rte.ie/business/2010/0818/economy.html

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 14:07 | 528572 THE DORK OF CORK
THE DORK OF CORK's picture

Horatio you crack me up - just believe I guess

Ireland is keeping together because of our tradition of emigrating to other countries for work although I don't know for how long.

My home town with a population of a few hundred thousand is ideal for light manufacturing of goods for export to western europe yet it is in a state of crisis due to the insane hard debt monetory policies of Frankfurt where Germany forms industrial alliances with China because of flawed wage arbitrage banking schemes.

We may not have German engineering skills here but we can make consumer products far better then the average Chinese factory.

If the private debts of our workers were wiped out they would again be competitive on the world market as they don't need a car to go to work  and therefore can be given low nominal wages but their absurd mortgages are driving our best abroad.

We are better then this.

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 14:12 | 528617 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

You wish you were better than that...  potential does not exist...  denial is not a river in Egypt.

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 14:22 | 528635 THE DORK OF CORK
THE DORK OF CORK's picture

Go take a long walk off a short plank Machoman - my city has been exporting produce to Western Europe since the late middle ages - you know nothing.

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 15:16 | 528746 hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture

As someone involved with the manufacturing business in Ireland and China, let me say that Ireland can meet the quality requirements, but cannot compete with China's labor costs, capacity, or turn around time.  Nor can Ireland come close to the vast variety of part and process sourcing available in China.  And don't get me started on engineering capabilities. There are small neighborhoods in Dongguan that have more engineers, ISO assembly floors, injection machines, and CNC machines than all of Ireland.

Ireland cannot even compete with Eastern Europe or North Africa anymore.  Does Waterford Crystal ring any bells?

But what glorious farmland Ireland holds.  If I could I would have it all!  The Irish shall never starve....scratch that.  The English shall never starve.

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 15:16 | 528770 THE DORK OF CORK
THE DORK OF CORK's picture

Decent working class lads will work in this town for 200 Euros a week if they can get to the factory floor without a car and that is very possible in this compact town.

Lower middle class technicians can survive no problem on 300 euros + if you eliminate their mortgage.

We can fill a gap between slave labour eastern europe and German labour if the banks default on external bank paper.

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 15:23 | 528783 hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture

I love Ireland.  I pray you are right.

The trouble is that 800 Euros a month will get me an excellent engineer with a PhD, or two, in China.  Or I can have five (5) working class lads for about that amount.

And then there is Poland:

http://www.tgdaily.com/business-and-law-features/40906-dell-to-make-major-pull-out-of-ireland-moving-to-poland

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 15:40 | 528826 walküre
walküre's picture

you're making some very good points.

mortgages are truly ghastly when one looks at the French origin of the word:

mort = death

gage =


1. Something deposited or given as security against an obligation; a pledge. 2. Something, such as a glove, that is offered or thrown down as a pledge or challenge to fight. 3. A challenge. tr.v. gaged, gag·ing, gag·es Archaic
1. To pledge as security. 2. To offer as a stake in a bet; wager. [Middle English, from Old French, of Germanic origin.] makes for a nice combination of word puzzles. "mortgage" sounds so cute .. until you dare to look into history and understand why it's deadly
Wed, 08/18/2010 - 16:58 | 529050 Devore
Devore's picture

You should look up amortization next, that'll blow your mind too.

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 19:19 | 529292 Mark_BC
Mark_BC's picture

Am I so angry because I'm 1/8 Irish?  Is that why I can handle alcohol so well?

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 16:16 | 528903 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

The sun has been burning for billions of years, therefore it must continue...

Face it dude, you fucked up...  nothing be ashamed of...  happens to the best of us...  the thing that will separate you from the rest of the monkeys is what you learn from the experience. 

PS, if a frog had wings, it wouldn't bump its ass when it hopped. 

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 14:31 | 528682 Horatio Beanblower
Horatio Beanblower's picture

"Ireland is keeping together because of our tradition of emigrating to other countries for work although I don't know for how long" - I am a Belfast boy myself, so I know exactly what you mean.

 

Where would Ireland be without its pharmaceutical sector?  It doesn't bear thinking about. 

 

"absurd mortgages" - when I lived outside of Dublin, back in the late 90s, the property market started to take off.  We were renting a house for £750p/m sterling.  We wanted to renew after 8 or 9 months and I phoned the agent, to my surprise there was a slight increase in rent - it was now £1100p/m.  I just burst out laughing, I seriously couldn't believe the hike.  At that point the alarms bells started to ring.

 

10 years later I was back in Northern Ireland and I started to hear some unbelievable stories about house prices.  I grew up in a working class area of Belfast and I know where the nice areas are and where the not so nice areas are.  There were former council houses (state housing), in dodgy estates, selling for in excess of £200k.  People HAD to buy houses, it was like a virus had got a hold of them.  I personally know two people who bought at the very top of the market, their property values have fallen by well over 60%.  Before they bought, I told them what my concerns about the market were, but it was like talking to a brick wall.  Very, very sad.

 

The madness will soon be over, but it will not be quick and it will not be pleasant.  Will there be guillotines on the streets of Belfast and Dublin?   

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 14:57 | 528724 THE DORK OF CORK
THE DORK OF CORK's picture

Yes the pharmaceutical sector - sometimes I believe its a poisoned chalice - as you know Cork is the heartland of this sector.

Yet it does not employ many people yet still skews the wage structure upwards for reliable industrial workers.

It pumps up our GDP but does little for our GNP.

I am convinced that we can supply low cost labour for light manufacturing if we somehow eliminate the private debts of our young people as they can have low nominal wages if they have reduced debts and therefore maintain their purchasing power while becoming suddenly competitive again.

Ireland is unique in that most of our debts are in external bank paper held in Germany and else where and not gov debt - if our incompetent goverment can do some sort of beneficial deal where we eliminate our low corporate tax while also writing off our private debt I feel we can get out of this.

As for retribution I would not object to 100 + bankers / politicians crucified on the Cork - Dublin road.

I can imagine  the scene - not many of them would stand up and claim - "I'm a banker,no I'm a banker." etc etc

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 15:06 | 528751 hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture

Yes the pharmaceutical sector - sometimes I believe its a poisoned chalice - as you know Cork is the heartland of this sector.

Galway would protest.

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 15:20 | 528781 Horatio Beanblower
Horatio Beanblower's picture

Seven little letters - default.  I think it will happen because it needs to happen.

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 20:46 | 529401 RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

...somehow eliminate the private debts of our young people...

Well, yeah.  I'd do better if some of my debt would just go POOF as well.  It's not going to.  You can grasp at straws, but there is no way out but to default -- or pay.  Looks like one option left.  This will happen in the U.S. after all other options have been exhausted.  Why wait?  Do it now and have more left when the smoke clears.  The longer any of us waits the more the bankers will end up with.  Simple as that.

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 20:51 | 529408 THE DORK OF CORK
THE DORK OF CORK's picture

Our country is run by Jesuit educated functionaries - they will do their masters bidding.

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 21:42 | 529493 RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

And ours is led by Haaavaad educated economists and hack politicians, most of whom have the intellect of a squirrel.  Outcome: The same.

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 21:17 | 529445 jakoye
jakoye's picture

But what about the moral responsibility of these people who took out these mortgage loans? Why should their debts be wiped out? Why are we only hanging bankers? Takes two to tango. Nobody put a gun to these people's heads and said "you must buy a house".

Thu, 08/19/2010 - 04:32 | 529808 THE DORK OF CORK
THE DORK OF CORK's picture

Its very simple , debts that cannot be paid will not be paid and I would argue we cannot pay our private debts in this country although our sovereign debt is still manageable.

What moral responsibility has a father to his family - will he pay these debts until his family is pauperised or will they emigrate to new shores to find a descent life ?

Bankers have been immoral - the only morality they deserve is justice.

Thu, 08/19/2010 - 05:27 | 529827 jakoye
jakoye's picture

I think if one is teaching their children that it's okay to not pay one's debts, to felch on a loan whomever one gets it from, then that person is not giving their children the best of moral educations. Now of course, if it comes down to eating or paying one's debts, there is no contest. But such cases are the rarity, I suspect. Most people *can* pay their debts, they simply don't want to, as it would negatively impact their lifestyle. For those who really CANNOT pay their debts, there is the option of declaring bankruptcy, which is a legal and moral way of escaping one's debt burden.

See, I don't get this whole "bankers have been immoral" thing. Why don't you accuse the people who took out debt they couldn't afford to service as being immoral as well? And why is morality even dragged into the argument? The bankers were giving loans to people because they wanted to make money. They gave loans to a lot of people who were high-risk, but man is an optimistic animal by nature. When the times are good, everyone expects them to continue. So the banker and the loan requester were both sipping on the froth of the housing bubble, believing that halcyon days would stretch on forever.

Then reality came and applied its boot to the head and now everybody's waking up with a big hangover headache. Sucks, but don't think you can solve your problems by filching on your financial commitments or "hanging bankers". Be an adult, accept your part of the responsibility for the situation you find yourself in and do the right thing!

Thu, 08/19/2010 - 14:16 | 530931 THE DORK OF CORK
THE DORK OF CORK's picture

 

Jakoye believe it or not Ireland is a amazingly conservative country that has always paid its debts - our feckless nature is part of our makeup but when it comes to paying debts we are extremely credit worthy - ask the Brits

Back in the 20s and 30s when we gained independence the previously Edwardian boom economy of my town collapsed into a pit of despair - we experienced poverty a magnitude above your depression years - but we still paid our debts.

Do not give me a lecture about fiscal or moral rectitude - your moralising is tiresome to the extreme.

And for the record I am not in debt to anyone, I however spent many hours in the canteen telling my workmates about the danger of debt - but the bankers hyper inflated a asset that most people want, a home and a family - they have crushed my generation with their propaganda and money creation magic - I want satisfaction.

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 13:21 | 528492 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

Tyler, just a sidenote. Did you already seen how BP is falling of a cliff these last few days?

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 13:37 | 528535 -1Delta
-1Delta's picture

ya and that downgrade of RIG too....

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 13:28 | 528509 TBT or not TBT
TBT or not TBT's picture

Indeed, the euro goes down first.

This gift by the stupid europeans to our treasury department will allow the reindeer games in DC to carry on a little longer.  

The euro must go down for the current bunch in DC to hold their power, and the europeans will be obliging very soon, and very much in spite of their intrenched bureaucrats' intentions.   It ain't a natural common currency zone they have put together over there, and given the moribund demographics and tendency to eating capital rather than grow it in various parts of the zone, the strains within it build and blow up, all the more violently the longer they try to hold it together.

IMAO, it is not a good idea to get short on treasury bonds until after, well after the euro replunges this fall, and well after the stock markets crash along with that.   Now is time to get short the us stock markets, and the euro.

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 13:29 | 528513 TBT or not TBT
TBT or not TBT's picture

Oh, forgot to say "Release the Kraken!", re Greece.  

Oh you naughty, haughty citizens of Argos!

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 13:36 | 528529 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

You do realise that Europeans have a much higher education level then Americans do you?

Moron

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 13:49 | 528559 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

Good.  They can think deep academic thoughts while shoveling.

Fri, 08/20/2010 - 16:33 | 533666 Geoff-UK
Geoff-UK's picture

Yup--and we Americans will do the same.

 

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 13:54 | 528567 chet
chet's picture

I think you mean "don't you", professor.

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 14:09 | 528609 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

Perhaps you want to continue the conversation in French, Dutch, German or Spanish CHET. Take your pick.

 

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 14:30 | 528675 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

Doesn't prove anything.

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 15:52 | 528868 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

That's because you lack the braincells to understand the question in the context of the response.

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 15:58 | 528884 MsCreant
MsCreant's picture

"Than" Americans, not "then."

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 16:20 | 528952 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

So are the greeks using those braincells to riot?  Are they using them sitting on their hands without jobs?  You've put the cart before the horse.

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 17:30 | 529121 MichaelG
MichaelG's picture

We're all fuked - let's not squabble. Oh, yes, I forget: squabbling will be all TPTFB have left.

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 14:00 | 528581 InconvenientCou...
InconvenientCounterParty's picture

Do you realize Americans don't care for or need education? A Harvard law Prof. is widely classified as an idiot and a dingbat beautty queen is considered wise and wownderful.

Don't bite that apple bitchez!

 

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 14:08 | 528605 kathy.chamberli...
kathy.chamberlin@gmail.com's picture

too late, eve opened her mouth.

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 14:21 | 528644 Mad Max
Mad Max's picture

What Harvard Law "prof" would that be?  If you're referring to the Obummer, he's a HLS graduate (or so we're told), nothing more.  He was an instructor - a non-tenured, not particularly prestigious position at U of Chicago (a top school) but apparently had little to no real interest in anything academic or scholarly.

As for Palin, well, it's been proven for longer than she's been alive that intelligence isn't the trait that swings elections.

Or were you referring to our "Wise Latina Woman" SCT Justice?

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 17:42 | 529147 MichaelG
MichaelG's picture

They both care for & need 'education' - it's just that 'intelligence' plays no part at any stage.

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 14:10 | 528608 Treeplanter
Treeplanter's picture

But can they recite The Raven, by Edgar Allen Poe?  

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 14:12 | 528619 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

Got stuck in the second grade Treeplanter? :)

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 14:29 | 528674 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

Doesn't prove anything.

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 16:10 | 528913 Lucky Guesst
Lucky Guesst's picture

"But can they recite The Raven, by Edgar Allen Poe?"

The education has to be relative. What are we learning and why are we learning it? Someone can recite every poem ever written and list every famous painter ever born BUT if they can't write, paint or teach others to do so, they will starve to death unless they sponge off someone who learned something more practical.

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 14:23 | 528653 SheepDog-One
SheepDog-One's picture

'You do realise (sic) that Europeans have a much higher education level then (sic) Americans do you (sic)?'

So where did you go to school?

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 14:31 | 528680 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

Doesn't prove anything.

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 15:13 | 528765 oddjob
oddjob's picture

Many people do not reeleyes that.

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 17:02 | 529061 still kicking
still kicking's picture

what do they actually learn?  Arts, philosophy, languages?  All very useful if you want to be a professor in those areas.

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 21:20 | 529453 jakoye
jakoye's picture

I don't care.

Do you have the IPhone?

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 14:30 | 528681 Internet Tough Guy
Internet Tough Guy's picture

The ECB has a golden ace up its' sleeve. It will play that card.

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 13:36 | 528534 Segestan
Segestan's picture

Oh wait... I thought the unemployed where just fat, lazy pigs who only needed to contribute?

 

How can this be?

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 15:05 | 528749 tmosley
tmosley's picture

Uhh, that's what these guys are.  They are screaming to be given other people's money, when more than likely they AREN'T unemployed, but are simply no longer OFFICIALLY employed.

This could have positive long term consequences in that it will crush any government that attempts to assert itself before it can be established.  When the informal economy becomes the only one, and no longer has to hide, and has no government to tip-toe around, said economy will grow at a pace not seen in this world since the 1800's in America.  In a hundred years, we may all be speaking Greek.  Stateless societies tend to develop very quickly when they aren't under constant threat of invasion.

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 13:38 | 528536 Internet Tough Guy
Internet Tough Guy's picture

Liquidity Tsunami Leo sez those unemployed Greeks should buy the dip. And buy chinese solars. And buy bye bye....

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