Corruption has been the coveted jewel in everybody’s crown since antiquity. Aristotelian philosophy believed that everybody who had power could become corrupt.
"Greece is being 'hit', there's no doubt about it," exclaims John Perkins, author of Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, noting that "[Indebted countries] become servants to what I call the corporatocracy ... today we have a global empire, and it's not an American empire. It's not a national empire... It's a corporate empire, and the big corporations rule."
What has really been going on in Europe over the past 5 years, if the debt load kept creeping higher, and yet little money was actually making its way to the broader population? The answer is simple: abuse of taxpayer funding, also known as fraud and corruption. As Italy's TheLocal reports, the EU anti-fraud office, Italy currently has 61 open investigations into fraud involving EU funds. This means Italy has the second highest number of investigations in the EU, ranking just below Greece's neighbor to the north, Bulgaria.
"On a more personal level, how can public service be promoted as an ideal to young people when this sewer corrupts our Republic? At this point in early twenty-first-century America, the greatest service our nation’s young people could provide is to lead an army of outraged young Americans armed with brooms on a crusade to sweep out the rascals and rid our capital of the money changers, rent seekers, revolving door dancers, and special interest deal makers and power brokers and send them back home to make an honest living, that is, if they still remember how to do so."
Four months after the UK opened the membership floodgates and dealt Washington a humiliating political blow, China has officially launched the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.
Regardless of what the Greek people choose, at least the choice will be theirs, along with the consequences.
The only answer to the War on Drugs is the same as that to the equally stupid and destructive War on Demon Rum fought during the ’20s - a repeal of prohibition. The question is really whether you have a right to control your own body and what you ingest. There’s little question that caffeine, cocaine, nicotine, heroin, alcohol, marijuana, sugar, and a thousand other things aren’t good for you, at least not in quantity. But we can’t see how that’s anybody’s business but your own. Once it becomes a matter of state concern, then everything becomes an equally legitimate subject of state attention. Which is pretty much where we are today - well on the way to a police state.
An extensive look at what would happen if Greece were to leave the Eurozone, through a legal fudge.
- This headline needs updating: Creditors set bailout ultimatum for defiant Greeks (Reuters)
- Greece’s Fragile Banks Leave Alexis Tsipras Few Options in Bailout Talks (WSJ)
- Dueling Greece Plans Presented as Ministers Race for Aid Deal (BBG)
- Icahn Cashes In His Netflix Chips (WSJ)
- Meet the Health-Law Holdouts: Americans Who Prefer to Go Uninsured (WSJ)
- ECB holds Athens lifeline unchanged as Bundesbank protests (Reuters)
- Supreme Court Guide: Six Big Decisions Remain (WSJ)
- The Rise of the Compliance Guru—and Banker Ire (BBG)
CEOs are not the most trustworthy figures in society. They will lay off thousands of employees to beat analysts' estimates, and yet they have no trouble looting the stock to pay themselves millions while the company loses money. However, one theme that keeps coming up is that unethical behavior has a price tag. With this in mind, consider the implications when the New York Fed tells us that economic activity declined because of the weather. Now that it's summer, it's not clear how cold weather is interfering. Perhaps the Fed has a South Pole subsidiary? When will the market crash and the Fed be replaced for lying about poor performance?
Many people see national finances as an impenetrable fog of numbers and acronyms, which they feel is best left up to financial specialists to interpret for them. But try to see national finances as a henhouse, yourself as a hen, and financial specialists as foxes. Perhaps you should pay a little bit of attention - perhaps a bit more than one would expect from a chicken?
"...my personal strategy for change has morphed from speaking to power in favor of becoming a monk rather than a martyr. If I could stand in front of a tank and have it force positive change I would do so but clearly that opportunity won’t happen or present itself in this leaderless, narrowing, putrefied, lying lawless system of festering corruption. Beyond 2015, I fear it will continue to be everyman for himself and thus divided we'll fall having rejected the spirit of one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."
Rome didn't fall so much as erode away. That's the template for collapse. While collapse may be sudden, the decay that generated the collapse had been rotting away the foundation for years or decades.
Greece, Europe and the world are being crucified on a cross of Keynesian central banking. The latter’s two-decade long deluge of money printing and ZIRP has generated a fantastic worldwide financial bubble, and one which has accrued to just a tiny slice of mankind. That much is blindingly evident, but there’s more and it’s worse. The present replay of high noon on Greece’s impossible mountain of debt clarifies an even greater evil. Namely, that the central bank printing presses have also utterly destroyed the fundamental requisite of fiscal democracy. To wit, in the modern world of massive, interventionist welfare states, fiscal governance desperately needs an honest bond market.
Nobody can deny that the chances of war are increasing in the world.