Defiant Tsipras Warns European Leaders They Are "Making A Grave Mistake"

Tyler Durden's picture




 

We’ve said repeatedly that negotiations between Greece and the troika are just as much about politics as they are about economics although, in the final analysis the two are inextricably related especially as it relates to the anti-austerity contagion in the EU. In “Democracy Under Fire: Troika Looks To Force Greek Political ‘Reshuffle’” we said the following about the “institutions’” bargaining stance:

It is becoming increasingly clear that the Syriza show will ultimately have to be canceled in Greece (or at least recast) if the country intends to find a long-term solution that allows for stable relations with European creditors, but as we’ve noted before, it may be time for Greeks to ask themselves if binding their fate to Europe is in their best interests given that some EU creditors seem to be perfectly fine with inflicting untold economic pain upon everyday Greeks if it means usurping the ‘radical leftists.’ 

We also highlighted the following set of possible outcomes projected by Barclays:

Political change could emerge through: 1) a government re-shuffle with more radical members exiting; 2) a referendum; or 3) snap elections. We think that the first scenario is the most likely, which would seem the least disruptive, allowing Greece to ‘return’ to a programme agreement before end-June. Importantly, we think that the Eurogroup could find ways to bridge temporary funding gaps (eg, by disbursing SMP profits or raising the T-bill ceiling), if it deemed the prospects for successfully finalising programme negotiations were good.

With negotiations running into the eleventh hour ahead of a Friday IMF payment and with everyone’s patience running dangerously thin, it appears as though the situation described above is playing out almost to a tee. 

On Sunday, PM Alexis Tsipras penned a lengthy statement expressing his frustration at creditors’ insistence on presenting what he calls “absurd proposals” even as the Greek delegation has gone most of the way towards meeting the troika’s demands. He also questions the utility of the “coordinated” leaks from certain EU and IMF officials regarding a lack of progress, hitting back against those who have in the past advised the Greek government against leaking statements to the press and tacitly suggesting that there is indeed a behind-the- scenes effort to spark a terminal bank run in order to force Syriza into conceding its entire mandate (something we’ve said time and again). Here are the highlights:

On 25th of last January, the Greek people made a courageous decision. They dared to challenge the one-way street of the Memorandum’s tough austerity, and to seek a new agreement. A new agreement that will keep the country in the Euro, with a viable economic program, without the mistakes of the past…

 

Doing so requires a mutually beneficial agreement that will set realistic goals regarding surpluses, while also reinstating an agenda of growth and investment. A final solution to the Greek problem is now more mature and more necessary than ever…

 

Many, however, claim that the Greek side is not cooperating to reach an agreement because it comes to the negotiations intransigent and without proposals…

 

Let’s be clear:

 

The lack of an agreement so far is not due to the supposed intransigent, uncompromising and incomprehensible Greek stance.

 

It is due to the insistence of certain institutional actors on submitting absurd proposals and displaying a total indifference to the recent democratic choice of the Greek people, despite the public admission of the three Institutions that necessary flexibility will be provided in order to respect the popular verdict.

 

What is driving this insistence?

 

My conclusion...  is that the issue of Greece does not only concern Greece; rather, it is the very epicenter of conflict between two diametrically opposing strategies concerning the future of European unification.

 

The first strategy aims to deepen European unification in the context of equality and solidarity between its people and citizens.

 

The second strategy seeks precisely this: The split and the division of the Eurozone, and consequently of the EU.

 

The first step to accomplishing this is to create a two-speed Eurozone where the “core” will set tough rules regarding austerity and adaptation and will appoint a “super” Finance Minister of the EZ with unlimited power, and with the ability to even reject budgets of sovereign states that are not aligned with the doctrines of extreme neoliberalism.

 

For those countries that refuse to bow to the new authority, the solution will be simple: Harsh punishment. Mandatory austerity. And even worse, more restrictions on the movement of capital, disciplinary sanctions, fines and even a parallel currency.

 

Judging from the present circumstances, it appears that this new European power is being constructed, with Greece being the first victim. To some, this represents a golden opportunity to make an example out of Greece for other countries that might be thinking of not following this new line of discipline.

If you think that sounds like precisely what we have been saying in these pages for months you’d be right.

Tsipras concludes as follows:

Which strategy will prevail? The one that calls for a Europe of solidarity, equality and democracy, or the one that calls for rupture and division?

 

If some, however, think or want to believe that this decision concerns only Greece, they are making a grave mistake. I would suggest that they re-read Hemingway’s masterpiece, “For Whom the Bell Tolls”.

Tsipras is thus acutely aware of the fact that the negotiations between his government and the troika are now considered by both creditors and by sympathetic political parties across the EU periphery as a testing ground for the notion that threatening the idea of euro indissolubility can be used as a bargaining chip on the way extracting austerity concessions from the IMF and Brussels. 

So what happens next? As Barclays notes, a government reshuffle could be the most likely scenario with the more radical members of Syriza staging an open revolt and forcing Tsipras to form a new government, an outcome which would suit the troika just fine and which would prove that despite the PM’s extreme misgivings about the subversion of the democratic process, the country’s creditors will ultimately succeed in forcing Greeks to decide between an economic catastrophe that will likely be orders of magnitude greater than what they faced in the past and remaining free to decide for themselves how they want to be governed. 

Or, visually...

Indeed, this scenario has already begun to play out. The Telegraph has more:

Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras is facing open rebellion in his ruling Syriza party over Greece's future in the eurozone, raising the spectre of snap elections being called as early as this month.

 

The extreme “Left Platform” faction of Syriza, who make up a third of the party’s membership, have promised to defy creditor powers, and called for a reinstitution of the drachma, as the government enters its fifth month of arduous bail-out negotiations.

 

Syriza member Stathis Kouvelakis, who has led the insurrection, has vowed to end his country’s ritual “humiliation” at the hands of the International Monetary Fund, European Commission, and European Central Bank.

 

“It has become now clear that the ‘institutions’ are not striving for what some are calling an ‘honourable compromise’” said Mr Kouvelakis, in a statement...

 

Latest polling shows that 58pc of Syriza supporters would prefer to return to the drachma rather than continue implementing Troika austerity measures…

 

The insurrection poses a domestic headache for Mr Tsipras, who will have to pass any bail-out agreement though his country’s 300-member parliament.

 

Holding only a 12-seat majority, failure to ratify an agreement would trigger a snap election and likely lead to an extreme Left breakaway, said Miranda Xafa, a Greek economist and senior scholar at the Center for International Governance Innovation.

 

“There are indications that Mr Tsipras is ready to ditch his extremists should he lose a vote, but it will be very hard for him to come up with a face saving deal,” said Ms Xafa…

 

“In any new election scenario, Syriza would be split and the Left wing would likely break off to form a separate party. Mr Tsipras would have to find new coalition partners,” added Ms Xafa.  

As a reminder, it was just last week that the country came within 20 votes of backing a euro exit. 

In a surprisingly close vote showing just how deeply the ruling Greek Syriza party has splintered, the hard line "Left Platform" a faction within Syriza, proposed that Greece stop paying its creditors if they continue with "blackmailing tactics" and instead seek "an alternative plan" for the debt-racked country. Its motion called for the government to default on the IMF loans rather than compromise to creditor demands. The proposal was narrowly rejected with 95 people voting against and 75 in favor. With a vote as close as that, the genie of the full-blown dissent within Syriza, which has a tiny majority of just 12 seats in Greece's 300 seat partliament, is out of the bottle which could mean that the Troika's long sought after goal of pushing Greece into a political crisis, may be just around the corner.

What seems clear from the above is that this situation cannot be resolved without some manner of political (and possibly social) upheaval in Greece. While we do not yet know what Greek citizens will do in the event Tsipras strikes a deal that entails more austerity but averts a euro exit, what we do now know is that some members of Syriza are determined to stick to the campaign promises that got them elected in January and given that those promises have proven utterly incompatible with what the troika wants to hear on the way to bailing the country out (again), a political shakep seems virtually assured as it is unlikely Tsipras will risk an outright default and the economic consequences that will invariably accompany it. 

Here's a useful flow chart that maps the possibilities...

...and here's the latest opinion poll...

 

Stay tuned — things just got a lot more interesting in Athens. 

*  *  *

Full statement from Tsipras:

On 25th of last January, the Greek people made a courageous decision. They dared to challenge the one-way street of the Memorandum’s tough austerity, and to seek a new agreement. A new agreement that will keep the country in the Euro, with a viable economic program, without the mistakes of the past.

The Greek people paid a high price for these mistakes; over the past five years the unemployment rate climbed to 28% (60% for young people), average income decreased by 40%, while according to Eurostat’s data, Greece became the EU country with the highest index of social inequality.

And the worst result: Despite badly damaging the social fabric, this Program failed to invigorate the competitiveness of the Greek economy. Public debt soared from 124% to 180% of GDP, and despite the heavy sacrifices of the people, the Greek economy remains trapped in continuous uncertainty caused by unattainable fiscal balance targets that further the vicious cycle of austerity and recession.

The new Greek government’s main goal during these last four months has been to put an end to this vicious cycle, an end to this uncertainty.

Doing so requires a mutually beneficial agreement that will set realistic goals regarding surpluses, while also reinstating an agenda of growth and investment. A final solution to the Greek problem is now more mature and more necessary than ever.

Such an agreement will also spell the end of the European economic crisis that began 7 years ago, by putting an end to the cycle of uncertainty in the Eurozone.

Today, Europe has the opportunity to make decisions that will trigger a rapid recovery of the Greek and European economy by ending Grexit scenarios, scenarios that prevent the long-term stabilization of the European economy and may, at any given time, weaken the confidence of both citizens and investors in our common currency.

Many, however, claim that the Greek side is not cooperating to reach an agreement because it comes to the negotiations intransigent and without proposals.

Is this really the case?

Because these times are critical, perhaps historic–not only for the future of Greece but also for the future of Europe–I would like to take this opportunity to present the truth, and to responsibly inform the world’s public opinion about the real intentions and positions of Greece.

The Greek government, on the basis of the Eurogroup’s decision on February 20th, has submitted a broad package of reform proposals, with the intent to reach an agreement that will combine respect for the mandate of the Greek people with respect for the rules and decisions governing the Eurozone.

One of the key aspects of our proposals is the commitment to lower – and hence make feasible – primary surpluses for 2015 and 2016, and to allow for higher primary surpluses for the following years, as we expect a proportional increase in the growth rates of the Greek economy.

Another equally fundamental aspect of our proposals is the commitment to increase public revenues through a redistribution of the burden from lower and middle classes to the higher ones that have effectively avoided paying their fair share to help tackle the crisis, since they were for all accounts protected by both the political elite and the Troika who turned “a blind eye”.

From the very start, our government has clearly demonstrated its intention and determination to address these matters by legislating a specific bill to deal with fraud caused by triangular transactions, and by intensifying customs and tax controls to reduce smuggling and tax evasion.

While, for the first time in years, we charged media owners for their outstanding debts owed to the Greek public sector.

These actions are changing things in Greece, as evidenced the speeding up of work in the courts to administer justice in cases of substantial tax evasion. In other words, the oligarchs who were used to being protected by the political system now have many reasons to lose sleep.

In addition to these overarching goals that define our proposals, we have also offered highly detailed and specific plans during the course of our discussions with the institutions that have bridged the distance between our respective positions that separated us a few months ago.

Specifically, the Greek side has accepted to implement a series of institutional reforms, such as strengthening the independence of the General Secretariat for Public Revenues and of the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT), interventions to accelerate the administration of justice, as well as interventions in the product markets to eliminate distortions and privileges.

Also, despite our clear opposition to the privatization model promoted by the institutions that neither creates growth perspectives nor transfers funds to the real economy and the unsustainable debt, we accepted to move forward, with some minor modifications, on privatizations to prove our intention of taking steps towards approaching the other side.

We also agreed to implement a major VAT reform by simplifying the system and reinforcing the redistributive dimension of the tax in order to achieve an increase in both collection and revenues.

We have submitted specific proposals concerning measures that will result in a further increase in revenues. These include a special contribution tax on very high profits, a tax on e-betting, the intensification of checks of bank account holders with large sums – tax evaders, measures for the collection of public sector arrears, a special luxury tax, and a tendering process for broadcasting and other licenses, which the Troika coincidentally forgot about for the past five years.

These measures will increase revenues, and will do so without having recessionary effects since they do not further reduce active demand or place more burdens on the low and middle social strata.

Furthermore, we agreed to implement a major reform of the social security system that entails integrating pension funds and repealing provisions that wrongly allow for early retirement, which increases the real retirement age.

These reforms will be put into place despite the fact that the losses endured by the pension funds, which have created the medium-term problem of their sustainability, are mainly due to political choices of both the previous Greek governments and especially the Troika, who share the responsibility for these losses: the pension funds’ reserves have been reduced by 25 billion through the PSI and from very high unemployment, which is almost exclusively due to the extreme austerity program that has been implemented in Greece since 2010.

Finally–and despite our commitment to the workforce to immediately restore European legitimacy to the labor market that has been fully dismantled during the last five years under the pretext of competitiveness–we have accepted to implement labor reforms after our consultation with the ILO, which has already expressed a positive opinion about the Greek government’s proposals.

Given the above, it is only reasonable to wonder why there is such insistence by Institutional officials that Greece is not submitting proposals.

What end is served by this prolonged liquidity moratorium towards the Greek economy? Especially in light of the fact that Greece has shown that it wants to meet its external obligations, having paid more than 17 billion in interest and amortizations (about 10% of its GDP) since August 2014 without any external funding.

And finally, what is the purpose of the coordinated leaks that claim that we are not close to an agreement that will put an end to the European and global economic and political uncertainty fueled by the Greek issue?

The informal response that some are making is that we are not close to an agreement because the Greek side insists on its positions to restore collective bargaining and refuses to implement a further reduction of pensions.

Here, too, I must make some clarifications:

Regarding the issue of collective bargaining, the position of the Greek side is that it is impossible for the legislation protecting employees in Greece to not meet European standards or, even worse, to flagrantly violate European labor legislation. What we are asking for is nothing more than what is common practice in all Eurozone countries. This is the reason why I recently made a joint declaration on the issue with President Juncker.

Concerning the issue on pensions, the position of the Greek government is completely substantiated and reasonable. In Greece, pensions have cumulatively declined from 20% to 48% during the Memorandum years; currently 44.5% of pensioners receive a pension under the fixed threshold of relative poverty while approximately 23.1% of pensioners, according to data from Eurostat, live in danger of poverty and social exclusion.

It is therefore obvious that these numbers, which are the result of Memorandum policy, cannot be tolerated–not simply in Greece but in any civilized country.

So, let’s be clear:

The lack of an agreement so far is not due to the supposed intransigent, uncompromising and incomprehensible Greek stance.

It is due to the insistence of certain institutional actors on submitting absurd proposals and displaying a total indifference to the recent democratic choice of the Greek people, despite the public admission of the three Institutions that necessary flexibility will be provided in order to respect the popular verdict.

What is driving this insistence?

An initial thought would be that this insistence is due to the desire of some to not admit their mistakes and instead, to reaffirm their choices by ignoring their failures.

Moreover, we must not forget the public admission made a few years ago by the IMF that they erred in calculating the depth of the recession that would be caused by the Memorandum.

I consider this, however, to be a shallow approach. I simply cannot believe that the future of Europe depends on the stubbornness or the insistence of some individuals.

My conclusion, therefore, is that the issue of Greece does not only concern Greece; rather, it is the very epicenter of conflict between two diametrically opposing strategies concerning the future of European unification.

The first strategy aims to deepen European unification in the context of equality and solidarity between its people and citizens.

The proponents of this strategy begin with the assumption that it is not possible to demand that the new Greek government follows the course of the previous one – which, we must not forget, failed miserably. This assumption is the starting point, because otherwise, elections would need to be abolished in those countries that are in a Program. Namely, we would have to accept that the institutions should appoint the Ministers and Prime Ministers, and that citizens should be deprived of the right to vote until the completion of the Program.

In other words, this means the complete abolition of democracy in Europe, the end of every pretext of democracy, and the beginning of disintegration and of an unacceptable division of United Europe.

This means the beginning of the creation of a technocratic monstrosity that will lead to a Europe entirely alien to its founding principles.

The second strategy seeks precisely this: The split and the division of the Eurozone, and consequently of the EU.

The first step to accomplishing this is to create a two-speed Eurozone where the “core” will set tough rules regarding austerity and adaptation and will appoint a “super” Finance Minister of the EZ with unlimited power, and with the ability to even reject budgets of sovereign states that are not aligned with the doctrines of extreme neoliberalism.

For those countries that refuse to bow to the new authority, the solution will be simple: Harsh punishment. Mandatory austerity. And even worse, more restrictions on the movement of capital, disciplinary sanctions, fines and even a parallel currency.

Judging from the present circumstances, it appears that this new European power is being constructed, with Greece being the first victim. To some, this represents a golden opportunity to make an example out of Greece for other countries that might be thinking of not following this new line of discipline.

What is not being taken into account is the high amount of risk and the enormous dangers involved in this second strategy. This strategy not only risks the beginning of the end for the European unification project by shifting the Eurozone from a monetary union to an exchange rate zone, but it also triggers economic and political uncertainty, which is likely to entirely transform the economic and political balances throughout the West.

Europe, therefore, is at a crossroads. Following the serious concessions made by the Greek government, the decision is now not in the hands of the institutions, which in any case – with the exception of the European Commission- are not elected and are not accountable to the people, but rather in the hands of Europe’s leaders.

Which strategy will prevail? The one that calls for a Europe of solidarity, equality and democracy, or the one that calls for rupture and division?

If some, however, think or want to believe that this decision concerns only Greece, they are making a grave mistake. I would suggest that they re-read Hemingway’s masterpiece, “For Whom the Bell Tolls”.

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Sun, 05/31/2015 - 14:37 | 6149613 Panic Mode
Panic Mode's picture

Is the EU preparaing for Portugal, Italy and Spain to default and exit?

Sun, 05/31/2015 - 14:43 | 6149621 keremetski
keremetski's picture

I lost count of warninings. You are lousy pocker player Tsipras.

Sun, 05/31/2015 - 14:54 | 6149624 Headbanger
Headbanger's picture

What difference  does it make now?

They should be working on the post-Grexit issues now.

Or is Grexit a financial  apocalypse that leaves total destruction after it?

 

Sun, 05/31/2015 - 14:57 | 6149650 Silver Bul
Silver Bul's picture

He is right.  Greece is just the first example of unpayable debts, big surprise, not being paid.  Portugal, Spain or Italy will follow, but the world shaking event will be Japan, a developed economy that can print its own money failing.  It will happen soon enough, Greece is just the first domino. 

Sun, 05/31/2015 - 15:14 | 6149697 oudinot
oudinot's picture

"...Greece is the first domino..."

AMEN

Sun, 05/31/2015 - 15:33 | 6149757 boogerbently
boogerbently's picture

After the total HELL Greece will go thru after Grexit, no one else will want to try.

 

I just thought of who this guy reminds me of.

Remember the knight in Monty Pythons "Holy Grail" ?

Lost both arms and both legs to his adversary then said "OK, we'll call it a draw".

 

Sun, 05/31/2015 - 15:42 | 6149785 NoDebt
NoDebt's picture

What do you call it when Tsipras buys green bananas at the market?

Optimism.

Sun, 05/31/2015 - 16:30 | 6149901 THX 1178
THX 1178's picture

tsipras is finger-pointing. last call?

Sun, 05/31/2015 - 17:29 | 6150089 winchester
winchester's picture

you lost me at :

The second strategy seeks precisely this: The split and the division of the Eurozone, and consequently of the EU

 

when you see a bunch of corrupt up to kill opponents in any strategic position of the economy, if you really think a single fucking second that  the guys will let greece do what it wants and threat eurozone stability and 50 years of europ build, you just as high as fuck, you too hard on crack dude, you MUST  LAND to the ground and take a fucking breath...

 

just to let you consider and help the situation, kadafi was invited in france in 2007,  you remember what happened to him ?

oil strategy from total was not the taste of the usa, you remember where de marjorie 's plane crashed ?....

 

list is long... when you in the middle of the road and block access... you are just deleted.

i'm sure of 2 things :

 

1 )greece will not exit eurozone and will stay in europ.

2) if tsipras push too far,  some ppl gonna get killed to make greece in communion with the others countries of europ to fight  UNITED against " terrorism".

 


Sun, 05/31/2015 - 18:13 | 6150175 joseJimenez
joseJimenez's picture

Is Greece, greasing the skids for the breakup of the EU?

Sun, 05/31/2015 - 15:51 | 6149809 two hoots
two hoots's picture

We can just watch.  

Sun, 05/31/2015 - 16:02 | 6149835 basho
basho's picture

really?

Sun, 05/31/2015 - 14:44 | 6149623 Wolferl
Wolferl's picture

Throw those pathetic Greeks out of Europe already.

Sun, 05/31/2015 - 15:53 | 6149815 dogfish
dogfish's picture

The short version of the story is FUCK YOU germany.

Sun, 05/31/2015 - 16:00 | 6149831 elvy
elvy's picture

That's too short. tl;dr should be 'Why the rest of Europe should also say 'FUCK YOU Germany'; you know where I stand'.

Sun, 05/31/2015 - 16:01 | 6149832 elvy
elvy's picture

doublepost

Sun, 05/31/2015 - 16:06 | 6149844 Salah
Salah's picture

 "History repeats itself, first as tragedy, then as farce." Karl Marx

Just do it...repo Crete, sell it to the Chinese, they'll know what to do

Sun, 05/31/2015 - 16:43 | 6149941 Wolferl
Wolferl's picture

What about selling Crete to the Turks ... now that would be really fun to watch.

Sun, 05/31/2015 - 20:45 | 6150508 Augustus
Augustus's picture

The Tzipass strategy has been to demand that lenders agree to advance more funding with no change in govt. spending.  Now that he finds that won't fly, he throws a fit.

the reason the Greece won't leave the EZ is because of the regular billions in subsidies they get every year under various EZ programs.  No longer a member = no more cash from that source.  And that funding has nothing to do with any loan support programs.

If the Greeks find current finances difficult, wait until they try to buy something with new Drachma.  The entire country will be on COD in euro for everything.  Interest rates won't really matter as there will not be any loans available.

Sun, 05/31/2015 - 14:54 | 6149651 Which is worse ...
Which is worse - bankers or terrorists's picture

This is screaming immediate deal with the ECB/IMF pedophiles, Alexis. 

Sun, 05/31/2015 - 15:50 | 6149805 elvy
elvy's picture

Tsipras has been talking about a deal being very close for a good while now. This is a message to Schaeuble and those like him and, more importantly, to his own party members that they will play right into the hands of the enemy if they abandon ship now and don't stay for the long cause.

We'll see what happens. I for one believe this one's worth fighting for, the alternative is just too horrible, too pointless, too idiotic to let happen.

Sun, 05/31/2015 - 15:30 | 6149745 CelticWarrior72
CelticWarrior72's picture

Greeks - pay your taxes.

Sun, 05/31/2015 - 15:55 | 6149819 post turtle saver
post turtle saver's picture

the grave mistake was made when they were let into the EU to begin with

Sun, 05/31/2015 - 19:08 | 6150316 billpayer
billpayer's picture

Unless one sees Greece as a safety valve to let the puss out of the miscarriage the EU was and is in the first place.

Sun, 05/31/2015 - 14:38 | 6149614 Dindu Nuffins
Dindu Nuffins's picture

As the World Burns, These are the Days of Our Lives

Sun, 05/31/2015 - 14:40 | 6149616 Usurious
Usurious's picture

 

 

trav7777 from 2010

''The old imperial powers are still at it, except with their banks and paper this time around.

France and Germany will *insist* that Greece "pay its debts," even if that means they extract the fkin organs from Grecians.  Nevermind that the major nations' banks NEVER ACTUALLY HAD the money they lent out.  They created it from thin fucking air.

We are steaming fullspeed toward worldwide repudiation of debt and the banking system.  When this crashes, people will realize how the major European historical imperial powers stayed on top even after their armies disbanded - they had the banks and controlled the paper that was used as money.''

http://www.zerohedge.com/article/piigs-claims-european-banks-15-trillion-france-most-hook-piigs-implosion

Sun, 05/31/2015 - 18:48 | 6150266 THE 4th Quadrant
THE 4th Quadrant's picture

Right on for Trav.

Sun, 05/31/2015 - 14:40 | 6149617 elegance
elegance's picture

Fuck off to Putin Tsipras.

Sun, 05/31/2015 - 14:42 | 6149619 gwar5
gwar5's picture

I know the EU and USA are pretty fucked up when I constently find myself rooting big time for Greece, Russia and China.

Sun, 05/31/2015 - 14:51 | 6149642 bbq on whitehou...
bbq on whitehouse lawn's picture

Are you rooting for countries, people or logic.

Sun, 05/31/2015 - 15:15 | 6149701 oudinot
oudinot's picture

The man is rooting for common sense.

Sun, 05/31/2015 - 16:06 | 6149821 Dindu Nuffins
Dindu Nuffins's picture

Today, ZH comment section taught me that it's common sense to pile on tens of trillions in debt to build ghost cities. 

At any rate, if you root for China, it's because you project your own hopes and dreams onto it and disregard its actual realities. Vote Obama much? What does a HOPE poster look like when you squint your eyes to fantasize that you're Chinese?

Sun, 05/31/2015 - 16:22 | 6149883 Urban Redneck
Urban Redneck's picture

Debt is Money

Market Share is Influence

If China is going to challenge the US on the economic battlefield, then China needs more Market Share, and hence a larger supply of Debt.

Despite what people around here think money should be.  Money is simply a unit of account, and by extension a medium of exchange.

Which is why oligarchs are so eager to turn their infinitely devalueable central bank units of account into influence.

Sun, 05/31/2015 - 16:27 | 6149893 Max Steel
Max Steel's picture

You seem to be very emotionally invested in something that you don't know.

Sun, 05/31/2015 - 17:30 | 6150061 Dindu Nuffins
Dindu Nuffins's picture

Let's just say that I was in the China-boosting crowd once.

I thought that China was the future, and Chinese were all studious little 110 IQ ubermenschen who play chess while we play checkers... every trite nugget of nonsense that passes for accepted wisdom. I'd met a lot of immigrants, and always been impressed. I suppose if you only know the Chinese immigrants to your country, who are exceptional enough to find a way out, then that's what you'd think of all Chinese. I made the mistake of going there myself.

I took a long trip to China, spent months learning Mandarin and touring every place from Shanghai, to Harbin during its winter Bingxue Shijie snow festival, made trips to and climbed all five of the Sacred Mountains of China, Huashan, Hengshang in Shanxi, Hengshan in Hunan, Songshan, Taishan ... hiked the 26 miles of Tiger Leaping Gorge, spent a lot of time in small villages where I was apparently the first westerner, and even slept inside a cave-house called a yaodong, which is the way that many peasants lived for centuries and, all-in-all, visited these following cities and more...

Beijing, Shanghai, Xi'an, Hangzhou, Suzhou, Zhengzhou, Sanmenxia, Ruicheng, Yongle Gong, Taiyuan, Datong, Huhehaote, Changcheng, Haerbin, Linfen, Lvliang... 

... and realised how very bad it is. Everyone behaves like a peasant, there's shit and piss on the floors of trainstations, people seem to have 85 IQs at best, about 40% at most graduate highschool, most are racist as hell and call you baigui.

I met a smart and cool girl that I got a little attached to, her father was a peasant who built up an apple cider factory in Linfen but didn't go to highschool and only knew how to speak the local language of Linfen, and her father came to Xi'an and got her, literally cleared out the apartment and took her back to her shit village and locked her in a room, because he didn't want her dating a non-Han Chinese.

Yeah, good point, bro. I probably don't know China. Also, good point, I'm probably emotionally invested after my experiences. 

I've come to hate all things China. Except the food. That's spectacular. Jingjiang Rousi is my favorite.

Sun, 05/31/2015 - 19:06 | 6150302 petkovplamen
petkovplamen's picture

Maybe you should try the same thing in USA and Europe. Live in the worst gettos of BOTH USA and Europe for a while, observe how the people really are and how they are behaving, learn the language and try to get along with them to see what knowledge you come away with. Try arguing with Mexicans in soutern California who are partying in the middle of the night (while you want to sleep) who simply refuse to speak English or with niggars in harlem and let's see how far you make it. try living among the Arab emigrants in the gettos of Paris or Amsterdam or try living among the poor as dirt Gypsies in Eastern Europe Bulgaria and let us know how wonderful it was.

And I can predict: it ain't gonna be pretty. In fact, i can predict RIGHT NOW it will be MUCH worse than China. Yeah Ok, you claim to know China first hand. Now it's time to learn about the wonderful "democratic" EU and the wonderful "freedom and democracy" USA has.

Sun, 05/31/2015 - 19:17 | 6150336 Calmyourself
Calmyourself's picture

You have obviously not spent much time in the US if you had you would realize ghettos and the hood are very small parts of America as in Microscopic.  They are significant only in that they are useful to our elites to leverage for power, our leftist elites that is.  Of course they are all adherents of the Frankfurt school so we have Europe to thank for that.

Sun, 05/31/2015 - 19:57 | 6150387 Dindu Nuffins
Dindu Nuffins's picture

Nah. You see, that'd be like going to Guizhou or parts of Xinjiang.  You set me up a false comparison. I know the actual bad parts of China, bro. I stayed away from them, I assure you.

In all the splendor and safety of Beijing itself, it will take you five minutes near the Forbidden City to get your trusting Sinophiliac ass scammed by a teahouse con-artist.

Happened to me. A Chinese guy told me he was a teacher on vacation and he could guide me around the Forbidden City for free. Instead, we end up at a teahouse in the hutong and he acts like we're just friends about to share a cup of tea "before beginning" the tour. We drink a few cups in a narrow room filled up with a large table that makes it difficult to move around (to escape as I learn) and he offers me a seat far away from the door.

A waitress brings in tea samples, and he clearly turns out to be a salesman wanting a small fortune for different boxes of tea. At the end, I say no to every package, and I learn I was paying for us both to drink the samples, and I get a bill for 2500 RMB for 4 cups. I literally climbed up and over the table, struggled at the door with him, and jumped out the door rather than get scammed for an obviously 10 RMB cup of tea.

Welcome to China. I've met many others with the same tea story. It's a known scam that happens in the heart of the capital. Come to what you think are the best, most upstanding parts of China, and come get schooled. PIck-pocketed on the buses of Xi'an, witnessed a motorcycle mugging in daylight on a mainstreet of a mid-sized city. I knew three girls that had been motorcycle mugged. The police barely patrol the streets, so its easy to break laws like that.

One time, a Chinese friend came to my flat distressed and wanted to talk. His friend had disappeared and her family asked the police to investigate. The police told them that they needed "help" to fund the investigation. Cha-ching. That's life in China. That doesn't compare to any police in America or Europe that I know.

 

Sun, 05/31/2015 - 20:35 | 6150487 HolyfieldsOtherEar
HolyfieldsOtherEar's picture

Have visited several cities in China, probably not extensively as you. But I agree with your assessment.

People think China is on the move. They've got this sparkly, gleaming high-speed train from Shanghai to Nanjing and God knows where else. Guess what? You have to buy a return ticket at the station in Shanghai. Not REQUIRED to, but if you don't, when you get to the other end the ticket sales are controlled by local mafia who will charge you double and triple. The people at the ticket windows point you out to a card table set up in the parking lot where the wise guys lounge around waiting for chumps.

A lot of things that look great on first blush in China are crawling with leeches just under the surface. And a lot of it doesn't even look good on the surface.

Sun, 05/31/2015 - 20:45 | 6150504 Bro of the Sorr...
Bro of the Sorrowful Figure's picture

spot on. been here a few years now, speak the language about as fluently as a foreigner can. china is all sheeple. the smart ones are just as naive. they say they have a long history. bullshit. they have a 20 year history of capital markets, which they still dont understand. the "5000 years" of prior history none of them have actually studied, and if they had they would have realized theyve been slaves for 5000 years. ponzi scheme here is huge and when the bad debt in the shadow banking system over here finally rears its ugly head everyone--because chinese people have as ZH has pointed out many times, 70% of their wealth in the ponzi real estate market--will get wiped out and "no one could have seen it coming". ive posted before that i work in RE over here and not a single person from any RE investment, development, agent whatever, when i ask about the bubble, even acknowledges that one exists. sheep ripe for fleecing.

Sun, 05/31/2015 - 16:02 | 6149818 blabam
blabam's picture

Rooting for Russia is just retarded. Why the hell would I root for the maffia from the other side? I'm rooting for my loved ones.

Sun, 05/31/2015 - 14:47 | 6149627 Fun Facts
Fun Facts's picture

suggest no deck remodeling for Tsipras

Sun, 05/31/2015 - 14:50 | 6149633 Kirk2NCC1701
Kirk2NCC1701's picture

Disgruntled, dependant wife to money-making husband: "I'm leaving you"

Husband:  "Uh-huh"

Wife: "I mean it.  This time I'm really leaving"

Husband: "Sorry to hear that"

Wife: "Did you hear me?  I said I'm leaving.  For good.  I'm not coming back."

Husband: "Am I supposed to stop you, or help you pack and call you on it?"

Wife: "You ass!"

Sun, 05/31/2015 - 15:04 | 6149666 elegance
elegance's picture

I guess she is leaving to become a whore for a Russian midget.

Sun, 05/31/2015 - 16:00 | 6149830 basho
basho's picture

what  a sick mind you have.

Sun, 05/31/2015 - 16:32 | 6149909 Max Steel
Max Steel's picture

Does it take much effort to be such a moron?

Sun, 05/31/2015 - 14:50 | 6149636 Prober
Prober's picture

To Alexis Tsipras and all the lying, cheating, corrupt, thieving socialist parasites in greece, especially, syriza:

GO FUCK YOURSELVES - YOU WANT MONEY, THEN EARN IT !!!!!!!!

Sun, 05/31/2015 - 15:16 | 6149706 where_is the_nuke
where_is the_nuke's picture

You are funny.

Sun, 05/31/2015 - 15:50 | 6149807 Arionov
Arionov's picture

You mean Europe and the Banksters?

Sun, 05/31/2015 - 15:58 | 6149827 basho
basho's picture

my, my don't shit your pants over it. lol

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