While there is "hope" in the unforgettable words of France's Moscovici, it is once again up to Greece to convince Europe it really wants to stay in the Union. According to Reuters, the Eurogroup is about to release a statement, whose draft it has seen, which will demand much more from the tiny country caught in a state of permanent depression. To wit: Greece will not be able to start negotiations on a third bailout until it makes changes to its sales tax and pension systems and strengthens the independence of its statistics office, a draft statement of euro zone finance ministers said on Sunday.
€10-14 billion was bad enough, but €25 billion may have been simply too much to bear...
Here is the punchline from Greek nemesis #1, Schauble: SCHAEUBLE PROPOSES TIME-LIMITED `GREXIT': FAZ; SCHAEUBLE SUGGESTS 5-YR GREXIT, HUMANITARIAN SUPPORT: FAZ
In other words, Germany just said kick Greece out, conditionally, for 5 years (it is not quite clear what Greece would use for currency in the meantime), quarantine it, and treat it as a third-world country until 2020. Somehow we doubt global stocks expected this outcome when they soared on Friday...
Ask a typical American how the United States got into World War II, and he will almost certainly tell you that the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor and the Americans fought back. Ask him why the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, and he will probably need some time to gather his thoughts. Ask him what the United States did to provoke the Japanese, and he will probably say that the Americans did nothing: we were just minding our own business when the crazy Japanese, completely without justification, mounted a sneak attack on us, catching us totally by surprise in Hawaii on December 7, 1941. Unfortunately, this orthodox view is a tissue of misconceptions.
“When Money Dies” is the title of a 1975 book by Adam Fergusson, in which he describes the downfall of the Reichsmark in Weimar Germany. A fascinating look at that period of history, one can glean quite a few useful pieces of advice on how to survive a currency crisis. But “when money dies” could also describe the current currency crisis in Greece, in which many Greeks seem to have taken those lessons from Fergusson’s account of the Weimar hyperinflation to heart.
Initially it was just an unconfirmed rumor circulating in the German FAS media that the local FinMin had proposed a "temporary Grexit" option. It now appears that this was not only not a rumor, but Schauble's sentiment is contagious: moments ago Finnish broadcaster MTV reported that first Finland, and then the Eurozone's smaller, if somewhat more solvent nations, Estonia, Lithuania, Slovakia, Slovenia and even the Netherlands, support the German position on temporarily suspending Greece' Euro membership.
A Greek exit will be evidence that the US and IMF influence on Berlin is waning, and will establish Berlin as the new geopolitical player to reckon with.
Tsipras betrayed the public trust last night when we rammed through a draft proposal for a Third Greek bailout, one which would push total Greek Debt/GDP over 200%, which the Greek population overwhelming rejected in a democratic vote last weekend. And now, it is up to Europe to decide if it will trust the Greek government, which clearly has no problem lying to anyone, to implement reforms which Greece has been unable to effect for over 5 years.
German FinMin Blasts Greek Proposal: Debt Restructuring Impossible, "Everyone Knows They Can't Be Believed"Submitted by Tyler Durden on 07/11/2015 09:38 -0400
In the face of Latvia's outgoing President's comments, that debt writedowns for Greece will only come after the bankruptcy of the state, German finance minister Schaeuble has once again gone on the offensive this morning saying that "we know from the Treaties that debt relief is not possible," yet noting that "the need for help for Greece is obvious." However, his concluding, seemingly ad hominem, remarks are the most troubling for those expecting smooth passage of Greek proposals and a renewed rally to record stock market highs... "Greeks won't pay their bills... everyone knows they can't be believed." Just what exactly is Greece so enamored by that keeps them in this union - especially when friends are likely waiting to help post-Grexit.
"Schäuble is convinced that as things stand, he needs a Grexit to clear the air, one way or another. Suddenly, a permanently unsustainable Greek public debt, without which the risk of Grexit would fade, has acquired a new usefulness for Schauble. What do I mean by that? Based on months of negotiation, my conviction is that the German finance minister wants Greece to be pushed out of the single currency to put the fear of God into the French and have them accept his model of a disciplinarian eurozone."
There is one thing that keeps Angela Merkel awake at night. It's not the cries of despair from Greek pensioners; it's not the stomach rumbles of starving Portuguese; it's not the penniless Cypriots... it's the rise of the euroskeptic and the possibility that her empire will be forced to wage not financial war but another type of conflict...
Every nation has a right to defend itself against attack – financial attack just as overt military attack. That is an essential element in the principle of self-determination. Greece, Spain, Portugal, Italy and other debtor countries have been under the same mode of attack that was waged by the IMF and its austerity doctrine that bankrupted Latin America from the 1970s onward. International law needs to be updated to recognize that finance has become the modern-day mode of warfare. Its objectives are the same: acquisition of land, raw materials and monopolies. A byproduct of this warfare has been to make today’s financial network so dysfunctional that nations need a financial Clean Slate.
While the party in the 1990s ended badly, the festivities currently underway may end in outright disaster. The party-goers may not just awaken with hangovers, but with missing teeth, no memories, and Mike Tyson's tiger in their hotel room.
The Greek Drachma has made two mysterious appearances this week, suggesting that the EU is on the verge of forcing the Greek economy into the adoption of a parallel currency and while this week’s Drachma “sightings” might properly be called anecdotal, a report from Kathimerini and comments from deposed FinMin Yanis Varoufakis suggest redenomination rumors are not entirely unfounded. Now, with the ECB set to cut Greek banks off from the ELA lifeline on Monday morning in the absence of a deal, some businesses are mitigating the liquidity shortage by accepting foreign currency.
Yes, it’s still entirely possible that Tsipras submitted this last set of proposals knowing full well they won’t be accepted. But he’s already gone way too far in his concessions. This is an exercise in futility. It’s time to acknowledge this is a road to nowhere.