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Let’s Talk Turkey About Greece

2015 January 16
by Ian Welsh

In light of the upcoming Greek elections and the possibility of a Euro exist, this article from 2012 is worth revisiting.

1) Greece is very likely to exit the Euro.

2) When Greece exits the Euro it will be punished severely by the monetary authorities.  They intend to let Greeks starve.  They will cut off food supplies, and Greeks will not be able to afford food.  Oil is also going to be a problem.  Greeks will probably not be able to flee to other countries.

3) The reason they will punish the Greeks is because they can.  They couldn’t punish the Argentinians (well, they’re working on it) or the Icelanders, because both those countries can feed themselves.  They can punish the Greeks.  They need to make an example, because they are worried about Spain, Portugal, Ireland and other countries.  (Heck, even the Dutch are having problems.  The Dutch!  If the Dutch can’t make it in the Euro, no one can.)  This isn’t, contra Lagarde about “bad Greeks”, while it is true that Greece should never have been let in to the Euro, well, everyone knew that.  Including the countries that let Greece in.

4) Greece is going to have get hardcore and creative about creating a new economy.  Since the monetary authorities intend to starve them and deprive them of oil, they must retaliate hard.  Greece has a number of options, and this is what Greece should do You don’t play nice with people who are trying to cause a famine in your country.

  • Greece has a large fleet.  Use it to strip mine the Mediterranean of all resources possible.  Yes, the Med is a fragile ecosystem.  If the other Euros don’t like it, they can not punish Greece, otherwise Greece will have to feed itself.  The Euros could send fleets, but as the British-Iceland fishing war proved, that’s prohibitively expensive.
  • Start gun-running and other black market activities up.  European gun-running currently goes through Albania.  Greece has much better ports.  If the Euros don’t like it, they can militarize Greece’s borders at a cost much higher than feeding the Greeks.
  • Become a full on black-hole for banking.  If anyone wants to store money in Greece, they can.  No questions asked, no forms needed.
  • Make deals with other “pariah” and semi-pariah nations.  Start with Iran and Russia for oil (Iran will be happy to give oil in exchange for black market help).  Make a deal with various 2nd world nations for food, start with Argentina, they have no reason to love the IMF or the European Union, which promised to “punish” them for nationalizing oil in Argentina.  In exchange Greece can offer use of their fleet, for cheap, and port rights for the Russian navy.  They’ve wanted a true warm water port for some time.  Offer them a nice island in the Med with a 30 year lease.
  • Hold on for a couple years.  Odds are that soon enough Ireland, Spain, Portugal and maybe others will leave the Euro.  They won’t be in any mood to screw Greece for their ex-Euro masters.  Heck, odds are 50/50 that there won’t be a Euro zone at all in 3 years, since Germany wants to screw everyone, including France.
  • Nationalize basically every industry.  It’s unfortunate, but it’s going to be necessary.  Hundreds of billions of dollars have fled Greece in the past 3 years, in fact that was one of the main reasons for dragging out the “bailouts” (really, bailouts of German banks), to let the money flee.  All Greek assets are going to be frozen overseas, so the Greeks will need to work with what they have.
  • No more money goes out of the country.  Slap on currency controls, to make sure what money is there doesn’t leave (this is aimed at Greece’s rich).  If any banker or anyone else circumvents them, throw them in jail, the sentence should be life, generous, since they are committing treason.
  • Seriously change the tax system, and insist on really taxing the rich.  Go to heavily progressive taxation, reduce the burden on the poor (a large number of people now), this will buy support.
  • A food rationing system, with cards and delivery to every person in the country will be necessary.  It won’t be fun, but combined with the above, you can make sure that no one starves.

Greece has been under siege for years now, and traitors within its own country (its politicians) have betrayed it.  This means Greeks are in serious danger of suffering a famine.  The response to that, by Greeks, will have to be pragmatic and severe.  If non-Greeks don’t like it, that’s too bad.  When millions of people are in danger of starving, a country does what it has to.


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40 Responses
  1. Celsius 233 permalink
    May 26, 2012

    We keep people distracted with our phony war on terror while the real terrorists (IMF & WB) ravage the last vestiges of resources.
    It took a genuine bastard to figure out how to pillage the poor.

  2. Formerly T-Bear permalink
    May 27, 2012

    Another 2¢ opinion. Along with Greek yogurt use Greek (is) toast. At 20+ rate of unemployment the chances of any economic recovery are near null until the unemployment rate is reduced by a large fraction in the vicinity of 1/2. Somewhere in that 20 +% is a tipping point for economic collapse. Do expect a money economy develop that reestablishes the social value/utility of exchange outside the purview of official government, commonly known as black market, black economy or black money. Most of this economy will operate outside the government’s ability to tax. Black economies always occur when official economies fail to provide needs, wants and desires (the driving motivation of all economics). Greece will likely remain a member of the European Union (EU) while leaving the European monetary union (EMU), and as a member will retain the right the EU to economic assistance in reducing poverty and obtaining an equitable standard of living with other member states of the EU.

    Probably the most far reaching effect of Greece will be the trigger it gives “the market” to destroy Spain, also an economy brought low (even lower than Greece) by the irrationalities of the omnipotent market of fond ideology (/s). Unfortunately Spain’s economy is well past the tipping point for economic collapse as well as being the 4th largest in the EMU, presenting a problem in supporting that strain the resources of the EU itself. Icing the Spanish cake is a government so thoroughly indoctrinated in “market ideology” that air must be pumped to it; a government hell bent at all costs to impose austerity upon its economy, e.g. 19 billions on offer to “recapitalize” its 4th largest bank at the same time incapable of providing the several billions required to fund the national schools. Such governments are staffed by liars, thieves and knaves to power; such governments must be turfed with all dispatch into the rubbish bins of history (please don’t get me started). About the only reason Spain has not gone into cataclysmic collapse may be due to accumulated wealth (unconsumed income) built up by the people, allowing some measure of durability withstanding the economic crisis (neither national nor personal debt was extensive for a large fraction of the population which shows the requirement that impoverishment is required for public assistance is a foolish position at best and compounded disastrous in economic emergency).

    Italy will soon follow. As will Holland. Great Britain will (returning the sentiment) eventually get it right after trying everything else.

    @ Celsius 233
    The poor have been pillaged for time immemorial, it is large part why there are poor, the poor have not recovered from pillage, but do supply ready labour source for the capitalist entrepreneur (who incidentally is that class’s greatest pillager).

  3. Celsius 233 permalink
    May 27, 2012

    Formerly T-Bear
    May 27, 2012

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Capitalism today (as practiced) is more of a weapon than a purely economic strategy it would seem.
    Once identified; it should be easy to opt out of the game. Iceland did it; Argentina did it (maybe not for the long term though). Greece has the drachma, which, within a relatively closed system, may fly. I’m no economist, so that could be wishful thinking on my part.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    @ Celsius 233
    The poor have been pillaged for time immemorial, it is large part why there are poor, the poor have not recovered from pillage, but do supply ready labour source for the capitalist entrepreneur (who incidentally is that class’s greatest pillager).
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    I’m a year or two ahead of the boomers and I seem to recall a time in the 70’s when labor was making decent headway (I was part of labor then).
    Then came the 80’s and everything went south.
    So, yeah, that’s a good read on our history once we settled down.

  4. May 27, 2012

    This seems a cause made for Occupy. An Occupy air lift to bring in supplies. The cry, “We are all Greeks now!”. I can’t believe I still see people spouting the “Greeks are lazy” myth. They were on average a longer week than average EU worker.
    http://www.newstatesman.com/blogs/world-affairs/2012/05/exploding-myth-feckless-lazy-greeks

    This is pure “Shock Doctrine”.

  5. Morocco Bama permalink
    May 27, 2012

    I can’t believe I still see people spouting the “Greeks are lazy” myth.

    We need to redefine lazy, imo. Someone who pursues a worthless career selling delusions and leaves their yard to be cut by Mexicans, their house cleaned by Haitians and painted by meth-head Rednecks, their children to be wet-nursed and raised by poor Black women, or a glorified daycares, and so on, and so forth, is the epitomy of lazy. By that definition, the tables are turned, and the majority of the people everywhere these days are lazy fucks who are living on borrowed time, quite literally.

  6. May 27, 2012

    Ian, If I had heros, I would be raising funds to buy you a fancy cape and a tacky car…)

    Aren’t you glad I don’t have heros?

    Anyway, thank dawg you keep this bat signal shining from time to time.

  7. Antifa permalink
    May 27, 2012

    Excellent points, Ian. It certainly won’t be pretty, or easy. Three observations —

    One, while Europe’s northern bankers may think they can push Greece overboard and keel haul the lazy bastards with impunity, the actual, immediate result will be bank runs on the Euro everywhere it is now used. No sober person will see the Euro as a safe place to store wealth. Pushing Greece out will sink the Euro and the EU as inevitably as that ice cube that sank the Titanic.

    Two, carrying out the tough policies you outline in a timely manner seems possible only for an autocratic government, a government that dictates policy and leaves the usual bickering of democratic processes aside for the time being. Will this be a leftist or a neo-Nazi government? Or will a junta of colonels take over again? And will this new autocracy give up its powers when the food and money crises ease a couple years hence?

    Three, will NATO stand in Russia and/or Iran’s way militarily, as in a blockade? This tough new stance, this rebellion against the moneyed powers by Greece, could so easily be described and treated as terrorism, as a clear and present danger to the economies of the EU and the US. It would be a transparent lie, but the use of force usually needs little more than a lie to proceed with their mission. NATO is already pushing for war with Iran/Syria, and putting up a missile shield on Russia’s front door. Not likely they will countenance Iran and Russia starting an under-the-table economic alliance against the American/NATO empire.

    Wars begin this way.

  8. Ian Welsh permalink
    May 27, 2012

    Left, right, colonels, people get willing to be autocratic big-time when they’re starving. Bear in mind, rationing didn’t end in Britain after WWII until the 50s.

  9. May 27, 2012

    @morocco bama
    Yes, on “Naked Capitalism” blog I elaborated on the definition of “lazy”. Looting is a lazy way of living in society. It is easy to steal from people who trust you. It is NOT lazy to advocate for more leisure time and less time at a job. It is in our leisure time that we can have time to think and time to create music and art, to dance and to sing, to write and to dream. But the looters don’t want us to have time to think so they put us in cement boxes called schools when we are young and cement boxes called offices when we grow up. Anarchists advocated for more leisure time and to control that leisure time. True believer reform progressives instead advocated for higher wages for workers. Owners though could still control the hours worked. Also a lot of progressives pushed prohibition which was another way of controlling workers’ leisure time.

    And people in southern climes around the world know that it’s stupid to work when it’s hot. Better to make music.

  10. beowulf permalink
    May 27, 2012

    “Ian, If I had heros, I would be raising funds to buy you a fancy cape and a tacky car…”

    Can’t go wrong dressing like Cee Lo. :o)

    http://www.ilovehiphopblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/GoodieMob_TheVoice1.jpg

  11. nobody permalink
    May 27, 2012

    The proposal assume that Greek can organize themselves and focus efficiently based on hate and retaliation in time of desperation. Hum, lets see who have done that in the past. ( Its ironic Greek would have to be more German to pull off what is said here but then they would not have the problems in the first place if they were more German).

  12. May 28, 2012

    Ian, you do know that economic warfare essentially always turns to guns, right?

  13. May 28, 2012

    ( Its ironic Greek would have to be more German to pull off what is said here but then they would not have the problems in the first place if they were more German).

    This sort of broad-stroke cliché essentialism plagues this discussion. If all the countries in the Eurozone were Germany, you would still have ended up with this crisis, or another kind of crisis give or take a few years/decades. For a single currency to work, you need a political/fiscal authority to match (a fully-empowered) monetary one. Europe has neither.

  14. S Brennan permalink
    May 29, 2012

    Let’s see Germany has [effectively] reunited for about 10 years…and they are already storm trooping Europe…yep…yawn, big surprise there.

    I’m laughing bitterly, because I was one who had severe concerns when my fellow travelers celebrated bringing in the wooden horse through the walls. A shrill Casandra to be sure, always seeing omens in history’s entrails.

    FYI, Germany is the biggest deadbeat in the history of Europe. ALWAYS DEFAULTING when it was convenient to do so.

  15. Morocco Bama permalink
    May 29, 2012

    Yes indeed, S Brennan. It boggles the mind. Germany rises again, in yet another sinister form. You can stab it with your steely knives, but you just can’t kill that Beast. So much for the vaunted Marshall Plan.

  16. May 29, 2012

    What Greece should do next

    Greece is in the unenviable position of having to make a choice between forced austerity or leaving the Euro. The question is why is the decision so hard and taking so long?

    The best course for Greece is to leave the Euro and the failed financial system which benefits a few members countries and world financial institutions at the expense of the citizens of Greece.

    But if Greece is to leave the Euro it should do so in a manner that will provide the maximum benefit for the citizens. Which means that it’s time to default on all the debts and blow up the banks.

    Greece was the birthplace of democracy and it should now be the birthplace of a democratic financial system. Greece can rid itself of the totalitarian fractional reserve banking system, based on credit (i.e. ever growing debts) and institute a new financial system as a model for the rest of the Eurozone and the world.

    Instead of bank issued money which is only created with attached interest (debt) Greece should institute a system of Social Credit where the money is created and issued by the government in an amount sufficient for commerce and government expenditures within the country.

    The new currency should be based on the system of demurrage not interest. This system of currency was tested in Worgl Austria during the Great Depression and in hundreds of other towns across the US. Where it was implemented the cities and towns prospered while surrounding cities and towns remained in the grips of the Depression.

    Greece can go one step further with the new currency and that would be to create an electronic peer to peer currency, The currency would itself be a piece of software that could be exchanged by small deceives, computers or even cell phones. It would be passed from device to device directly without needing to be processed through an account in a bank computer. This would afford every person the security of knowing they alone controlled their money with no possibility of a bank run, or bank error that would freeze or worse loose a persons money.

    Similar to Bitcoin as an encrypted currency it would also have a half life imbedded in each ‘coin’ that would implement the reverse interest or demurrage. Each ‘coin’ would have a fixed value which would be small enough to allow for micro transactions of single ‘coins’ allowing small purchases.

    The currency being peer to peer and encrypted would be anathema to most governments which desire to track and control the money flows in the world. But to that one must ask are they doing such a good job of it now that we really want them to continue to control the peoples finances. Money is a tool for the people to allow for commerce and should not be the means to control citizens of a country.

    [more…]
    http://www.mindcontagion.org/woolong/greecenext.html

  17. Morocco Bama permalink
    May 30, 2012

    John Doe, how would such a social credit economic system address the issue of capital accumulation and concentration? Elsewhere, people have argued with me that such accumulation and concentration should not be eliminated….and, as always, they point to the principle of Free Markets. My contention is that Free Markets will ultimately lead to capital accumulation and concentration which will ultimately lead to control of the Free Market…..and, consequently, no more Free Market. A mechanism needs to be put in play that devalues the currency, or transfers it, if it remains idle, or is used increasingly for frivolous transactions (luxury goods). Conversely, the currency’s value should be elevated if it is used for projects that are deemed to improve the commons (quality of life) or for products and/or services involving basic needs.

  18. Morocco Bama permalink
    May 30, 2012

    The White Ribbon revisited.

    Speaking of Germany and all its dysfunction, you have to admit, it’s cutting edge when it comes to the horrific. Take this case, for example. Perhaps as times become more desperate, peasants the world over can sell themselves, or their offspring, to be consumed by perverted Germans of affluence, or anyone of affluence, regardless of ethnicity/culture, similar to selling kidneys in India. The next several decades are going to be such fun.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=lidtN-XJaWs

    How about the victim’s mother? She looks like Göring. Creepy.

  19. S Brennan permalink
    May 30, 2012

    Wow the stuff I read here. FYI, the Marshall Plan helped all of Europe…not just West Germany, it spared us a nuclear conflagration…and now it is seen by a youngster as the cause of all woes? Remarkable. Orwellian.

    Wow, the smartest thing the US ever did [Marshall Plan], is conflated with one of the dumbest [subversion of USSR while it was reforming itself]. It was the US, under Bush [the 1st] that initiated the intentional destruction of a Gorbachev led Soviet Union through a first order economic subversion that led to the world mess we now have.

  20. May 30, 2012

    Famine has long been used by imperial powers as a potent weapon against reluctant or recalcitrant natives; cf: India under the British Raj — among many other examples.

    Certainly the Germans used famine and the threat of famine to control their new-won empire during The Unpleasant Period of the 20th Century. But Soviets used it too during that Other Unpleasantness.

    So the newly arisen Imperial Eurobanks will use famine to control their reluctant Greeks and Other Peripherals.

    Imperial powers use famine as a tool to control the otherwise uppity natives because it works. Works wonderfully. The Empire gets rid of excess mouths and the survivors are just as docile as could be. Well. For a while.

    People are already going hungry in Greece and much of the rest of the Periphery. People are going hungry in the United States, too, more and more of them all the time. And Our Rulers think it is just fine.

  21. Morocco Bama permalink
    May 30, 2012

    I say:

    So much for the vaunted Marshall Plan.

    and S Brennan says I said:

    Wow the stuff I read here. FYI, the Marshall Plan helped all of Europe…not just West Germany, it spared us a nuclear conflagration…and now it is seen by a youngster as the cause of all woes?

    The two don’t match, but you prove the point. In other words, that’s not what I said, but it’s what you wanted me to say for your Strawman. You’re a Partisan, through and through, and for Partisans like you, Capitalism must be secured at any price, and the Marshall Plan fit the bill. Like anything else, some good came of it, but also some bad, but that judgment depends on the time frame one uses. If it’s from then until now, we’re seeing the negatives of it come to the surface. If the time frame was until 1990, the negatives are still lurking beneath the surface, but apparent to those who have the ability to see through the murky water of propaganda.

    Europe and W. Germany were awash with exploitative opportunists amidst the Marshall Plan and precisely because of the Marshall Plan. It was a mad scramble to get the lucrative contracts….to secure manufacturing rights and secure distribution networks….to be at the center of the rebuilding effort in order to profit at the taxpayer’s expense. There is much written about it, but a movie that hinted at it nicely was The Good German.

    It’s all a dirty business, and just because the lackey historians paint a rosy picture for the official history books, it doesn’t make the fairy tale true.

    However, now that you mentioned it, I would love to see you elaborate on the assertion that the Marshall Plan saved us from a nuclear conflagration. This ought to be good, since an argument can be made that it brought us to the brink of nuclear annihilation.

  22. Morocco Bama permalink
    May 30, 2012

    Whereas I don’t subscribe to the ideology of The Ludwig von Mises Institute, the criticism of the Marshall Plan in this article has much merit. Excuse the source, but consider the criticism.

    http://mises.org/freemarket_detail.aspx?control=120

    All told, the Marshall Plan dumped $13 billion, or nearly $100 billion in today’s dollars. It was enough to firmly entrench American companies in European markets, especially in Britain, France, and Germany. American-controlled companies dominated industries such as shoes, milk, cereals, machines, cars, canned goods, petroleum refinement, locks and keys, printing, tires, soaps, clocks, farm machinery, and much more.

    These were mere bubbles of prosperity, forced investment created through insider deals of the worst sort. Indeed, Hoffman worked under the constant fear that the racketeering would come to the surface. He feared some enterprising journalist might expose the entire thing, hearings would follow, and the plan would be discredited. That never happened…..

    The actual legacy of the Marshall Plan was a vast expansion of government at home, the beginnings of the Cold War rhetoric that would sustain the welfare-warfare state for 40 years, a permanent global troop presence, and an entire business class on the take from Washington. It also created a belief on the part of the ruling elite in D.C. that it could trick the public into backing anything, including the idea that government and its connected interest groups should run the world at taxpayer expense.

  23. Morocco Bama permalink
    May 30, 2012

    The article above can, and should, be balanced with this one by William Blum.

    The Enduring Mystique of the Marshall Plan

    The program could be seen as more a joint business operation between governments than an American “handout”; often it was a business arrangement between American and European ruling classes, many of the latter fresh from their service to the Third Reich, some of the former as well; or it was an arrangement between Congressmen and their favorite corporations to export certain commodities, including a lot of military goods. Thus did the Marshall Plan help lay the foundation for the military industrial complex as a permanent feature of American life.

    It is very difficult to find, or put together, a clear, credible description of how the Marshall Plan played a pivotal or indispensable role in the recovery in each of the 16 recipient nations. The opposing view, at least as clear, is that the Europeans — highly educated, skilled and experienced — could have recovered from the war on their own without an extensive master plan and aid program from abroad, and indeed had already made significant strides in this direction before the Plan’s funds began flowing. Marshall Plan funds were not directed primarily toward the urgently needed feeding of individuals or rebuilding their homes, schools, or factories, but at strengthening the economic superstructure, particularly the iron, steel and power industries. The period was in fact marked by deflationary policies, unemployment and recession. The one unambiguous outcome was the full restoration of the propertied class.

  24. May 31, 2012

    Morocco Bama,

    By building in a negative interest rate, a system of demmurage, into the currency (as stated in the article) wealth accumulation is directly addressed and corrected. Also see the example stated in the article about Worgl.

  25. StewartM permalink
    June 1, 2012

    MB:

    And people in southern climes around the world know that it’s stupid to work when it’s hot. Better to make music.

    And hunter-gatherers knew that work for the sake of accumulation for its own sake was a path towards starvation.

    That reminds me of a TV ultramarathon event across the deserts of Australia. The contestants included some Western ultramarathon runners but also an elderly Australian aborigine who walked most of the way and who sat down and took it easy during midday.

    Guess what? While the westerners dropped out like flies, from heat exhaustion, dehydration, and burned feet, the old aborigine was one of only 3 surviving contestants to cross the finish line (all together, mind you). The other two westerners were simply amazed that someone easily old enough to be their father or grandfather could have done so well.

    -StewartM

  26. StewartM permalink
    June 1, 2012

    Bill H.

    Ian, you do know that economic warfare essentially always turns to guns, right?

    So goes the Pax Europa. Killed by capitalism.

    (But we were told that this was the ‘end of history’!!)

    -StewartM

  27. StewartM permalink
    June 1, 2012

    MB:

    My contention is that Free Markets will ultimately lead to capital accumulation and concentration which will ultimately lead to control of the Free Market…..and, consequently, no more Free Market.

    Full agreement, and an argument that I’ve had many a time with the libertarian minded. Their own preferred economic system destroys itself. (Particularly when you accept the need of a government to prop up property rights, then the most rational thing for those who have accumulated wealth to do is to buy said government—that gives you a better “return on investment” than any other use of your money)

    -StewartM

  28. Ian Welsh permalink
    June 1, 2012

    Yes, violence is the end result, and I am well aware of it, and have discussed it before.

    Yes, whoever wins the market, buys the market, and whoever has tons of money buys government, if allowed to do so. The book I’m writing makes both points, very strongly, and I’ve discussed it in the past, as well.

  29. Art permalink
    June 9, 2012

    IMO a lot of this comes down to two separate but interlocked financial systems; the rentiers and the entrepreneurs. The rentiers lend things, land and money being the biggest, and collect payments while adding and producing nothing, And, most importantly, not giving ownership to the purchasers. Most of Greece’s debt is from loans and interest on loans. Rentiers want it to be assumed that the deals they cut are sacrosanct instead of being provisional deals cut between two genuinely independent parties that can maintain or default at will.

    Loans are not dictates from God. Your ability to enforce a contract depends on your ability to collect. Something the bankers forget. Unlike in previous centuries Germany isn’t going to march an army down to Greece and collect. Default is always a possible outcome. There will be financial hell to pay in loss of credit rating and denial of further loans from the community of rentiers and their supporters.

    But where rentiers want to impose suffering to teach the lesson of what happens when you displease the rentiers, is tossing the entire nation into a black hole too over-the-top, the entrepreneurs will step in to make the connections between those who have and those who want. Greece is a nation of customers and entrepreneurs are all about serving customers.

    But how do the Greeks pay? First, once they default the money that was going to making payments is available for internal uses. Second, without bankers calling the shots on how Greece has to structure its economy to serve their interests Greece can make it work more efficiently for Greece. Third, the Greeks are not without talent and resources. Olive oil comes to mind but so does shipping, tourism, and fishing. Yes, they might strip-mine the Med but Greeks aren’t usually that short sighted, mostly.

    One option might be to lease an island to a foreign power. Iran and North Korea leasing an island in the Med would put the cat among the pigeons and they would gladly pay dearly for the option. Set the deal up and go to NATO for a counter-offer and they could drive up the price. What a sight that would be.

    More realistically I think China would be a good option. Select an island with a good anchorage and big enough for a landing strip and warehouses and China, with scads of US dollars to spend, would be stupid not to go for it. The US has ports world-wide and China wants to play the superpower game. Setting up a free port and cultural way station, and possible point of presence for the Chinese military, in the Med would polish their superpower credentials. Greece could accept payments in US dollars or food. The base in Greece is largely symbolic and a status symbol. China is a huge country and Greece is quite small so even payment many times the fair value won’t be a problem. Paying more than its worth works in their favor by highlighting their wealth and generosity.

    This won’t make the US or NATO leadership happy but the main players in that club are also the main people working for the bankers, and NATO is not going to invade Greece if China sets up shop. By the way, Chinese food tastes quite delicious when cooked in olive oil. It is going to be the new thing.

  30. Ruth permalink
    January 16, 2015

    Please Ian – everything except strip mine the Mediterranean!

    Take it out on the other countries, yes. Take it out on the ecosystem and innocent non-human lives – NO!!

    All your other points are great.

  31. David permalink
    January 17, 2015

    The Russian cancellation of the south stream gas
    pipeline to Europe and its replacement by one that
    ends in Turkey, but near the Greek border may give
    another option. Maybe the Greeks can convince the
    Russians to build an extension of it to Greece
    in return for say, a long term lease for a naval base.

  32. Pelham permalink
    January 17, 2015

    I like Ian’s ideas for a properly impactful Grexit. And think of the “optics” of Greece turning bad boy as a result of the punishment inflicted upon them over the past few years. It would be a pretty stark lesson for all.

    Having said that, I’ll stand up a bit for Germany. Granted, they’re pursuing a nationalistic policy that beggars their partners. But setting aside the years since the 2008 crisis, that nationalism has been a pretty good prescription for the German people over the past few decades while the Anglo-American world and its imitators have pursued an unrestrained globalism to the detriment of all.

    The lesson to be learned from Germany is that at least a partial focus on maintaining a healthy home economy rather than an outer-directed imperialist/capitalist/globalist strategy pays off. It’s not a perfect formula but nonetheless a good deal better and more humane than a grasping globalism built on the shortsighted and crushing strategy of slowly indebting and impoverishing your own people.

  33. The Tragically Flip permalink
    January 18, 2015

    It certainly seems like there will quickly be a quorum, or critical mass of countries outside the respectable sphere who are forced to work together by necessity and have enough resources to form an alternative system.

    The next logical move for the American Empire would then be to do whatever it takes to destroy that system or prevent it getting off the ground.

  34. V. Arnold permalink
    January 18, 2015

    The Tragically Flip
    January 18, 2015

    The next logical move for the American Empire would then be to do whatever it takes to destroy that system or prevent it getting off the ground.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    You are effectively talking about WWIII, no?
    Because China and Russia have already created that alternative system. And there is the Shanghai Free Trade Zone.
    A dying empire is indeed a dangerous thing to behold…

  35. Patricia permalink
    January 18, 2015

    This is from zerohedge, but aligns nicely with your proposals, Ian.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-01-17/russias-modest-proposal-greece-exit-europe-and-we-will-lift-food-import-ban

  36. Monster from the Id permalink
    January 18, 2015

    The global empire of plutocracy would not even be dying if the plutocrats in the USA (the largest concentration of plutocrats) had shown some self-restraint.

    They had the highest and richest positions in the USA already. They dominated most of the world already.

    Somehow, that wasn’t enough for them.

    So they shipped every job they could ship overseas, and automated every job they could automate, because they loved cheap and docile labor.

    They broke the labor unions, because organized workers tend to get uppity.

    They also slashed funding for education, because educated workers get uppity.

    Hence, they sabotaged the broadly prosperous, middle-class economy on which their own power ultimately rests.

    Now they don’t have the educated, prosperous middle class they need to keep the linchpin country of their global system, and hence the system itself, from falling apart.

    The book title “The March Of Folly” comes to mind.

  37. S Brennan permalink
    January 18, 2015

    I got this link from MOA

    http://redpilltimes.com/greece-board-turk-stream-pipeline-russia-cannot-held-hostage-stupid-illogical-eu-politics/

    Greece could give the finger to Germany, whose NAZI forces did invade, conquere and terrorized Greece with widespread murder…or Greeks could stay conquered by Merkel’s reformed nazi model.

    My guess is they will vote the “wrong way” and need a coup…er…ah…US sponsored [insert color here] revolution.

  38. moonunit permalink
    January 25, 2015

    I think it would be fantastic if the anti austerity party wins, then all the high ranking Mafia will then fund them into yet another corrupt Government …… this time it will die on its arse through lack of socialism from Europe……… Good luck, and good riddance, one down on the drain on the real economies of Europe.

  39. moonunit permalink
    January 25, 2015

    They refuse implement democratic tax laws…… why should anyone bail out such a corrupt country, give them their marbles back, and call it quits.

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