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Hope vs. Depression: Argentina Shows Greece There May Be Life After Default


Hope vs. Depression: Argentina Shows Greece There May Be Life After Default

Joseph Stiglitz, Martin Guzman

When, five years ago, Greece's crisis began, Europe extended a helping hand. But it was far different from the kind of help that one would have wanted, far different from what one might have expected if there was even a bit of humanity, of European solidarity.

The initial proposals had Germany and other "rescuers" actually making a profit out of Greece's distress, charging a far, far higher interest rate than their cost of capital. Worse, they imposed conditions on Greece -- changes in its macro- and micro-policies -- that would have to be made in return for the money.


A realistic solution to western capitalism’s “structural adjustments” and other practices aimed at the strangling of incipient socialism worldwide:

China ratifies creation of new BRICS bank - World’s largest emerging nations are creating second development bank seen as alternative to Western institutions.


Prof. Stiglitz, please, please, please start the dialogue about externalities (pollution, poverty for starters). Lead us out of the hell of traditional “economics” and into sanity. You’ve got the street cred to do so.


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Ever read any of Herman Daly’s stuff? You might be interested in the CASSE site …


Thanks, Stiglitz and Guzman! Hopefully, you will be in Sander’s cabinet. :O)


“There were huge discrepancies between what the Western experts expected and what actually happened.”

When someone gets the same thing wrong again and again you’ve got to wonder why. Who benefits when an economy contracts to the extent that countries can be bought for bargain basement prices? Who benefits when labor unions have no power because people are so desperate for work they’ll take anything?

Those huge discrepancies between what austerity was expected to produce and what, time and again, it actually produces, should have convinced all but the most doctrinaire “experts” that austerity is the start of an economic death-spiral.

So why are the ‘experts’ so clueless?


Oh they are hardly clueless. They manufacture crisis so as to take control.

In that regard they are as “clueless” as is the United States on its foreign policy when it arms groups like ISIS in the Middle east and then claims it needs boots on the ground to go in and fight them a few years later.

Those Western experts Stiglitz refers to are not experts as is implied, that being able to predict the outcome of a given policy, they are experts in selling what they know is swill to the public.


The Greeks are in a difficult situation but I would support their exit from the euro. Greece owes over 300 billion dollars to the banks. That’s 27,000 for each man woman and child in the country. Plus interest. Most of this debt was accrued during the final collapse caused by the Greek government unwittingly investing in derivatives, credit default swaps and other nefarious creations of banks and investment firms that turned out to be marginally legal and definitely highly risky. Let the banks take the fall, not the Greek people.


People might consider switching to the Bitcoin to bypass the big banks:

“Some Argentinians have bought bitcoins to protect their savings against high inflation or the possibility that governments could confiscate savings accounts.”

Bitcoin’s appeal reaches from left wing critics, “who perceive the state and banking sector as representing the same elite interests, […] recognising in it the potential for collective direct democratic governance of currency”[240] and socialists proposing their “own states, complete with currencies”,[241] to right wing critics suspicious of big government, at a time when activities within the regulated banking system were responsible for the severity of the financial crisis of 2007–08,[242] “because governments are not fully living up to the responsibility that comes with state-sponsored money”.[243] Bitcoin has been described as “remov[ing] the imbalance between the big boys of finance and the disenfranchised little man, potentially allowing early adopters to negotiate favourable rates on exchanges and transfers – something that only the very biggest firms have traditionally enjoyed”.[244] Two WSJ journalists describe bitcoin in their book as “about freeing people from the tyranny of centralised trust”.


A little. I did have the privilege of working with H.T. Odum, with whom I had fantastic conversations.


I am impressed - I was just gonna say “Wow” - but it doesn’t have 10 letters (smile) …


I wish more people understood this. For a long time I held out hope that someone who did get it would find clever creative ways to communicate the way the debt racket works for the organized criminals who make up the big banks.

But the “Money As Debt” video has been on YouTube for years, cleverly made with good graphics to make the scamlike relationship between “debt” and “currencies” comprehensible.

On another crucial crisis, “An Inconvenient Truth” about global warming was released nine years ago, was well produced with great photo and other graphics to make its point, whatever you think of Al Gore as a politician. It caused some discussion and “buzz” for awhile but now new potentially possible wars have stolen center stage.

Both the environmental and economic problems (being connected in complex ways) have continued to worsen and may both have reached or have passed that proverbial “tipping point.”

If the use of modern state-of-the-art communication techniques can’t arouse the leaders and the public pack to start working on ways to change things before things get to the point where I think they are – the real time point of no return, too late to stop the death momentum – then I am out of ideas. But don’t let discouragement stop people from pointing out the problems. Someone may yet point to a way to get out if this mess.


It was a privilege, indeed. By the way, I love your moniker, as I am a groundwater hydrologist, by training.


Now i am even more impressed (smile) …

I went from being a hermit to an activist in trying to protect a local aquifer from over-development - It started as a NIMBY issue for me (as for so many, I would venture to guess), but became so much more as i moved out of Plato’s cave over 25 years ago - I had to look up “aquifer” in the encyclopedia (smile) but read all i could, contacted the USGS hydro-geologist who had just completed a study of our aquifer, pushed for Wellhead Protection programs, etc.; it lead to politics (of course) and even running for office (I lost), but it was the best educational experience of my life … And now i cannot go back into the cave, tempting at times though it is …

Are you actively involved in the field now? (You said, “by training”, so i wondered …)


I think I’m “retired”, but there is still fire in the belly…


Something about water issues that lights a fire (smile) …

So how did you come by your moniker - it is a fine one! …