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IMF to Greece: Sorry We'll Destroy You
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Sharmini Peries: The European Commission announced on May 2, that an agreement on Greek pension and income tax reforms would pave the way for further discussions on debt release for Greece. The European Commission described this as good news for Greece. The Greek government described the situation in similar terms. However, little attention has been given as to how the wider Greek population are experiencing the consequences of the policies of the Troika. On May Day thousands of Greeks marked International Workers Day with anti-austerity protests. One of the protester’s a 32-year-old lawyer perhaps summed the mood, the best when he said …

“The current Greek government, like all the ones before it, have implemented measures that has only one goal, the crushing of the workers, the working class and everyone who works themselves to the bone. We are fighting for the survival of the poorest who need help the most.”

To discuss the most recent negotiations underway between Greece and the TROIKA, which is a European Central Bank, the EU and the IMF, here’s Michael Hudson. Michael is a distinguished research professor of Economics at the University of Missouri, Kansas City. He is the author of many books including, “Killing the Host: How Financial Parasites and Debt Bondage the Global Economy” and most recently “J is for Junk Economics: A Survivor’s Guide to Economic Vocabulary in the Age of Deception”….Michael, let’s start with what’s being negotiated at the moment.

Michael Hudson: I wouldn’t call it a negotiation. Greece is simply being dictated to. There is no negotiation at all. It’s been told that its economy has shrunk so far by 20%, but has to shrink another 5% making it even worse than the depression. Its wages have fallen and must be cut by another 10%. Its pensions have to be cut back. Probably 5 to 10% of its population of working age will have to immigrate.

The intention is to cut the domestic tax revenues (not raise them), because labor won’t be paying taxes and businesses are going out of business. So we have to assume that the deliberate intention is to lower the government’s revenues by so much that Greece will have to sell off even more of its public domain to foreign creditors. Basically it’s a smash and grab exercise, and the role of Tsipras is not to represent the Greeks because the Troika have said, “The election doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter what the people vote for. Either you do what we say or we will smash your banking system.” Tsipras’s job is to say, “Yes I will do whatever you want. I want to stay in power rather than falling in election.”

Sharmini Peries: Right. Michael you dedicated almost three chapters in your book “Killing the Host” to how the IMF economists actually knew that Greece will not be able to pay back its foreign debt, but yet it went ahead and made these huge loans to Greece. It’s starting to sound like the mortgage fraud scandal where banks were lending people money to buy houses when they knew they couldn’t pay it back. Is it similar?

Michael Hudson: The basic principle is indeed the same. If a creditor makes a loan to a country or a home buyer knowing that there’s no way in which the person can pay, who should bear the responsibility for this? Should the bad lender or irresponsible bondholder have to pay, or should the Greek people have to pay?

IMF economists said that Greece can’t pay, and under the IMF rules it is not allowed to make loans to countries that have no chance of repaying in the foreseeable future. The then-head of the IMF, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, introduced a new rule – the “systemic problem” rule. It said that if Greece doesn’t repay, this will cause problems for the economic system – defined as the international bankers, bondholder’s and European Union budget – then the IMF can make the loan.

This poses a question on international law. If the problem is systemic, not Greek, and if it’s the system that’s being rescued, why should Greek workers have to dismantle their economy? Why should Greece, a sovereign nation, have to dismantle its economy in order to rescue a banking system that is guaranteed to continue to cause more and more austerity, guaranteed to turn the Eurozone into a dead zone? Why should Greece be blamed for the bad malstructured European rules? That’s the moral principle that’s at stake in all this.

Sharmini Peries: Michael, The New York Times has recently published an article titled, “IMF torn over whether to bail out Greece again.” It essentially describes the IMF as being sympathetic towards Greece in spite of the fact, as you say, they knew that Greece could not pay back this money when it first lent it the money with the Troika. Right now, the IMF sounds rational and thoughtful about the Greek people. Is this the case?

Michael Hudson: Well, Yanis Varoufakis, the finance minister under Syriza, said that every time he talked to the IMF’s Christine Lagarde and others two years ago, they were sympathetic. They said, “I am terribly sorry we have to destroy your economy. I feel your pain, but we are indeed going to destroy your economy. There is nothing we can do about it. We are only following orders.” The orders were coming from Wall Street, from the Eurozone and from investors who bought or guaranteed Greek bonds.

Being sympathetic, feeling their pain doesn’t really mean anything if the IMF says, “Oh, we know it is a disaster. We are going to screw you anyway, because that’s our job. We are the IMF, after all. Our job is to impose austerity. Our job is to shrink economies, not help them grow. Our constituency is the bondholders and banks.”

Somebody’s going to suffer. Should it the wealthy billionaires and the bankers, or should it be the Greek workers? Well, the Greek workers are not the IMF’s constituency. It says: “We feel your pain, but we’d rather you suffer than our constituency.”


So what you read is simply the usual New York Times hypocrisy, pretending that the IMF really is feeling bad about what it’s doing. If its economists felt bad, they would have done what the IMF European staff did a few years ago after the first loan: They resigned in protest. They would write about it and go public and say, “This system is corrupt. The IMF is working for the bankers against the interest of its member countries.” If they don’t do that, they are not really sympathetic at all. They are just hypocritical.

Sharmini Peries: Right. I know that the European Commission is holding up Greece as an example in order to discourage other member nations in the periphery of Europe so that they won’t default on their loans. Explain to me why Greece is being held up as an example.

Michael Hudson: It’s being made an example for the same reason the United States went into Libya and bombed Syria: It’s to show that we can destroy you if you don’t do what we say. If Spain or Italy or Portugal seeks not to pay its debts, it will meet the same fate. Its banking system will be destroyed, and its currency system will be destroyed.

The basic principle at work is that finance is the new form of warfare. You can now destroy a country’s economy not merely by invading it. You don’t even have to bomb it, as you’ve done in the Near East. All you have to do is withdraw all credit to the banking system, isolate it economically from making payments to foreign countries so that you essentially put sanctions on it. You’ll treat Greece like they’ve treated Iran or other countries.

“We have life and death power over you.” The demonstration effect is not only to stop Greece, but to stop countries from doing what Marine Le Pen is trying to do in France: withdraw from the Eurozone.

The class war is back in business – the class war of finance against labor, imposing austerity and shrinking living standards, lowering wages and cutting back social spending. It’s demonstrating who’s the winner in this economic warfare that’s taking place.

Sharmini Peries: Then why is the Greek population still supportive of Syriza in spite of all of this? I mean, literally not only have they, as a population, been cut to no social safety net, no social security, yet the Syriza government keeps getting supported, elected in referendums, and they seem to be able to maintain power in spite of these austerity measures. Why is that happening?

Michael Hudson: Well, that’s the great tragedy. They initially supported Syriza because it promised not to surrender in this economic war. They said they would fight back. The plan was not pay the debts even if this led Europe to force Greece out of the European Union.

In order to do this, however, what Yanis Varoufakis and his advisors such as James Galbraith wanted to do was say, “If we are going not to pay the debt, we are going to be expelled from the Euro Zone. We have to have our own currency. We have to have our own banking system.” But it takes almost a year to put in place your own physical currency, your own means of reprogramming the ATM machines so that people can use it, and reprogramming the banking system.

You also need a contingency plan for when the European Union wrecks the Greek banks, which basically have been the tool of the oligarchy in Greece. The government is going to have to take over these banks and socialize them, and use them for public purposes. Unfortunately, Tsipras never gave Varoufakis and his staff the go ahead. In effect, he ended up double crossing them after the referendum two years ago that said not to surrender. That lead to Varoufakis resigning from the government.

Tsipras decided that he wanted to be reelected, and turned out to be just a politician, realizing that in order to he had to represent the invader and act as a client politician. His clientele is now the European Union, the IMF and the bondholders, not the Greeks. What that means is that if there is an election in Greece, people are not going to vote for him again. He knows that. He is trying to prevent an election. But later this month the Greek parliament is going to have to vote on whether or not to shrink the economy further and cut pensions even more.

If there are defections from Tsipras’s Syriza party, there will be an election and he will be voted out of office. I won’t say out of power, because he has no power except to surrender to the Troika. But he’d be out of office. There will probably have to be a new party created if there’s going to be hope of withstanding the threats that the European Union is making to destroy Greece’s economy if it doesn’t succumb to the austerity program and step up its privatization and sell off even more assets to the bondholders.

Sharmini Peries: Finally, Michael, why did the Greek government remove the option of Grexit from the table in order to move forward?

Michael Hudson: In order to accept the Eurozone. You’re using its currency, but Greece needs to have its own currency. The reason it agreed to stay in was that it had made no preparation for withdrawing. Imagine if you are a state in the United States and you want to withdraw: you have to have your own currency. You have to have your own banking system. You have to have your own constitution. There was no attempt to put real thought behind what their political program was.

They were not prepared and still have not taken steps to prepare for what they are doing. They haven’t made any attempt to justify non-payment of the debt under International Law: the law of odious debt, or give a reason why they are not paying.

The Greek government has not said that no country should be obliged to disregard its democratic voting, dismantle its public sector and give up its sovereignty to bondholders. No country should be obliged to pay foreign creditors if the price of that is shrinking and self destruction of that economy.

They haven’t translated this political program of not paying into what this means in practice to cede sovereignty to the Brussels bureaucracy, meaning the European Central Bank on behalf of its bondholders.

Note: Wikipedia defines Odious Debt: “In international law, odious debt, also known as illegitimate debt, is a legal doctrine that holds that the national debt incurred by a regime for purposes that do not serve the best interests of the nation, should not be enforceable.”

Michael Hudson is the author of Killing the Host (published in e-format by CounterPunch Books and in print by Islet). His new book is J is For Junk Economics. He can be reached at [email protected]

(Republished from Counterpunch by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Economics • Tags: EU, Greece, IMF 
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  1. Anon • Disclaimer says:

    And yet the Greeks still do not rebel. Then what hope is there for the men of the West?

    • Replies: @Priss Factor
    , @Joe Wong
  2. Greece is a plantation. So also is “The West”. Democracy will not save us. Our hope lies with the resistance. Russia, China and Iran.

  3. @Anon

    Greeks are like the Puerto Ricans of Europe. They talk big but they will sell their mothers to get free stuff from EU.

    Since their nationalism is so hollow, the only crutch of superiority left for Greeks is ‘virtue-signaling’ as ‘radicals’.

    A totally useless people. But globalism does this to people.

  4. The Greek economy like those of the other PIIGS is turning around very nicely. The raw materials/oil price rise that triggered the financial crash went into final reverse in late 2014. Guess what, oil importers the EU and Japan are recovering. Recovery takes longer than collapse. Ask Nigeria.

  5. Fredrik says:
    @Priss Factor

    They also rather starve to death than collect taxes from their 1%-ers.

  6. NO sympathy for the Greeks. Their public unions bankrupted the nation, and rather than take a cut, they ruined the nation.
    NOT unlike what’s happening now in the major cities of the US.
    But, we haven’t learned from the EU immigration disaster, why would we learn from the EU failed pensions. The difference here is,we CAN print our own money.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    , @anon
    , @Joe Wong
  7. Anon • Disclaimer says:

    I just don’t feel any sympathy for Greeks.

    They are lying lice, leeches, parasites, back-stabbers, thieves, crooks, and rats.

    Sure, Germany is to blame for lending easy money to a nation of petty crooks, but Greeks could have cleaned up this mess long ago if they had an ounce of honesty, integrity, and accountability.

    Greeks are not only liars and crooks but drama queens. They try to steal as much as possible, but when things fall apart, EVERY Greek makes a scene like he or she is the biggest victim.

    Very low national character.

  8. EdwardM says:

    Agreed. Nowhere in the article do the interviewees assign any responsibility to the Greek people, who have built a decrepit oligarchic society that tolerates low productivity, corruption, and a non-functioning state. Then they vote in left-wing governments that promise unlimited free stuff. It was not the Germans, the IMF, etc. that got them into this mess to begin with.

    • Replies: @anon
  9. Anonymous [AKA "Lennart"] says:

    What nonsense, It whas not the unions that took the loans.
    You wan’t to catch a criminal, always follow the money. The filthy rich. in Greece ran away with their money, moved them abroad. The foreign banks, mainly german and french was saved by the EU, so now the rest of the workers in the EU have to foot the bill.

    • Replies: @The Anti-Gnostic
  10. @Anonymous

    Except they don’t. They can leave the EU and cancel the debt. They don’t do that, and the socialist governments they elect don’t do that because austerity in the EU is still better than the alternative.

    • Replies: @Dieter Kief
    , @anon
  11. Hugo says:
    @Priss Factor

    I enjoy reading posts from the simple minded. Reminds me of how powerful the media’s divide and conquer tactics are.

    Greeks are a proud and hard working people who have been socially engineered for over 70 years to act against their own best interests, similar to the rest of the White world. But, no, no, you keep parroting the medias lies and attacking fellow Whites.

    • Replies: @Anon
    , @jacques sheete
  12. republic says:

    Greece is no longer an independent state but is really a protectorate of Germany.

    • Replies: @anon
  13. Anon • Disclaimer says:

    Greeks are proud of their past which is distant and have no bearing on today’s world. Today’s Greeks are hardly better than Gypsies.

    Yes, there are hardworking Greeks, but most of them came to the US. But even they are not trustworthy. As for the hardworking Greeks still in Greece, they don’t trust other Greeks and don’t pay taxes. And for every hardworking Greek, there is a statist Greek.

    I think Greece would have done better to fall under communism. That would destroyed Greek illusions about leftism. But since US aided the Greek right against the left(who’d done most to resist the Nazis), many Greeks developed this view of the US and capitalism are the main enemy.

    In retrospect, US should have let Stalin take Greece. After communism, Greece would have been ruled by nationalists like Hungary. And the Greek Right would have resisted the invasion.

  14. wayfarer says:

    It’s ironic how Israel continues to remain relatively unscathed in the eye of an intensifying global shit storm.

    Just a coincidence, or possibly the result of trading one’s soul for a few pieces of silver.

    9/11 never again!

  15. @Priss Factor

    A totally useless people.

    Dippy comment,that. The Greek people have never had any more control over their politicians and the IMF bankers than we in the US ever did.

    Worse than useless are the parasites who have the power and sadistic tendencies to screw people over.

    Also, no prol or peasant need be so smug. The same process is at work the world over, and has been for some time.

    • Replies: @Wally
  16. @Hugo

    Reminds me of how powerful the media’s divide and conquer tactics are…

    But, no, no, you keep parroting the medias lies and attacking fellow Whites.

    Well said. The Greek bashing going on here truly is the product of simple minds, and I can’t wait til the bashers get theirs.

    Hudson is correct in that war is being waged economically without firing a shot. However, since economic wars tend to precede shooting wars, you’d think people would have figured it out by now.

    And to place the blame on Germany is another mindless charge. The blame is to be placed on the globalist bankers and their puppets in government. Why is this so difficult to understand?

  17. Greece has been crushed by its own government, and a corrupt elite, when the country left the drachme and got the euro.
    Dutch Zalm was the only one voting against Greece getting the euro.
    Thereafter, banks from NW Europe, not having read the Treaty of Maastricht, or thinking that it was just a piece of paper, lend Greece money galore.
    The ‘elite’ parked some 80 billion euro’s in Switserland, so much that the country had to revaluate its currency.
    The ‘help’ to Greece for some ten % goes to Greek people, the rest goes to NW European banks.
    In order to get this done ‘philantropist’ Soros rented time on German tv to remind the Germans of their duties, and they, of course, still guilty of the holocaust, obliged.
    The IMF just presents the bill, to Greece, a bill that Merkel refuses to lower.

  18. @Anon

    This is overdone.
    It simply is a badly governed country, where not paying taxes is the rule.
    From high to low, the high dodging taxes for high amount, the low for low amounts.
    And, paying a train driver something like 80.000 euro a year, madness.
    It is an eastern country, somewhat like neighbour Albania, every other house a bar or something like that, where everyone goes every day, and talks about how bad things are.
    Alas this talking does not bring in any money.
    Same in Turkey and Syria, before war began.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    , @jacques sheete
  19. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @jilles dykstra

    every other house a bar or something like that, where everyone goes every day, and talks about how bad things are.
    Alas this talking does not bring in any money.

    Hey, it works for Linh Dinh!

    • Disagree: Che Guava
  20. @jilles dykstra

    It simply is a badly governed country…

    “Badly governed” is redundant. If a country is ever well governed, it doesn’t last long. The ultra rich parasites always find a way to undermine any social system g-d or man can come up with.

    As an example, please note that the “people” voted for Varoufakis, and he was ousted in a heartbeat by those who really govern.

    There seems to be a lesson in there somewhere; why is it so hard to understand?

    Even Aristophanes, ~2500 years ago knew the score. From his one of his satires on government :


    Where did the lender get the money from in the first place, … Obviously, he’s a thief!

    Aristophanes, “Women in Parliament”(also known as “The Assembly Women” or “Women in Power”) κκλησιάζουσαι, Written 390 BCE, Translated by G. Theodoritis

    • Replies: @jilles dykstra
  21. @Anon

    Greeks are not only liars and crooks but drama queens. They try to steal as much as possible, but when things fall apart, EVERY Greek makes a scene like he or she is the biggest victim.

    Very low national character.

    Talking about stealing, name one major country or government that isn’t involved in various forms of extortion and theft, usually murderous and on a grand scale. Low national character? Is the US or any of its allies any better in that regard? If so, explain.

    Maybe the Greeks need to get organized so they can shake down the (sucker) US government for bailouts like the big banks and corporations do, and for “aid” and subsidies like a certain shitty little country on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean. Those cats know how it’s done; perhaps the Greeks oughta learn form others’ successes…

    UR readers often pride themselves on being the cream of the crop. A lot of the comments here don’t support that claim. Good grief!

    • Replies: @L.K
  22. Note to the Greek bashers.

    Go back and read the article until you understand it or have someone explain it to you.

    Hudson is entirely correct here and if I had the talent, I’d offer to do the article in comic book form in hopes that his some of his basic concepts would have a chance of being understood by even the most obtuse.

    On the other hand, if this stuff needs to be explained, then the task is probably hopeless.

    • Agree: L.K
  23. Considering the EU is a mutual suicide pact that will result in the physical destruction of Western Civilisation as we know it, it seems kind of silly for the Greeks to fret about to their financial system being destroyed the EU should they dare to leave it. Either way they are dead … back to the wall like that, you think they’d give Tsipras the boot and fight for their freedom.

    • Replies: @Agent76
  24. Johann says:

    No sympathy for any of the Euro Socialist countries. They have been building their so called utopias since the French Revolution and have built their hopes on the piles of hundreds of millions of corpses. Social democracy is the people getting what they deserve and getting it good and hard.

    • Replies: @jacques sheete
    , @anon
  25. Agent76 says:

    May 21, 2013 Why the whole banking system is a scam – Godfrey Bloom MEP

    • European Parliament, Strasbourg, 21 May 2013

    • Speaker: Godfrey Bloom MEP, UKIP (Yorkshire & Lincolnshire)

    “Who controls the issuance of money controls the government!” Nathan Meyer Rothschild

    June 13, 2016 Which Corporations Control The World?

    A surprisingly small number of corporations control massive global market shares. How many of the brands below do you use?

    • Agree: jacques sheete
  26. Agent76 says:
    @The Alarmist

    Know and share this with others who would like to be in the know as well.

    Sep 19, 2000 Euro-federalists financed by US spy chiefs

    The documents confirm suspicions voiced at the time that America was working aggressively behind the scenes to push Britain into a European state.

    Jul 18, 2016 The European Union: Part of America’s Imperial Project

    Now, Professor Michel Chossudovsky exposes the EU as the imperial project that it always was, and the growing movement against EU domination as an anti-imperial movement of world historical importance.

    • Replies: @jilles dykstra
  27. It’s all a variant of the age old scams, yet the statists amongst us think they have the answers. Yeah, right.

    An early bailout of the money boys and the results. We never learn.:

    “The curse of usury, it must be owned, is inveterate in Rome, a constant source of sedition and discord; and attempts were accordingly made to repress it even in an older and less corrupt society…

    Financial ruin brought down in its train both rank and reputation, till the Caesar came to the rescue by distributing hundred million sesterces among various counting-houses…”

    TACITUS, ANNALS, Book VI (beginning)1

    It is not known when Tacitus began writing the Annals, but he was well into writing it by AD 116.[1] Modern scholars believe that as a senator, Tacitus had access to Acta Senatus, the Roman senate’s records, thus providing a solid basis for his work.*.html

    Just wait for it. The ever present and mouthy clown contingent will no doubt soon start yapping that ancient history doesn’t apply or some other similar nonsense.

  28. @Johann

    No sympathy for any of the Euro Socialist countries. They have been building their so called utopias since the French Revolution and have built their hopes on the piles of hundreds of millions of corpses.

    The same could be said for the bankrupt, war mongering, mongrel socialist-fascist-corrupted capitalist cesspool known as the USA, but most choose to remain clueless or opposed to the truth.

    • Replies: @jilles dykstra
    , @Incitatus
  29. @jacques sheete

    In my opinion and recollection the Netherlands was well governed until say 1990, I’m born in WWII.
    Deterioration began in 1993, when without any consultation or democratic decision it was decided to join the euro, later.

  30. MBlanc46 says:

    Anti-austerity protests: Free stuff!

  31. @Agent76
    The title of the book ‘opstand tegen de elites’ means ‘rebellion against the elites’.

  32. @jacques sheete

    What do you mean ?
    The Netherlands was neutral in WWI, we did not join WWII.

    • Replies: @Che Guava
  33. fitzGetty says:

    If they are so unhappy with the EU and it’s pressures : why not –
    EU ?
    It is as simple as that.

  34. Anonymous [AKA "H George"] says:

    Great article as always, Mr. Hudson. If only we had more sensible economists like him, we wouldn’t be in this mess.

  35. Che Guava says:
    @jilles dykstra


    You are to surprising me on saying that (no participation by Holland in what the British and Americans call WWII).

    Japanese propaganda often featured references to the ABCD powers as the enemy. The D was for Dutch and so Holland.

    Holland was overrun by Germany, but treated well, and was generally supportive of the Germans until the eastern front collapsed. Official polity supported Germany, and Waffen SS recruitment was solid.

    Dutch colonies did not (as the French did in Indochina), make any arrangement with Japan, but seem to have acted as auxilliaries for the B empire. The same for naval forces.

    You raise my curiosity (something I would like to read more about), however to say ‘did not participate’ is a very strange misrepresentation.

    • Replies: @jilles dykstra
  36. Che Guava says:

    Varoufarkis makes many good points in interviews and so on. Sure, he was betrayed. He is also making clear that his principles are also for globalism.

    Greece also has a political movement called Golden Dawn. The name of their party has an unfortunate resemblance to a stupid occult group, but I can see no connection.

    They wanted to work from the grassroots to help the people of Greece.

    Were becoming more and more popular.

    Were attacked by dubious legal cases, to reduce their representation and decapitate their party.

    Syriza was a copy and reaction to that, and they sold out everything, so everybody should know.

    Also, the money mint had been ordered to prepare to restart dinar production at one stage, but it was never to proceed to production.

  37. @The Anti-Gnostic

    EU-“austerity” made for the highest subsidized economy in the history of Greece.

    And the Greek made sure, that this all could take place, by big-scale deceit (with the profesional help of Goldman Sachs). Without deceit – no Greek EU-membership – not until today, to say the least.

  38. Incitatus says:
    @jacques sheete

    “parasites who have the power and sadistic tendencies to screw people…no prol or peasant need be so smug…the product of simple minds…I can’t wait til the bashers get theirs…to place the blame on Germany is another mindless charge…If a country is ever well governed, it doesn’t last long…name one major country or government that isn’t involved in various forms of extortion and theft, usually murderous and on a grand scale…Go back and read the article until you understand it or have someone explain it to you…We never learn…the bankrupt, war mongering, mongrel socialist-fascist-corrupted capitalist cesspool known as the USA, but most choose to remain clueless or opposed to the truth.”

    Wow! Was that what Hudson was saying?

    Patience, wise sage. We’re not all smart enough to cut-and-paste irrelevent quotes paired with frothy adjectives conveying blind frustration and impotent rage. Keep cutting, pasting and frothing. Hopefully most of your classical dictionary remains virgin material apt to help establish your scholarly bona fides.

    “We never learn…”

    Except for you, of course, Jacues/Jacques. You figured everything out a couple of lifetimes ago.

    “Just wait for it. The ever present and mouthy clown contingent will no doubt soon start yapping that ancient history [Tacitus] doesn’t apply or some other similar nonsense.”

    Not at all. Here’s what ancient history teaches us clowns in your case:

    “But the truth of the matter, gentlemen, is pretty certainly this: that real wisdom is the property of God, and this oracle [Jacues/Jacques Sheet] is his way of telling us that human wisdom has little or no value.”
    -Apology 22E-24A

    Don’t forget to label me a troll.

  39. anon • Disclaimer says:

    the banking mafia bankrupted Greece

  40. anon • Disclaimer says:

    They are lying lice, leeches, parasites, back-stabbers, thieves, crooks, and rats.

    you mean the banking mafia

    deliberately loaning people money they can’t repay and then asset-stripping them is loan sharking

    the banking mafia are organized crime

    • Replies: @Miro23
  41. anon • Disclaimer says:

    the banks did this

    for the reasons you list the Greeks on their own would have a reasonably functional second world economy with nice weather

    the banks in collusion with corrupt politicians loan sharked Greece and are now looting it

    the Greeks should declare the debt odious and put the politicians involved on trial for treason

  42. anon • Disclaimer says:
    @The Anti-Gnostic

    the socialist governments they elect don’t do that because austerity in the EU is still better than the alternative

    the politicians they elect get bought out

    their only option is elect people too fanatical to be bought which means Communist of Fascists and as they don’t want to do that they’re stuck

  43. anon • Disclaimer says:

    the German vs Greek propaganda is divide and rule

    the banks did this in collusion with corrupt Greek and EU politicians

    the same banks in collusion with the same corrupt Greek and EU politicians are now cannibalizing Greece

  44. anon • Disclaimer says:

    Social democracy is the people getting what they deserve and getting it good and hard.

    people on the Right can be so stupid sometimes

    who benefits from debt-based socialism / social democracy?


    the banking mafia aren’t capitalist – they are a criminal parasite on capitalism

  45. annamaria says:

    “Very low national character”

    Is this a voice from a progeny of Churchill’s bankers?

    Killing the peoples’ spirit:
    “American Intervention in Greece,” 1943-1949, by Lawrence S. Wittner
    ‘This book deals primarily with the American role in Greece after the declaration of the Truman Doctrine: the application of military power, the uncritical embrace of reaction, the suppression of uncooperative political elements…. In 1949 most Americans were euphoric about the results of this policy. Today many must share the author’s conclusion that in the long run “American policy toward Greece ended in shambles.”

    “How Winston Churchill sold out Britain, and Europe:”

    • Replies: @Wally
  46. Abdī says: • Website

    It is time for Turkey to take on its historical role of establishing ordnung in the tiny country of 10mil.

    • Troll: German_reader
  47. Joe Wong says:

    Why doesn’t the Greek leave EU and refuse to pay IMF? Greece is a democracy, perhaps austerity is what the Greeks want, and Hudson has misread the situation.

    • Replies: @Wally
  48. Joe Wong says:

    Rightly or wrongly the Greek unions work for the people who pay them, i.e the workers, unlike the unions in the USA they are the double face and double talk thugs who take money from the workers then work for the oppressors to suppress the workers. It seems snakeoil salesman is the idol you adore.

  49. Wally says:


    Note that Greek accountability is ignored in the article.

    After all, they did take the money.
    They knew the conditions of the loans.

    Hell, I even have Greek-American friends who talk openly about the tendencies of their lazy brethren.

    • Replies: @jilles dykstra
  50. Wally says:
    @jacques sheete

    Nonsense. The Greeks voted the idiots into power.

    All in the hopes of avoiding paying the piper.

  51. Wally says:
    @Joe Wong

    Because the Greeks would then have to stand on their own two feet.

    It’s easier to keep playing the victim.

  52. Wally says:

    You are woefully out of date.

    • Replies: @annamaria
  53. annamaria says:

    “You are woefully out of date.”

    At least my post presented the facts-driven explanation instead of ed hominem attack on the whole nation of Greece.
    Tell us, “Wally,” what ethnic group is in charge of the global financial center? Or you are ready to explain the readers that it is only thanks to exceptional intelligence and moral qualities that certain people got wealth a power and thus obtained the rights to decide the fate of defenseless Greece – for their own, banksters, benefit…

    • Replies: @Che Guava
    , @Wally
  54. @Che Guava

    I wonder what you’re trying to say about the Netherlands being supportive of any side in WWII.
    The Dutch population under occupation did not support the Germans, there was a general strike when the Germans began to deport jews.

    My own father, a college professor, refused to go with his students to the German Kulturkammer, and went in hiding, in 1943, the year I was born.
    My mother with me went to her parents, the separation until the Germans were driven out of our country early 1945, negatively affected my whole youth, my parents drifted apart.
    In this sense I’m a war victim to this day, not having had a happy youth.

    Queen Wilhelmina was brought against her will to GB in May 1940, she was on board a GB naval vessel, she wanted to go to Zeeland, the at the time not occupied SW province.
    The commander of the vessel said this was no longer possible, and brought her to GB, where most of the Dutch politicians already were.

    My suspicion is that the abduction of Queen Wilhelmina was deliberate, to make sure the Dutch Indies would join the Roosevelt oil boycott of Japan, as indeed we did, Japanese diplomats visiting Batavia in august 1940, were refused Dutch oil.

    So, one might say, we ourselves caused the Japanese occupation of the Dutch Indies.

    • Replies: @Che Guava
    , @Che Guava
  55. @Wally

    Who knew in Greece at the time it would not be able to repay the loans it got once is was a member of the euro zone, is open for speculation.
    In any case, rich Greeks deposed some 80 billion in Swiss banks.

    Greece was created somewhere around 1850, until it got the euro, still had the drachme, it five times was unable to meet ist debts.
    Somehow, without foreign help, each time it raised itself from the ashes, and remained independent too.

    Now Brussels rules Greece.

  56. Miro23 says:

    deliberately loaning people money they can’t repay and then asset-stripping them is loan sharking
    the banking mafia are organized crime

    I would agree with that, with the US currently being the best example, although with the extra twist that the \$ trillions of FED loans have mostly gone nowhere near the public, but straight to the FED’s friends.

    Some \$ trillions of “free money” went to pump up Wall St speculative positions, other \$ trillions went to pump up share buy backs (owner compensation), many \$ trillions went to destroy the Middle East (fight Israel’s wars and feed the MIC) and what was left went into welfare payments to keep the public off the breadline and voting Democratic.

    The second act is the asset stripping.

    It’s obvious that the US public can’t repay these \$ trillions, or even pay the interest on the debt (at normal market interest rates) so US bonds either head for default or devaluation. The traditional national asset stripper method would be devaluation, with the public’s remaining financial assets evaporating with the disappearing value of the US dollar.

    Not that this will affect the 0,1%’s who’s assets will already have been off shored as fast as it takes a private jet to get from New York to Zurich.

    • Replies: @jilles dykstra
  57. Che Guava says:
    @jilles dykstra

    I wonder what you’re trying to say about the Netherlands being supportive of any side in WWII.

    I am saying several things on that point, just mystified by your absurd claim of non-participation.

    Sure, there were politicians in England. From my reading, most people were quite at ease with the occupation, until the war was clearly going badly for Germany. Many of the politicians in exile would have been happy to form a Vichy-style government if they could have returned to the Netherlands. Geography and the Queen prevented that.

    Recruits for the Waffen SS were not few.

    What really makes nonsense of your claim is the government in exile declaring war on Japan before having any reason to do so, so they and the colonial forces, and the navy in the east or at sea, became lackeys of the British and, like the British, lackeys of the USA a year later.

    Your surname is not Dutch. in any case.

  58. @Miro23

    The Saddam solution to the USA’s foreign debts is overlooked.
    Saddam wanted to annex Kuwait because he was unable to repay the loans, USA ambassador April Glaspy gave him permission.
    The USA’s solution to the USA’s debts to China is to annex China.

    • Replies: @Che Guava
  59. Anonymous [AKA "Johann von Puyallup"] says:

    Che, Probably “did not participate” is too simple a summary of the Dutch during WWII (though it is what they were aiming for before they were invaded), but “generally supportive” doesn’t seem like an accurate description from what I’ve read. There were collaborators, but many resistors. During the occupation the Germans issue food tickets and manipulated compliance through rewarding collaboration and starving non-cooperation. For “recruits” the Germans surrounded entire city blocks and took all the young men they found in a house by house search. Some went to factories, some to prison work camps, and some, I suppose went to front lines. I’ve read first hand accounts about factory workers sabotaging the radios they were meant to be building for the German planes. I’m also personal friends with a man who remembers his father slipping out the back door as the Nazis came to the front door. The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom is an amazing account of one Dutch family’s resistance to the Nazi occupation and Jewish genocide and the price the Ten Booms payed for their pious commitment. The Hiding Place deserves to be better recognized, but Christian viewpoints and heroism tend to get flushed down the memory hole.

  60. Che Guava says:

    Ha, ha, ha.

    The IMF and ‘World Bank’, both usually led by Jewish people. There is said to be a convention that the former requires dual-citizenship somewhere in Europe (Strauss-Kahn as a particular example) and the latter dual-citizenship in the US (Wolfovitz).

    I cannot be bothered to go through the lists right now, but it seems correct.

    Btw, ha, ha, ha at the start was not at you, just the situation. I am generally liking your posts, annamaria.

  61. Che Guava says:
    @jilles dykstra


    That post is entertaining. No connection with reality, but the annex China line is good.

    Gulf Attack II may have had a connection with Iraq wanting to trade in a currency other than US\$, I had American colleagues at the time that thought so. They have a very good case for it having been a factor.

    Really, the Israeli and PNAC plans to rip the region apart are a more logical explanation for the whole.

  62. Anonymous [AKA "Erisadesu"] says: • Website

    I will wear your hate with pride. Believe whatever you want for us the Greeks.
    For years we were the labour force of Europe now we will be the scape goat/guinea pigs.

    If calling us ridicilous names and blaming us for what is happening helps you sleep at night feel free to do it. We know who we are, and we know who are people of value and who are not.
    I just hope that the things they plan to do to us, wan’t be done to other countries as well.

    • Replies: @TWS
  63. TWS says:
    @Priss Factor

    They will find themselves again. Losing your best and brightest sons and patrimony to the Turks will knock you on your keister for a while but they can pull it back.

    If they still dream of a Greek Constantinople they have a chance. I’m an optimist.

  64. TWS says:

    It’s not like the EU will allow a ‘Greek first’ government to be elected. Given that, it is obvious the EU is hoping and working towards a default.

  65. Anonymous [AKA "OKpaul"] says:

    “The basic principle at work is that finance is the new form of warfare. You can now destroy a country’s economy not merely by invading it. You don’t even have to bomb it, as you’ve done in the Near East. All you have to do is withdraw all credit to the banking system, isolate it economically from making payments to foreign countries so that you essentially put sanctions on it.”

    Nonsense, else universally detested countries such as the NorKoreans could be more easily and safely obliterated…..instead of death and destruction of war.

  66. L.K says:

    Another great interview with Michael Hudson, one of the few US economists worth listening to.

    Some quite appalling and hateful comments though.

  67. Wally says:

    “Defenseless Greece”? Hardly.

    Lazy, thieving Greece is what they are.

    If they would stop taking the money while claiming that they will pay it back, perhaps they could then defend themselves.

    It’s on you, Greece, you took the money, you knew the terms.

    Leave the EU and try standing on your own two feet.

    • Replies: @L.K
  68. L.K says:

    What about the thieving banksters?

  69. L.K says:
    @Priss Factor

    Your comment displays gutter level imbecility.
    Priss Factor == useless person

  70. Che Guava says:
    @jilles dykstra


    I should have read your reply with more thought, sorry. It is not, though, to invalidate points in my earlier reply to that, but on re-reading, yours is of more interest than I saw on first reading.

    Excuse me for that.

    BTW, my separate post about setting up male brothels in inter-war Java, smart people here noticed that same-sex attraction was rampant among the upper-class Javanese civil servants of the then Dutch East Indies, so they were established to gain information.

    I know nothing of the results, only that it was a clever thing to do.

  71. ANON • Disclaimer says:

    Greeks don’t want you to know this, but lazy and dishonest people who prefer to live on the dole aren’t going to change their ways until and unless they are forced to.

    Why should they? It’s like the underclass in all welfare societies — overweening pride is one thing never in short supply. Except in this case it’s a whole country.

    That a tiny, unproductive nation of barely 12 million people — the size of a single city in other countries — should be able to hold the western world hostage, that is the real disgrace here. Yet we continue to throw hundreds of billions at them.

  72. The essential mistake is imagining that Greece is a sovereign nation. Greece is most assuredly NOT a sovereign nation, just a district to be administered by the global masters. The idea of sovereignty is anathema to these people, and it will be stamped out or they will die trying.

    It is long past time we helped them out with that “die trying” bit. We are going to have to do it sooner or later, we might as well get going,right here in the US. No quarter, no credit. Cash (gold) or nothing at all. It will be damned hard at first, but the rewards our grandchildren will enjoy will make it all worthwhile. Start with your local city hall, then to the statehouse, then burn DC to the ground. We can do it.

  73. Anonymous [AKA "Classicist"] says:

    The modern day Greeks are a disgrace and a shame to their ancestors in ancient Athens, Sparta, Thebes, etc. If they had any pride or shame or just common sense they would leave the European Union and bring back their own currency, discount their debts, ship the invading migrants back home, make their rich pay taxes and get their economic, social and governmental house in order. Instead they just sit and take the oppression and exploitation from the German banksters and crapitalists and play pity poor me and rely on remittances from their relatives scattered around the world to get by. A sad comedown from the glory days of Classic Greece.

  74. Anonymous [AKA "aristides the just"] says:

    Responding to Classisist
    All well said but you assume that Greece is allowed to leave eu of its own free will.

    varoufakis has already told us he was personally threatened and we all know tsipras took the Greek people’s resounding No vote and wiped his backside with it..even when he was voted in on just such a platform.Apart from being bought out ,fear could also account for such behaviour. Geopolitics of course is never far from the table.No doubt a powerful atlantic power probably whispered in his ear about ramifications to him if he left Exceptionalist camp and possibly sided or took loans from russia and/or china. He was meant to be a radical leftchik..but turned out to be only as left as not wearing ties at important events.

    Now Varoufakis could have been a Duterte but a Tsipras never!Alas for poor Greece.Nothing but greculi for leaders.

  75. When will the Greeks tell the IMF to stick it? They have no guts. I would send all those gangsters packing and take back the properties by force. Aso kick NATO out and see if they have the guts to send in the tanks. That’s the only way they would get anything else.

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