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Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Abject surrender is never easy

The tide of national opinion appears to be turning against the sovereignty sell-outs of Syrizia:
The Greek leader is fighting for political survival after abandoning his opposition to austerity earlier this month with his country on the brink of financial collapse. He’s trying to hold off elections long enough to steer the country through the bailout negotiations, Michaelides said.

The plenary debate began at about 9 a.m. in Athens with the vote in the Greek parliament scheduled for around midnight. The bill under consideration includes the transposition of the European Union’s Bank Recovery and Resolution Directive into national law, as well as an overhaul of Code of Civil Procedure.

"There is a risk of the number of rebels growing," said Michael Michaelides, a fixed-income strategist at Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc in London. "It will be a question of whether Tsipras can maintain the party under control to prevent unwanted political developments."
Considerable risk, I should think. But I think it's cute that they call what is little more than an unconditional surrender veiled by a modicum of trivia to help the sell-outs save face "negotiations".

The more interesting thing is the word that Tsipras had intended to go back to the drachma, but neither Russia nor China would come through with the $10 billion they needed to print drachmas. But I'm not sure I buy that, as they could have simply declared they were back on the drachma with or without the notes.

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53 Comments:

Blogger HickoryHammer #0211 July 22, 2015 8:42 AM  

Dude sold out to Emperor Palpatine and the sith lords, I'm surprised they didn't hang him from the capitol building rafters by now.

Blogger Nate July 22, 2015 9:09 AM  

the cost of printing certainly never stopped Zimbabwe.

Anonymous Steve July 22, 2015 9:12 AM  

It costs $10 billion to print some banknotes? Must be Greek accounting.

But I'm not sure I buy that, as they could have simply declared they were back on the drachma with or without the notes

The cheapest and quickest option would be to issue Euros with a stamp on them saying "drachma". Not ideal, but it'd do.

Blogger Nate July 22, 2015 9:13 AM  

one thing about the Russia / China angle that does make a little sense to me... I have this theory that Russia and China are lead by people that care about their nations and want them to be strong... and they prefer to deal with leaders of other nations who's motivations are similar.

for example Italy and Russia have good relations and Putin has commented that even though the italians are often hard on Russia in negotiations he enjoys dealing with them because he respects their leaders and what they are trying to do for their people.

If this theory is correct then it would explain why China and Russia would be loathe to deal with a judas like Tsipras.

Blogger Steveo #238 July 22, 2015 9:16 AM  

No doubt, just print the prices in drachmas... let the dollars & euros sort themselves out.

Anonymous zen0 July 22, 2015 9:25 AM  

Poland ran on USD when the soviet union was still alive. Belize money is pegged to USD. Til recently, Cuba ran on Cuban pesos for the peons and USD for the tourist trade. It can't be all that complicated.

Blogger Cataline Sergius July 22, 2015 9:28 AM  

I am curious about this one myself. The man knows he is committing political suicide, so why is he doing it?

Anonymous starr July 22, 2015 9:34 AM  

I'm also dubious Russia/China didn't help them story. While I wouldn't rule it completely out, it sounds more like a story put out there to justify why they didn't do Plan B and go back to the drachma. My feeling is still that Tsipras and co. were naive and thought they were dealing with people who were acting like arseholes, but were otherwise reasonable people they could make a deal with, so they never had a Plan B.

Anonymous The Original Hermit July 22, 2015 9:34 AM  

"I am curious about this one myself. The man knows he is committing political suicide, so why is he doing it?"

My guess is the alternative would be being "suicided" by EU. Better for him to be alive with no prospects than dead with principles

Blogger Salt July 22, 2015 9:36 AM  

The 10B Putin deal may have had more to do with pension sustainment and Putin wasn't going to go there.

Anonymous Roundtine July 22, 2015 9:38 AM  

The $10 billion excuse makes zero sense. Greece could print drachmas and buy the foreign currency needed to pay the printing bill.

Anonymous Ron July 22, 2015 9:42 AM  

Suicide by the EU? Hell, suicide by the bankers. This may be one of those occasions where a Wheeleresque perspective applies.

Anonymous Trimegistus July 22, 2015 9:44 AM  

Okay, so if Greece rejects "austerity" then . . . they go broke and have to cut spending.

Blogger Nate July 22, 2015 9:45 AM  

"Okay, so if Greece rejects "austerity" then . . . they go broke and have to cut spending. "

austerity doesn't mean what you think it means.

Anonymous Satan's Hamster July 22, 2015 9:47 AM  

"The man knows he is committing political suicide, so why is he doing it?"

Probably been promised a phat job in the EU after he sells his country out. The EU seems to be where unelectable European politicians go to die.

Anonymous The Original Hermit July 22, 2015 9:53 AM  

"Suicide by the EU? Hell, suicide by the bankers"

In my mind, they're acting in concert, might as well be one and the same. At least in this case.

Blogger Alexander July 22, 2015 9:56 AM  

Nate,

On that tangent, it strikes me that a nationalist would like to work with another nationalist because even if there's a bit of tension in terms of both nations can't be number one, they at least respect the idea that the other guy has a right to be number 2.

The internationalist denies the right of the nationalist to even exist. I can see why Russia or China would want the locals to have the internationals hanging from lampposts before they step in - no sense in bailing out the politicians who want you dead.

Blogger Cogitans Iuvenis July 22, 2015 10:06 AM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger Cogitans Iuvenis July 22, 2015 10:10 AM  

Yeah, I am not sure I buy that whole loan to print Drachma thing either. Firstly, zero hedge has a very inconsistent record, sometimes the article is really insightful, other times outlandish conspiratorial garbage and still other articles look more like propaganda pieces then actual articles.

Secondly, and perhaps more pertinent, is why would the Chinese and Russians want to bail Greece. I see no positive upside at all for the Chinese, except maybe some princling buying his own island in the Aegean. The only upside for Russia that I can readily determine is that it would possibly help move Greece out of the EU and NATO into the Russian arms. But even if Greece leaves the EU there isn't any guarantees that they would also leave NATO regardless of what ever manifesto Syrzia put together saying otherwise. Even if that did happen, how does that really help Russia? Turkey would still be in NATO and a port of call in Greece doesn't really help Russia all that much considering the logistical choke point that is the Bosphorus straight.

All and all Greece would probably be more trouble for the Russians as an ally than not.

Blogger Salt July 22, 2015 10:16 AM  

Even if that did happen, how does that really help Russia?

Putin would love to disrupt the EU. It's still a chess power game. 10B is small potatoes in the game of what's going on in eastern Europe / western Russia. 10B would not have been a bad sum if actually backing Drachmas. Unlike the ECB to Greece, Putin need not make a bad deal. There's something else that's not disclosed yet.

Blogger Jourdan July 22, 2015 10:24 AM  

The issue of actual, physical Drachmas to use is interesting, especially in light of my own very memorable visit on business to Germany where as part of our agenda we visited a gigantic warehouse (like end-of-Raiders-big) where Germany had stored vacuum packed and triple-sealed boxs of Deutshmarks....just in case.

Blogger Durandel Almiras July 22, 2015 10:25 AM  

What is it about democracy that slows down revolt that monarchy doesn't have? Popular revolts have occurred over less but all the peoples of the West continue to tolerate the rape committed by the Elites and the Banksters.

Anonymous Satan's Hamster July 22, 2015 10:34 AM  

"What is it about democracy that slows down revolt that monarchy doesn't have?"

In democracy, people are convinced that they can 'vote the bastards out'. Takes quite a few elections before they realize that all they can really do is vote other bastards in.

Blogger Jourdan July 22, 2015 10:37 AM  

@ Nate -

I think your point on who Russia prefers to do business with is a good one. That makes sense with me. In my job, I have been a delegate to a major International Organization and I worked closely with the Russian delegation, one delegate who shared my particular portfolio in particular.

At first, "Alexei" (not his real name) was very formal, proper and polite with me, but distant. However, as we got to know each other, and as he got to understand that I was not very typical with regard to U.S. Govt. types and was, in fact, a nationalist of the older school of American thought. (More George Kennan than George Bush in outlook, if you see what i mean).

His attitude towards me then changed. We still were opposed a LOT more than on the same side of an issue, but we could do business together and, this is rare for Russian-American dips, we could do deals on a handshake with trust.

So, that makes sense to me. My colleagues he didn't trust because he didn't trust people who wouldn't even fight for their own country and who would sit there and smile while the U.S. was insulted to its face (we are instructed to do this, we are told we are demonstrating that we "are better than that" and we won't "sink to that level" when what we are really doing is signalling weakness).

Blogger Joshua Dyal July 22, 2015 10:45 AM  

All and all Greece would probably be more trouble for the Russians as an ally than not.

Part of that is potentially traditional, though. Russia inherited the mantle of "protector of the faith" of the Orthodox Church from Greece/Byzantium, so there's cultural/traditional links between the two that I can see them as loath to cut loose.

Anonymous BGS July 22, 2015 10:47 AM  

"theory that Russia and China are lead by people that care about their nations and want them to be strong... and they prefer....similar" "no sense in bailing out the politicians who want you dead.".

Its easier to deal with negotiations that you believe are in good faith to help a people, instead of knowing the only one that will benefit is the politician who takes the widows & orphans money for himself. All that white people blaming for Katrina and the "chocolate city" Mayor turned out to be stealing charity & AID money. The RED CROSS doesn't advertise "We Paid for Ray Nagin's Hookers" in its ads for some reason.

Blogger Nate July 22, 2015 10:59 AM  

" Russia inherited the mantle of "protector of the faith" of the Orthodox Church from Greece/Byzantium, so there's cultural/traditional links between the two that I can see them as loath to cut loose."

This. This right here.

This is the most misunderstood aspect of Russian political motives there is.

Anonymous ZhukovG July 22, 2015 11:03 AM  

Nate,

I wonder if Tsipras is hesitant to let the ‘Third Rome’ come riding to rescue since that may enhance the status of the Greek Orthodox Church at Syrizia’s expense.

Blogger Nate July 22, 2015 11:09 AM  

The greek situation is simply beyond the point of reasonable speculation. I'm throwing my hands up here.

All I see is violence and war. I see no way around it.

Blogger michaeloh59 July 22, 2015 11:30 AM  

Why would Tsipras kick the can down the road? Because he isn't who you think he is. He is a left wing Establishment figure and the Establishment is cracking the whip to keep the party-nations subsidy demands within the tolerance of the voters of the worker-nations. Tsipras hoped to play the George Washington role- patriot leader standing up to the bullies. Instead he overplayed his weak hand and played the Mitt Romney/generic Republican role- Establishment weakling who caves to Establishment demands after a brief, faux "fight" for the people's interests.

Ultimately can anyone here really believe that Tsipras ever intended to take Greece out of the EU? Please! That would mean that HE, and not the evil other would be responsible for what happened. It was and is entirely predictable that Establishment pols will require of the nation to pay any price in the future for the slightest convenience to the establishment today. See Greece, American debt, immigration, "anti-racism".

OpenID probabilitybroach July 22, 2015 11:36 AM  

They couldn't go back on the drachma arbitrarily. Under Basel III currencies need to be backed. So they needed an [believable] asset. Holding $$$ as a currency reserve backing the drachma was a mandatory step.

Blogger Danby July 22, 2015 11:51 AM  

Under Basel III currencies need to be backed. So they needed an [believable] asset. Holding $$$ as a currency reserve backing the drachma was a mandatory step.

And what obligates a sovereign to abide by Basel III?
Their real problem is domestic obligations. No single Greek will weep a single tear if the German bankers don't get paid. The Greek banks are already dead, just waiting for the autopsy now.

Blogger michaeloh59 July 22, 2015 11:53 AM  

Probabilitybroach????????
That doesn't compute. How many divisions has Basel III?
What asset backs the trillions of greenbacks (assuming US is signatory)?

Blogger hank.jim July 22, 2015 11:57 AM  

They should leverage their Greek assets to print their currency. These assets were going to be handed over to the banks.

Anonymous Giuseppe The Kurgan July 22, 2015 12:09 PM  

the cost of printing certainly never stopped Zimbabwe

And Nate wins the thread early on.

Blogger Jourdan July 22, 2015 12:56 PM  

This is the most misunderstood aspect of Russian political motives there is.

And it should be OBVIOUS. For the life of me, I do not understand why people don't understand this.

Why, just yesterday the U.S. and UK lost to a Russian veto at the UN Security Council. The issue was a statement noting the 20th anniversary of the massacre at Srebrenica.

The Russians very, very clearly said: 1) Look, this is only about a massace of Muslims by Orthodox, when we all know there were many massacres of Orthodox by Muslims, why are we singling this one out?

2) Look, don't force a vote on this because we're telling you right now we object because this is one-sided.

3) Look, further, how much longer are we going to keep rubbing past war crimes in Orthodox noses? How about a resolution remembering Armenian victims? How about a resolution remembering the removal of the Cherokee Indians from their historic territories.

The Russian Amb said "It seems to us that the U.S. and the UK turn on and off their humanism for public display when it suits them, when they know very well that there were war crimes on all sides here and there are real people on the ground right now who have to move forward, have to live together, and this is not helpful. It's grand-standing."

So UK moved forward with strong U.S. support, and Russia veto'ed it.

The same Russia whose help we need on the Iran issue and who we need to work with to bring the Ukraine issue to a resolution.

We're just that stupid. We were going to lose, we had nothing to gain, they told us this in advance, and we did it anyway, all because we have ZERO understanding of Orthodox solidarity, which is like Basic Diplomacy 101.

Anonymous bolo-toto July 22, 2015 1:59 PM  

Greece and the entire Eurozone is a red-herring. The Euro from the standpoint of the CIA (fact book) is and has always been a political and temporary currency for simple purposes of advancing the Hegelian Dialectic in the European theater. Look it up yourself.

Bigger fish in the ocean of financial concern are Puerto Rico, the USA, and then China in that order. PR has simply been a lab rat for the USG/SSG. They can experiment there, with less accountability because PR does not have full statehood.

But the real news at this very nanosecond, together with the stellar news from AAPL, is Caterpillar ..

I comment here in this discussion as jcdenton ..

Anonymous bolo-toto July 22, 2015 2:20 PM  

If I may further add. So far as Putin is concerned? $10 billion is nothing, when you know at some point in time (probably sooner than most think) he has a cool $30 billion coming to him for the RF via Lee Wanta, via the Reagan-Mitterrand Protocols, that were decided and sealed in agreement since at least if not before 2010 ..

Since President Putin has not been paid the $30 billion he is owed by Ambassador Wanta under the Reagan Protocols, and has likewise been deceived, he coordinates oil-trading policy with the Chinese and agrees to accept currencies other than the US dollar in exchange for exported Russian energy products. This relaxation is soon applied to all Russian oil and gas exports, which the Europeans now start to pay for in Euros and sterling.

Furthermore, Chinese trading of oil in other currencies will not only become the norm, but will be followed by President Putin, who is still waiting for his overdue $30 billion – as promised under the Reagan Protocols, of which Leo Wanta is the legal custodian.

Since the Russians have not been paid the $30 billion owed to them under the Reagan Protocols, which Ambassador Leo Wanta has promised and which he stands ready to pay them immediately – and which President Putin thought would be forthcoming to coincide with Russia paying off all its remaining debt to the Paris Club of creditor nations – it can also be considered a near-certainty that the Russians will coordinate their energy trading policies with the Chinese, and will switch to other currencies for oil trading purposes without further ado.

EVERYONE WANTS THE WANTA PLAN

I suppose we are all going to at some point just wallow in abject poverty, until enough of us garner the courage to shout this kind of news and information from the mountaintops ..

Anonymous Donn #0114 July 22, 2015 2:33 PM  

I don't know much about Greece. Do they have the option of selling assets but only to other conditions with covenants making all future sales to Greeks? If they have some beaches and resorts it could work.

Blogger Floyd Looney July 22, 2015 3:07 PM  

The real choice is bankruptcy with the EU or bankruptcy without the EU, I'd still choose national sovereignty

Blogger Floyd Looney July 22, 2015 3:08 PM  

Donn- They do have plenty of beaches and islands...

Anonymous Alexander Callos July 22, 2015 4:07 PM  

Greece generally likes Russia a lot; I wonder if the Putin story was manufactured as part of a recent series of attempts to attack that relationship?

Anonymous Athor Pel July 22, 2015 4:13 PM  

"22. Durandel Almiras July 22, 2015 10:25 AM
What is it about democracy that slows down revolt that monarchy doesn't have? Popular revolts have occurred over less but all the peoples of the West continue to tolerate the rape committed by the Elites and the Banksters."



First, voting is an act of complicity. Voting signifies you condone what the government does.

Also, the nation as a whole is morally compromised. Most folks are in no position to judge anyone else in regards to morality because of their own moral failure and inability to repent.

Lastly, we have a culture of tolerance that excuses so many moral lapses that to find the line marking off transgression from normality is very difficult for many.

Simply, they're blind, deaf and starving for truth.

Anonymous Steve July 22, 2015 4:59 PM  

Ultimately can anyone here really believe that Tsipras ever intended to take Greece out of the EU?

No, because he repeatedly said he didn't. He didn't even want to take Greece out of the Euro. That's why he went back to Athens with a sore bottom after Merkel and co. summoned him to Brussels.

Really, his pitch to the EU was utterly, contemptibly miserable. It was like a gambler going all in against professional poker players, when they can see perfectly well that he's holding a bunch of Pokemon cards.

His negotiating platform was:

A) We're Greeks, give us money, or...
B) Or... we'll stay in the Euro anyway and be forced to do whatever you decide

If he'd been prepared to credibly threaten Grexit, he might have walked away with a better deal. Instead, he tried to emotionally blackmail the (famously soft-hearted) Germans.

Who would have thought they'd go for option b?

In terms of epic misjudgements, this was like Kay thinking she could pull some empowered feminist woman who don't need no man crap on Michael Corleone in The Godfather Pt 2.

Merkel just slapped him silly with her pimp hand.

Blogger Salt July 22, 2015 5:15 PM  

Obi Wan Wanta... now that's a name I haven't heard since...

Anonymous Brother Thomas July 22, 2015 5:38 PM  

7. Cataline Sergius July 22, 2015 9:28 AM
"I am curious about this one myself. The man knows he is committing political suicide, so why is he doing it?"


The Left rather sell out to the fiat monetary bankers than embrace free market capitalism. In other words, he simply has no other choice.


Blogger Cogitans Iuvenis July 22, 2015 6:14 PM  

Russia inherited the mantle of "protector of the faith" of the Orthodox Church from Greece/Byzantium, so there's cultural/traditional links between the two that I can see them as loath to cut loose

I'm not sure so about that, I don't want to discount it entirely, as parts of Europe really can't be described as Christian in any real. I think Nate's comment on the situation being nonsensical is pretty apt and I wouldn't be surprised if some Russian leaders think so as well. We don't know how the Greek crisis is going to go hot or what else is going to happen. It's a complete mess and sooner or later it's going to boil over and the US is going to be involved whether we actually want involvement or not.

Blogger Tom Kratman July 22, 2015 6:21 PM  

Any Greeks present who need a hint of what must be done?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xHVo0hJhnK4

Blogger Danby July 22, 2015 6:28 PM  

We don't know how the Greek crisis is going to go hot or what else is going to happen. It's a complete mess and sooner or later it's going to boil over and the US is going to be involved whether we actually want involvement or not.

Yeah, going in to try to fix the situation will have to be done with no real grasp of the scope of the underlying problem, little understanding of the Greeks, poor knowledge of how the various and very powerful players are affected, and no idea of what exactly needs to be done.
So it's America's job.

Blogger Cogitans Iuvenis July 22, 2015 6:51 PM  

@Danby

I'm not advocating that the US should get involved, just stating what I think is going to happen. If I had my my way the US wouldn't be in NATO anymore.

Blogger rumpole5 July 22, 2015 7:15 PM  

Require that the next round of Greek taxes be paid all or part in gold and silver. Then start coining drachmas in metal. The Greek government could start doing it now. Phase it IN the same way the USA government phaed OUT our silver coins in 1964.

Blogger Groot July 22, 2015 8:17 PM  

30. michaeloh59
"Why would Tsipras kick the can down the road? ... He is a left wing Establishment figure."

If he wasn't before, he sure is now. He now has access to the credit money spigot. As a socialist, his job now is to teach Greeks the true meaning of going Greek.

Blogger Joshua Sinistar July 22, 2015 8:17 PM  

Vox, I doubt seriously that a superintelligence such as yourself buys this surrender meme they've been pushing. The Socialists are part of the Globalist agenda, formerly known as the International Communist Conspiracy. Everyone in the know realizes they were funded by Wall Street and the Rothschild Family since Engels wrote Das Kapital and put Karl Marx's name on it. After all the son of the richest Capitalist in Germany could not possibly be the face of International Communism could he?
We are at an interesting point in history, The American Empire has collapsed and the USA is no longer a Superpower. China and Russia are still not fully aware of the magnitude of this collapse, but they sense the weakness of the West and see the power vacuum forming with American armies beginning to retreat from their bases all around the World now that Uncle Sham no longer has the money for this Grand Scheme that began when the US Dollar became the World Reserve Currency. No one is entirely sure amongst the Global Elite as to whom exactly will fill this vacuum, but Russia and China are already beginning to probe for weaknesses by deploying submarines and running mock bomber raids on Mainland America.
Bretton Woods is now history. We live in interesting times. The banksters are beginning to sweat bullets as they see their Hegemonic Control begin to loosen and evaporate around the World. America is on the verge of Civil War or rebellion and Europe is seeing the Rise of Nationalism not seen since the Rise of Franco, Mussolini and of course Adolf Hitler. Get some guns and food boys, no telling exactly how quickly the facade will collapse and other countries begin to taste the Blood in the Water.

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