The Modest Proposal travels to the Netherlands: Groningen on Thursday 6th October and Amsterdam on Friday 7th October

If you happen to be in the Netherlands today and tomorrow (Thu 6/10 and Fri 7/10) and wish to participate in a debate on the Modest Proposal, this is your chance. Come along.

The adjacent poster  concerns the Groningen event. Click here for an interesting introduction to this event.

For the Amsterdam debate-presentation that follows on the next day click here

21 thoughts on “The Modest Proposal travels to the Netherlands: Groningen on Thursday 6th October and Amsterdam on Friday 7th October

  1. @Dutch-Jack

    “If people like it or not there are 2 ways to get competitive again for Greece.

    (A) inside the EURO zone: Internal deflation = cutting wages
    (B) Outside the EURO zone: Devaluation of currency”

    Can you tell us why only these two options exist? I guess you are an economist too !
    You are based on theory and only those two solutions are satisfying your over-simplifying equation. Why don’t you grasp reality first ?!

    Look what happened to all the countries that IMF visited . What was the result of implementing such solutions ? What was the outcome of such policies?

    Greek people have different opinion , whether you like it or not .

    • Without making Greece competitive again all other efforts are useless. What is your solution? How do you want to make Greece competitive? This means looking at the P&L, not some balance sheet gimmicks.

      Look at Argentina. they are doing very well again.

    • As far as balance sheet gimmicks we are far surpassed by fellow germans and americans . I can expand on that with pleasure .

      According to your opinion , competitiveness is all about cheap or expensive? What about geo-strategic advantages ? What about exploiting energy resources ? human resources ?
      And more importantly taking in control the steering of our country for starters .

      Competitiveness is about foreseeing , planning and implementing .
      Finally competitiveness has to do with taking advantage the national characteristics of people and social structures already working there .

      It’s totally inefficient to employ policies and strategies coming from a totally different cultural background and financial structure .

      You are referring to Argentine ? Are you looking at mere financial numbers or are you looking at social figures as well ? Have you seen documentaries about the social impact of IMF policies in Argentine? People died of hunger . Protesters were killed by police firing . Government officials were slaughtered by mob .

      Can you comprehend that countries are not corporations ? Their target is not profit !

      It was only after IMF was kicked out of the country when social and financial life was established once again .

      A bunch of over-simplifying economic equations can not compensate for historical, cultural , geo-political , international dynamics parameters.

      That’s why i find your cross-road (a) and (b) options extremely narrow and your degree of certainty irritating . The fact that a growing number of economists express themselves with theological certainty make me doubt their scientific background .

      The fact that european officials express similar views is a sign of a degenerate financial and political environment and a complete hypocrisy .

      We have to get out of this hostile european environment the sooner .

      P.S. Greek people are mostly angry towards their political leaders and indigenous financial elite rather than other european nations .

    • How many times have you been to South America/Argentina in your life? How many times in the last 10 years? Yes it was painful. But pain (recession) is part of the cure!

      In order to get some structure in your thinking the options (a) and (b) are very useful. I have to admit that (a) has suboptions as work more (not an issue in Greece), be more effecient (a HUGE issue in greece). refer to the MCK report from the MCK Athens office if you do not believe it. Competiveness is not only about price in the non commodity segment. For commodities it is.

      I see a lot of countries every month and what I really becomes clear is that Europe (and also the US) are losing groud faster than ever. Going through a crisis with a common currency (no flex exchange rate) is like driving offroad without shock absorbers!!

  2. Is it plausible that after DEXIA’S collapse, Belgium might end up like Greece?
    And what about the articles about Ireland’s success, are they preparing Greece’s default, arguing that Greeks didn’t suffer as much as the Irish, so they have to be left to bankrupt?
    Leaving aside Greece future, will Euro survive such behaviors?

  3. btw. Is it only me and the Irish media landscape, or do you also have the impression that the news reporting from Greece is lacking adequate representation these days?

    I find this remarkable, Greece is in total chaos, new taxes are invented by the hour, the Troika demands that minimum wages to be abandoned and that Unions no longer participate in wage negotiations. Since 01/2010 wages were cut every two months, and prices are…. UP!

    Loverdos (Minister for health) closed the only children’s heart clinic in entire Greece.

    But there is more, insult added to injury when VP Pangalos declared not to have the cash to pay the 17,500 Euro tax on his properties, and it would have been inherited anyways, so the tax would be too high. Both, himself and his wife earn around 800,000 Euro per annum.

    This and other stories lead me to think, Greece is right on the brink of total collapse.:(

    People warned about this a long time now, even the somewhat german centric economists like Prof. H.W. Sinn said it a year ago or so, these policies endanger Greece to fall into civil war.

    Sad beyond belief, really!

    • If people like it or not there are 2 ways to get competitive again for Greece.

      (A) inside the EURO zone: Internal deflation = cutting wages
      (B) Outside the EURO zone: Devaluation of currency

    • Greece will not enter a civil war . This is my conviction
      There is no such sign at the moment . Greek people’s thinking are governed by a surprisingly wide consensus .

      Everything you say is true , but this is what main media recycle everyday . These are not important .
      The real politics are about the liquidation of public property . Nobody talks about that .
      The imminent bankruptcy of pension schemes due to debt haircut .
      And the special purpose investment zones about to be deployed in Greece . The conditions under which these zones are going to function can be characterized at least colonial .

      There is good news of course . Greek people is more than determined not to allow all the above to be implemented .
      Has the wisdom so far not to allow any bloodshed . Finding new ways to fight in a clever way everyday .

      If someone thinks that this is only personal belief , please be my guest and bet against .

      All these happens not because we possess special capabilities . But due to the fact that our recent history is too fresh to permit us do the same mistakes .

      I am optimistic … :)

    • The collapse is near by. The few healthy enterprises are facing cash flow problems already. Exporting companies are in a more difficult situation since they don’t get the VAT-returns (this is an indication that the state ran out of money).

    • Hi Ilias,

      On a side note, just curious, where are you at in Greece? I am high up north on the NW atlantic coast in Ireland, County Donegal.

      I wonder, to my understanding, the real culprit is this:

      http://dl.dropbox.com/u/4914840/spread.jpg

      No one knows, and here politics is fully accountable, who owns what. The toxic shit that is spread around the globe is the blackmail weapon of choice bankers are using since 2008, and politicos are swallowing it, instead of passing emergency legislation or entering bank vaults by force, confiscating hard drives, documents and all that stuff.

      This should have been done long ago, and still, they are not moving on the Banksters, not a sausage.

      By bringing down the fiat ponzi scheme, the debt junkies economy, the establishment’s status quo would be terminated in a heart beat, and both politicos and bankers know this, hence they play this game with the public.

      To my humble understanding 95% of what is presented to us are plain lies, designed to protect the establishment and status quo at all cost, all they intend to do is to reset the game and start all over.

      Hence…. unfortunately, I am not very optimistic, on the contrary.

    • Hi Georg , i am from the lowest down south part of Greece (apart from Gavdos ) : Crete , in Rethemnos .

  4. Please also the following in your speeches, or in this forum: WHY are the european banks insolvent and why do they need recapitalization? In Germany, the media say, the reason is, that the banks have bought greek bonds. So again, “our banks are actually healthy” but only because of Greece, they got into problems. Is this true?

    • German and French banks became insolvent in 2008 due the toxic paper in their books. The recapitalisation that took place then was too weak and insubstantial. Then, when Greece was ‘bailed out’ in May 2010, the banks believed that it was safe to create new synthetic debt by blending Greek debt together with their own (private) bonds. The new derivatives were traded amongst the banks creating a new, unseen (because it is off-the-books, and infused in unseen ‘special vehicles’) mountain of debt which will be toppled on top of their heads if Greece defaults.

    • Yep, and lets not forget one thing, the fees charged by the big banks on deals they only can do as long as Greek is forced into a protracted default situation are massive. Every time Ministers meat and come out with another statement for ‘rescue fund xyz’, they act immediately and deal with billions of Euros on the market in a matter of hours. DB cashed in over 400 million in fees recently only for that.

      Surreal, and as usual, the public is being kept in the dark about all this, only recently it was reported in the german broadcast MONITOR concerning the Greece rip off.

      Sigh…

  5. The man can not be in two places at the same time I guess. :) Suppose he could be held accountable for breach of contract or something down the lines if he is contractually bound to another event, ah well, just speculation.

    On a serious note, I admit, I was somewhat stunned by this attributed quote here…. really fascinating!

    I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around [the banks] will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered. The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs. Thomas Jefferson – 3rd president of US (1743 – 1826)

    The man spoke with great wisdom. :)

  6. Cool. “Trojan: How Europe Set Itself Up for Financial Calamity?” Can you also ask someone to organize a nice roadshow in Germany? But what does this mean: Regretfully, tomorrow’s Athens talk by J.Galbraith is cancelled. A commercial contract did not permit him to deliver it… What sort of commercial contract is this to prohibit someone to speak?

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