Thursday 10/10 Reads

Chomsky to RT: All superpowers feel exceptional, inflate security myth for ‘frightened population’ (RT)

The Pivot Under Pressure (The Diplomat)

Radiation levels near damaged Fukushima reactor hit two-year high (Asahi Shimbun)

Greek Unemployment Rate Hits 27.6 Percent in July (ABC News)

The End of the U.S. Military’s Tech Edge? (The National Interest)

Unprecedented shift in temperature will begin to hit tropics in less than a decade (Independent)

Developing East Asia slows, but continues to lead global growth at 7.1% in 2013 (World Bank)

US adults are dumber than the average human (NY Post)


Tuesday 23/7 Reads

Austerity Brings Greece to the Brink (The National Interest)

‘Key Partners’: Secret Links Between Germany and the NSA (Spiegel)

Stagflation: The Fed’s worst nightmare (Marketwatch)

America’s Dystopian New Normal (The Daily Beast)

In Climbing Income Ladder, Location Matters (NYT)

Friday 12/7 Reads

How cryptography is a key weapon in the fight against empire states (Guardian)

The situation on the ground in Athens (Sovereign Man)

What Every Student in America Needs to Know About the Federal Reserve (Of Two Minds)

Rich Lawmakers Exit Russia’s Senate After Foreign-Asset Ban (Ria Novosti)

Jeff Clark – Telegraphing the Turnaround in Gold (The Real Asset Co)

How Azerbaijan Is Like ‘The Godfather’ (The Atlantic)


The Real Greek Success Story

Greek political elites are using the free market ideal as a slogan to push for “reform” while in reality preserving a parasitic model that comprises of a core of affiliated oligarchs[1],[2] that control the strategic sectors of the economy as well as the media apparatus.This collusion is both undemocratic and a major hinderance in any real growth prospects for the devastated economy.The real goal of the political elites is to sustain this model at all costs,thus ensuring their survival against all odds.So far they have proven quite succesful,while it is hard not to miss the irony of the fact that it is the two main political factions-PASOK and the New Democracy party-that are both the creators and caretakers of this parasitic model that led to the default at the first place,that still govern as a coalition today.

It would be helpful to visualize the state of the Greek society and economy before the crisis as a series of concentric circles,with the aforementioned core of oligarchs and politicians placed at the center,while the successive circles indicate the degree of dependence of the various enterprises and individuals with the core.The public sector obviously lies very close to the center but a distinction must be made amongst the multitude of public servants relative to their value for the system.Security forces-in particular internal security forces-are of paramount importance for the survival of the system during turbulent times when social unrest is on the high.Of course,the main pool of voters for the two government partners is to be found within the public sector,where generation upon generation of workers owes their jobs to political kinship with these parties.By choosing to enforce the fierce austerity measures to the parts of society that constitute the outer circles first,the ruling classes of Greece managed to buy enough time for now and preserve their hard-core support base.

The implementation of the “reform” in the eyes of the Greek elites,lies essentially in choosing which of these groups-that all share a dependency with them-to drain from cash in order to ensure cash outflows to the Greek “lenders of last resort”,that in their turn secure even more influence in the Greek protectorate and keep their favored politicians in power.This process is portrayed in the media as “stabilizing the economy”,”securing long-term growth” and similar fanciful propaganda jargon.It has nothing to do with the structural reforms that would supposedly fine-tune the economy allowing space for the private sector to grow and flourish,spearheaded by high-tech entrepreneurship or a rejuvenated tourism industry-sectors where Greece has both the manpower and know-how to succeed.On the contrary,it is smothering any chance of that to happen by exacerbating an already crippling brain drain[3],stifling cash flows within the economy and devaluating greek assets while plunging the country to a debilitating stagflation[4].Greek market is neither free nor fair.The game is rigged as much-if not more-today as it has always been in favour of the select few and their patrons across the political spectrum.

In the sense that they still manage to cling to power-albeit supported by a dwindling number of voters as it became evident in the last election and by recent public poll data-is by itself a great achievement for the Greek political classes and their oligarch affiliates.Greek GDP has sunk to the quarterly levels of 2000[5] with a staggering,and unprecedented in peace time,cumulative loss of close to 25%[6] since the austerity programme commenced.The unemployment rate stands at 27.4% [7]with youth unemployment at a tragic 64.2%[8].The benefits though of the political class,have not at all been affected,while the families of oligarchs that run the key sectors of the economy and the media have only strengthened their positions playing upon their intertwined relationship with the political parties,while cultivating new elective affinities with Greece’s international lenders-the infamous Troika.If you are looking for a Greek success story,then you got one-the survival,political and physical,of its corrupt political,financial and business leaders in the expense of their people.

[1] The “Dictatorship of the Elites” in Greece

[2] For Greece, Oligarchs Are Obstacle to Recovery

[3] Brain Drain: 120,000 Professionals Leave Greece Amid Crisis

[4] Euro Morons: Hyperinflation Successfully Avoided, Stagflation Successfully Created

[5] Greek GDP Plunges To Year 2000 Levels

[6] Greek economy to shrink 25% by 2014

[7] Greek Q1 unemployment climbs to 27.4 pct

[8] Greece’s young: Dreams on hold as fight for jobs looms