When Sociopaths Are In Charge
Note: This is a follow up to Joe Gandelman‘s post below.
While we on this side of the pond worry about our debt crisis, things are really bad in Europe. The Euro and the European Community itself are in danger of collapse.
Another week, another crisis for the euro. In April, the single currency wobbled as Greece was rescued. This week and last, Ireland sparked the panic. Next week, if the markets are to be believed, it’ll be Portugal. Then Belgium. And, finally and fatally, Spain. On current trends, the euro is in for another roller-coaster month before it splinters, having crashed into the safety barrier.
If such a scenario was being sketched by the euro’s detractors, it would be one thing. But, it’s the euro’s own members who are warning of the perils ahead. “The risk of a eurozone break-up is very real,” Ivan Miklos, finance minister of the area’s newest member Slovakia, said this week.
Luis Amado, Portugal’s foreign minister, aired similar views recently. He warned: “The alternative to the situation we confront is eventually leaving the euro. That is a situation that could inevitably be forced on us by markets to consider.”
“We are in a survival crisis,” European Union president Herman Van Rompuy noted last week. Even Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, has admitted that the eurozone is “facing an exceptionally serious situation”, with her finance minister Wolfgang Schäuble adding: “Our joint currency is at stake.”
Such remarkable language demonstrates just how precarious the European project now is, as the huge build-up of debt in the past decade comes home to roost. Greece, Belgium and Portugal have worryingly high public sector borrowing. Ireland, and to a degree Spain, have dangerously large exposures to toxic bank loans. All have budget deficits that are multiples of the 3pc eurozone limit. The spectre of a debt trap for them all looms large.
Of course the US won’t be far behind. The right blames “socialism” while the left blames “capitalism”. They are both wrong because the world financial system is neither. Some call it monopoly capitalism – made up of a few large multi-national corporations and banks all of which are run by sociopathic oligarchs. In the US thanks to our nonexistent campaign finance laws it’s easy for them to simply buy elected officials of both parties to get their way. That’s how the criminal banksters arranged to be bailed out while the victims of their crimes were screwed. We are seeing protests in Europe but the only protests in the US are by the billionaire financed Tea Party where people are being conned to screw themselves. But that’s not the way it is in Europe – the citizens know they have been screwed and they don’t like it. The European Union was an attempt to Americanize Europe in more ways than one. It is becoming obvious that the European Union is something that could not be realized in the individual countries – an oligarchy. But the Europeans are not asleep at the wheel like the Americans. This would be a good time for an encore performance of euroskeptic Nigel Farage
Mr Farage gets it. And so do an increasing number of citizens in Europe. Not so in the US – the protesters are still concerned about a Kenyon born Muslim in the White House. It’s the oligarchs – the World Trade Organization, the International Monetary Fund and yes the European Union that are the problem.