sâmbătă, 25 iulie 2015

Mata Hari's conviction

Exactly 98 years ago on my birthday, Margaretha was convicted to death for spying in the first world war.

miercuri, 1 iulie 2015

A premeditated crisis, à la Grecque

Photo from the Big Picture.

10 July 2015 Alexis Tsipras, with the full on drama of a man on the death row:
"No supposed reforms addressed the notorious triangle of corruption that was set up in our country many years ago, prior to the crisis, between the political establishment, the oligarchs and the banks. No reforms have improved the operation and efficiency of the State, which has learned to operate to serve special interests rather than the common good."
"Today, we come with a strong mandate from the Greek people and with a firm determination to not clash with Europe, but to clash with the vested interests in our country, and with the established rationales and attitudes that plunged Greece into crisis, and are putting a drag on the Eurozone, as well."

Europe, it serves no purpose to beat a dead horse.

8 July 2015 Greek style yoghurt, produced in Germany.


7 July 2015 France is leaning towards Greece, UK is out of the game. Netherlands, Denmark, Finland, Austria, and Sweden are expected to join the German narrative.

The ripples reach all the way to China, with stocks loosing 25% of their value since mid June.

6 July 2015 Two parallel narratives are constructed in Greece and EU, the borders are already thickening.

Yanis Varoufakis steps down as a first concession to the creditors. The mastermind of the new Greek hope leaves the front stage.

5 July 2015 More than 60% of the greeks said OXI. Somewhere the big P pops open a champagne.

2 July 2015 Robert Kaplan on the geopolitics of the Greek crisis and why they can be more important than the economics.

Comments from the Indiegogo campaign:
"Enfin un geste symbolique et politique, un peu naïf et dérisoire mais c’est un bon pied de nez à la non-action-politique de nos dirigeants européens…!"
"With kind consideration from Romania. This campaign is a slap to all those oligarchs (the 1%) that know only to keep everything to themselves (and ruin countries like Greece) and a thumb up for true people that can show compassion and solidarity. Go humanity and go Greece!"

1 July 2015 Greece defaults on an IMF payment of $1.8bn out of a total of $40bn, the ordeal is only at the beginning. In the meantime, Indiegogo is closing on the first million mark. Somebody should bring the ice buckets on this one.

What does the Crimean status referendum of 2014 have in common with the Greek bailout referendum? They are both a mockery of democratic processes, where a few scared people are used in a dispute much larger than themselves.

If not more than this, the Indiegogo campaign gives us the scale of this massive debt in human terms. At the moment a town about the size of Galway (students out of town for the summer break) put in 17 euros each for the Greek bailout fund. We're not even close to 0.1% of this year's payment to IMF.

30 June 2015 Sell! Sell! Sell! Cried the wolves from Asia to Australia.

The Facebook feed goes on such a frenzy, unprecedented since the initial public offering of Facebook.

Crowd-funding to the rescue... and the servers are down.

29 June 2015 Greek banks close and fix a limit on cash withdrawals.

The EU president makes his call to arms. The biggest loosers of this deal are ship owners, corrupt officials, the energy industry, the public administration, and the military. But scaring pensioners is more effective in a public vote.

26 June 2015 Alexis Tsipras puts an abrupt halt to debt negotiations by calling a referendum that might as well just have a "no" for an answer. A wise politician only calls a referendum when they can be certain of the answer.

14 April 2015 The Greek public debt is at 180% of GDP, up from 164% in 2012, 146% in 2010, and 109% in 2008. More about a predictable crisis here.