Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Three die in Athens and the banks are about to make an even bigger killing

Three dead in Greece today as a petrol bomb is thrown into a bank in the worst violence to hit the country since the riots of 2008. A member of the German FDP has just said that maybe the austerity measures that are being demanded by the European Union and International Monetary Fund in exchange for a 110 billion euro aid package are concentrating too much on one sector of of Greek society.  

Gregor Gysi from "Die Linke" brings it too our attention that the banks are just about to make a "killing" and the evidence, indeed, it might be that credit default swaps will protect those who caused the problem in the first place with  Peter Cohan, one of the people who is putting forward that contention, going on to tell us that: "A CDS is an insurance-like contract that obligates the CDS seller to pay the CDS buyer a set amount upon a bond issuer's default. A CDS buyer is often a holder of the debt that the CDS "references," but not necessarily. A CDS buyer also can simply be betting that a particular bond issuer, like Greece, will default. If the issuer does default, the CDS holder reaps its payment from the CDS seller, whether it holds the actual bonds or not." It does, indeed, all stink and Goldman Sachs, who hid Greek debt, doctored the books, sold them junk, now prepared to profit from a Greek default through its CDS buys?

Not only them though and  the 'Financial Times' inform us that "some of Europe’s biggest banks on Friday defended trading activity of credit default swaps on Greek sovereign debt in a meeting with European Union bureaucrats in Brussels." They are needed "to mitigate risk", they say. Only to mitigate risk and what about the risk that the normal working people of Greece are now exposed to? Moreover, with the International Monetary Fund being brought into the equation they are just the people to help the European Central Bank when it comes to enforcing those "structural adjustment programmes", that will ensure that the Greek people are firmly in the pockets of Anglo-Saxon and German bankers.

In the meantime, the gutter press in Germany in particular is doing its job. We have now moved on from the simple "lazy Greeks" get the "hard working Germans" money for nothing and "Die Bild Zeitung" advises the Greece to sell its islands. Well, there will be enough flush bankers around to buy them, that is for sure. However, joking aside, this really is as much about what kind of Europe, indeed, what kind of planet we want as it is about Greece and away from the jingoistic rubbish, we can be sure that in the European Union it won't only be the working people of Greece who suffer. Yes, as the Greek trade union leader, Spyros Papaspyros, said today, "there are other things the (government) can do, before taking money from a pensioner who earns 500 euros a month." There is and there are other things the European Union can do. Introducing fiscal federalism and establishing a real political and economic union for the people of Europe would be one thing. That would get rid of the robbing barons from the IMF, after which, we could quite simply tell  Goldman Sachs and the rest of the vultures to fuck off. The lines have been drawn!

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