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Monday Message Board

January 30th, 2012

It’s time for another Monday Message Board. Post comments on any topic. As usual, civilised discussion and no coarse language. Lengthy side discussions to the sandpits, please.

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  1. Ernestine Gross
    January 30th, 2012 at 23:10 | #1

    The World Economic Forum met in Davos … like every year. The Greek financial crisis was on the agenda … like last year.

    An electronics engineer and resident of St Ives, Sydney, noted recently that a practical small step for these financially well endowed dignitaries to assist Greece would be to hold the forum in Athens and not in Davos.

  2. Troy Prideaux
    January 31st, 2012 at 13:25 | #2

    Given their solutions so far, one has to wonder if their intention is to “assist” Greece.

  3. Ikonoclast
    January 31st, 2012 at 18:24 | #3

    German bankers attempted to make Greece an economic colony of Germany. A leaked German plan apparaently involved Euro officials having a veto on Greece’s budget if its “austerity” did not match their requierments. The outrageous neoliberal agenda to subvert democracy in favour of oligarchy was never clearer for all to see.

  4. Chris Warren
    February 1st, 2012 at 16:26 | #4

    First Greece needed a second bailout … then Portugal needs a second bailout, now Ireland looks like needing a second bailout.



  5. Tom
    February 1st, 2012 at 18:30 | #5

    Gina Rinehart just saved me money from buying newspapers since she is now the biggest shareholder of Fairfax. In the past, although I wouldn’t say SMH and The Age paper reports are completely fair but at least I can still get some useful informations from them. Now it looks like the only newspaper that worth my money is gone.

  6. Dan
    February 1st, 2012 at 21:43 | #6


    Guardian and NYRB.

  7. Troy Prideaux
    February 2nd, 2012 at 07:36 | #7

    @Chris Warren
    … and where is all this bail out money actually going??? Well, the fat cat bankers are always 1st in line.


  8. Ernestine Gross
    February 2nd, 2012 at 10:10 | #8

    False objectivity. Some news from the USA education ‘industry’:


    It is but one example of the problem of manipulable performance (incentive) schemes involving quantifications. A property of manipulable performance schemes is that they are counterproductive, except when they are superfluous (ie people are honest and ‘perform’ well without an incentive or performance scheme).

    Examples of manipulable performance schemes in other areas are:

    The Greek national accounts.
    The unemployment data from many countries (including Germany)
    The accounts of Enron (likely to be the most widely known recent example)
    Bonus payments to CEOs and CFO

    PS: Disclosure: My post is on the Monday Message Board but it is already Thursday.


  9. Tom
    February 2nd, 2012 at 10:52 | #9


    Thanks Dan, I’ll try them out. By the way whats NYRB? Do you mean New York Review of Books?

  10. Dan
    February 2nd, 2012 at 14:14 | #10


  11. Troy Prideaux
    February 2nd, 2012 at 14:48 | #11

    @Ernestine Gross
    Tragically, is it really any surprise? [deep resigned sigh]

    My wife went to Baylor too – before 08 though.

  12. Ernestine Gross
    February 3rd, 2012 at 13:45 | #12


    The situation seems to be a little more complex than your description suggests. According to the Sueddeutsche Zeitung, the suggestion of a EU commission supervising the Greek national financial affairs (not only austerity measures but also the record keeping system) was traced to the Federal Ministry of Finance in Berlin but not pursued by the German government, as represented by the Chancellor, Dr Angela Merkel. According to the same paper, the current head of the bankers’ association, Ackermann*, and former head of the Deutsche Bank** proposes a private bank Greek debt reduction of at least 70%. http://www.sueddeutsche.de/wirtschaft/verhandlungen-mit-den-banken-ackermann-will-griechenland-prozent-der-schulden-erlassen-1.1273755. It was the German government which pushed private banks to accept carrying at least 50% of the costs of the ‘Greek bailout’.

    * Unfortunate name (smiley)
    ** IMHO the Deutsche Bank is a member of what I call the ‘proverbial Wall Street Bankers’ (proverbial because not all of them are domiciled in Wall Street).
    You may wish to explore the links provided in Troy Prideaux’s post #7 to discover there is also a Greek financier among them.
    The money printing story promoted on some blog sites leaves the question open as to who (individuals) should get the money (creating a paid underclass of unemployed isn’t a solution IMHO, although I can see how it gives power to some functionaries). The link in Troy Prideaux’s post #7 provides some data as to the complex international net of financial intermediaries (all corporations) involved. As I have mentioned on many occasions on this blog site, the current financial transactions record system (balance sheet) does not assist in this regard.

    So, the fundamental problem remains: Policies based on wishful thinking provided by verbal theoretitians (see John Quiggin’s book) and the unboundedness of economies with financial markets. Looking at 2 or 3 macro-economic variables isn’t going to solve that.

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