Financial Sector PI(m)Ps vs Democracy

April 17, 2013

Portugal Corrida

Portugal Corrida (Photo credit: George Eastman House)

The death of the euro is more likely than its survival.

Signs of imminent collapse are everywhere. Its tearing Europe apart. The EMU does not fulfill the ideals of the European Union anymore. (1) In The Telegraph, 12/04/13, Ambrose Evans-Pritchard writes: “Portugal’s elder statesman calls for ‘Argentine-style’ default – Telegraph Portugal’s leading elder statesman has called on the country to copy Argentina and default on its debt to avert economic collapse, a move that would lead to near certain ejection from the euro.

Mario Soares, who steered the country to democracy after the Salazar dictatorship, said all political forces should unite to “bring down the government” and repudiate the austerity policies of the EU-IMF Troika. “Portugal will never be able to pay its debts, however much it impoverishes itself. If you can’t pay, the only solution is not to pay. When Argentina was in crisis it didn’t pay. Did anything happen? No,nothing happened”

The former socialist premier and president said the Portuguese government has become a servant of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, meekly doing whatever it is told. “In their eagerness to do the bidding of Senhora Merkel, they have sold everything and ruined this country. In two years this government has destroyed Portugal,” he said.

Meanwhile Greece has been stung with a leaked 80 page report pointing out “Germany’s debts were forgiven after the war at the London Conference in 1953 – including its debts to Greece – and that Berlin should remember that Germany’s Wirtschaftwunder was built with US Marshal aid and American help. Some 300,000 Greeks died under the Axis occupation, mostly from starvation.”

According to The Telegraph, (09/04/13, Ambrose Evans-Pritchard) “The alleged claim against Germany reaches a grand total of €162bn, including €108bn for rebuilding the country’s infrastructure after the Nazi occupation from 1941 to 1944. This is 80pc of Greek GDP.The probe was chaired by Panagiotis Karakousis, director-general of the General Accounting Office at the Finance Ministry, and relied on 190,000 pages of documents scattered through the country’s ministries and archives.”

Mr Samaras and his New Democracy Party are likely to  use the document to get a better deal for Greece.

Meanwhile in Ireland democracy continues to be under attack. One recalls the Hitler parody movies with Keitel, Krebs, Steiner, Yodi while wondering how Minister Howlin will deliver the news of the failure of Croke Park 11 to the troika, I digress.

The judicial arm of democracy is under attack: Leaving out the issue of judges pay, all should be concerned at alarm bells in the following points made in reaction to recent statements by Justice Kelly,

“8. The Personal Insolvency Act was enacted without any notice or debate concerning the insolvency judges who are to be recruited in the first instance solely from the ranks of county registrars.  Neither serving judges nor practicing lawyers will be eligible to be considered for such appointments until 2014.  These judges, unlike all others, will be subject to ministerial direction concerning sittings.

9. Three further constitutional referenda are to take place within months.  No wording concerning these has been forthcoming although they all have huge implications for the judiciary.  The AJI accepts the need for a court of appeal but is concerned as to the form of amendment to the Constitution which may be proposed.  The AJI has no information as to what the proposal is concerning specialist family courts.  The abolition of the Senate renders the removal of judges subject only to a simple majority resolution in the Dáil.  At present a resolution of both Houses is required.

10. All of these matters have implications for judicial independence.  An independent judiciary and the perception of an independent judiciary is a vital element in a properly functioning constitutional democracy.”

Above statement by the Association of Justices of Ireland. Clearly there is interference by government in the judicial system in Ireland. Efforts are being made to bypass the rights of individuals founded in the rule of law, to replace them with executive powers of government to give free rein to the financial sector to free it from the rule of law with government sanctioned powers.

This is  another way  rights of citizens are  cast aside by a growing authoritarianism fed by the financial sector and government usurping the constitutional rights of people/taxpayers; it seeks to place the financial sector above the law.

Meanwhile the massive mess of Ireland’s state Finances has grown deeper with the massive rejection by over 70% of Ireland’s trade union movement of the troika and government demands for public sector pay cuts.

It would have been interesting to be a fly on the wall to hear the ministers phone call to the troika to explain his failure to realise the deal with the unions. Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin is adamant that savings of €300 million in the public pay bill would have to be found this year despite the collapse of the Croke Park II deal.

His comments came as unions warned of industrial action in the event of the Government pressing ahead with pay cuts on a unilateral basis.

Cuts are due for next July which doesn’t give much time to reflect, negotiate and realise acceptance of a new deal.

Clearly 7% of €100 euro leaving €93 has greater impact than 7% of €100000 leaving €93000.

It may be 3:2:1 proportionality or refined version of proportional cuts may be unilaterally imposed.

This may be the straw that takes Labour out of government and into the arms of Fianna Fail to give Enda Kenny‘s Fine Gael its deserved swan song.

The rejection of the deal by a significant majority presents a major headache for the Coalition, and in particular for  Labour. Mr Howlin spoke to EU-IMF troika representatives on the phone last night to explain the significance of the vote and will meet them next week for more detailed discussions.

We should recall with fondness: Mr Howlin on summing up in 2012 his summary of governments first year in office, “.. We are more confident now there is a path to recovery, there is a confident government in place, who knows what they are about, who will do it on a fair basis and over time will get us to a place we want to be where we wont have queues for jobs abroad but queues for jobs in this economy” A large fail on all of that then…is there anyone left who believes that?

Clearly Fine Gael is on course to emulate the demise of the dictatorship of Nicolai Ceaucescu, the question is, can democracy survive the onslaught from the troika and the financial sector as citizen’s rights are cast aside more and more…as austerity experiments dismantle national economies rather than make them recoverable and fit for purpose.

Perhaps rejection of Croke Park 11 is a rejection of the politics of austerity that lead to economic catastrophe and ruination fueled by political incompetence….light in the tunnel for those who see an end to these policies.

Reform of the global financial sector is the direction to go….

We need more Mario Soares individuals to resist the mess of the EMU bull. Recent falls in the pricing of metals/commodities in the financial sector require significant oversight, regulation and investigation. The transparency in the financial sector is not such to attribute recent falls to the tiny state of Cyprus intending to sell some of its reserves. It’s not inconceivable that moves by Germany and Switzerland to repatriate their gold reserves have led to a shorting of markets to drive the price of gold down to make good such repatriation at affordable prices. The markets are led by a handful of large players who can set pricing at will. Selling short to drive prices down on foot of future profits to be made in repurchasing even greater market share to even higher profit is a question not probed at this time.

Unregulated market forces legacy of the Greenspan era still hold sway in spite of efforts to reform by Volcker/Dodd Frank/financial transaction tax.

Pretty soon the only game in town will be the financial sector of monopoly money ballooning. As democracy pays the price, how high can the balloon go before eventually falling to earth?

A worldwide ban on short selling and other market curbs such as the investigation/ banning of certain derivatives and emptying of the marsh of financial paper is required; eg paper IOU’s that falsely claim collateralisation in a false future’s with 100’s of transactions IOU’ing the same commodity to different buyers/swappers/lenders.

This is a market gone AWOL requiring strong disinfectant rather than QE stimulus/austerity to paper up a false money trail. The only disinfectant on the table is further transfusions from taxpayers through austerity to fill up these paper balloons with more hot air.




Today 18/04/13 news/information/rules governing(more anon) on PIPS (Personal Insolvency Practitioners) released, perhaps that should be PI(m)PS. Those who go this route will forever have their names etched as insolvents on the bankruptcy role, every item in your expenditure will have to be accounted to them.

Abraham Lincoln would turn in his grave at the concept. For those who wish to avail of this financial slavery and financial prostitution, the inquisitorial booths await at your local bank.

And who are the PIPS? Perhaps estate agents/financial advisors those who sold you your mortgage to make sure your trapdoor is sprung for new lives of financial bondage, you enter  serfdom.



One Response to “Financial Sector PI(m)Ps vs Democracy”

  1. colmbrazel said

    Reblogged this on Colmbrazel's Blog and commented:

    New Title/Paragraphs added.

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