CRASHED: Long version of my Observer review of Adam Tooze’s new book on the Crash of 2008

Yanis Varoufakis

CRASHED: Long version of my Observer review of Adam Tooze’s new book on the Crash of 2008

Tooze also reminds us that the Eurozone’s austerity, which condemned tens of millions of Europeans to cruel, unnecessary hardship, was originally championed not by conservatives but by Germany’s social democrats; and modelled on the brutality with which Eastern European elites (raised on a diet of authoritarian communism) had imposed austerity on their own people (to preserve their private benefits via continued membership of the international financial elite).

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Vasakpoolsed Euroopas on üles ärkamas

Jean-Luc Mélenchon

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Il faut sortir des traités européens, c’est ma conclusion. #DirectAN
Translated from French by
Microsoft
We have to get out of the European Treaties, that is my conclusion. #DirectAN
9:55 AM – 22 Oct 2018

 

Siiani on jutt olnud ikka selline, et me lepime kokku ja räägime läbi, aga mitte mingil juhul ei lõhu seda utoopilist unistust.  Raske öelda kas tegemist on ainult poliitilise retoorikaga ehk, sest parempopulistlikud jõud on populaarsust kasvatanud.  Presidendivalimise kampaania ajal oli Melenchoni jutt pehmelt öeldes populistlik: mitte mingil juhul eurost loobumine, kodanikupalk jne.

 

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Economists Who Want You to Rethink the Deficit Gather in Downtown NYC

Bloomberg

Economists Who Want You to Rethink the Deficit Gather in Downtown NYC

Proponents of modern monetary theory — the idea that for countries like the U.S., the government’s ability to borrow in its own currency isn’t constrained, even if its real resources are — will gather this weekend, starting Friday, at the New School in New York’s Greenwich Village.

Bloomberg saadab 3 reporterit MMT konverentsile New York City’s sel nädalavahetusel. Luke Kawa, Joe Weisenthal ja Katia Dmitrieva.

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Hahaha

Trillion-Dollar Deficit? Whatever, Says New Washington Consensus

 

Nancy Pelosi ja Hillary Clinton on eksinud hinged, kel pole mitte mingeid kokkupuuteid olnud mitte kunagi peavoolu majandusteadlastega. Kahjuks on need kaks Washingtoni poliitikut niivõrd isoleeritud elu elanud, sest peavoolu majandusteadus oli alati teadlik sellest, mida MMT väidab ja on nõus sellega. Kui Obama väitis, et raha on otsas ja valitsus peab ka kärpima, kui erasektor kärbib, siis peavoolu majandusteadlased lihtsalt viisakusest ei võtnud sõna. Nad ei tahtnud niimoodi majanduspoliitikasse sekkuda, kuigi teadsid, et Obama jutt on umbjama ja oleksid suuremaid defitsiite toetanud. Peavoolu majandusteadlaste käitumise vooruslikkus on kahtllemata mõistetav meile kõigile.

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Oleks ometi demokraadid võitnud?

Ok, on hea, et Trump defitsiitselt kulutab, aga ta kulutab valesti ja annab raha rikastele?

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Mis juhtub siis, kui rahvas saab eliidist targemaks

ja valib eliidi arvates idioodi

per Woodward book, Cohn was talking to Trump about the increasing U.S. deficit. “What do you mean? Trump asked. Just run the presses — print money.”

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Trumpile edu

Get Ready for a Massive Government Spending Spree

A government spending spree of potentially historic proportions will play out over the final seven weeks of fiscal 2018, as federal agencies look to spend $140 billion more than they thought they’d get before Congress passed and President Trump signed the omnibus spending bill.
Without a budget agreement in place, agencies spent cautiously through the first two quarters of fiscal 2018 before the omnibus—signed six months late in March—obligated an additional $80 billion for defense and $63 billion for civilian agencies.
Federal agencies, now flush with cash, must obligate that money before the fiscal year ends on Sept. 30 or lose it to the Treasury Department. Analysts believe the federal market will see a monumental effort among procurement officials to spend as much on contracts as possible….

Sa tõenäoliselt kuuled sadat erinevat versiooni majandusekspertidelt, et miks Trumpi majandus edukas on. Kes iganes taganeb prevaleerivast makromajanduslikust narratiivist, on majanduse juhtimises edukas. Paistab, et Trump saab hakkama. Need inimesed, kes end progressiividena esitlevad ja sotsiaalõiguslikud sõdalased on, jätavad rahva nälga ja tööta.

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Ütle mulle, kes on sinu sõbrad ja…

 

Mul on enne sel teemal juttu olnud sarnaste inimestega. Tavaliselt hakatakse küsima, et kes nii väitis ja kes sellist anarhiat toetab, aga mitte alati. Tundub, et Trumpi valimisvõiduks on väga tugevad põhjused.

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Ohtlikud fanaatikud

Ma vahest kohtan inimesi, kes suhtuvad praegu toimuvasse optimismiga, et küll EL sellest üle saab vms. Ma jään peaaegu alati sõnatuks.

Eurogroup statement on Greece of 22 June 2018

The Eurogroup returned to the sustainability of Greek debt on the basis of an updated debt sustainability analysis provided by the European institutions. The implementation of an ambitious growth strategy and of prudent fiscal policies will be the key ingredients for debt sustainability. In this context the Eurogroup welcomes the commitment of Greece to maintain a primary surplus of 3.5% of GDP until 2022 and, thereafter to continue to ensure that its fiscal commitments are in line with the EU fiscal framework. Analysis of the European Commission suggests that this will imply a primary surplus of 2.2% of GDP on average in the period from 2023 to 2060.

Kas need inimesed on kuidagi realistid? Kui sa ei tea, mida “primary surplus” tähendab, siis see on riigieelarve ülejääk arvestatuna ilma intressimakseteta riigivõlalt. Ja nad räägivad tõsise näoga sellisest ülejäägist kuni aastani 2060. Need inimesed on ju ohtlikud fanaatikud. Kas sa arvad, et selliste fanaatikute juhitud liidul on tulevikku?

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Owen Jones meets Ha-Joon Chang | The economic argument against neoliberalism

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Mis siis saab, kui hiinlased hakkavad massiliselt USA võlga müüma?

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Trump Will Not Back Down From Trade War, Says Kingston’s Keen

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Steve Keen Varoufakise raamatust

Steve Keen kirjutab Yanis Varoufakisest ja tema raamatust. 

As the tragedy of Syriza unfolded in 2015, I had wished that Yanis would deploy the one Big Stick he had: the threat to default from Greece’s unpayable loans from the IMF. On its own this was not significant, but as he explains in the book, it would in turn have triggered a cascade of defaults that would have undone Mario Dragi’s program of Quantitative Easing.

He did, once, have his finger on that trigger, and decided not to pull it–to wait and leave the act to Tsipras. Looking back in this book, he now wishes he had done so. If he had, he could have forced the Troika to work with Greece on a sensible program, rather than watch them impose one which will lead to Greece becoming Europe’s Somalia.

Jama. Kreeka ei oleks saanud troikat millekski sundida. Nii kaua, kui Kreeka jätkab euroga ja tal on kaubandusdefitsiit, ei saa mingit mõistlikku programmi olla, veel vähem saab Kreeka kedagi millekski sundida. Defaultimine ei oleks olnud mingi suur malakas. Kreeka vajub sügavamale ja sügavamale võlaauku, mingit programmi olla ei saa. Kreeka “maksab” praegu riiklikke varasid rahvusvahelistele pankuritele (erastades), rüüstamine toimub juba mitmeid aastaid.

Kreeka poliitikud sidusid silmuse ümber 10 miljoni kreeklase kaela 2001-l aastal, kui nad euroga liitusid. Kreeka poliitikud valetavad praegu rahvale ja räägivad, et nad on mingisuguse rahva poolt mittevalitud eliidi ohvrid. Ei ole, nemad ise on osa sellest scammist. Mürk, mida nad kasutavad, on euro.

Yanis Varoufakis kirjutas raamatu 560 lehekülge! Ma kirjeldan hästi lühidalt, milles Kreeka problem on.

Kreeka valitsus ei saa eurosid luua õhust nagu pangad ja troika seda saavad. Kreekal on kaubandusdefitsiit, mis tähendab, et ta ei saa eurosid välismaalt läbi kaubavahetuse. Kreeka valitsus peab eurosid laenama pankadelt ja troikalt. Kreeka vajub järjest sügavamale võlaauku ja riiklikud varad lähevad erastamisele. See on koloniseerimine.

Yanis Varoufakis on eurofiil, tema jutt on lollus läbi ja lõhki, sest ta ignoreerib neid lihtsaid fakte. Ta saab palju kajastust peavoolu meedias, sest ta ajab tavakodaniku segadusse. Ta ei saa päris hästi aru, mis toimub. Kreeka kammaijaa ajal võttis ta ühendust Mosleriga ja Mosler mainis hiljem, et Yanis on segaduses.

Kui te mäletate, siis Yanis rääkis intervjuudes, et mingeid kapitali kontrolle ei tule, mõne päeva pärast olid Kreekas kapitali kontrollid. Ta on ebakompetentne. Dimitris Kazakis näiteks väidab, et Varoufakis on “con artist”.

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Ashoka Mody – German social democrats have alienated their base and fractured Europe

Ashoka Mody – German social democrats have alienated their base and fractured Europe

…The euro has proved to be fundamentally at odds with social democracy. In its most successful Swedish version, social democracy has been a nationally legitimate social contract to redistribute resources among those who share historical and cultural ties. The straitjacket of the euro ideology, however, places the burden of national competitiveness on lower workers’ wages; and it enforces ill-timed and excessive fiscal austerity measures that limit options in domestic economic policymaking. The euro, therefore, prevents the formation of domestic alliances that could create “a sense of national purpose.” The policy straitjacket is reinforced by the presumption that each national ship must face the risk of sinking to its own bottom, a presumption that undermines the Blair-Schröder call for a “common destiny within the European Union.”

April, 2018, Wiesbaden: Andrea Nahles, the new SPD party leader, presents former party leader Martin Schulz with a picture. Bernd von Jutrczenka/ Press Association. All rights reserved.European social democrats have continued to haemorrhage support. The conclusion seems sadly inescapable. On its current course, unable to generate a domestic consensus and powerless to counter the narratives and priorities dictated by the euro, the political practice of social democracy will continue to fail at home while divisions among member nation states deepen.

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Termin “Modern Monetary Theory” ilmub esmakordselt Maailmapanga veebileheküljel

What’s new in social protection – May edition

 

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Sacrificing at the Altar of the Euro

Jacobinis pikk artikkel euro kohta, ka Mosleri eurost loobumise plaanist.

Sacrificing at the Altar of the Euro

….However, it is important to recognize that the European currency is a political project as much as it is an economic one. European elites welcomed the external constraint of the European Monetary Union (EMU) as a way of depoliticizing economic policy, removing macroeconomic policies from democratic and parliamentary control through a self-imposed reduction of national sovereignty.
Their aim was not simply to insulate economic policies from popular-democratic challenges, but also to reduce the political costs of the neoliberal transition by putting the responsibility for unpopular measures onto external institutions and factors….

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Saksamaa SKP per capita versus Itaalia SKP per capita

Ma arvan, et uued valimised Itaalias ei tooks eriti teistsugust tulemust praegusest.

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Kaasaegne tööjaotus

Modern division of labour …

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Keskpankade rahatrükk ja inflatsioon

Siin on nüüd näha, kuidas keskpankade “rahatrükk” inflatsiooniga seondub. Täna on kurja vandujaid juba vähem, aga mõned aastad tagasi oli neid veel küllalt, kes väitsid, et selllest tuleb inflatsioon. Fed ja ECB on tohutult likviidsust lisanud, aga inflatsiooniga seost ei paista olevat, pigem on see olnud deflatsiooniline. MMT on alati väitnud, et valitsuse defitsiitne kulutamine ilma võlakirja väljastamata (pangareserve krediteerides) ei ole inflatsioonilisem, kui võlakirja väljastades. Minu meelest on meil tõestus täitsa olemas sellele väitele.

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Most People are Monetary Ptolemaicans – Warren Mosler & Professor Steve Keen – 6 May 2018

Keen argumenteerib kaubandusdefitsiidi vastu.

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Saksamaa ei taha midagi teada Macroni euro reformimisest

Vast mitte eriti suure üllatusena ei tule see, et Saksamaa uus rahandusminister on sotsiaaldemokraat.

Die schwarze Null continues to haunt Europe

Last Tuesday (May 15, 2018), the new German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz stood up in the German Bundestag and delivered his first fiscal policy presentation. Not only was “die schwarze Null” (Black Zero) sustained but in his address, the new German Finance Minister made it clear that Germany would not entertain any expansion of the EU fiscal capacity (thus rejecting Emmanuel Macron’s proposals) and wanted to delay other ‘reforms’ that Germany had previously suggested they would support (beefing up the Single Resolution Fund and the creation of the European Monetary Union). For those Europhile progressives who have been hanging their hat on the hope that the takeover of the German Finance Ministry by the SPD would be the deal breaker that the Scholz’s presentation was nothing short of a disaster. He reiterated Germany would not be shifting in any major way and that Member States just had to buckle down and follow Germany’s fiscal example – surpluses as far as the eye can see. None of this was a surprise to me. It has been clear for some time that Scholz is just a continuation of Schäuble. Indeed some pointed statements from Bundestag politicians next day in their responses suggested just that…

Muidugi retoorika ei ole konfliktne, see on pealiskaudselt sõbralik Macroni suhtes. Macron aga ütles nii:

Germany can no longer remain attached to maintaining budget and trade surpluses, as they are always achieved at someone else’s expense.

 

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Arenevad majandused MMT vaatevinklist

Tihti tuuakse MMT vastu selline argument, et jah USA on suur ja arenenud majandus, aga väike ja arenev majandus ei saa sellist majanduspoliitikat rakendada.

Fadhel Kaboub räägib arenevatest majandustest MMT vaatevinklist.

Ta räägib struktuursest kaubandusdefitsiidist sellistes majandustes ja toob välja 3 põhilist struktuurset põhjust.

1, Toidu tootmises puudujäägid, sellised riigid impordivad rohkem toitu kui ekspordivad ja on sõltuvuses välismaast.

2. Energia tootmise puudujääk, fossiilkütused.

3. Tööstustoodangu puudujääk, nad impordivad kõrge väärtusega kaupu(arvutid telefonid jne) ja ekspordivad madala väärtusega kaupu.

Ta väidab, et eksportimisele orienteerumine ei päästa selliseid majandusi.

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Stephanie Kelton Has The Biggest Idea In Washington

Stephanie Kelton Has The Biggest Idea In Washington

Once an outsider, her radical economic thinking won over Wall Street. Now she’s changing the Democratic Party.

..When Drobny reached out to her, Kelton agreed to stop by the 21 Club in Manhattan to talk about MMT, expecting a small event with a few friends.
“Instead, I show up and there are dozens of people, and they wanted me to talk for two hours,” said Kelton. “I had no speaking notes, nothing.”
The 21 Club is not Crazy Beans. Frequented by presidents, CEOs and celebrities from Ernest Hemingway to Jay-Z, its private dining menu features $180 sea bass and four-figure wine bottles. Drobny’s firm bills itself as a macroeconomic research outfit, but it’s more like an expensive, exclusive club for very rich, very eccentric intellectuals, including Peter Thiel — people who own private islands and financial gurus who leave jobs at Goldman Sachs because the money isn’t good enough…

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Itaaliast häid uudiseid, bot bot bot minibot

 

March of the mini-BoTs may bring down the euro

 

The menace of Italian treasury bills known as “mini-BoTs” has made European monetary policy interesting again. In the past two years, the eurozone seemed to have overcome its existential threats thanks to the European Central Bank’s relentless bond purchases. Bond markets were achieving a near-Canadian level of boredom, marked by slow increases in long rates, a moderate recovery and too little volatility to justify traders’ bonuses.That changed with the March 4 election in Italy. In coming weeks we will see if the populist parties can stitch together a coalition and avoid a new vote. They do, though, agree that their tax cuts and aggressive spending can be paid for in part by issuing mini-BoTs. These would be small (euro) denomination, non-interest-bearing Treasury bills in the form of bearer securities that would be secured by tax revenues.“BoT” is the abbreviation for an Italian treasury bill, and the small denomination makes them mini. Conventional BoTs are electronic book-entry securities but the mini-BoTs would be printed, reportedly using the state lottery’s ticket presses, and the designs have been selected.Private parties would not be obliged to accept mini-BoTs as payment. While mini-BoTs would almost certainly trade at a discount in the marketplace, the paper (or book entries) could be used to settle tax debts or pay public-sector entities at the mini-BoTs’ par value.Despite this, the populist parties, led by the Lega Nord and the Five Star Movement, continue to insist that mini-BoTs would not be a parallel currency or a backdoor way to add to the national debt. The populists vow to respect the EU’s Treaty of Lisbon and under Article 106 of that pact only the ECB can issue the euro currency.

The populists also say that mini-BoTs will not increase the Italian national debt, supposedly limited by the eurozone’s stability pact. Mini-BoTs, they say, are simply a way of creating a transferable record of (future) tax receipts. Since the mini-BoTs would not be currency, transfers from account to account or hand to hand would not be subject to the €3,000 legal limit on cash payments within Italy. That would be convenient for anyone whose business could be more easily carried out with large cash, sorry, mini-BoT transactions. Mini-BoTs, then, would stimulate the vibrant informal sector of Italy’s economy.This is not the first time a government facing limits on bond borrowings has issued a tax anticipation note. California used them during a budget crunch in 2001 and Buenos Aires issued “Patacon” bonds to pay its bills in 2001-02, in the wake of the Argentine financial crash. These were ultimately redeemed with tax receipts.When Syriza came to power in Greece in 2015, Yanis Varoufakis, its first finance minister, proposed a form of “public digital payments”, that would, it was expected, feature “future tax-backed transactions.”

The Italian populists took advice on how to structure mini-BoTs from the Syriza socialists and Greek civil servants. None of those instruments, though, were printed bearer transactions. Even Greeks who empathise with the Italian resentment of Eurocrats were put off by that feature.Central bankers and eurozone finance ministers have been balanced in their reaction to the mini-BoT proposal. Balanced, that is, between outrage and apoplexy. The Eurocrats believe the mini-BoT plan is another plot to rip off the foreigners. That may be true but it would not be the whole story. Mini-BoTs would also be a way for connected Italians to rip off their less-connected fellow nationals.Multiple exchange rates are an old trick but that can work for a while. The Eurocrats believe mini-BoTs will be a veiled way to finance populist deficit spending. If that is permitted, the establishment thinking goes, the conventionally minded eurozone voting public would rebel at the debasement of their currency.The populist retort would be that Italian compliance with orthodoxy has led to stagnation and youth unemployment. True enough — but young people without jobs would not be beneficiaries of mini-BoTs.

No, the big profits would go to those who would buy mini-BoTs from pensioners and state creditors at a discount, say 20 or 30 per cent. They will then sell the quasi-currency to deep-pocketed buyers of Italian goods and services, or property and equities. There would also be an internal redistribution. Roughly speaking, northern Italian industry and skilled workers would receive the value of export subsidies, and payments to southern Italian pensioners and state employees would get haircuts.If mini-BoTs are introduced on a large scale, political strains would eventually force either Italy or Germany out of the euro. Having done its damage, the minibot scheme would ultimately be wound up.

Igati positiivne, eks muidugi eurokraadid ole raevus. Nüüd tuleb soovida kindlat meelt Itaalia uuele koalitsioonile. Kui nad ei luba konverteeritavust eurosse ja aktsepteerivad neid maksude maksmisel valitsusele, siis on tegemist väga hea plaaniga ja see peaks töötama. Nad ütlevad, et see ei ole raha või valuuta, mis on minu meelest hea strateegia.

Samas ei ole minu meelest põhjust ka arvata, et see kõik vaibub seekord, sest nn Lega Nord on populaarsust kasvatanud ja nemad on järeleandmatumad euro osas tegelikult 5-star rääkis juba ammu, et ajad on muutunud ja eurost loobumist nad enam ei toeta.

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