YO ! EU #1 !

YO ! EU #1 !

Yo man, EU still number 1 !
And NL #17 (and our always-list-competitor as in longest, happiest, dairy-consuming, Denmark a measly #34).

For sentimental/historical reasons I’ve made a screenshot (see below) and not just a linky.
As things might change quite rapidly.
:-( ?

ps: Greece currently, the thursday before the sunday of the ‘Grexit’ meeting july 12 2015, ranked #44 (Ireland #43, Portugal #45)

— // —



— the banks man !, it’s the banks ! —

De stoute Grieken doen een beetje lastig en zijn heel erg onredelijk. Stout ! Kunnen ze zich niet rationeel, verlicht, netjes gedragen en zich aan de redelijke afspraken houden die wij hebben voorgesteld ? En daarnaast hebben ze ook nog eens de boeken gecooked, dubbel stout ! (die wij en de intern. accountantfirms nog wel zo nauwkeurig en tegen redelijke tarieven hebben gecontroleerd en goedgekeurd, en -aangeleverd- , oa door het bedrijf waar meneer Draghi directeur van was (Draghi was then vice chairman and managing director of Goldman Sachs International and a member of the firm-wide management committee (2002–2005 ***) src:wikipedia).

Beetje makkelijk maar wat aanvullende berichtgeving kan geen kwaad…

Joseph Stiglitz: how I would vote in the Greek referendum

artikel in the guardian

Wat quotes uit het artikel:

  • I can think of no depression, ever, that has been so deliberate and had such catastrophic consequences: Greece’s rate of youth unemployment, for example, now exceeds 60%.
  • It is startling that the troika has refused to accept responsibility for any of this or admit how bad its forecasts and models have been.
  • Economists around the world have condemned that target as punitive, because aiming for it will inevitably result in a deeper downturn.
  • We should be clear: almost none of the huge amount of money loaned to Greece has actually gone there. It has gone to pay out private-sector creditors – including German and French banks.
  • It’s about using “deadlines” to force Greece to knuckle under, and to accept the unacceptable – not only austerity measures, but other regressive and punitive policies.

En Nl ? Je kunt je afvragen of een land waar we alle problemen met ‘labbekakkers’ (oid), gelukszoekers, jihadi-bruiden, boot-vluchtelingen (moeten we nog subtiel afkeurend woordje voor bedenken), baby-poeder-hamsterende-chinezen etc, denken te kunnen aanpakken met “hard aanpakken” en “aanzuigende werking vermijden” en “oplossing zoeken in de regio”, de zaak nog een beetje redelijk kan analyseren. (Ook al hebben we dan wel weer de red swivel-chair !)

De 21e eeuw is inmiddels 15 jaar bezig, ook voor Nl.

*** Let u op de periode: 2000-2005. Zie het interessante artikel over cooking the books (feb. 2015) als u geïnteresserd bent:
Greece’s application for EU membership in 1999 was rejected because its budget deficit in relation to its GDP was over 3 percent, the cutoff line for joining. That’s where Goldman Sachs came in. For a fee rumored to be $200 million (some say three times that), the multinational giant essentially cooked the books to make Greece look like it cleared the bar. Then Greece’s political and economic establishment hid the scheme until the 2008 crash shattered the illusion.

Een ander relativerend artikel (juni 2011)

— // —




some more old pics of beautiful greece

Bring back them socks and pots !

– the banks man ! it’s the banks ! –

Bring back them socks and pots !
Last night the ministers of finance of the EU decided upon the way new bank crises should be handled.

Agreement was reached on the order of liability.
1) Firstly shareholders and bondholders shall be held accountable.
2) Then the ‘banking sector’. Nothing specified here, just that they shall start some kinda fund.
3) Then the ‘rich’ accountholders, with -savings- above 100K.
4) Accountholders ( savings accounts) below 100K are left untouched.

This was supposedly done to move the liability away from the taxpayers (!not) / the governments (BLAIRLIKE SPIN, nowadays common ‘to-serve-you-better’ truthtalk).

So government is also moving away from, shaking it’s hands free of, letting it prowl freely, of the banking sector. It’s possible disasters are ‘privatized’. Just like health-care, railways, building corporations etc. were privatized before (long live the liberal parties of our continent!). Again, all this to ‘save’ the tax-payer.

In the new configuration who do you think is the most powerful group (answer = 2) ? Who is the least powerful group (answer = 3, not 4 because of electoral considerations). Which group is most on the slippery slide for future adjustments (answer = 4) ?

Remember that with the first and following bail-outs of Greece the european banking sector -did- contribute, allbeit with quite some resistance and in ever smaller portions. When Cyprus came along this did not even enter into the discussion. (So much for Cyprus as a template for future bail-ins, objective is clear: go after the private saver.) The original bail-in plan even had savers -below- 100K accountable. This was dropped after some political upheaval and luckily we could smokescreen it all with barbarian russians.

So what will probably happen next, say if Italy starts running into problems ?

  • The very ‘rich’ savers will already have found all kinds of ways to safeguard their money. And the nice bankers and financial sector will get a nice business boost finding these loopholes.
  • The ‘rich’ savers will try but will fail to get their money safe. They will be mercilessy gutted. (Please note: this might well include your parents who have sold their house (where you grew up in) and moved into a nice, rollator/wheelchair accommodating, comfy studio.)
  • After the next crisis, or in a year, or two, the 100K limit will be lowered to 90K then to 80K etc.
  • People will start putting their money in socks under the bed and pots in their gardens. Your money will be as safe as in the Middle Ages. There’s a good confidence building, economy stimulating measure for you !

Bottom line is that the new agreement makes the savers accountable. You put money in the bank because it is not safe in a pot in your garden or a sock under the bed. And maybe to get a measly interest. You are -not- investing in the bank. You are -not- part of the financial sector (watch out for this upcoming mingling of concepts in the near future). You should -not- be held accountable.

It should be clear that the banks phucked up in a major way over the last decade. Monitoring and surveillance of the banks and financial sector (who have the real WMD’s, Weapons of Mass-Destruction in their hands) has only marginally increased. This should be done by governments and the sector itself.

The best way to incite this increased surveillance and better banking practises is to lay the liability solely with the banks themselves (group 2). To make privates savers liable, is not only unjust and most probably economically counter productive, it removes this incentive. (That group 1 is liable is obvious.)

And as for you as private, little, citizen (Calimero as we’d say here in the nl), what to do ?
“Bring back them socks and pots !”

– — –
– In practise it probably won’t work. The bank’s leveraging is probably too high for groups 1 + 2 (who’ll bemoan, bewail, bitch that they are needed for ‘recovery’) and 3 to handle. Group 4 can’t save them either. So the governments (or ~ECB) will step in again, meaning you. And we’ll be right back where we started. Only this time private savings wiped out, and banks have a formalized ‘contract’ for limited liability. Maybe it can just handle a crisis of the size of, say Cyprus.
– I don’t have > 100K at the bank. Far from it, I would say :-(


Lucky PIGS.

Lucky PIGS.

How lucky are Portugal, Italy, Greece, and Spain ! They will be the first to think out, work out, an alternative to working ever harder and harder, to being ever more and more efficient, to hysterically rooting out each and every iota of cost, at all costs. To dismantle ever hollower phrases as ‘taking your responsability’, ‘transparency’, and  ‘to serve you better’. To discover why and how we humans live together. To appreciate all of life’s phases. To rediscover the meaning of what government should be. To distinguish between quantity and quality. To favour a whole above a specialization.

While we in the North are ever-advancing on an extremist path which we blindly follow towards ever mounting piles of wealth and possessions (and let us also add -debts-). Some 2-300 years already. While we are unable to see multiple solutions. And so have lost the ability to choose, and so do harm to our bodies and minds. While we are trapped in a singular tunnel which we fathom but cannot grasp.

The mediterranean has given us the Greeks, the Romans, ‘La convivencia’ in Spain, the Renaissance (and the Furia Roja*). Maybe it is getting set to show us something again.

Long live the mediterranean light ! Long live the mediterranean alegriá **!
While we in the north suffer from more and more alergiá.***


ps: pleasant surprises may also come from other parts of the mediterranean.
– — –

* Furia Roja: the national spanish football team. See my blog “Eulogiá, el mejor equipo jamás. Arbeloa el magicó.” about them.
** spanish for ‘joy’.
*** vrij naar w.j. te a.
– ‘La convivencia’. Period of relatively peaceful coexistence between Moors, Christians and Jews in Spain. When we also kinda safeguarded Greek thought, enabling the Renaissance later on. Ca. 800-1500. See here (wikipedia)

Catas de aceite, Jaén

Catas de aceite, Jaén

ajo negro, bilbao

Ajo negro, Bilbao

Changing of the guard.


Iniesta, triste y desolado tras perder en el Camp Nou.

Changing of the guard.

Real Madrid – Borussia Dortmund : 3 – 4
Barcelona – Bayern Munich : 0 – 7
Pep to Bayern
Mou probably to Chelsea

In the summer of 2008 I was in Spain (in Malaga, near the citadel) the evening Spain beat Germany to win the European cup. (I was in Ronda when Spain beat Italy in the quarter finals, first victory over Italy in 34 years, the little fountain in the Plaza del Socorro was a bit destroyed.) Nadal had some splendid victories, and Alonso too. Zapatero said Spain would soon surpass Italy in average income per capita.

It was a glorious summer for Spain.

At the end of that summer some big building societies started to collapse and 5 years later all seems to have changed for the worse for Spain. Unemployment nearing 27 %, people put out of their houses, wage/pension cuts, and Rajoy hiding in Moncloa.

Germany the economic power-house of Europe, and set to dominate football the coming years.

But, luckily, by the time the economic crisis starts hitting Germany (and Holland and little lovely Austria and Finland) in earnest, Spain will start to recover.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, we have a new king, Ajax league winners for the third time in a row , Sylvie left Raffy, Raffy now with ex of Khalid, Estelle still with Badr, Moszkowicz having probs, Eva still blonde, Sascha to leave, Annechien to come. And we have a ‘housing’ deal, a ‘social’ deal and a ‘healthcare’ deal. And (now with all them deals) you gotta help your granny because the state ain’t gonna do it no more.

– – –

trickle down vs ?

— question of the day —
Is there an, ecospeak,  opposite of ‘trickle down’ ? Eg. something like ‘damburst up’ or ‘tsunami up’ ? (We’re from Holland so we think in terms of water)

— quote of the day —
bron: (Volkskrant 9/2/2012 Marcel van Dam)
Overheidstekorten en staatsschulden worden gedemoniseerd om een verdere afbraak van de verzorgingsstaat te legitimeren en de Europese economie naar Amerikaanse snit te hervormen. Waarom ? Vanaf 1980 tot 2010 was de Amerikaanse economische groei per hoofd van de bevolking gelijk aan die van ons. In die periode is in de VS het aandeel van de 1 procent met hoogste inkomen gestegen van 9 tot 23 procent. De helft van het bbp gaat naar de rijkste 10 procent van de bevolking. Het inkomen van Jan Modaal bleef de afgelopen dertig jaar ongeveer gelijk. Om toch meer te kunnen uitgeven, stak hij zich dieper in de schulden. De gezondheidszorg is bijna 2 keer zo duur als bij ons, maar 4 miljoen Amerikanen zijn onverzekerd. Ruim 17 procent leeft onder de armoedegrens.

Is dit het model dat we willen navolgen ? Zijn we ons ervan bewust dat we dit model steeds meer navolgen ?

Do we care ? Are we informed ? Do we want to be informed ? Can we be informed ? Is it easier to do MO (midden oosten (about 10 years now) ) and MOE (midden/oost europa (yep it’s just begun !)) and PIIGS (Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece, Spain) bashing ?