The Greek Deal Is a Disaster for Greece, and Maybe for Europe –

For years, Greece’s negotiations with its European creditors have featured moments in which all parties stare into the abyss, fear what they see, and step back to reach a deal.

On Monday, there was yet another deal. But this time it is one that pushes Greece into the abyss, even if financial markets don’t acknowledge it just yet and even if what happens next is deeply uncertain.

Greece already has 26 percent unemployment, a tourism industry that is suffering as would-be visitors stay away, and banks and a stock market that have been closed going on three weeks. Just a week ago, its voters overwhelmingly rejected a bailout offer that was less punitive than the one its leaders just accepted.

via The Greek Deal Is a Disaster for Greece, and Maybe for Europe –

Just Say No | Robert Kuttner

The No vote to austerity by a margin of 62 to 38 is a stunning vindication of Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsiprass tactical gamble and political savvy. However, the Greeks and the austerity-mongers, most notably in Germany, remain as far apart as ever.The press and the European financial elite played Tsiprass surprise referendum as reckless and suicidal. Much of the E.U. establishment was savoring a Yes vote, a Tsipras resignation, and a new center-right unity government as enablers of austerity. But Tsipras demonstrated that he has a far surer grasp of his own people than the Berlin-Brussels echo chamber.The elite press has tended to play this tragedy as a case of Greek self-destruction. The larger story, in truth, is the self-destruction of the European Union.In the short run, the Greek No vote has smoked out the true goals of the worst of the austerity faction such as German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble — to force Greece out of the Eurozone. Schauble, abetted by much of the financial press, tried to redefine the referendum as a vote on whether Greece should keep the euro.

via Just Say No | Robert Kuttner.

Greek economy close to collapse as food and medicine run short | World news | The Guardian

Greece’s economy is on the brink of collapse after the capital controls imposed ahead of Sunday’s referendum left the country with shortages of food and drugs, the tourist industry facing a wave of cancellations and banks with barely enough money to survive the weekend.

Banks said they had a €1bn cash buffer to see them through the weekend – equal to just €90 (£64) a head for the 11 million-strong population – and would require immediate help from the European Central Bank on Monday whatever the result of the referendum, in which the two sides are running neck and neck.

via Greek economy close to collapse as food and medicine run short | World news | The Guardian.

Petition · End the Inhumane Treatment of Greece ·

Petition · End the Inhumane Treatment of Greece ·

90% of the “bail-out” money went to French and German banks, not to the Greek people.  Please support this petition to end the inhumane treatment of the Greek people.

Recap: How Markets Reacted to the Turmoil in Greece – MoneyBeat – WSJ

Markets around the world reacted strongly Monday to the latest twists and turns in the drama playing out in Greece. Stocks tumbled from Hong Kong to London, gold and U.S. Treasurys strengthened as investors looked for safety, and the euro actually rose.

The gyrations came amid news that Greek banks will stay closed for six days, and the country’s central bank has moved to impose capital controls, in a bid to prevent a severely battered banking system from collapsing completely.

Over the weekend, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras shocked European policy makers by announcing the country will hold a referendum on whether to accept the terms of Greece’s creditors to unlock desperately needed financial aid.

It now looks almost inevitable that Greece will default on a €1.54 billion ($1.69 billion) payment due to the International Monetary Fund on Tuesday. Much is at stake beyond the IMF’s balance sheet. What happens to Greece itself? What happens to the euro, a purportedly unbreakable currency union, and the Continent’s attempt to recreate itself as a global economic superpower? What happens in the capital markets, which have feasted on cheap debt and assumed all risks were contained?

via Recap: How Markets Reacted to the Turmoil in Greece – MoneyBeat – WSJ.

Taxation Without Representation | Josh Silver

Today, millions of Americans will begrudgingly pay their taxes to a government that does not inspire confidence. With public trust in government at near historic lows, many Americans believe that their elected representatives don’t care what the average citizen thinks.

Unfortunately, they’re right.

For the vast majority of Americans, “taxation without representation” isn’t just a relic of high school social studies — it’s a perfect description of their relationship with a political system that’s been thoroughly corrupted by money.

via Taxation Without Representation | Josh Silver.

$14 Million an Hour for 13 Years: War on Terrors Astounding Cost | Alternet

December 29, 2014  |     In the 13 years since 9/11, the United States’ “war on terror” could be considered a failure. ISIS swept aside the US-backed Iraqi army earlier this year, the Taliban still launches deadly attacks, including an assault on a school last month that killed 145 people, and American interventions only seem to worsen sectarian bloodshed in the region.The geopolitical disaster has come at a tremendous cost to American taxpayers, according to a recently released report by the Congressional Research Service, a non-partisan government organization. The report estimated that since 9/11, American taxpayers have shelled out close to $1.6 trillion on war spending (that’s $14 million an hour), with almost 95 percent of that money going to projects related to Iraq and Afghanistan.

via $14 Million an Hour for 13 Years: War on Terrors Astounding Cost | Alternet.