|The Neoliberal Monster: Die Slowly or Die Quickly, Just Surrender Already|
Puppetized Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is either being hailed as a steely pragmatic operator, pitied as a pathetic beaten dog, or damned as a rich phony who brought a latte to a knife fight.
The New York Times is certainly confused. Juxtaposed with a stunning front-page photo of a starving woman collapsed on the street is a Panglossian, even cheery, article about Greeks sipping their lattes and waxing rueful-to-hopeful:
Jubilation, almost immediately followed by wariness, filled the streets as Greeks learned of the agreement in Brussels early Monday.Many people were having their midmorning cafe frappé, while others were standing in the ubiquitous bank lines, as the news spread that after a week of agony — a tense referendum, sparring political rallies, bank closings — and a weekend of all-nighters in the Greek Parliament and among the eurozone leaders, a deal to address the country’s debt crisis and keep it in the eurozone had been reached.
|(Thanassis Stavrakis/Associated Press)|
Wait till they find out that they can't use their dwindling Euros to make online purchases any more, and the wariness will escalate faster than they can order a double latte or collapse on the street from illness or hunger. Will Starbucks establish a concession next door to the Goldman Sachs Acropolis? Will American fast food multinationals start a greedwashing campaign urging euro-an-hour baristas to tell customers to embrace the multicultural suck as they help drive locally-owned tavernas out of business?
This is a nation in numbed shock. Is it proper even to call it a nation any more? It's sort of a hybrid between a failed state and ripe, paralyzed prey for Romneyesque vulture capitalists. Think of Greece as a Staples chain with a lot of soon-to-be privatized beaches for the pleasure of the oligarchs.
Given that the marathon negotiating session leading to the deal has been likened to a mental waterboarding of Tsipras, I wonder if the corrupt American Psychological Association was brought in as an enhanced sadism technical adviser. You really have to hand it to Tsipras, though: he exhibited no outward, physical signs of cracking as he capitulated to the demands of the global oligarchy.
Meanwhile, more people are starting to talk about the Goldman Sachs connection. MoveOn, that erstwhile smarmy veal pen for Democrats, is even starting an ad campaign lambasting Wall Street's role in the manufactured Greek crisis. Robert Reich writes,
People seem to forget that the Greek debt crisis—which is becoming a European and even possibly a world economic crisis—grew out of a deal with Goldman Sachs, engineered by Goldman’s Lloyd Blankfein.
Several years ago, Blankfein and his Goldman team helped Greece hide the true extent of its debt—and in the process almost doubled it. When the first debt deal was struck in 2001, Greece owed about 600 million euros ($793 million) more than the 2.8 billion euros it had borrowed. Goldman then cooked up an off-the-books derivative for Greece that disguised the shortfall but increased the government’s losses to 5.1 billion euros.Reich didn't mention that Hillary Clinton's son-in-law, a Goldman alum, is in the cabal of hedge fund predators which stands to profit from the most recent bailout (of creditors and investors, not ordinary Greek citizens.) He didn't mention that Hillary Clinton has collected huge speaking fees from Goldman or that her family's slush fund charity has humanized Blankfein as an honored "thought leader."
Hillary was slated to deliver her own populist economic manifesto today, albeit with little to no mention of either Wall Street or the economic coup against Greece. I'll write more about her verbiage later.
|Lloyd and Hillary Share a Tender Cackle|