Sometimes, the Orwellian nature of ‘news’ these days can convince even canny old hounds like me that I’ve got it wrong. And at other times (like today, Friday 26th October 2012) nothing can do so. The trick is to hold onto one’s sanity – and ignore the bollocks strewn hither and thither in one’s careering path.

Let us review empirically what happened today, and ignore the false reality of those who choose to ignore reality on the Editor’s orders.

This from Ekathimerini Friday morning:

‘Greek debt will be above the target of 120% of GDP in 2020, a preliminary report by the IMF shows, and Athens will need more reforms before emergency credit from international lenders can start flowing again.
Excerpts from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) report were presented to the Eurogroup Working Group (EWG) – junior finance ministers and treasury officials who prepare meetings of eurozone finance ministers.’

As a result of this leak, the EWG session was hastily abandoned and then ‘unhappened’. The Greek and EU press then went “lalalalalalalaaaah” a lot during the afternoon.

But the dear old Daily Telegraph Crisis column remained a beacon of reality once more. Late Friday morning, it ran this telling piece:

‘Europe must stop its “salami style” approach to the Greek crisis and completely write-off the country’s debt so that it can focus on reviving economic growth, according to Citigroup’s chief economist Willem Buiter. He told Bloomberg:

“I would like to see an effective write-off of most of the Greek remaining sovereign debt. That’s where Greece is going to end up in any case. You might as well bring the moment of full deleveraging forward – get on with the job of stimulating demand rather than have this done salami style over three or four years.”

Mr Buiter remained sceptical that Greece could remain in the euro without some official sector involvement. He said:

“I myself continue to be unconvinced that the funding, the non-market funding, necessary to keep Greece on board will be available. It can only come from the official creditors or from the ECB….and neither of them seem to be willing to play.”‘

At 11.05 pm BST this Friday night, these are the facts:

1. This leak from the Troika document presented to the EWG is genuine and accepted by all sane parties: ‘New prior actions will be needed, on top of the existing [ones] before any new tranches of eurozone and IMF emergency loans to Greece can be paid.

2. That means either something drastic must change between now and November 16th to give Greece that funding, or the country will default.

3. The EWG will meet again on Monday. As nothing will have changed by then, the eurozone FinMin must either consign Greece to the euro-dustbin, or grant it funds from the EFSF/ESM.

4. At some point between last Sunday – when all parties to the Athens talks seemed happy that a deal had been done – and the following Wednesday, a combo of the Berlin government and the ECB in Frankfurt began denying that any deal had been done. Thursday night, Antonis Samaras still felt he had a deal. But at some time just before or after that, the Troika presented its negative view to the EWG.

For most of Friday, all the mainstream press everywhere ignored the blindingly obvious mismatch between Greek expectations and Troika report. This process continues as I write. And that followed a deeply suspicious denial last weekend by Berlin (recorded at the time by The Slog) that there would be an EWG meeting about Greek progress at all this week.

To read the Greek press tonight, you’d think there was nothing to be concerned about at all. As one of my most trusted and admired correspondents emailed me this evening:

‘Bravo for your breaking news, a scoop  – in comparison the Greek news 6 hrs later was surreal – boiled eyed, upbeat, throwaway. Everything fine! Labour issue to Monday! EWG – yawn – Wednesday! Schäuble, yawn! Reuters, yawn! Greece is stressed to death, beyond exhaustion, non-responsive to threat, adrenals don’t function and who bloody cares anymore.  Greece can rebuild itself from top to bottom, stand on its head, breed singing hippopotamuses, become Switzerland – but whatever we do is not going to make one blind bit of difference to the real Eurozone problems and the huge Euro catastrophe heading straight towards all of us.’

This is as square a hammer-bang on the nail as I’ve read in weeks.

I too am knackered. I’ve been up since 3 am this morning, and like most Greeks and Brits of all classes, I’m sick to death of the eurozone and its Franco-German-Goldman Sachs tri-schizoid denialism of the inevitable. I just wish my own – and the Athens – government had the balls to tell the truth and diverge from the Stepford-Wife madness of  this never-ending Dance of Death.

51 thoughts on “SPECIAL SLOG EDITORIAL: Is it me?

  1. Spot on, John, This is becoming (or perhaps has been for some time) a classic case of Bullsh*t Baffling Brains. Stay well in order to see the end game. Perhaps it is time for one of your walks. I always enjoy reading about them. I can relate.


  2. Go to bed. Don’t get attached to this problem. Sleep and relax.

    Read Eckhart Tolle “The Power of Now.”

    Sign up for tomorrows live streaming of David Ickes Wembley presentation from 10am for eleven hours for 15 quid… that will take your mind off Greece for a while!


  3. According to David Icke, Ted Heath was apparently a shape shifting satanic reptilian paedophile supplied with young boys from childrens homes to his yacht as weekend treats by Jimmy Savile.

    What can I say! Tune in if you want to hear it from David Icke direct live! Or you have up to 30 days to see what he has to say.


  4. Perhaps you do have it wrong.
    Having read you for awhile, I see you insist that no overarching “conspiracy” for a NWO is in play by the owners of the big banks.
    And yet, what? you can’t quite bring yourself to believe ‘your lying eyes’.

    Apply this litmus test to events: does or doesn’t it give evermore power to an unelected coterie of unelected bankster puppets (and I refer to those both within the UK, EU and the U.S).

    You do a yeoman’s job John Ward, but methinks you wear blinders and perhaps, are fearful to the extent and horror with the scope of the truth.


  5. A handful of idealogically committed europhiles in media and politics determined to bang a square peg into a round hole despite all logic and reason and completely uncaring about the consequences for everyone else.


  6. ….Just wish my own – and the Athens – government had the balls…..

    Dear John our Collaborating Traitors only have extra large ash-holes.


  7. gonads
    But apart from that, what does Ikey think of Sailor Ted?
    As for Herr Tolle, his book is never far from my bedside, and so I read the part about everything being a confection of the mind. It never fails to make me feel better, which may be sad or wise of me – I’, never entirely sure.


  8. ‘Europe must stop its “salami style” approach to the Greek crisis and completely write-off the country’s debt so that it can focus on reviving economic growth

    That is all well and good to say, the problem is one of fear of the consequences. These are politicians, career bureaucrats. Their salami style approach is due to them not being able to think in any other fashion. They have no overview because they cannot see it, or conceive of it.

    Germany does not think like the English or the Americans. You have proved that you do not appreciate this since you managed to misinterpret the German summer holidays. That to any German was not something that needed “evidence” because it was self-evident. They did not need “evidence” because it is imbibed with their mother’s milk that you have a factories fortnight at some point in August. The issue here is that the Englishman demands different portions of the evidence than a German or a Frenchman. That is why they always reach different conclusions from the “same” evidence.

    Which brings me on to how Germany thinks about the Eurozone. That their approach is as useful as that of the American banker is neither here nor there – they are both part of the problem. Greece on accepting the terms of the Eurozone was expected to respect them. They were not expected to misuse each and every opportunity and borrow their way out of a problem in the way of the Treasury. They were expected to behave. That they are incapable of this is a very real problem. They would misbehave in or out of the eurozone. Outside of it, that would lead the markets to line up in the way of the European bureaucrats and hold them to account.

    The issue here, which has not been discussed, is of the commoditization of industrial production. Making it cheaper in other words. Greece cannot live like China – the ultimate commodity system where people work for nothing and live in long grey barracks. If you want to compete by always making yourself cheaper – or by devaluing your currency in the Anglo-Saxon model – you are asking for trouble. If the issue is about money, it is the wrong question. You need to side-step this and use some imagination.


  9. Fascinating analysis….
    we have concluded that if November passes without incident, this eurozone flight of fancy will have been presumed to have reached cruising altitude, and out of sight, out of mind, and money off the table.


  10. I agree, JW. Is’nt it that feeling that “All the World is Mad but Thee and Me….and even Thou art but a little Mad?” Instead of listening to BBC news for the latest information, I now find myself taking notice of whatever they leave out, and wondering why. Even the DT Debt Crisis Live regularly ignores important breaking stories not only from the likes of The Slog or ZeroHedge but from Reuters and Bloomburg too……or at best they report the report, rather than investigating and looking for confirming sources.

    A couple of years ago, when I was in Athens, I made the massive Faux Pas of suggesting that Greece should Default, get out of the Euro and that it would be well on its way to recovery by 2013-4….You could have heard a pin drop ! …..Different today maybe, but many Greeks I know in the UK and out there still firmly believe that their country must keep the Euro, even though it is literally killing some of them.

    Earlier this year, a German friend came to stay with us, very bright, switched on and well read, but who had no idea whatsoever of the bills that Geli and Wolfie were running up or the ever increasing liabilities that German taxpayers were facing whether the Euro survived or not….they’d paid out about EUR 100B in Bale Outs and that was going to be it.

    We have to face it that most folks, probably anywhere in Europe, believe only what they find in their MSM …..and thats all……as others have rightly commented, this is how most populations (and voters) are controlled in 2012. Any of us who question what the MSM ‘feed us’ or step out of line with dire warnings for the short term future of the EU, or question whether our Bankers and Politicans “Halos” are real, should expect nothing more than to be labled “Crazy Voices in the Wilderness”.


  11. Its fast becoming like trying to herd cats through a minefield. Conventional wisdom (and past experience) says that the Troika lacks the ability or wisdom to see it through safely. IE hunker down everybody, the moment may have arrived.

    And the MSM should continue in the same vein, there’s no chance they’ll suddenly develop a social conscience and actually follow their remit. Post disaster, their powers will wain significantly, it will be richly rewarding to see their role in this clusterf**k exposed.

    Long piano wire and stocks (the torture contraption, not wall st junk!)


  12. 11 hours of David Icke! What a treat.

    Alternatively everyone should read “Propaganda” by Edward Bernays. That really does tell you how things work.


  13. She knows f*** all about China as well.

    Both they and the Germans are engaged in an insane form of vendor financing which makes sense only to morons.


  14. Sebastian

    it may only make sense to morons, the problem is that the bankers and financiers seem to like making a profit from them doing that.

    I am sure that if Britain were doing it, you would have a different viewpoint.


  15. OT … the buttonwood conference is very interesting. on zero hedge.

    PS:John – can i say how amazing you are. you have a magnificent mind and astonishing ability to write. hope you’re getting enough rest.


  16. Chris,

    the problem for Europe is how to deal with these debts.

    As Borjesson said, the EU will stay together until the dollar implodes – at least the Europeans are trying to do something. The Americans are doing what all Anglo-Saxon bankers like doing: inventing money and thus avoid dealing with the problem at all.


  17. Bang on there Graham. The BBC is just another arm of the state – telling us what the government wants us to know. It’s playing on it’s “Worldwide ” reputation for truthfulness and fairness. Sad thing is that most people still believe it’s output. Couple that with the MSM output and you’ve a population which largly dosen’t know what’s really going on.


  18. Gemma you must have read James Dimon’s comments recently ” the europeans want but they can’t , americans can but they don’t want “


  19. You’re correct Graham – many if not most Greeks don’t want to leave the Euro at all.

    On the islands the main reason is that most of their wealth is kept in cash and buried amongst the olive trees – exchanging rolls of 100/500 Euro notes for a new currency would attract attention that they simply don’t want,


  20. Pingback: THE SATURDAY ESSAY: For as long as it’s legal, gold is to have and to hold. | A diary of deception and distortion

  21. bubble

    Indeed, but look through the ages, and a similar pattern emerges – the moment an ideologically unshakeable clique gain power, the world goes pear-shaped for everyone else. The problem isn’t with the people, it’s with the system which allows this type of people to rise to positions of power.


  22. The ultimate problem is that people are not the same. Greeks don’t want to be Germans, Italians don’t want to be French, and nobody wants to be British. Then of course there is the American conceit that the entire middle east wants to be a western style democracy….

    The senior western policy makers of the world have foisted the self serving idea that they can be the glue that holds the various tribes together on the political classes – and voila! Brussels. This “one size fits all” worldview is stupid, wrong and destructive.

    Each country has its own problems and needs to develop its own coping strategies. Tax evasion makes a lot of sense if the system you are funding is corrupt. Banking with the Italian mafia makes sense in Italy, they give the best rates and customer service. We all do things that seem daft to others but that make sense to us.

    Conformity to an imposed model designed by bureaucrats is not only impossible but a death sentence. To put it another way, would anyone really want to holiday in Greece if the Greeks all behaved like Germans? Can anyone believe the chaos in Britain if the British decided to emulate the French?*

    We have had this “international brotherhood” crap before. We should be celebrating our differences, not trying to suppress them.

    *and of course god help anyone who tried to emulate Australians.


  23. Somehow that feels more like it…..just can’t buy “Illuminati”. To which I’d add, complicated by un-admitted banking holes of stratospheric proportions.


  24. Pingback: John Ward – The Saturday Essay : For As Long As It’s Legal, Gold Is To Have And To Hold – 27 October 2012 | Lucas 2012 Infos

  25. Clearly it needs to be explained (yet again) to the vacuous. The Chinese are engaged in mercantilism. But their target (America) has no money so they print dollars electronically which the Chinese buy. So China is lending the US money to buy Chinese goods. This works great until the currency collapses at which point China is screwed.

    Germany is even stupider. They are keeping the periphery locked into an unsustainable currency union which makes BMWs cheap. This can work if they give money to the periphery to buy BMWs. (Germans already have enough cars, so they have to export to keep everyone in a job, you see.) But rather than continuing the merry-go-round by vendor financing, ooh, let’s see – Spain, for example, so they can continue buying BMWs, they’ve decided to view it as a morality play rather than a structural problem in the currency union so they’re switching off the cash. This will screw everyone in the end, including the Krauts.

    Q. What’s the difference between Germany and Spain?
    A. Before the Euro crisis Spain had a surplus.

    Further difference: when Germany broke the rules on deficits and borrowing, nothing happened. When others do it the Communist hausfrau screws them to the wall.

    That’s Germans in a nutshell. At your feet or at your throat.


  26. Meanwhile we are plying them with endless subsidies. Reasonable? I think not. Let’s do the accounts properly, including all the off the books activity.


  27. No, John isn’t wrong, it is just that we are in the midst of perhaps one of the biggest social/power sea changes in 500 years, and, since it is about communication, voting, political power and mandate and the Internet -v- the printing-press … elites -v- the majority it will be “interesting’.

    I travel very widely, in Europe and in the new world and uniformly people are becoming aware that their government fails them, but worse despises them and plays them for a fool generating “bread and circus” events like football and faux news like savile.

    Mean while, and very reminiscent of the French Revolution, the elites are deaf and dismissive … Those who remember or understood the history of Kristenacht will understand ho quickly the real world can effect change.

    MFG, omb


  28. You really have to engage your brain before you type. “Claptrap” – which facts do you dispute?

    I suspect your rabid teutonophilia, combined with a past on stolen black African land, betray an unpleasant mindset which we eradicated in Europe in 1945.


  29. TRG
    you forgot to invert my Gravatar. You will give yourself away as someone who actually knows how to fake it, like Sebbie with his one-legged business.


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