As usual the media has got it wrong, the Greek crisis is not about people protesting because they want more handouts and bailouts…they’re protesting because they don’t want more bailouts. They don’t want their government and the banking elite stealing any more of their money, taking on more debt just to make sure billionaire investors don’t lose a little money (the latest package is $5 billion in debt and $48 billion in interest). This is a battle for democracy itself in the very cradle of the place that invented the idea 2000 years ago: on one side of the barricades are the ruling elite, police, and bankers, on the other side are the people. A must-read article by a Greek who actually knows what he’s talking about:
Nassim Taleb authored a book about “Black Swans”, unimaginable events that regularly torpedo all previous thinking and theories, whether in science or certainly in finance. He was asked whether the Greek riots could be called a “black swan”. He replied “No…I think the real Black Swan is not that they’re rioting in Greece, but that they’re not rioting in London and New York.”
While I’m on a roll, let me say that I think there’s a simple term that describes the Obama Administration (for whom I had happily voted). That term is: morally bankrupt. The only way the American people have a say as to whether their nation goes to war is via Congress, luckily that power is not supposed to reside with some sort of imperial (tyrannical? crazy?) president. Right now at last count the U.S. is lobbing bombs at no fewer than 5 different sovereign nations, with 30-40 U.S. missions per day bombing Libya. But neither Congress nor that inconvenient group known as “the people” have approved these actions. That’s because Obama insists that these wars, all the killing, crushing, and destroying of innocent people (last weekend it was babies in Tripoli), do not meet the definition of “combat”. Apparently blithely bombing other nations at will is no longer the same as going to war with those nations. Obama says that’s because the launching of these killer robot missiles, antiseptically done by some pimply-faced youth in a bunker in Virginia, does not put said youth at risk, and since his life is not at risk, it’s not called a “war”.
Morally bankrupt pretty well describes that reasoning IMO.
Of course the real problem comes when the other side gets killer robot missiles of their own. Maybe they’ll decide Ben Bernanke or the mayor of San Francisco or Obama himself are bad and must die. That’s when it really gets interesting, we’ll see how we like it when we get a taste of our own medicine.