Category Archives: Διακυβέρνηση (ΕΕ & παγκόσμια)

Against Supranationalism: A Defence of National Sovereignty and Brexit

As the academic and author John Laughland recounts in his enlightening 1997 book, The Tainted Source: The Undemocratic Origins of the European Idea, the standard view of the Nazis as hysterical nationalists that exalted the nation-state is grossly mistaken. ‘[F]ar from exalting the nation-state, fascists generally hated it’, Laughland writes. ‘[T]he rejection of the sovereign nation-state as a viable political and economic entity on its own was explicit in Nazi and fascist thought’.[5] Even more interesting (and unsettling) is the fact that they rejected national sovereignty for the very same reasons that contemporary thinkers and commentators reject national sovereignty – for being ‘out of date’. Much like contemporary supranationalists, fascists were obsessed with modern technology and economic interdependence:

One of the main reasons why fascists were convinced that the nation-state was at an end was because of technological development. They felt that notions of national sovereignty were simply anachronistic in a modern world with an interdependent economy, international transport, and electronic telecommunications.[6]

Camillo Pellizzi, a leading fascist intellectual of the time, for instance, argued: ‘No single European nation can hope even now, still less in the future, to compete in military, economic or cultural matters with the great forces that are coming to birth or are already in being outside Europe’.[7] For this reason, the Nazis believed that ‘the development towards larger units’ was economically inevitable.[8] To that end, they proposed the creation of a new European economic order to do away with ‘the economic Balkanisation of Europe’.[9] Here the similarities between Nazi thought and the pro-Europeanism of our own day are the most striking. In 1940, Hermann Göring, president of the Reichstag, laid out a detailed plan for ‘the large-scale economic unification of Europe’.[10] This included the creation of a customs union, a single European market, a European clearing system and the establishment of fixed exchange rates between countries, ‘looking towards a European currency union’.[11] But Nazi plans for European integration were as political as they were economic. As Heinrich Hunke, president of the Berlin Union of Businessmen and Industrialists, said: ‘The necessity of a political order for the economic co-operation of peoples is recognised’.[12] The ultimate aim, according to Hunke, was the establishment of ‘political union in Europe’.[13]

via Against Supranationalism: A Defence of National Sovereignty and Brexit

Μια σχεδόν άγνωστη συνθήκη καθιστά την ενεργειακή πολιτική όμηρο των πολυεθνικών – του Μιχάλη Γιαννεσκή

Η ενεργειακή πολιτική πολλών κρατών τελεί υπό την ομηρία των πολυεθνικών εδώ και 20 χρόνια. Διότι στην ουσία αυτό εξασφαλίζει η Συνθήκη του «Ενεργειακού Χάρτη», η οποία έχει διαφύγει της προσοχής του κοινού. Όταν απειλούνται οι επενδύσεις ή τα κέρδη των πολυεθνικών που δραστηριοποιούνται στον τομέα της ενέργειας σε μια χώρα που δεσμεύεται από τη Συνθήκη, η κυβέρνησή της αναγκάζεται να αποζημιώσει τις εταιρείες ή να τροποποιήσει την πολιτική της. Μέχρι σήμερα, διάφορες εταιρείες έχουν εισπράξει συνολικά ως αποζημιώσεις 51 δισεκατομμύρια δολάρια από κρατικά κονδύλια.

via Μια σχεδόν άγνωστη συνθήκη καθιστά την ενεργειακή πολιτική όμηρο των πολυεθνικών – του Μιχάλη Γιαννεσκή

The European Stability Mechanism (ESM): no democracy at the bailout fund | Corporate Europe Observatory

Yet up until now it seems that the ESM has followed its Managing Director Klaus Regling’s personal stance on transparency, expressed at a conference on the IMF over a decade ago: “there is a trade-off between transparency and efficiency[…] In an emergency, the fund has to be able to act quickly even if that reduced the understanding of outsiders.” The ESM seems to suffer from a permanent state of emergency, as the complete lack of transparency is ongoing.

via The European Stability Mechanism (ESM): no democracy at the bailout fund | Corporate Europe Observatory

ΣΠΥΡΟΣ ΛΑΒΔΙΩΤΗΣ | Essays on the Economy


June 24 Μέρος 8ο: Το SWAP 2001 της Goldman Sachs

June 15 Επεξηγηματική Ανασκόπηση: Το Έτος της Στατιστικής Αλχημείας 2009

June 1 Μέρος 7ο: Το Έτος της Στατιστικής Αλχημείας 2009

May 31 Μέρος 6ο: Το Πρόβλημα του Ελληνικού Δημοσίου Χρέους

May 27 Μέρος 5ο: Το Πρόβλημα του Ελληνικού Δημοσίου Χρέους

May 24 Μέρος 4ο: Το Πρόβλημα του Ελληνικού Δημοσίου Χρέους

May 6 Μέρος 3ο: Το Πρόβλημα του Ελληνικού Δημοσίου Χρέους

May 1 Μέρος 2ο: Το Πρόβλημα του Ελληνικού Δημοσίου Χρέους

Apr 24 Το Πρόβλημα του Ελληνικού Δημοσίου Χρέους

Apr 16 Είναι ρεαλιστική η «καθαρή έξοδος» από τα Μνημόνια;

Mar 10 Υπάρχει Έξοδος από την Κρίση;

Feb 13 Χρήσιμες Επισημάνσεις επί των Τραπεζών και Δημοσίου Χρέους

Feb 8 Μάαστριχτ και τα Παρεπόμενα

via Spiros | Essays on the Economy

Meet the Economist Behind the One Percent’s Stealth Takeover of America

To put the success into perspective, MacLean points to the fact that Henry Manne, whom Buchanan was instrumental in hiring, created legal programs for law professors and federal judges which could boast that by 1990 two of every five sitting federal judges had participated. “40 percent of the U.S. federal judiciary,” writes MacLean, “had been treated to a Koch-backed curriculum.”

MacLean illustrates that in South America, Buchanan was able to first truly set his ideas in motion by helping a bare-knuckles dictatorship ensure the permanence of much of the radical transformation it inflicted on a country that had been a beacon of social progress. The historian emphasizes that Buchanan’s role in the disastrous Pinochet government of Chile has been underestimated partly because unlike Milton Friedman, who advertised his activities, Buchanan had the shrewdness to keep his involvement quiet. With his guidance, the military junta deployed public choice economics in the creation of a new constitution, which required balanced budgets and thereby prevented the government from spending to meet public needs.

via Meet the Economist Behind the One Percent’s Stealth Takeover of America

The Real Cause of the Italian Bank Bailouts and Euro Banking Troubles

The clear winner of the banking union has been the German banking system: All German banks, but especially the small and medium ones, who benefitted from the establishment of a 30 billion euro balance sheet floor for banks to be subjected to ECB supervision. To obtain such condition as part of the first pillar, German minister of Finance Wolfgang Schäuble threatened to veto the banking union project as a whole, and it is no mystery that he was thinking precisely about banks such as the relative small Sparkassen (savings banks).

Of the 417 Sparkassen, only one is under the supervision of the ECB today; we are talking about banks that count for the 22.3% of the loans in that country for a total of 1000 billion euro.

But this is not the only way these public banks, traditionally tied to the German ruling party CDU, were protected. At least two other ways deserve mention.

The first is how the so-called Institutional Protection Schemes (IPS) were kept outside the European regulation. IPS are systems of mutual protection and guarantees of the associate banks, regulated via a contract. They exist in Germany (Sparkassen and Volksbanken), Austria (Raiffeisen banks) and Spain (saving banks). IPS aren‘t banking groups, nor banks networks. Hence, they are not directly under the European discipline—the European Directive on capital requirements [CRD IV] does not even mention them—nor the Basel Accords. This is how Thomas Stern, expert for banking regulation at the Austrian Financial Markets Authorities, characterized the situation: “The decision of the European legislator to not extend the regulation about capital and liquidity to the IPS is remarkable and hard to understand from a prudential point of view.” Stern wrote these lines in 2014, but the situation is hardly improved since then.

via The Real Cause of the Italian Bank Bailouts and Euro Banking Troubles

DERIVATIVES — Suhail Malik and Ulf Martin (September 2016) – Pseudorational Control and the Magma of Reality – The Ontology of Finance: Price, Power, and the Arkhéderivative – YouTube

Martin, Ulf. 2016. Pseudorational Control and the Magma of Reality. Unpublished paper presented at the Department of Political Science, York University, September 27: 1-37.


The Ontology of Finance: Price, Power, and the Arkhéderivative


via DERIVATIVES — Suhail Malik and Ulf Martin (September 2016) – YouTube

Μια αποκαλυπτική συνέντευξη της Μαρίας Εφίμοβα που λογοκρίθηκε

Όλο εκείνο το διάστημα, η Identity Malta δεν είχε εκδώσει την κάρτα παραμονής μου και η τράπεζα εξακολουθούσε να τo χρησιμοποιεί αυτό.

Στα τέλη του Φεβρουαρίου του 2016, όταν ήμουν ήδη εκεί για 6 βδομάδες, η Pilatus Bank έλαβε επίσημη ειδοποίηση από τη Μονάδα Οικονομικών Αναλύσεων (Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit), που έλεγε ότι οι ερευνητές της θα επισκέπτονταν την τράπεζα για ελεγκτικούς σκοπούς. Μετά από μια-δυο μέρες αφού είχε έρθει αυτό το γράμμα, η υπεύθυνη της τράπεζας για τις προετοιμασίες γνωριμίας με τους πελάτες, τη συνέπεια και τις συναλλαγές, ξαφνικά παραιτήθηκε και έφυγε, χωρίς καν να ενημερώσει. Θεώρησα πως αυτό ήταν ένα κακό σημάδι.

Ο κ. Ghanbari μου ζήτησε να αναλάβω το πόστο της μέχρι η τράπεζα να βρει αντικαταστάτη. Του είπα πως αυτό ήταν αδύνατο, καθώς το συμβόλαιό μου ήταν αυτό ενός εκτελεστικού βοηθού και ένας εκτελεστικός βοηθός δεν θα μπορούσε να γίνει υπεύθυνος για τη θέση της προετοιμασίας γνωριμιών των πελατών, της συνέπειας και της παρακολούθησης των συναλλαγών. Ακόμα δεν είχα πληρωθεί – μου χρωστούσαν μισθό 6 εβδομάδων – και ο κ. Ghanbari μου είπε πως αν ήθελα να δω τα λεφτά μου θα έπρεπε να συμφωνήσω. Ανησύχησα πολύ με αυτή την εξέλιξη.

via Μια αποκαλυπτική συνέντευξη της Μαρίας Εφίμοβα που λογοκρίθηκε

Σπαν: «Δεν θέλω να ανοίξουν σαμπάνιες στον Αλ.Τσίπρα»

Παραμένουν οι «βασικές αρχές» της πολιτικής Σόιμπλε

Σε αυτές τις ανησυχίες που εκφράζονται από πολλούς στο CDU αναφέρεται στην κυριακάτικη Welt ο υπουργός Καγκελαρίας και έμπιστος της Άγγελα Μέρκελ Πέτερ Αλτμάιερ. Ενώ αναγνωρίζει πως τα χριστιανικά κόμματα αντιλαμβάνονταν το υπουργείο Οικονομικών ως «κομμάτι της δικής τους ταυτότητα», διαβεβαιώνει παράλληλα πως στη συμφωνία για το σχηματισμό κυβέρνησης συνασπισμού με τους σοσιαλδημοκράτες «προστέθηκαν όλες οι αναγκαίες ασφαλιστικές δικλείδες για να συνεχιστεί η πολιτική του Βόλφγκανγκ Σόιμπλε. Για το κάθε ευρώ που θα ξοδεύεται, την κάθε απόφαση που θα λαμβάνεται στις Βρυξέλλες θα πρέπει να αποφασίζει το σύνολο της κυβέρνησης», επισημαίνει. Και «γι αυτόν τον λόγο» καταλήγει ο κ. Άλτμάιερ «το CDU εγγυάται, πως οι βασικές αρχές μας θα τηρούνται και μελλοντικά».

via Σπαν: «Δεν θέλω να ανοίξουν σαμπάνιες στον Αλ.Τσίπρα»

Financial Secrecy Index 2018

Financial Secrecy Index 2018

via Financial Secrecy Index 2018 – Tax Justice Network

The Future Of Europe – A Space For The Social Policy Avant-Garde

The goals via this new course must be:

A well-balanced welfare-orientated economic policy geared to correcting the inequities of distribution, the eradication of (youth) unemployment and the creation of quality jobs, social and ecologically sustainable investments and protection of the welfare state. Its central element is boosting domestic demand through a productivity-driven wages policy as well as an adequate co-ordination of fiscal policy;
Introduction of a ‘golden rule of fiscal policy’ whereby member states win room for public investments for the future; coupled with an investment offensive (cf DGB-Marshall Plan for Europe) as well as the ETUC Investment Plan for Sustainable Growth and Quality Jobs);
Embedding a ‘protocol for social progress’ within EU primary law which prevents the deregulation of the fundamental freedoms in the area of labour and social law along with the principle “equal pay and equal working conditions for the same work at the same place of work”;
Expanding the social dialogue, extending co-determination, in particular, a directive on the protection of co-determination in cross-border headquarter relocations and the restoration, stablisation and strengthening of free collective bargaining.

via The Future Of Europe – A Space For The Social Policy Avant-Garde

Retooling Social Europe Via Charters Of Rights

The power of accession

The EU could accede to the European Social Charter on the basis of Article 216 (1) TFEU. The idea of accession was also mentioned in 1984, when the European Parliament adopted the Draft Treaty Establishing the European Union, widely referred to as the “Spinelli Treaty”. Chapter 1 (Article 4. 2) refers to “economic social and cultural rights derived from the Constitutions of the Member States and from the European Social Charter”. Initiatives taken during the political run-up to embracing accession may play positively within European public opinion, as these would undoubtedly indicate that the EU is equally committed to the establishment of the internal market, and the creation of an area of freedom, security and justice, including social justice, where egalitarianism prevails in terms of civil, political, economic and social rights.
Window of opportunity

The incomplete project of constitutionalisation of social rights should come to a final conclusion. The European commitment to social rights is essentially rhetorical in nature, being through the years the Achilles heel of “Social Europe”. On that basis, the political and economic conditions may be propitious to reversing the downturn of the social rights. Given that the ultra-critical UK is no longer an “antagonist” of Social Europe owing to the recent Brexit vote, concrete measures via the ESPR could erode the economic and social divergences between Member States that have put Europe’s political cohesion at risk. Finally, this and the threat posed by the rise of extreme-right parties should motivate Europe to rethink its geopolitical role – and, indeed, its very nature.

via Retooling Social Europe Via Charters Of Rights

DIW Berlin: Low interest rate environment amplifies negative effects of austerity policy

Conclusion: Ease austerity measures, boost investment

Now the issue arises as to which measures should be taken in the future to reduce sovereign debt as a means of enlarging governments’ financial room for maneuver and increasing economic growth. Since it does not look like the ECB will raise the prime rate in the near future despite the growing momentum in the euro area’s economic development, the only remaining option is to adjust the consolidation targets. To avoid the enormously contractive and counteractive effects of stringent austerity measures, we recommend making them less restrictive, while at the same time dismantling the tax system’s superfluous bureaucracy and other elements that hamper growth. Debt relief as a means of enlarging governments’ financial room for maneuver should be considered in a tangible manner. And investment that favors long-term potential growth should be systematically supported. This balanced policy mix contains powerful measures with medium-term effects instead of short-term ones. In an environment of low interest rates, debt deleveraging in the private sector, and loss of trust in the financial markets, it seems apt to avoid the high costs of restrictive austerity programs.

via DIW Berlin: Low interest rate environment amplifies negative effects of austerity policy

Company Cross-Border Transfer Rules Must End ‘Regime Shopping’

he ETUC has uncovered many examples of abuse of company mobility rules. For example, in the meat-processing sector, work was sub-contracted to Eastern European letter-box companies employing low-paid workers on short contracts. The complexity of such arrangements makes it hard for inspectors with limited resources to follow the trail of responsibility. People work up to 20 hours a day, with no sick pay, overtime compensation or health insurance.

In the construction sector, a Polish-registered company with one room and a shared phone number in Gdansk posted workers to Sweden, where local staff were sacked. The posted workers experienced long hours, bad housing, and non-payment of wages. The company paid no social security contributions in either country, while at the same time deducting charges from workers’ salaries.

via Company Cross-Border Transfer Rules Must End ‘Regime Shopping’

You searched for Ciudadanos – Craig Murray

It is well known to everyone in senior diplomatic and intelligence circles of the major Western powers, that Ciudadanos originated as a highly successful astroturf operation, funded and organised by the German overseas security service, the BND. The rise of Podemos threatened the collapse of the Euro project, and Germany realised the loss of credibility of the established Spanish political parties would not enable them to counter Podemos. It was therefore decided to produce a “grassroots anti-establishment” movement, which in fact would help impose the harsh economic austerity on Spain the German interest in the Euro demanded.

via You searched for Ciudadanos – Craig Murray

Πρώην αντιπρόεδρος του Facebook: Σταματήστε τα social media, σας προγραμματίζουν

Μιλώντας στο «Stanford Graduate School of Business» σημείωσε πως «Δεν το καταλαβαίνετε αλλά σας προγραμματίζουν… όμως τώρα πρέπει να αποφασίσετε πόσα είστε διατεθειμένοι να παραχωρήσετε, πόση από τη διανοητική σας ανεξαρτησία». Όπως είπε, ο ίδιος δεν θέλει να υφίσταται προγραμματισμό και για το λόγο αυτό δεν χρησιμοποιεί αυτή την «μ@@κια» και δεν επιτρέπει ούτε στα παιδιά του να τα χρησιμοποιούν.

Τα social media «διαβρώνουν τα βασικά θεμέλια του τρόπου συμπεριφοράς των ανθρώπων», είπε ενώ υπογράμμισε πως αισθάνεται «τεράστια ενοχή» για τη δημιουργία εργαλείων που είχαν αυτόν τον στόχο.

Ο Chamath Palihapitiya κάλεσε τον κόσμο να κάνει ένα «μεγάλο διάλειμμα» από τα social media. «Τα πράγματα στα οποία βασίζεστε, οι βραχυπρόθεσμες λούπες αντιδράσεων, με κίνητρο τη ντοπαμίνη, που έχουμε δημιουργήσει, καταστρέφουν το πώς λειτουργεί η κοινωνία: κανένας πολιτικός διάλογος, καμία συνεργασία, παραπληροφόρηση, ψέματα

via Πρώην αντιπρόεδρος του Facebook: Σταματήστε τα social media, σας προγραμματίζουν

Kyklos – Wikipedia

All the philosophers believed that this cycling was harmful. The transitions would often be accompanied by violence and turmoil, and a good part of the cycle would be spent with the degenerate forms of government. Aristotle gave a number of options as to how the cycle could be halted or slowed:

Even the most minor changes to basic laws and constitutions must be opposed because over time the small changes will add up to a complete transformation.
In aristocracies and democracies the tenure of rulers must be kept very short to prevent them from becoming despots
External threats, real or imagined, preserve internal peace
The three government basic systems can be blended into one, taking the best elements of each
If any one individual gains too much power, be it political, monetary, or military he should be banished from the polis
Judges and magistrates must never accept money to make decisions
The middle class must be large
Most important to Aristotle in preserving a constitution is education: if all the citizens are aware of law, history, and the constitution they will endeavour to maintain a good government.

via Kyklos – Wikipedia

Schaeuble calls for ESM to become euro zone fiscal guardian

Wolfgang Schaeuble said the Commission’s “political” nature made it difficult to impose compliance on governments – and that the job of enforcement should be instead partly handed to the European Stability Mechanism, the euro zone bailout fund.

Germany, and especially Schaeuble himself, have shown long-term frustration with the Commission’s leniency towards France, which has been in breach of the rules for years, as well as Spain, Italy and Portugal.

The EU body has repeatedly backed away from imposing sanctions on governments.

via Schaeuble calls for ESM to become euro zone fiscal guardian

The Competing Narratives of Brexit | DANTEmag

in different ways the spectre of German hegemony has re-appeared. In the past Britain and France offered an effective counterweight to this tendency. But now Britain has decided to leave and France has in recent years been weak, both politically and economically, though perhaps under President Macron it will recover its traditional role.

via The Competing Narratives of Brexit | DANTEmag

Neoliberalism – the ideology at the root of all our problems | Books | The Guardian

Neoliberalism’s triumph also reflects the failure of the left. When laissez-faire economics led to catastrophe in 1929, Keynes devised a comprehensive economic theory to replace it. When Keynesian demand management hit the buffers in the 70s, there was an alternative ready. But when neoliberalism fell apart in 2008 there was … nothing. This is why the zombie walks. The left and centre have produced no new general framework of economic thought for 80 years.

Every invocation of Lord Keynes is an admission of failure. To propose Keynesian solutions to the crises of the 21st century is to ignore three obvious problems. It is hard to mobilise people around old ideas; the flaws exposed in the 70s have not gone away; and, most importantly, they have nothing to say about our gravest predicament: the environmental crisis. Keynesianism works by stimulating consumer demand to promote economic growth. Consumer demand and economic growth are the motors of environmental destruction.

via Neoliberalism – the ideology at the root of all our problems | Books | The Guardian