Τι συμβαίνει με την Ελλάδα, όπως περιγράφτηκε πριν από τέσσερα χρόνια…

...από τον πρώην οικονομικό διευθυντή του ΔΝΤ, Simon Johnson.

Αν και ωραιοποιεί το ρόλο του ΔΝΤ, αφήνει να του ξεφύγουν αρκετά ανάμεσα από τις γραμμές για να καταλάβει κάποιος υποψιασμένος τι παίζεται (με κόκκινο τα γλιστρήματα που βλέπω και μπλέ η συνωμοσιολογία μου):

Typically, these countries are in a desperate economic situation for one simple reason—the powerful elites within them (άρα ο τελικός στόχος του ΔΝΤ είναι οι εθνικές ελίτ, σαν ανταγωνιστές των πολυεθνικών τράστ) overreached in good times and took too many risks. Emerging-market governments and their private-sector allies commonly form a tight-knit—and, most of the time, genteel—oligarchy, running the country rather like a profit-seeking company in which they are the controlling shareholders. When a country like Indonesia or South Korea or Russia grows, so do the ambitions of its captains of industry. As masters of their mini-universe, these people make some investments that clearly benefit the broader economy, but they also start making bigger and riskier bets. They reckon—correctly, in most cases—that their political connections will allow them to push onto the government any substantial problems that arise. (ενδιαφέρουσα και εκπληκτικά αντικειμενική περιγραφή της διαπλοκής, η οποία ενίοτε δεν είναι και τόσο αρνητική για το σύνολο)

In Russia, for instance, the private sector is now in serious trouble because, over the past five years or so, it borrowed at least $490 billion from global banks and investors on the assumption that the country’s energy sector could support a permanent increase in consumption throughout the economy. As Russia’s oligarchs spent this capital, acquiring other companies and embarking on ambitious investment plans that generated jobs, their importance to the political elite increased. Growing political support meant better access to lucrative contracts, tax breaks, and subsidies. And foreign investors could not have been more pleased; all other things being equal, they prefer to lend money to people who have the implicit backing of their national governments, even if that backing gives off the faint whiff of corruption.

But inevitably, emerging-market oligarchs get carried away; they waste money and build massive business empires on a mountain of debt. Local banks, sometimes pressured by the government, become too willing to extend credit to the elite and to those who depend on them. Overborrowing always ends badly, whether for an individual, a company, or a country. Sooner or later, credit conditions become tighter and no one will lend you money on anything close to affordable terms.

The downward spiral that follows is remarkably steep. Enormous companies teeter on the brink of default, and the local banks that have lent to them collapse. Yesterday’s “public-private partnerships” are relabeled “crony capitalism.” (Δηλαδή δεν είναι;) With credit unavailable, economic paralysis ensues, and conditions just get worse and worse. The government is forced to draw down its foreign-currency reserves to pay for imports, service debt, and cover private losses. But these reserves will eventually run out. If the country cannot right itself before that happens, it will default on its sovereign debt and become an economic pariah (ναι, είδαμε την Ισλανδία και την Αργεντινή πόσο χάλια είναι). The government, in its race to stop the bleeding, will typically need to wipe out some of the national champions—now hemorrhaging cash—and usually restructure a banking system that’s gone badly out of balance. It will, in other words, need to squeeze at least some of its oligarchs. (ΣΕ ΑΥΤΗ ΤΗ ΦΑΣΗ ΕΙΜΑΣΤΕ ΤΩΡΑ)

Squeezing the oligarchs, though, is seldom the strategy of choice among emerging-market governments. Quite the contrary: at the outset of the crisis, the oligarchs are usually among the first to get extra help from the government, such as preferential access to foreign currency, or maybe a nice tax break, or—here’s a classic Kremlin bailout technique—the assumption of private debt obligations by the government. Under duress, generosity toward old friends takes many innovative forms. Meanwhile, needing to squeeze someone, most emerging-market governments look first to ordinary working folk—at least until the riots grow too large. (Κροκοδείλια δάκρυα…)

Eventually, as the oligarchs in Putin’s Russia now realize, some within the elite have to lose out before recovery can begin (και φυσικά ξέρετε ποιοί είναι αυτοί, ε; εκείνοι που θα δεχτούν να παίξουν το ρόλο του πειθήνιου επιστάτη). It’s a game of musical chairs: there just aren’t enough currency reserves to take care of everyone, and the government cannot afford to take over private-sector debt completely.

So the IMF staff looks into the eyes of the minister of finance and decides whether the government is serious yet. The fund will give even a country like Russia a loan eventually, but first it wants to make sure Prime Minister Putin is ready, willing, and able to be tough on some of his friends. If he is not ready to throw former pals to the wolves, the fund can wait. And when he is ready, the fund is happy to make helpful suggestions—particularly with regard to wresting control of the banking system from the hands of the most incompetent and avaricious (=τι σας είπα; τους πλέον απείθαρχους και λιγότερο συνεργάσιμους) “entrepreneurs.”

Of course, Putin’s ex-friends will fight back. They’ll mobilize allies, work the system, and put pressure on other parts of the government to get additional subsidies. In extreme cases, they’ll even try subversion—including calling up their contacts in the American foreign-policy establishment, as the Ukrainians did with some success in the late 1990s.

Many IMF programs “go off track” (a euphemism) precisely because the government can’t stay tough on erstwhile cronies, and the consequences are massive inflation or other disasters. A program “goes back on track” once the government prevails or powerful oligarchs sort out among themselves who will govern—and thus win or lose—under the IMF-supported plan. The real fight in Thailand and Indonesia in 1997 was about which powerful families would lose their banks. In Thailand, it was handled relatively smoothly. In Indonesia, it led to the fall of President Suharto and economic chaos.

From long years of experience, the IMF staff knows its program will succeed  (αχαχαχαχαχαχαχαχαχααααααχ!)stabilizing the economy and enabling growth (μπουαχαχαχαχαχαχαχαχαχαχ!)—only if at least some of the powerful oligarchs who did so much to create the underlying problems take a hit. This is the problem of all emerging markets.

Την τελευταία πρόταση τη διαβάσατε; Την λάβατε υπόψη σε σύγκριση με τα παραπάνω; Τρομάξατε;

Καταλάβατε τι του ξέφυγε του παίκτη;

Το πρόβλημα των αναδυόμενων αγορών είναι οι φιλόδοξοι παίκτες που απειλούν την επικυριαρχία των πολυεθνικών τραστ σε μια οικονομία.

Το ΔΝΤ, σαν το ραβδί του Πολυκράτη Θρασύβουλου του τυράννου (edit: λάθος τύραννος, χρυσαυγιτιά έκανα παλι), χτυπά αγορές που σηκώνουν, έστω και στο παραμικρό, κεφάλι και που πιθανώς -έστω και ελάχιστα- μπορεί να αποζητήσουν την ανεξαρτησία τους.

Η συνέχεια είναι γνωστή: Έμμεση εξολόθρευση (δια της υπερφορολόγησης και της συμπίεσης των μιθσθών) ή υφαρπαγή δια του brain drain της δυναμικής μέσης τάξης που μπορεί να δημιουργήσει πρωτοποριακές επενδύσεις και αντικατάστασή της από μια ξενόδουλη μέση τάξη αποτελούμενη από ανίκανους, ψυχανώμαλους, χαμερπείς λούμπεν μικρομεγαλοαστούς, πλήρης κατάληψη των φυσικών πόρων και χειραγώγηση της δήθεν ελεύθερης αγοράς μέσω ιδιωτικοποιήσεων και ιδιωτικού ελέγχου κατά τρόπο που κάνει το Μαυρογιαλούρονα δείχνει Ρομπέν των Δασών.

Προσωπικά, ΧΙΛΙΕΣ ΦΟΡΕΣ ΜΑΥΡΟΓΙΑΛΟΥΡΟΣ ΚΑΙ ΠΑΛΙ ΜΑΥΡΟΓΙΑΛΟΥΡΟΣ ΠΑΡΑ Η ΔΗΘΕΝ ΚΑΘΑΡΣΗ ΖΟΜΠΙ ΠΟΥ ΜΑΣ ΕΥΑΓΓΕΛΙΖΟΝΤΑΙ ΟΙ ΕΚΣΥΓΧΡΟΝΙΣΤΕΣ. Ο Μαυρογιαλούρος μπορεί να δείξει φιλότιμο, οι γραφειοκράτες με την ξύλινη καρδιά ποτέ.

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3 Σχόλια to “Τι συμβαίνει με την Ελλάδα, όπως περιγράφτηκε πριν από τέσσερα χρόνια…”

  1. That Crazed Alien penguin Says:

    sharinlite comment:
    In your world blame anyone but he real culprits….true the 1% worked for their money or inherited it, but the 99% don’t do the work they need to do on most of the planet. It is always easier and less honest to admit that average hominids prefer to get then give….

    My reply:

    The average? I don’t think so. The average, mentally healthy hominid has a sense of decency and tries to reciprocate. I think that the preference to get is a false image, imprinted to hominids by the most unscrupulous, twisted and degenerate brethren of them who usually climb to positions of power and authority.
    It’s all about control, not just giving and getting. In fact, in many earlier societies, power didn’t reside with the wealthy.
    I am certain for one thing: No member of the 1% worked for their money. No inherited money was clean. it was the result of years/decades/generations of insidious robbery and swindling of the 99%. Honest, hard work may earn you a living, but you’ll have to cheat and swindle workers, employees and clients if you want to get rich. That’s a fact. Capitalism is a sick, sick system that only becomes bearable through continuous generational destructive resets. Kings and world wars worked as reset buttons for the last centuries, but now a world war is out of the question and there are no strong, independant leaders to force a reset.
    Think about it, if you can. If you don’t, keep dreaming the libertarian pipe dream of the self-made enterpreneur…

  2. «…Honest, hard work may earn you a living, but you’ll have to cheat and swindle workers, employees and clients if you want to get rich…». Έτσι.

  3. @sharinlite What kind of work ethic are you talking about? The Ritalin work ethic? Had Calvin depenalised Ritalin abuse already??? How the hell has that piece of information escaped me?! Sorry for upsetting you, but there is no such thing as a region with 20% of its school population on »ADHD medication» in Greece, the »realm of idleness and corruption».

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