Europe’s Systemic Collapse…


The future according to Phoenix Capital Research.

It is always enlightening to read analyses written on behalf of the financial sector, but they also make me naively wonder why, when faced with the consequences of such a dangerous global meltdown, politicians think that they have anything to lose… why don’t they just take the banks into democratic ownership (ie. full nationalisation) and solve most of the problems at a stroke?  The political power of the banks would be annulled, and governments could get on with the real world problems of creating full employment, investing in mitigating climate change and oil dependency with a new green deal.

As Stephen Spratt wrote in January 2009 for New Economics Foundation:

‘Just as this was no accident, neither is anything about it inevitable. One positive feature of the meltdown we are witnessing is that it should finally lay to rest the idea that if we just let financiers and business leaders get on with it, the best of all possible worlds will be the result.’

Europe’s Systemic Collapse… and What It Means For Us and You

… it’s clear now that the world is entering a period of wealth destruction. Europe is in the midst of a sovereign debt crisis. History tells us that this will entail more than one sovereign nation going belly-up. Indeed, I believe that we’ll see ALL of the PIIGS, as well as France, stage sovereign defaults in the coming months.

After that will come Japan, then finally the US. By the time the smoke clears, we will have seen systemic collapse.

This will mean:

Many major banks disappearing, as well as numerous potentially lengthy bank holidays (think Argentina in 2001)

Multiple sovereign defaults as well as broad economic contractions and their commensurate unemployment/ civil unrest/ erasure of retirement accounts/ pensions (this process has already begun in some US municipals, e.g. San Bernandino and Stockton California as well as Harrisburg Pennsylvania).

Possibly new currencies being introduced or new denominations of currencies (say one new unit being worth 1,000 of the old one)

Massive wealth destruction to the tune of tens of trillions of Dollars (think MF Global i.e. the money is gone… only systemically… in fact we just had another such instance with PF)

A global contraction that will result in new political/ power structures being implemented as well as the breakup of various countries/ unions.

Very serious trade wars to begin (see Obama’s recent attack on China) and very possibly a real war.

… I know that much of what I’ve written to you in the past could be labeled as “gloom and doom.” However, I want you to know that I do not use the words “systemic collapse” lightly. Indeed, I wish I wasn’t mentioning them now, but I’d be doing you a disservice not to bring them up because we’re well on our way towards it.

At Phoenix Capital Research, we are determined to help our clients get through this period safely and profitably. The words “systemic collapse” sounds horrifying but the truth is that some of the world’s biggest fortunes were made during Crises.

Roubini’s devastating diagnosis – Freeland File


Just because the Euro crisis has dropped out of the headlines, it does not mean that it is not still festering.  Add in the difficulties in the BRIC countries and the slow-down in the US, and we have a ‘perfect storm’ .. probably reaching a crescendo next year.

Nouriel Roubini, the NYU economist nicknamed “Doctor Doom” for his prediction of the 2008 financial crisis, believes that events are again turning against the global economy. (July 18, 2012)

The Night that Democracy and Hope were crushed


David Harney writes on Austerity and Greece, previously published here

I fear the is just the beginning. People are finally discovering what the world has risked for the fortunes of so very few.

       In Athens  (12/02/12) a parliamentary vote was cast, that not only spells economic disaster for the millions of Greek people, but has worrying implications for the people of Europe as a whole. (BBC) 

         The people of Greece have suffered a long, lingering recession  for 5 consecutive years. Unemployment is touching a massive 20%, with those fortunate enough to actually have a job, actually being paid only as and when the employer can afford it. Food hand outs, and emergency aid are common place, and are only becoming more urgent. The fact is, the recession has long since manifested into a depression, not seen since the great depression in America in the 1920s. Needless to say, all this suffering and hardship has created a steep increase in crime, as well as a worrying increase in the number of people suffering mental health issues. The stresses and strains of raising a family have simply been too much for many to bare. This has sadly left to many turning to drink, drugs, or in the worst cases, suicide, as a refuge from the constant bad news. Before the country’s political leaders voted, many thousands took to the streets of Athens, and in a desperate bid for their voices to be heard, caused chaos and destruction to buildings and shops. Sadly however, their voices have been ignored. 40 coalition ministers had the courage to reject the EU`s crippling ‘austerity only’ demands put forward by France & Germany. The cost of their bravery, was to be instantly kicked out of the Greek Coalition Government, before many were given time to even clear their desks. Democracy had been crushed, the doubters banished from the political process. An action that has now paved the way for the right wing ‘austerity only’ brigade to dominate Greek politics. 

          The events of (12/02/12), firstly have condemned the ordinary people of Greece to decades of further and increasing financial hardship. The total absence of any form of growth plan, or meaningful strategy ensures this will be the case. Quite simply, growth cannot & will not be created through an ‘austerity only’ programme. It will only succeed in killing off public confidence, amidst further concerns over massive job losses, cuts to welfare, wages, social care & public services.  

          To demand, and pass such a damaging programme smacks of a European capitalist continent that has become insecure, short sighted,  and undemocratic. A Europe that is so at ease casting aside democracy, in favor of capitalism, is a Europe heading for both fiscal, and social melt-down. A Europe that can so casually turn a blind eye to its peoples needs and rights, should be not only a worry for the people of Greece, but a worry to every European citizen. Whether we happen to be Spanish, Italian, Irish, or British, last night’s (12/02/12) events has an enormous effect on us all! 

        For those of us who remember all too well, the decade of social misery under Margaret Thatcher`s 1980`s Conservative Government, will perhaps also remember the SDP’s Roy Jenkins stating: “Capitalism thrives most, when the people are at their poorest!” Wise words from Mr Jenkins. It is as true today, as it was then!  

       Mr Jenkins was of-course referring to the fact that as the ordinary British people where made poorer under Thatcher’s rule, so the rich became ever richer. This sadly, is precisely what we are re-living under David Cameron’s  present Tory led Government. An ideological principle that always favors the well off. The City high-flyers. The Multi-National company bosses. The greedy under performing bankers. For them this is their time. For the millions of Britain’s working poor, unemployed, and disadvantaged, this is a time for fear, & despair.

      The events in Greece,  and events here in Britain, have I believe, far more in common than perhaps is commonly realized. For have we not heard our Prime Minister declare his conviction to push through his programme of damaging welfare “reforms” irrespective of the people’s concerns. Even his obvious disregard for the outcome in the Lords, shows a worryingly comfortable willingness to sacrifice our precious democracy, to appease his own flawed right wing ideology. Moreover we now hear this on a daily basis, with regards to the catastrophic Health Bill, Police `reforms`, Pension cuts. In fact anything that is required in order to satisfy capitalism’s insatiable greed and right-wing ideology. The results of all these “austerity only” policies are now inevitably coming to their natural levels. Unemployment rockets, as wages and pensions fall. NHS thrown into confusion & chaos. The disabled and disadvantaged living with stress and fear for their future.  

        As the results of  the (12/02/12) vote in Athens came through, I was left with overwhelming feelings of both anger and sadness for the ordinary Greek people. Any remnants of hope they may have harbored for their futures, crushed in one underhand, undemocratic, political, ideological action. Those very actions now guarantee European poverty will only increase. It certainly does not however, guarantee Europe’s future financial well being. The price, quite simply, is not worth paying! 

David Harney

Mutation or Mutiny?


Mutation or Mutiny?

Homo Sapiens – What have we become as a species? No longer programmed for survival of our species, we appear to be about to self-destruct.

No longer do we prioritise protection of our young, our water, our food or shelter, as living species generally do.  We have evolved into something else, which isn’t quite alive at all. We are no longer autonomous beings.

We are products, or a commodities, which cannot think, but rather exist merely to make profit, remotely controlled by the very, very rich from some place we are unaware of.

How much longer can be tolerate this mundane existence? Now is the time for change.  But how?

THE ARAB SPRING  brought about governmental changes for Tunisia, Egypt and for Libya, amid demonstrations across North Africa and the Middle East. Whether these changes will have fair and democratic results, and achieve recapitalization of the people with health, wealth and happiness for real people remains to be seen.  The instigation of a no-fly zone by the United Nations bore little resemblance to the airstrikes and drones from the US led onslaught. What support was offered to those areas where there is no oil for pickings? See Libya: Into Economic tyranny 

Occupy London calls for global solidarity to defend the Egyptian revolution.

“We stand in solidarity with the global oppressed and and we call for an end to the actions of our government and others causing this oppression. 


The arab people have since this winter been an incredible inspiration to resistance movements all over the world. We stand in solidarity with our Egyptian sisters and brothers and we:

  • We urge the UK government to withhold all support to the Egyptian military until power has been handed over to a civilian government and cease participating in arms deals in the region.
  • Condemn the Egyptian military’s massacre at Maspero and all the military and police violence against peaceful protesters and demand impartial investigations into all these cases.
  • Demand an end to military trials in Egypt and all intimidation of activists.
  • Demand the immediate release of all political prisoners and detainees and for any trials to be before civilian courts with fair representation.
  • Demand immediate lifting of state of emergency in place since 1981 and the guarantee of the right to protest and strike.
  • Cameron, BAE, Rolls Royce, Qinetiq and all, you might be able to airbrush your propaganda but you can’t wash the blood off your hands.

THE RIOTOUS SUMMER  in England showed the anger of those without hope, with nothing left to risk. The official report disregarded events in Croydon, as reported by the Croydon Guardian. The official report lacks understanding.

The Independent reports that the riots were considered by the Cabinet Office to be a “moment of madness”.

The opportunity to “get free stuff” and the chance to get back at police were the other two big motivations, according to the report, “The August riots in England”, from the National Centre for Social Research.

Researchers identified peer pressure, the sight of other people getting away with breaking the law, boredom and acting as part of a group instead of thinking for themselves as factors in nudging people to take part.

It seems to me that they have missed the point.  Riots do not happen without reason. The balance of civilisation depends on all those in society belonging to it, not owned by it. While the government chooses to ignore the causes, others take it seriously, and wisely so. (See  Empire of Things  and Riots, Behaviouralism and Neoliberalism.)

THE REBELLIOUS  AUTUMN began with The Occupy Protests, showing hope that there was to be an awakening to consciousness.

Some in the Church considered their consciences, but the events at St Pauls showed that the Church are not willing to risk their comfortable status by standing with the protestors. Some of them called out, “What would Jesus do?”

The ignorance of the authorities is clear by their response to student protests in November which have been met by over-policing.

Thousands of students and demonstrators marched through London to protest against tuition fees and the “privatisation” of the higher education systemon Wednesday, flanked by a huge police presence determined to ensure the violent scenes that erupted last year were not repeated.

Fulfilling their promise of “total policing”, 4,000 officers took to the streets as Metropolitan police commanders blocked off large areas of the capital, bringing in dozens of mounted officers and blocking off roads with 10ft high barricades.

Protesters from the Occupy movement – which has been at St Paul’s Cathedral since mid-October – set up camp in Trafalgar Square with the aim of remaining until the mass strike of 30 November. They were quickly moved on by police, who also announced “additional conditions” for the march after it had begun.

On November 30th 2011, three million public sector workers in Britain will strike over the government’s attacks on their pensions. The establishment needs to start listening. They cannot turn a blind eye, or act like ostriches. This coordinated strike action represents the biggest strike movement since the general strike in 1926. To all intents and purposes it will be a 24-hour public sector general strike.    

With a National Strike by 3 million trade union members against pension reforms expected on November 30th, is the government going to show they are listening? Or are they powerless like Italy and Greece, so it makes no difference?   

Michael Meacher writes ” So the honest and decent Papandreou is forced out because he wanted to give the Greek people, who would bear the weight of the cutbacks, a chance to express whether they accepted them, however reluctantly, or whether they would take the alternative option of a default and leaving the euro.   The corrupt and despicable Berlusconi is forced out because he cannot lever his own parties in Parliament to force through the cutbacks demanded by the bond markets, without the Italian people being granted any say-so in the matter at all.   Democracy in the EU is now virtually a dead letter.   It was always precarious: neither the Council of Ministers nor the Commission are directly elected.   Now what has been highlighted is that when it comes to the really big decisions neither the European Parliament nor the peoples of Europe have any say in them at all. “

All  seems to have become overshadowed by the Euro zone crisis has seen political leaders with no real power in any case, pushed from office.

Are we now looking at the people reclaiming their rights patiently by Evolution, or bloody and violently by Revolution? Will it be mutation or mutiny? What discontent do we face this winter and beyond?

I believe that we can bring about change, but only by standing together, side-by-side. Solidarity, like Socialism were words to be whispered ashamedly during the eighties but they now are meaningful and acceptable once again.

We can bring about change by questioning the Banks’ motives, by exposing the secrecy, by questioning the politicians, the church and the media.

We will not achieve change by division, but by solidarity. I believe The Labour Party is the only Party, which can challenge the status quo – the Conservative Party will not do this – The Liberal Democrats have shown no intention in challenging the neo-liberalist consensus. Socialist Labour must lead the way.

Ed Miliband has described the Occupy London protest and others across the world as a ‘wake-up call’ and a symptom of a wider crisis caused by Eurozone turmoil, record unemployment, rising inflation and squeezed living standards.Miliband looked to use the actions of Occupy to reiterate the messages unveiled at the last Labour Party conference, where he vowed to rid the country of ‘irresponsible, predatory capitalism’. He added that politicians were in touch with the wealthy elite but were ‘badly out of touch with the reality facing the other 99 per cent’.

Labour must now find its roots again. Labour politicians need to re-find their integrity and speak up and lead like Aneurin Bevan once did so admirably. We need modern day politicians to represent us, like he did and not to follow the neo-liberalists like the Pied Piper led the children to their own extinction. Now is the time for mankind to remember what it is to breathe, to live and to hope. 

Sunny Hundal Liberal Conspiracy writes:

First, to point out that the UK’s economic recovery started faltering before the Eurozone problems. This will require lots of graphs and easily accessible info in one place, and a sustained attempt to point this out to the media.

Second, it will require the left (and more importantly Labour) to have a strong counter-narrative that works, can unite everyone, and works in their favour. Something like: ‘This crisis shows our financial institutions have stopped working for ordinary people – they are being hurt by a crisis they didn’t create. It’s time to reform the world’s financial system and make it work. The Conservatives won’t do that.’

Get the narrative wrong and we’ve effectively lost this entire generation.

Sometimes I think that it might help to believe in some god, which could magically lead the way to socialism. But I know there is no magic in the sky, my belief is in people not gods. And it is we who can achieve a fairer society, a socialism in a greener world.

If I say to you, “if I share, will you?” or “If I fight against unbridled capitalism and neo-liberalism, will you?”, do you see me as naïve, or do you too, still believe that the human species can determine its own destiny and join me?

If that is so, that is my faith – humanity.

Let us hope .

 Empire of Things Think Left

Riots, Behaviouralism and Neoliberalism  Think Left

Britain Under Siege Think Left

Capitalism, NeoLiberalism, Plutonomy, and Neo -Feudalism Think Left

The Human Body: A Source of Profit Think Left

The market has a name – it is Goldman Sachs  Think Left

Michael Meacher Blog Marketised Euro Oligarchy

Homo Sapiens Origin and Evolution

Ed Miliband on Occupy Protest  Nov 2011

Student Protest and over-policing Guardian Nov 2011

Occupy London to mark Remembrance Weekend

Meacher Why is resistance coming from the street and not politics?  

The Labour Party

Liberal Conspiracy : Euro Crisis could set left back a generation

Unison: November 30

NUT: November 30

NIPSA November 30

PCS November 30