IMF: Confessing to the sin in order to repeat it

Screen Shot 2016-07-31 at 13.53.56.pngYou have read about the most recent IMF confession over its immolation of Greece. The question is: Does it signal a change in policies? Do not hold your breath! Recent history is pointing to a repetition of the crime-against-logic first committed in 2012 – an IMF tactic of confessing to the sin in order to repeat it with impunity!

Back in June 2015, Olivier Blanchard, the then IMF Chief Economist, wrote an article that seemed reasonable: both sides (the troika and Athens) must make concessions, recognising that both sides bear the responsibility of Greece’s Great Depression (the troika for having failed to grant debt relief and Athens for having failed to reform sufficiently). However, a closer look at the article revealed that Mr Blanchard’s article was an early warning that the IMF was about to crush Greece. Again!

Bill Black replied to Blanchard with a stinging article entitled The IMF “Defense” of it Actions against the Greeks is an Unintended Confession (15th June 2015) . The gist of Bill’s point was that:

“[T]he troika’s 2012 plan was designed to leave Greece in disastrous economic shape if the troika believed its own dogmas and its own wildly optimistic projections. It was only after forcing the Greek people into a pointless purgatory of a decade of disaster that the troika would consider providing debt relief… The only ‘debt relief’ they offer to discuss is a ‘long rescheduling of debt payments at low interest rates.’ This, under their own dogmas, will lock Greece into a long-term debt trap that will materially lower Greece’s growth rate for decades and leave it constantly vulnerable to recurrent financial crises. That is a recipe for disaster for Greece, Italy, and Spain (collectively, 100 million citizens) and for the EU. It is financial madness – and that ignores the political instability it will cause to force an EU member nation to twist slowly in the wind for 50 years.” 

Remarkably, Bill Black’s description of the troika’s 2012 crime-against-logic applies perfectly today to describe the 3rd ‘Bailout’ agreement forced upon the Greek government a few weeks after Black’s rejoinder to Blanchard. Just as in 2o12, so again now the troika, with the IMF fully on board, are ‘implementing’ a program they know will fail while promising Athens that, in 2018, Greece will get the same form of debt non-relief that was promised (but not delivered) for the end of 2014(‘long rescheduling of debt payments at low interest rates’).

The only two differences between 2012 and 2015 are that: (A) In 2015/6 the Greek economy is ever more frail than it was in 2012, its people closer to the edge of desperation. And (2) In 2012 the troika’s toxic, illogical ‘program’ was being implemented by a government representing the corrupt, oligarchic ancien regime responsible for the crisis. In 2015/6 the troika’s ‘new’ toxic, illogical ‘program’ is being implemented by a government of the Left, thus denying the Greeks the hope that elections could stop the unnecessary pain.


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  • So let me get this latest twist in your rationalizations straight:
    Because the troika-led “immolation” of Greece is now carried out by a “government of the Left”, there is no hope that elections could stop this economic genocide from becoming irreversible.
    Hence Schaeuble’s Final Solution to the Griechenland Problem, is indeed “final”, even though Dr Schaeuble himself is having second thoughts about his rules and prescriptions in the face of the Brexit “banality”.
    But then what about DiEM25? Shouldn’t a movement pledging to democratise the whole of “Europe” make the salvation and restoration of democracy in Greece its top priority?
    That was a question I posed to you when you first invited me in October 2015 to comment on your earlier draft manifesto to “democratise or abolish Europe by 2025” (EuDorA25 – a precursor of DiEM25).
    Although you thankfully heeded my advice revise your chosen brand name, you never answered my question about Greece.
    Instead, you decided – very undemocratically – to cut the discussion short, by dismissing me from your newfound circle of unsuspecting friends, before I had the chance to meet them. Stefano Fassina has used the term “excommunication” to describe this new habit of “parting ways” with your former friends who dared to disagree with you on issues you couldn’t handle politically without recourse to inane mass media cliches.
    Of course I knew that your facile notions of both “democracy” and “demos” – devoid of effective sovereignty, legitimacy, accountability, or human, social and welfare rights – would get you into trouble with heavy-weight political leaders and activists of the European Left like Montebourg, Melanson, Samir Amin, Tariq Ali or Fassina.
    Most of them have publicly voiced dismay at your peculiar unwillingness to criticize or “punish” (symbolically and politically) the oppressive, misanthropic, techno-fascist apparatuses which you call “Institutions” (including the IMF!!) that have ravaged millions of households, causing so much human suffering and capital destruction in such short space of “peacetime”, in both Greece and Europe.
    Even after the IMF’s own admission of a premeditated crime against humanity in Greece, it never crossed your mind that the least which “progressive Europeanists” should be calling for, is an unceremonial expulsion of the IMF from Europe (the continent) altogether, not just a “resignation” of Poul Thomsen, Schaeuble’s crony Thomas Wiezer and Trichet’s Mr Nobody Klaus Mazouch!!!!
    Now that Schaeuble has been reduced to pleading with Brussels for the suspension of fines to austerity-target violators, what better time for progressive radical leftist to deprive him of his rabid Rottweiler, the IMF.
    But, no. This won’t do for your subliminal DiEm25 narrative.
    An IMFexit, coming short on the heels of a horrid Brexit, would only accelerate the Disintegration of Europe, nine years ahead of the DiEM founders’ retirement plans.
    So, my old friend, it’s not about Democracy in any shape or form, but about the rescue of the EU-€Z edifice from an untimely downfall that will make professional left-wing flattery of its “Institutions” redundant everywhere, not just in London and Oxbridge.
    But then, maybe I’m wrong.
    Instead of resorting to customary melodramatic evasion (“I wear your loathing with honour”), how about a good old civilized debate, in any form, forum, language and venue you would like to arrange, since my jobless status prevents me from setting it up on your behalf, as I used to do for my former employer.