…en garde! too late, you lazy greeks…

…with a pliant media, the culprit transforms the victim into a horrid, despicable criminal…

As leading economists such as Paul Krugman, Simon Wren-Lewis, James K Galbraith, and Joe Stiglitz revisit the Greek austerity crisis, its Great Depression, from varying perspectives to attract and educate a wider readership, others have also joined the fray, and with a focus also on the personal and political motives of the individual players involved.

Whereas the expectation of the layperson is that the professional would dispense duties based on specific terms of reference, the reality may be somewhat different, indeed very different. The Greek crisis is a case in point. Motives of participants from the European Central Bank (ECB), the European Union, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) can often not coincide with their respective, specific duties and responsibilities. In case of the IMF, Michael Hudson weaves into his analysis alarming details, Why No Means Yes.

As would eventually be revealed, the IMF has not been as helpful a player as it had advertised itself. And not only that personal motives would play a major role. These couple paragraphs should dispel any notion of the nobility of these personages, all the while keeping in mind a Greek economy with an unemployment rate of some 25% and a similarly stubbornly contracting economy of over five years, and its youth leaving to seek uncertain futures overseas.

One factor that may have incensed Greeks to vote “No” was the revelation that an internal IMF Debt Sustainability Analysis – which Lagarde had sought to suppress – had endorsed what Syriza’s leader Alexis Tsipras has been saying all along: Greece needs a debt writedown. Its official debt is unpayable, and never should have been forced upon it in the first place – under conditions where the Troika removed the elected prime minister from office to put in their own technocrat (Lucas Papademos, who had worked with Goldman Sachs to falsify the government’s 2001 balance sheet to enable it to meet the eurozone’s entry conditions).

It was revealed last week that IMF head Christine Lagarde has overruled her staff and board to defend specifically French interests. As in 2010-11 under Dominique Strauss-Kahn, French banks are major holders of Greek bonds (including via their ownership of Greek banks). Strauss-Kahn notoriously overrode his staff when they urged the IMF not to capitulate to ECB demands to pay French, German and other private bondholders with Troika bailout loans for which they made Greek taxpayers liable.

[bold added for emphasis]

Not good. Of course, the average informed citizen of any ‘developing’ country would have long dismissed or questioned the role of such institutions or its professionals as truly ‘honest brokers’. Millions of broken or lost lives provide the evidence.

…demos and the oligarchs…