Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund Asset Development Plan (Greek Privatization Plan) Leaked (PDF)

by Scott Creighton

The privatization plan concocted by the Troika’s International Monetary Fund, European Commission and European Central Bank has been leaked online. It includes a vast array of nationally owned businesses, infrastructure and public services including:

  • airports
  • gas transmission systems (pipelines) (keep in mind: the Turkish Stream gas pipeline)
  • golf courses
  • hotels
  • shipping ports
  • railways
  • marinas
  • motorways (toll roads)
  • oil refineries
  • various “other real estate tenders” in Argos, Veroia, Stylinda, Kefalonia, Nafplion, Chalkidiki, Mesinia and Athens
  • telecommunication services
  • the public power service (electric services)
  • public gas services
  • the postal services
  • and two water supply services

It’s called the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund Asset Development Plan (PDF) and essentially, it’s the selling off of nearly all of the potentially profitable government functions of Greece.

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Tempest in a Teapot: The Story of Neoliberal Kristen McQueary and Longing for a Katrina in Chicago

by Scott Creighton

Sometimes the neoliberal apologists for the neoliberal Free-Marketeers go too far.

Sometimes their editors have to erase the little peek they give us inside the minds of the sociopaths who make up the Milton Friedman True Believer class.

Sometimes they have to write unapologetic apologies when civil society reacts with horror at the shear selfishness and cruelty these Ayn Randians harbor deep down inside.

“Envy isn’t a rational response to the upcoming 10-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.

But with Aug. 29 fast approaching and New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu making media rounds, including at the Tribune Editorial Board, I find myself wishing for a storm in Chicago — an unpredictable, haughty, devastating swirl of fury. A dramatic levee break. Geysers bursting through manhole covers. A sleeping city, forced onto the rooftops.

That’s what it took to hit the reset button in New Orleans. Chaos. Tragedy. Heartbreak

An underperforming public school system saw a complete makeover. A new schools chief, Paul Vallas, designed a school system with the flexibility of an entrepreneur (privatized). No restrictive mandates from the city (deregulated) or the state. No demands from teacher unions to abide (no labor protections). Instead, he created the nation’s first free-market education system

That’s why I find myself praying for a real storm. That’s why I can relate, metaphorically, to the residents of New Orleans climbing onto their rooftops and begging for help and waving their arms and lurching toward rescue helicopters” original version of Kristen McQueary’s libertarian/neoliberal screed

not so cute sometimes I guess

That’s what happened when cute little libertarian Kristen McQueary penned her latest OpEd for the Chicago Tribune in which she pined away wishing for a Hurricane Katrina to come to Chicago and wash away all that liberal excess so the neoliberal economic hit-men could remake the city into Galt’s Gulch like they did in New Orleans.

It’s called “disaster capitalism” and in the case of New Orleans, it only cost about 1,800 lives and countless people being made homeless. That’s to say nothing of the corrupt, fascist, privatized public education system (the kind promoted by Rahm Emanuel, Jeb Bush and Ron Paul alike) they installed in the wake of the storm which has cost countless futures for countless kids of the poor and working classes of that once great city.

Just for shits and giggles, you guys do understand that the father of modern day charter school ideology was Augusto Pinochet under his Milton Friedman inspired dictatorship, right?

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US welcomes Sisi’s economic efforts, supports Egypt’s security: Kerry

from Ahram Online

The US “welcomes” Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi’s “steps to improve economic conditions,” US Secretary of State John Kerry said Sunday at the start of the US-Egypt Strategic Dialogue.

John Kerry met with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukri. Kerry will also meet with President El-Sisi later today.

In a press conference, Kerry said that the importance of US-Egypt relations “cannot be overstated.”

Kerry expressed the United States’ support for Egypt’s economy, saying the US is ready to work with Egypt to “attract more capital.”

In an effort to boost the economy and improve infrastructure, Egypt has been seeking to attract foreign investment since El-Sisi assumed office.

Kerry also addressed security concerns in the region, mainly over the rise of Islamic State group militants, saying his government is “committed to the security… of the Egyptian people.”

Meanwhile, Shoukri said that Cairo looks forward to “close cooperation” on the military front which, he said, will help achieve security and enhance economic opportunities for investors.

The meetings were scheduled to take place over two days. However, due to last minute changes, the ‎dialogue has been shortened to just one day. ‎

Some of the meetings that were supposed to take place between the US delegation and representatives ‎of the Egyptian private sector in the Egyptian-US Chamber of Commerce were canceled accordingly. ‎‎

[read more here]

Greek Stock Market Follows Manufacturing Sector Over the Cliff Upon Opening this Morning

Greece stock market nosedives after five-week shutdown

Greece’s stock market plunged nearly 23% on Monday when it reopened after a five-week shutdown brought on by fears that the country was about to be dumped from the eurozone.

The main Athens stock index fell to in worst ever one-day performance after only a few minutes of trading.

Greek manufacturing activity hits record low in July

With capital controls, banks closed and slumping demand, Greece’s factory output fell to its lowest level on record in July.

The manufacturing sector – which makes up about 10% of the economy – fell to 30.2 points according to Markit’s montly purchasing managers index. Anything below 50 is a sign of contraction. This is the worst performance since the company started compiling the data in 1999

greece

Real News: Reporter on the Ground in Athens

“Fury rising in the population”

UPDATES from Greece: Vote Day, Tahrir Moment in Syntagma Square and the IMF Pledge that Isn’t

by Scott Creighton

itemprop

A man racked by shame begs for money as Greeks line up to make their small daily withdrawals from a bank

Alexis Tsipras took his case to the press last night in an hour-long interview on state TV. During that time he defended his 180 degree turn and urged the country to get behind the “irrational” Troika coup because, as he put it, “it’s the best deal Greece can get” Gone was all the pretense he displayed back when he and the rock-star pretended to want Greeks to vote “NO” on the austerity referendum. Now he demands a “YES” from Parliament on the neoliberal economic brick being dropped on the heads of the people he represents. He promised to keep the banks closed until the deal is ratified. More economic terrorism from the “hero” of Greece and the left. Like Obama siding with the republicans to get several of his previous “successes” done in congress, Tsipras looks to the neoliberal opposition parties for support getting the deal finalized.

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Fed Delays Volcker Rule, Giving Wall Street Another Holiday Gift

by Zach Carter, Huffington Post

Christmas came early for Wall Street this year. The Federal Reserve on Thursday granted banks an extra year to comply with a key provision of the Volcker Rule, a move that gives financial lobbyists more time to kill the new regulation before it goes into effect.

The Volcker Rule is a key element of the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform law that bans banks from engaging in proprietary trading — speculative deals that are designed only to benefit the bank itself, rather than its clients. Thursday’s move by the Fed gives banks an additional year to unwind investments in private equity firms, hedge funds and specialty securities projects. The central bank also said it plans to extend the deadline by another 12 months next year, which would give Wall Street a two-year reprieve through the 2016 presidential election.

The Fed’s delay comes less than a week after Congress granted Wall Street a reprieve from another reform that had been mandated by the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform law. The measure, known as the swaps push-out rule had eliminated federal subsidies for trading in risky derivatives — the complex contracts at the heart of the 2008 banking meltdown. Bank watchdogs say the Volcker Rule delay adds insult to injury.

[read more here]

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