A lover of unreason, and an exile (beingjdc) wrote,
A lover of unreason, and an exile
beingjdc

Predictions

I like making these. Sometimes I'm right, no promises. Anyway, things which will happen by Summer 2013. At some point along this list, the European Central Bank will start printing money and giving it to distressed Eurozone Governments, at which point the game changes and the predictions no longer apply.

Otherwise:

1) The Greek Government will fall.
2) There will be no Greek referendum.
3) There will be Greek elections.
4) New Democracy will win, but without a majority.
5) The Communist Party will double their number of MPs. The Greens will get some MPs too, and the Orthodox bunch probably more.
6) Italy will run out of money and negotiate a bailout.
7) Spain will run out of money and negotiate a bailout.
8) The capitals of the Mediterranean will burn. So will Paris, just because they like joining in.
9) A far-left terror group will execute, or come credibly close to executing, a bombing in Brussels.
10) At least two countries will leave the Euro.

I did mention, I think, once or twice, that this wasn't a very good idea.
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  • 18 comments
You are the LJ Nostradamus! But kind of...more straightforward.
Yes, less quatrain, more cat-train.
What are you saying was a bad idea - the whole idea of the Euro?
Yep. Certainly without admitting and planning for the fact that the only end-game if you have a single monetary policy and no state-backed Central Bank is to have a single fiscal policy and, ultimately, a single state.

My man Larry recaps the logically necessary reasons this is true here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2011/nov/01/greece-referendum-eurozone-crisis
I guess it's a good thing we stayed out of it then. I wanted to be able to use the nice, colourful money.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to the rioting and left wing terror.
Can the Greeks print money? If so, the Euro is in deeper trouble than you think.


Also: this is a news article about a country where *nobody* pays tax, and civil servants retire at 49 on a full pension, which their unmarried daughters can inherit on their death:

www.vanityfair.com/business/features/2010/10/greeks-bearing-bonds-201010?mobify=0

Your reaction on reading anything about Greece from people who've actually been there and looked will be: "That can't possibly be true!" and this is the sign of a healthy, well-balanced and sceptical mind. Unfortunately, everything you can check about the underside of the Greek economy turns out to be true, worse than you thought, and so chaotic as to be a danger to your sanity.

That article is two years old. Since it was written, Greece has made no progress in collecting taxes. Deregulation and privatisation probably *would* work there, as the state really is intrusive: but doing it now would raise funds that would be wasted, buying time and subsidising a continuing fiscal irresponsibility.

Note that I say 'Deregulation', not an austerity programme.
And yet most of their public spending is on the military. Good luck cutting that while your political system is dysfunctional.

Greece can't print money. As the system currently stands, nobody can print money. The ECB can, and does, buy bonds in the secondary market. Not quite the same, though effectively similar to my mind if they monetise losses. So far, no losses - haircuts for private sector holders only, hence the proposed 50% haircut only reducing Greek debt by 25%.
Given the events of the 60s/70s, I was mildly surprised and alarmed to see they changed all the military top brass a few days ago.
You can bet Paris will burn, just like it did in 68, if the students and workers had their way. The old adage “Beware of Greeks bearing gifts” will ring true if they do, and probably will, default.
I agree with all of these, except for number 9; it's far closer to being a right-wing terror group that executes some kind of atrocity.
Meh, perhaps but I'm not sure the far right are as worked up about austerity as the left.
11) beingjdc will finger a girl at a Britpop club and, when checking the pictures on Facebook, moleintheground will say "Blimey, John fingered her? Good one."
i definitely agree with this one.
I agree about the general direction, although i think greece getting thrown out of the euro and the ensuing violence and disorder will encourage other countries to find a way to stay in; as such i disagree with (10). Also disagree with (9) - i don't think the popular hatred is against brussels, i think it's against the germans.
Under what circumstances do governments of National Unity really get formed in practice? (I certainly heard the concept mooted, in the concept of Greece, a day or two ago.) Is it realistic that we might see them under circumstances such as these, or are politicians still too partisan to try to make it happen? Is there any merit in the concept of having them happen more frequently in circumstances such as the current ones?

A large part of me hoped that we might see one in the UK after the most recent Westminster election did not return a majority. However, especially considering that I really don't know much about them, I suspect I was hoping for one more for the novelty than anything else. I also note the divergence of our views on the relative desirability of, very roughly, "strong" and "representative" governments. :-)
Outside, perhaps, of total war, I would argue they get formed in circumstances where the political class is united in its desire to do something, and knows that the electorate does not wish to do that thing.
Thanks, that seems reasonable. I suppose that there are so many ways to organise governments of National Unity that it's impossible to generalise effectively but there do seem to be at least considerable similarities between this general principle and what we have seen happening in Greece and in Italy.

The open question is that all the major UK parties were pretty keen that there needed to be major cuts in public spending, though the difference between what our biggest two parties were proposing was fairly small. I guess Ed is coming out and saying "whoa, now is the time for big Keynsian infrastructure stimulus" which is a difference, but it wasn't that big a difference at the last election. Perhaps it's difficult to know how much difference between the parties' positions there has to be for a National Unity government to fall apart due to disunity in practice.