Friday, April 17, 2015

What the Greek Crisis Might Reveal about Global Capitalism

Writing under the pseudonym Tyler Durden (Fight Club fans will recognize that name), the primary author at Zero Hedge has offered an interesting perspective on what the brutally realistic options are for the newly elected Syriza leaders if the party is to represent the democratic aspirations of the Greek people.  Durden places emphasis on the complexity of the current situation and posits, rightly I think, that the Greek people have yet to be presented with a clear picture of what a Euro-member austerity world looks like, compared with a Euro-Exit world.

Zero Hedge offers an insider's view of financial markets and is written by Wall Street traders, under pseudonym, to protect their identities.  What I find most interesting is that Durden’s analysis is very similar to that of Marxian Economists such as Leo Panitch, who have been studying Greece closely and in some cases advising the new Syriza government.

Durden leaves us with his strongly held opinion that Greece will exit the Eurozone financial system. While it is not yet clear that this is a certainty, the inflexible and condescending postures of the IMF leaders and German Finance Minister seem to be pushing Greece closer to the “Grexit” scenario.

The fact that Greece had been ruled by a handful of plutocrat families, who for years were the primary beneficiaries of IMF and Eurozone policies - avoiding taxes and reaping the benefits of debt schemes - seems to have been forgotten.  The moral logic of standard IMF policy is being unwaveringly adhered to in Europe with Germany acting as the moral and fiduciary guardian.

If Marx’s insights gave us nothing else, it is this: there is social cost and social value in all relations, commerce or otherwise.  Neoclassical economic theory has always struggled with this truth, which never seems to fit into its analytical models.  As we once again watch a failure of market economics that puts profits into the pockets of elites while passing their massive, accumulated debts on to working people, we have to take measure of the human cost.

The Syriza leadership seems to be yelling these humane principles into an echo chamber as the EU finance elites talk past them.  The only thing that appears certain now is that whichever decision is taken it will have profound consequences.

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