Greece: IMF Claims Ignorance of Basic Economics

The International Monetary Fund admitted it didn’t realize how damaging the draconian Greek bailout austerity measures it imposed would be to Greece’s economy.

The 2010-imposed austerity measures in the first bailout helped Greece avoid bankruptcy but also caused the country’s economy, already in recession, to plummet, the IMF said in an internal report made public after its contents were reported by The Wall Street Journal.

In contrast to publicly stated high hopes of the first bailout of $144 billion put together by the “troika” of the IMF, European Commission and European Central Bank in May 2010, “market confidence was not restored, the banking system lost 30 percent of its deposits and the economy encountered a much deeper-than-expected recession with exceptionally high unemployment,” the report said.

http://www.upi.com/Business_News/2013/06/06/IMF-admits-Greece-bailout-mistakes/UPI-23021370500200/

…But there is another — more sinister — way in which the IMF’s belated mea culpa is nothing new. The fact of the matter is that these type of self-critical reports by the Fund have been a permanent feature of its management of international financial crises ever since the 1980s. For some reason, every time a debt crisis strikes, the IMF moves in to impose the same short-sighted bailouts, austerity measures and market reforms — and then, several years later, comes to the conclusion that it made major mistakes in its handling of the crisis. Yet it never changes tack: when the next crisis hits, it simply reproduces the same old script: stabilization, privatization, liberalization. Nothing else will do to satisfy the markets, and so the debtors simply have to bend over backwards to satisfy the orthodox neoliberal prescriptions of structural adjustment. …

If these wholesale economic collapses and the consequent destruction of the livelihoods of millions of Latin American and Asian citizens were truly just “mistakes”, resulting from faulty baseline assumptions and flawed econometric modelling, one would expect an international institution staffed by hundreds of Ivy League and Oxbridge PhDs to eventually learn from these mistakes and come up with a somewhat more credible alternative. Wrong. Following the 2001-’02 Argentine financial crisis, the Fund once again admitted to making a series of “mistakes” of historic proportions, culminating into the largest sovereign debt default in world history. As former IMF managing director Michel Camdessus recently recalled, “we probably made many silly mistakes and committed errors with Argentina.” As a result, 60 percent of Argentinians fell into poverty as the country experienced the deepest economic depression in its history.

Over the past thirty years, the world has experienced over a hundred financial crises. So far, the IMF has responded to practically every single one of them with the same defunct policy prescription of rapid fiscal contraction, firesale privatizations and far-reaching neoliberal market reforms. In the vast majority of cases, this orthodox policy response contributed to a deepening of the recession, the loss of millions of jobs, and a humanitarian tragedy of unspeakable proportions. If you make the same mistake a hundred times over, can it still be considered a mistake? Or are we looking at the deliberate reproduction of an ideological script that narrowly serves the interests of private creditors by shifting the burden of adjustment squarely onto the shoulders of the poorest and weakest members in the debtor countries?

http://www.globalresearch.ca/strong-economic-medicine-the-imfs-mistakes-on-greece-are-nothing-new/5338454

See “Confessions of an Economic Hitman” and “The Shock Doctrine” if you want a dose of reality.  These people really have no shame.  Typical psychopaths.

How to Hide Your Digital Communications from Big Brother

Bitmessage is a P2P communications protocol used to send encrypted messages to another person or to many subscribers. It is decentralized and trustless, meaning that you need-not inherently trust any entities like root certificate authorities. It uses strong authentication which means that the sender of a message cannot be spoofed, and it aims to hide “non-content” data, like the sender and receiver of messages, from passive eavesdroppers like those running warrantless wiretapping programs.

http://www.activistpost.com/2013/06/how-to-hide-your-digital-communications.html

On The Verge… (Bilderberg 2013)

Nothing like a little humor with your New World Order. John Cleese and Eric Idle would be hard pressed to keep up with today’s reality. This report by Charlie Skelton of The Guardian http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/05/bilderberg-2013-goldman-sachs-watford   provides a vignette on the preparations of a small town for a large event

Bilderberg 2013: welcome to 1984    by Charlie Skelton

The auditorium grew hushed as a senior Watford borough councillor took to his feet. The police liaison team looked nervous. They had made their presentation and laid out their plans for this “unique event”: the anti-terrorism zones, the identity checks, the restriction on vehicles stopping in the vicinity of this “important international conference”. But now it was the turn of the people of Watford to speak.

What would they make of this international three-day policy summit, with its heavyweight delegate list bulging with billionaire financiers, party leaders and media moguls, protected by the biggest security operation Watford has ever seen?

“What this whole thing boils down to,” boomed the councillor, “is this: are you, or are you not, setting a precedent for vehicles parking on the verge of the Old Hempstead Road?”

Thus began an hour-long (hour-and-a-half-long?) discussion about whether or not cars and press vehicles should be allowed to park on a strip of grass running parallel to the A41, just opposite the Grove hotel. It was like a weird, dystopian episode of Keeping Up Appearances. Never mind that our ministers are meeting in secret with the heads of Shell, BP, Google and Amazon – what about the verge!

There was an audible gasp when, under intense questioning, Chief Inspector Rhodes was forced to admit, citing a “bylaw”, that the no-parking signs on the verge were actually fraudulent: no such law existed.. One lady, almost beside herself, gestured to the audience. “There are media here! This story is going to get out!” The verge would never be the same again, thanks to Bilderberg.

The audience was an odd mix. Half were residents from around the venue worried about the possibility of tyre-damage to a strip of lawn; the other half were journalists from around the world worried about the geopolitical implications of a conference at which BAE, Stratfor and General Petraeus will be discussing “Africa’s challenges”.

Both halves were worried about the funding for the gigantic security operation. The police assured sceptical residents that the conference would be “cost-neutral” for Hertfordshire, thanks in part to a “donation” from the conference organisers. This “donation” will have come, in part at least, from the Bilderberg Association, a registered UK charity that takes “donations” from BP and Goldman Sachs.

At one point in the meeting, during a tense exchange about contingency plans for dog-walkers, Rhodes let slip that Operation Discuss (the codename for the Bilderberg security operation) had been up and running for 18 months. Residents and journalists shared an intake of breath. “Eighteen months?” The reason for all the secrecy? “Terrorism”.

The same threat of “terrorism” was used to justify the no-pedestrian, no-stopping zones near the venue. The police laid out their logic: they had “no specific intelligence” regarding a terror threat. However, in recent incidents, such as Boston and Woolwich, there had been no intelligence prior to the attack. Therefore the lack of any threat of a terror attack fitted exactly the profile of a terror attack. The lack of a threat was a threat. Welcome to 1984.

Here is the guest list and the agenda, courtesy of Michel Chossudovsky and the good folks at Global Research http://www.globalresearch.ca/who-will-be-attending-the-bilderberg-meeting-what-will-be-discussed-behind-closed-doors/5337453

 

 

 

Cloud computing is a trap, warns GNU founder Richard Stallman

The concept of using web-based programs like Google’s Gmail is “worse than stupidity”, according to a leading advocate of free software.

Cloud computing – where IT power is delivered over the internet as you need it, rather than drawn from a desktop computer – has gained currency in recent years. Large internet and technology companies including Google, Microsoft and Amazon are pushing forward their plans to deliver information and software over the net.

But Richard Stallman, founder of the Free Software Foundation and creator of the computer operating system GNU, said that cloud computing was simply a trap aimed at forcing more people to buy into locked, proprietary systems that would cost them more and more over time.

“It’s stupidity. It’s worse than stupidity: it’s a marketing hype campaign,” he told The Guardian.

“Somebody is saying this is inevitable – and whenever you hear somebody saying that, it’s very likely to be a set of businesses campaigning to make it true.”

The 55-year-old New Yorker said that computer users should be keen to keep their information in their own hands, rather than hand it over to a third party. …

http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2008/sep/29/cloud.computing.richard.stallman