What Could the US Achieve at the G20 in Cannes?

By Simon Johnson

The April 2009 London summit of the G20 is widely regarded as having been a great success.  The world’s largest economies agreed on an immediate coordinated approach to the global financial crisis then raging and promised to work together on banking reforms that would support growth.  At the time, President Obama got high marks for his constructive engagement.

The G20 heads of government have met twice a year since London and in Cannes this week they meet again (November 3-4).  Could this summit also help stabilize the world economy?  And can President Obama again play a leading role?  The answer to both questions is likely the same: No.

In 2009, the primary problem was slumping economies in the United States and Western Europe.  It was in the perceived individual interest of those economies to engage in some fiscal stimulus – and they were happy to present this as a joint approach.  China was also willing to stimulate its economy, as its policymakers feared slowing global trade would lower Chinese exports.  President Obama’s appeal for fiscal stimulus around the world was pushing on an open door.

Now the issue is quite different.  We have a sovereign debt crisis within the eurozone, in which countries that have borrowed heavily are facing the prospect of restructuring their debts.  The eurozone summit last week established that Greek debt will fall by about half (relative to face value), although this does not clearly put Greece onto a sustainable debt path.  The surprise referendum in Greece, announced this week, could build political support for the needed reforms.  Or it could lead Greece to exit the euro and to default on its debts in a “disorderly” manner – meaning without any kind of international framework or outside financial support.

But the real issue is Italy, as it has been at least since the summer. The Europeans are only beginning to get to grips with the centrality of Italy in the European debt web – glance at Bill Marsh’s recent graphic to get the point.  Italy has over 1.9 trillion euros in debt outstanding; this is the third largest bond market in the world.  In the aftermath of the Greek referendum announcement, the yield on Italian debt rose above 6.1 percent – the standard view is that if this reaches 6.5 percent, Italy will need to seek assistance in the form of a back-stop fund, to guarantee that there will be no default.

But the International Monetary Fund does not have enough resources available and the existing European Financial Stability Facility is also likely too small.  Informed observers talk of the need for more than 2 trillion euros in a “stabilization fund” and while there is a lot of fuzzy math involved in contemporary international financial rescues, the IMF and EFSF combined would be hard pressed to provide more than a third of that.

This might seem like a good time for a summit – so the hat can be passed around world leaders.  And some people do hope that China could provide an enormous loan, either directly or working with the IMF.  China, after all, has more than 2 trillion euros worth of reserves (not all in euros, of course; much of this is in dollars).

But it’s not clear China wants to take the credit risk of lending directly – the Europeans might not pay back, after all.  And the US is not keen to have China funnel such a large amount through the IMF; this would undermine the traditional US predominance there.  In today’s budgetary environment, there is no way that the US can come up with anything like matching funding at a level that would make a difference – would you like to ask the House of Representatives for $100 billion right now, to help keep Mr. Berlusconi in power?

And the heart of the problem is really European, not global.  Specifically, the eurozone needs to address its underlying fiscal structure, which has become severely dysfunctional.  They need a proper fiscal union, with the right to tax and to issue debt – backed ultimately by the European Central Bank.  And the ability of member governments to issue new debt must be severely curtailed.

The US faced a similar problem, long ago.  The original Articles of Confederation proved inadequate, largely because there was no centralized fiscal authority.  The Constitutional Convention convened in 1787 in large part because the US had defaulted on its debts – incurred during the war of independence – and there was no way forward without a new agreement among the original 13 states and greater fiscal powers (and more) for the federal government.

Europe needs the equivalent of a constitutional convention.  But today’s financial markets move so much faster than 200 years ago and the delay to date in Europe has already been excessive.  The Europeans need to move fast.  Will the Cannes summit speed them up?

An edited version of this post appeared on the NYT.com Economix blog today; it is used here with permission. If you would like to reproduce the entire post, please contact New York Times.

45 responses to “What Could the US Achieve at the G20 in Cannes?

  1. Andreas Pirklbauer

    I doubt that the Cannes summit will speed up the process in Europe. As long as there are corrupt politicians in place, like Mr. Berlusconi, who seem more concerned about their own needs than the state’s, and even create tailor-made laws just for them, like Mr. Berlusconi in Italy, there will not be much progress.

  2. Simon,

    Nice try, but unlike the newly independent US, the EUR area is not a federation. This is a situation without precedent. There is no central authority. Maybe the comparison with the newly expanded US a decade before the Civil War and currency centralization. Maybe the EUR would need some interstate violence? That has been tried before and it always ended with non (west/middle) Europeans intervening against the consolidator (Napoleon defeated by the Russians, Germany twice defeated -ultimately- by US intervention). In addition, the consolidators were never able to create mass appeal outside their home states.

    And the EUR zone does need Chinese money, or anyone’s money. It needs a greater fool (or a long term investor) to buy the toxic waste from securitizing the stock of bad debt via the EFSF’s SPV option. There is no shortage of savings (like in The US) there is a shortage of risk appetite in the EUR. And China wants risk free assets, which do not exist in the EUR zone. Which frustrates the Chinese mightily, because that makes it harder to manipulate the EUR exchange rate (they have enough firepower to push the EUR up, but the proper instruments are lacking.

    Italy, however is not the problem it seems to be. Much of Italy’s gvt debt is with retail investors, domestic institutions. As long as the Italian elite does not, like the Greek one, dabble in CDS (and then, when the CDS do not pay out, create a political crisis that may still trigger an ISDA-proof credit event). But rich Italians, unlike rich Greeks, predominantly live in their own country and have very much at stake there. Hence it is unlikely that they will play that sort of games that you may recognize from the Asian Crisis during your IMF days. The Italians are more like the Malaysians than like the Thais or Indonesians. They are not going to worsen a crisis just to collect on their financial markets bets. The Italian elite likes the EUR for the long term, not as an unprotected ATM.

    Strange as it may be, this is the best of all possible worlds for the EUR: no central gvt, no real breakdown, high rates for Italian etc savers and a low EUR for exports. What else do you want in an economy with the EUR zone’s demographics. The Japanese would kill for this type of FX weakness…All that is left when Greece leaves the EUR is to have the EFSFand the ECB to sell their Greek sov debt to Turkey for 10 cts on the EUR plus a share in the collection proceeds.

  3. Dr. Johnson,
    Your remedy of creating a centralized Euro tax and debt-issuing authority sounds like more concentration, which is not only anti democratic, but leads to “too big to fail.” Doesn’t it?

    Wouldn’t regional currencies and floating exchanges be better ultimately to prevent debt contagion?

    Let smaller fiscal unions e.g. separate countries like Greece, Portugal, etc run their own affairs. If they screw up and spend more than they earn, let their currency fall — their exports earnings should rise, and their devalued currency will force them to live within their means.

    What am I missing? And doesn’t more centralization go against what you’ve been arguing for — smaller banks — all along?

    Torrey Byles

  4. I don’t intend to be rude to Professor Johnson, but personally I am more concerned with the comings (no pun intended) and goings of Herman Cain.

    http://abcnews.go.com/WNT/video/herman-cain-3rd-woman-claims-harassment-14869760

    http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-cain-accuser-20111104,0,7565476.story

    This reminds me of some old folk sayings from an old African trial lawyer. I faintly recall his name maybe was Johnnie L. Cochran, but I can’t recall clearly his name. I’m not certain his name was Johnnie Cochran, but here are some lines he told me once when we were standing near each other at a courthouse restroom.

    “Just because you’re the leader of Pizza Inn, doesn’t mean you can attack a Virg Inn”

    “When you feel the urge for a sex mate, don’t drink or gesticulate”

    “If she is not your prior sexual mate, you must not pay a year’s wage rate”

    “Don’t make your fingers like an elephant gun, before your plans for the presidential run”

    “If the girl lets out a big yelp, you must call ‘Goldsmith PR’ for help”

    “Republicans don’t like darkie ahead by a mile, just ask the man named Colin Powell”

    “Birth certificate probs seem very small, when you gots trouble with a talkative doll”

  5. @Simon, Why would a soverign state give up its authority? The problems in Europe are caused by the EU. If not for the Euro, Greece could more easily default and move on down the road. Europe has been fighting with itself for centuries and you are proposing that they form a constitution together….really?….really? Everyone that thinks that is going to happen stand on your head!

  6. This is a bit off-topic, but some smart people are here, and I have a question that’s been nagging me:

    Why are the PIIGS instituting austerity measures if the ratings agencies keep downgrading their bonds because those same austerity measures inhibit growth? That means the debt of those countries will just keep growing ad infinitum. The whole thing seems like a negative feedback loop to me.

    The only winners seem to be the bond-holders, who *believe* that the ECB will bail out these countries, again, ad infinitum. Thus, a downgrade in bond ratings=higher returns for bondholders, on what appears to be a riskless investment. Is this a correct assessment? I just don’t get it…

  7. @nick – I’m not one of those smart people that you are referring to, but I do have my own opinion about things.

    As far as the bonds are concerned, I don’t believe that they are in a good position at all. One company has just decided to declare bankruptcy over a bad European bond bet. If the bonds are downgraded, the current bondholders do not get a higher return on their investment. The return would go up as the price comes down for purchasing a more risky asset. These are far from riskless investments.

    As far as the austerity measures go, they have a problem no matter which way they go. They can’t keep spending like they used to either. It seems to me that it has to stop somewhere.

  8. this comment directed at Nick,
    Actually your question is a pretty deep question, and it is not off topic, it gets to the core of the topic.

    The answer is that you aren’t allowed to hit bondholders because the bondholders (sovereign bonds, packaged CDOs etc) are the same rich S.O.Bs who caused this mess, and nobody likes to play racquetball if the ball comes back off the wall and hits you in the testicles. Notice how the basturd David Faber sh*ts a huge messy one in his pants when Christopher Whalen committed the sin of talking truth (yeah truth on CNBC!!!!!, it happens about the same frequency as total lunar eclipses, so mark it down) about French banks back in August:

    http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?video=3000038440

    I also should add, I am not generally a Christopher Whalen fan, but I was cheering Whalen like I was at a college football championship game when Whalen went against the CNBC cheerleading crew that day. You’ll notice the only one out of the other four who verbally agreed with Whalen (in a tone like he was verifying “Yes the sky is blue”) was also the only other guy not on the CNBC payroll—Josh Rosner.

    That’s how you know things are getting serious now, because they are finally talking about bondholders sharing some of the pain, and when you hear/read that, you know the sh*t has hit the fan badly, because it is the last thing the establishment/rich will do. Bondholders will only share pain when they have a gun to their head—-PERIOD.

    Read my past comment (about 2 weeks ago) here:

    http://baselinescenario.com/2011/10/23/european-debt-the-big-picture/#comment-86130

  9. I also want to add here, although it is an incredibly obvious fact that you will see very few people make reference to, other than the fine gentlemen here, Sirs Kwak and Johnson, Mike Konczal, and a stark few others: Spain’s problem was not caused by government spending, it was caused by corrupt banks.

    It will be interesting to see if any “economic research” is done on the particulars of Spain, and how they got sucked into the Eurozone mess with one of the better government budgets in Europe. I’m guessing the research would not be funded by the Koch brothers, as they are too busy profiting from weapons sales to Iran.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-10-02/koch-brothers-flout-law-getting-richer-with-secret-iran-sales.html

  10. …and those bond traders are all in hock to each other! Everyone seems to be a counterparty to everyone else, given their dependence on default swaps. On the other side of the coin? No one seems to appreciate how inter-woven this has all become. I have this vision of Italy going bankrupt and, in complete synchronization, everyone in the financial markets holds out their open palms to everyone else.

  11. Europe is not the US. There are too much languages and different cultures to be a one country(An ignored fact is that countries like France used subsidies to avoid automakers to build factories in Eastern Europe instead of their home countries).

    Another problem is that Greece is not Argentina, the most used comparison. Argentina can screw up their currency and their economy because they are big producers of commodities. Greece does not have the same possibility. In fact, with the exception of Italy(That has a very problematic industrial sector) common to all countries in the center of the Eurozone Crisis. There is no big industry in places like Portugal or Greece to sustain a recovery.

  12. So much to be concerned about this weekend (off topic bulletin):

    CME Goes To Collateral DefCon 1: Makes Maintenance Margin Equal To Initial For… Everything!?

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/cme-goes-margin-defcon-1-makes-maintenance-margin-equal-initial-everything

  13. @Andre….give us time here in the US. We’re devolving and diverging. Spend a month in New England…then the same in New Mexico Ariz and California. Then head on down to Tallahassee Florida, for starters. And go south…to Miami. Or North to the Plains of Alabama. Then on up to Michigan. Finish in NYC. Then tell me again how we are one nation. Horseshit. The ‘center will not hold’.

  14. No Nick, the winners are the ones who can retire at 52 and still collect the yearly maxium $48,000 ss benifits. With no objections from Americans I might add..

  15. FabiusMaximus

    In the NYTimes today:

    The Denials That Trapped Greece
    By LANDON THOMAS Jr. and STEPHEN CASTLE
    Athens

    THE warning was clear: Greece was spiraling out of control.

    But the alarm, sounded in mid-2009, in a draft report from the International Monetary Fund, never reached the outside world.

    Greek officials saw the draft and complained to the I.M.F. So the final report, while critical, played down the risks that Athens might one day default, with disastrous consequences for all of Europe.

    ….
    “Because of all this denial and delay, Greece will need to write down as much as 85 percent of its debt — 50 percent is not enough,” Mr. Buiter said.

    _______________

    Although Simon was at the IMF from March 2007 to Aug 2008, one has to wonder whether he had any inkling of the Greek problem.

    Should we believe him as a fount of knowledge about sovereign debt crises, if he really had no inkling?

    Furthermore, was he knowledgeable about this and other coverups?

  16. Bruce E. Woych

    Here is a nice summary review from England: (see video report with article)
    G20 ENDS without Resolution
    Channel 4 News (Great Britain)

    G20 summit ends without resolution
    Friday 04 November 2011

    http://www.channel4.com/news/g20-leaders-agree-to-bolster-imf?om_u=NsgcFQ&om_i=_BOtCJGB8eVctG6

    a “Mexican stand off” staged in classic European stalemate style.

  17. Bruce E. Woych

    Following through on the offset triangulations of repercussion economics we should, in all justice, follow with this report as well:

    http://www.channel4.com/news/stopping-a-greek-drama-from-becoming-a-wider-crisis

    Channel 4 News

    Stopping a Greek drama from becoming an economic tragedy
    Tuesday 27 September 2011
    What happens if Europe’s politicians fail to resolve Greece’s debt problems?
    “Collapse of society’

    “What started in Greece has ended up bringing down other countries that are too big to save,” he said.

    The result would be “the collapse of society in many southern European states, with a significant drop in standards of living”.

    http://www.channel4.com/news/stopping-a-greek-drama-from-becoming-a-wider-crisis

    (Goldman must be very proud of their role in all this…they of course, are to big to fail while these entire countries are going down as too big to save…is this some kind of perverted logic?)

  18. I would’nt consider 2.6 trillion in Italian bonds starting to come due the first of the year to be perverted. Subverted perhaps, or converted to anything the holders agree on. Continued hyperinflation at its best, and derivitivies breakdown at its worst.

  19. I apologize again to Professor Johnson for breaking off topic, but hey, “it’s the G-20″, what more can I say??? Simon Johnson is a good writer with many important things to say that our American society should listen to, but it’s a topic that always goes nowhere (I do still love the Bill Marsh graph though).

    There is a question I have on a Saturday evening. The Wall Street Journal (you know, mouthpiece for Rupert Murdoch, the dude on the left here): http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503543_162-20081880-503543.html is some kind of “publication” I have to say. Really, they are something else.

    I want to phone one of the idiot editors over at WSJ and ask them a simple question: Is this really what you consider to be good writing???

    http://wonkette.com/275831/peggy-noonan-saw-a-mexican

    Honest to God, read the crap this dumb c*nt Peggy Noonan writes and try not to bust out laughing, just try not to bust out laughing. Some samples picked out by Ken Layne at Wonkette (Ken how could you bear it??):

    * “It is late afternoon in Manhattan on the Fourth of July, and I’m walking along on Lexington and 59th, in front of Bloomingdale’s. Suddenly in my sight there’s a young woman standing on a street grate. She is short, about 5 feet tall, and stocky, with a broad brown face. She is, I think, Latin American, maybe of Indian blood.”
    * “You might have seen this person before. She’s one of a small army of advertisement giver-outers in New York.”
    * “And then, half a block later, I turned around. I thought of a woman I’d met recently who had gone through various reverses in life and now had a new job, as a clerk in the back room of a store. She was happy to have it, a new beginning. But there was this thing: They didn’t want to pay for air conditioning, so she sweltered all day. This made her want to weep, just talking about it. Ever since that conversation, I have been so grateful for my air conditioning. I had forgotten long ago to be grateful for it.”
    * “So I turned around and went back. I wanted to say something — I don’t know what, find out where she was from, encourage her. I said hello, and she looked at me and I patted her arm and said, “Happy Fourth of July, my friend.” She was startled and then shy, and she smiled and made a sound, and I realized: She doesn’t speak English. “God bless you,” I said, because a little while in America and you know the word God just as 10 minutes in Mexico and you learn the word Dios. And we both smiled and nodded and I left.”
    * “I went into Bloomingdale’s and wrote these words: ‘We must speak the same language so we can hearten each other.’”

    Ok, I know this was written around 2007, but WOW!!! Peggy….. WOW!!! You are my new hero!!! Does anyone know how this c*nt gets invited to the Sunday morning shows after writing crap like this??? I mean really?!?!?! Maybe David Gregory I can see him inviting her, but Christiane Amanpour??? The journalist who risked her life in wars to end up sitting at a table listening to that???? Really???

    hat tip to Brad Delong on the Wonkette link.

  20. The new theme song of the Eurozone. This musical message is brought to you by Societe Generale and a consortium of French banks that specialize in short-term Repos. God bless off-balance sheet accounting and hidden loans that have gone bad. Our motto is “If the great unwashed din’t see it, it dern’t count”.

  21. Here’s a great conversation between Christopher Lydon and Mark Blyth at Brown University.

    Mark Blyth says the housing bubble is not the problem but a symptom. The real problem is a bubble in the financial sector with the banking system making up 10% of the [economy?] and 40% of GDP. Ordinary citizens have been conned. The bad debt in the banking system was nationalized and now ordinary folk are being told they have to pay up. Give up healthcare, education, social security, etc. because government has too much debt and the solution is “austerity”.

    http://www.radioopensource.org/mark-blyth-5-sovereigns-citizens-and-suckers/

  22. @Anon, “@Andre….give us time here in the US. We’re devolving and diverging. Spend a month in New England…then the same in New Mexico Ariz and California. Then head on down to Tallahassee Florida, for starters. And go south…to Miami. Or North to the Plains of Alabama. Then on up to Michigan. Finish in NYC. Then tell me again how we are one nation. Horseshit. The ‘center will not hold’.”

    Wow – geographically similar to when Native Americans were the only ones here :-))

    There IS a *center* among We The People.

    There IS no honor among thieves.

  23. Bruce E. Woych

    http://neweconomicperspectives.blogspot.com/2011/11/wall-street-vs-greece-g20-opens-as.html

    Michael Hudson
    Wall Street vs. Greece: G20 Opens as Greek PM Pushes for Referendum on Bailout and Austerity Measures
    (Quote)
    Michael Hudson “Polls report that 66 percent of the Greeks do want to stay in the eurozone. They want to stay in the euro. So, by trying to rephrase the question in a way that will get a “Yes” vote, they avoid asking the really important question: Do you Greeks want to push yourselves into a decade of depression and impose austerity? Do you vote to sell off the public domain, sell off the Athenian water supply, sell off your islands, sell off your mineral rights in the sea, sell off even the Parthenon—do you want to do that so that French banks and American bond insurers will not lose money?”

    Michael Huson does an in depth interview discussing this position on a video at this link:

    http://neweconomicperspectives.blogspot.com/2011/11/wall-street-vs-greece-g20-opens-as.html

  24. Jacques Redou

    Mr. Johnson is obviously just another ONE WORLDER. Concentrated Power
    is the root of the current crisis, and Concentrated Power wants desperately
    to Take Advantage of the Current Crisis (which they created)

    Mr Johnson is just another Shill for Concentrated Power.

  25. I would’nt consider 2.6 trillion in Italian bonds starting to come due the first of the year to be perverted. Subverted perhaps, or converted to anything the holders agree on. Continued hyperinflation at its best, and derivitivies breakdown at its worst.

  26. What Could the US Achieve at the G20 in Cannes?…….absolutely nothing!

  27. @Mummy, “What Could the US Achieve at the G20 in Cannes?…….absolutely nothing!”

    Lost the propaganda memo….?

    “Nation building.”

  28. Jacques Redou

    Johnson has been critical of ‘Too Big To Fail’.

    Trade is good.
    Trade is global.
    Therefore, global trade is good.

    Trade requires finance.
    Trade is global.
    Therefore, finance is global.

    Economic processes seek to maximize economic efficiencies.
    But, economic efficiencies tend to concentrate wealth.
    Therefore, global finance concentrates wealth.

    But, ‘global’ implies ‘national boundary’.
    ‘national boundary’ implies political controls w/in each boundary.
    Therefore, ‘global’ (the reality) implies (requires) political decisions w/in each ‘entity’.

    From what I’ve seen Johnson say he is interested- as a teacher at Sloan- in seeking solutions to make the system function while at the same time seeking to maintain a ‘social conscience’. Do not bad mouth the man. He is like Lester Thurow- a conscience of America (whatever that means now and what that may mean in the future).

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-11-07/middle-class-pays-for-financial-market-mistakes-simon-johnson.html

    Also, read about real concentration:

    http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/11/07/who-rules-the-global-economy/?scp=2&sq=economix&st=Search

    Johnson has a humane voice- he is saying, however indirectly, why should developing countries shift wealth to shore up rich countries?

    I.e., think of all those people in China, India and elsewhere- you are asking impoverished people to sacrifice so rich countries can retire people at 50 w/ lifetime entitlements?

    I.e., Johnson is a realist- how do you train people to live w/ economic efficiencies while maintaining any sense of ‘fairness’ or ‘right’?

  29. @fwachtler – “I.e., think of all those people in China, India and elsewhere- you are asking impoverished people to sacrifice so rich countries can retire people at 50 w/ lifetime entitlements?”

    This is the most mis-informed, war-provoking statement ever to cross this blog.

    There is a man to land ratio that was NOT exceeded by USA population. There is only so much blood that can be sucked out of a stone. India and China over-populated themselves! How is STEALING from the retirement savings of HONEST LABOR of USA citizens supposed to help out the *poor* in those two countries?

  30. Bruce E. Woych

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rj-eskow/vetoing-democracy-in-athe_b_1077104.html?ir=World

    Vetoing Democracy: In Athens or Washington, Elites Still Call the Shots
    Posted: 11/4/11 06:20 PM ET
    “In government offices in Athens, G20 meeting rooms in Cannes, and “Super Committee” chambers in Washington, we learned that there are still places where the will of the people can be overruled by the whims of the powerful.
    From the Parthenon to the Potomac, it was the same story: Elites still hold veto power over the democratic process, and they’re not afraid to use it.”

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rj-eskow/vetoing-democracy-in-athe_b_1077104.html?ir=World

    Richard (RJ) Eskow
    Consultant, writer and Senior Fellow, Campaign for America’s Future

  31. ‘However indirectly’ meant to say, ‘an economist is concerned w/ economic balances and re-balancing’.

    ‘This is the most mis-informed, war-provoking statement ever to cross this blog.’

    I didn’t mean to suggest anything like a ‘war-provoking statement’ but in current BBC ‘news’:

    ‘Sloth and indolence’

    ‘Will dependency on Chinese capital in the 21st Century be equally good?

    No one knows, but the signs are not promising. Just last week, Jin Liqun, the supervising chairman of China’s sovereign wealth fund, told an al-Jazeera interviewer that Beijing should only lend to Europe if the EU turns itself upside down.

    “If you look at the troubles which happened in European countries,” said Jin. “This is purely because of the accumulated troubles of the worn out welfare society… The labour laws induce sloth, indolence, rather than hard working.” Europe might find Chinese economic hegemony much harder to live with than an American one.’

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-15619946

    An additional BBC article:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-15600594

    I won’t respond to anything written here. But, I will keep track of Prof. Johnson and I take two statements to heart- the first is his comment the modern economy must find ways to foster growth w/o so much leverage and the second are his warnings about ‘Too Big To Fail’.

  32. Bruce E. Woych

    http://www.youtube.com/user/Jon2012HQ?feature=mhsn#p/a/u/0/OtVI7VJT5Ks

    @ fwachtler

    check out this interview with Jon Huntsman
    Jon Huntsman on Meet The Press – November 6, 2011
    From: Jon2012HQ | Nov 6, 2011

  33. @Woych – I would have asked Huntsman if he believed USA landed people on the moon. Mormons went on a big PR campaign for a LONG time saying it never happened….

    China is getting way too predatory and abandoning diplomacy.

    Once again, hard not to note that neither China nor India nor the Arabs have organized Africa into a sustainable continent that can provide for their own country’s over-population crisis. They just keep pushing on to rob Europe and USA…talk about *lazy*….

  34. Bruce E. Woych

    @Annie: We the people of America and the Americas are not really part of what is going on in the power and finance driven collusion and delusions (of grandeur) that are churning our human world and destroying the planet. Certainly it is impossible to re-divide things into nationalism anymore, but the demarcation alignments are at the breaking point and the old cold war is really a new finance war. The call for transparency is a joker card played by the aggressor who discloses nothing. Honesty is a child’s game for fools to pursuit; professional economists divide themselves into camps with self-titled classifications such as classical, micro/macro, salt-water, fresh water, Austrian, …everything but alien, and we are left with the “OOPS!”
    disillusionment and desperation economics at the bottom, and
    Any sense of fair play is at microscopic levels of quibbling deception and we no longer have to have a coherent reason to take to the streets.
    I don’t care a hoot about generalizations over religious affiliations…it has come down to the lesser of multiple evils. We don’t have a real choice and we clearly do not have time on our side with a loosely nit people’s coalition that is being plotted agaisnt even as we speak.

    see:
    Koch Bros’ Tentacles to Reach Further With Secretive Database

    http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2011/11/07-8

    http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2011/11/07-8

    It’s election day…GET OUT AND VOTE!

  35. Bruce E. Woych

    http://rwer.wordpress.com/2011/11/07/toxic-textbooks-part-i-%e2%80%93-mankiw%e2%80%99s-neo-platonism-is-anti-science/

    “No discipline has ever experienced systemic failure on the scale that economics has today. Its fall from grace has been two-dimensional. One, economists oversaw, directly and through the prevalence of their ideas, the structuring of the global economy that has now collapsed. Two, except for a few outcasts, economists failed to see, even before the general public saw, the coming of the biggest economic meltdown of all time. Never has a profession betrayed the trust of society so acutely, never has one been in such desperate need of a fundamental remake.”
    FROM:
    Toxic Textbooks: Part I – Mankiw’s Neo-Platonism is anti-science
    November 7, 2011 Edward Fullbrook
    from Edward Fullbrook

    http://rwer.wordpress.com/2011/11/07/toxic-textbooks-part-i-%e2%80%93-mankiw%e2%80%99s-neo-platonism-is-anti-science/

  36. @Woych, “I don’t care a hoot about generalizations over religious affiliations…it has come down to the lesser of multiple evils. We don’t have a real choice and we clearly do not have time on our side with a loosely nit people’s coalition that is being plotted agaisnt even as we speak.”

    Can’t join you in letting them off the hook for the cabal’s past decade of *religiosity* hurled out 24/7 by the psychos and sociopaths – need to pin them down for that massive and insane abuse of religion – it was pure Jonestown-like hell.

    Of course, NORMAL minded people, especially the age group that was in school in the 60s and 70s have no problem with what ANY individual thinks when they think *deep thoughts* :-)) about stuff like *god*, but the cancervatives have been on one big drug induced extasy rave party of crucifying any ACT some innocent committed anytime anywhere that reminded them of something *christian* (love one another)….in short, they want people to believe that the 99% do NOT have permission to be ethical, noble, generous, unselfish, forward-looking, honest working, etc. BECAUSE IT HURTS THE BOTTOM LINE OF SHAREHOLDERS.

    Data is in – the past two years have sucked up more wealth to the top 1% than before the *crash* – it’s *mathematically* exponential!

    The TAX LAWS have put more cash in the hands of the CRIMINALS than the *middle class* will ever have again. Causus belli if there ever was one….once *laws* do that, it’s over.

    Just War has to happen – it has to happen.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Just_War

  37. Play my friends, for tomorrow you may have everything, or nothing. Just depends on how you prepair.

  38. @Woych – here you go, the drug dealors even have the economic fire power to get their *privacy* rights argued before the Supreme Court….

    Thanks to the Patriot Act giving the Secretary of the Treasury the *power* to not need a warrant to read my financial records like a copy of *The National Enquirer”, I DON’T have the financial power to protect my *privacy* rights….

    Said it 2 years ago – a big bowl of crazy instead of *justice*….

  39. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/08/supreme-court-gps-tracking-privacy-rights_n_1082602.html

    sorry – here’s the link to the drug dealor case before the Supreme Court…

  40. Simon, what the H have you been smoking, with this opening line:

    “The April 2009 London summit of the G20 is widely regarded as having been a great success.”

    A great success, what?

    Who are the people in the wide regard circle?

    People with their head stuck in a hole?

    The world financial system is STILL one click away from collapse, so the assertion lacks credibility.

    Stop the BS, please.

  41. Bruce E. Woych

    @Annie: Heads they win, tails we lose…it is the catch 22 intentionally manipulated to a fallacy of distinction and we are then told it is freedom and choices! I’m with you Annie.

    I guess I should have qualified that America guarantees a freedom of Religion but, you are right on, it has been abused as bad as any time since the Native Indians were coerced into reservations or face extermination. If you don’t think America doesn’t have it’s own Taliban fucdamentalist’s pushing their own political agenda, check this out from very recent events:

    American Home grown Taliban arrive: the advent of Rigtheous right wing Republican Terrorism has arrived.
    …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
    Jacobs: ‘The Response’ Broke The Curse Of Native American Cannibals
    Submitted by Brian Tashman on September 12, 2011 – 5:01pm

    “Jacobs claims that lands are cursed with violence because they were previously inhabited by Native Americans who “did blood sacrifice” and “were cannibals and they ate people.”
    Fortunately, Jacobs maintains, Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s The Response prayer rally in Houston broke the curse and “the land is starting to rejoice, you see, because of that prayer.”
    This concept of curses left by Native Americans has a large foothold in the New Apostolic Reformation, and today Bruce Wilson reported that NAR figures Chuck Pierce, John Benefiel, Tom Schlueter and Jay Swallow recently participated in an event in Teas that involved “smashing of Native American art objects” in order to “divorce and tear down the principalities of Baal, Asherah and Leviathan.” Like Benefiel and Swallow, Jacobs was an official endorser of The Response.”
    ————————————————————————————————————————————-

    The destruction of Native art and artifacts is virtually identical to the Taliban rule. It is a hate crime in this country and should be prosecuted…we, as anthropologists, must get the word out that this is absolutely despicable and intolerable in America. The American public across the nation should be outraged and demand criminal actions for this hate crime and deliberate destruction of Native artifacts.

    ————————————————————————————————————————

  42. @Woych, “This concept of curses left by Native Americans has a large foothold in the New Apostolic Reformation, and today Bruce Wilson reported that NAR figures Chuck Pierce, John Benefiel, Tom Schlueter and Jay Swallow recently participated in an event in Teas that involved “smashing of Native American art objects” in order to “divorce and tear down the principalities of Baal, Asherah and Leviathan.” Like Benefiel and Swallow, Jacobs was an official endorser of The Response.”

    Wow, serious guilt transfer….what *cursed* them is their own free-will choices…

    I agree – complete and utter insanity to destroy Native American Art! Scheesh – it’s hardly the free-fall into nihilisitc abstractionism that led to feces covered Madonna paintings in NYC…

    http://nativeamerican-art.com/

  43. Bruce E. Woych

    http://www.truth-out.org/occupy-colleges-now-students-new-public-intellectuals/1321891418

    Published on Truthout (http://www.truth-out.org)

    Occupy Colleges Now: Students as the New Public Intellectuals
    Monday 21 November 2011
    by: Henry A. Giroux, Truthout | News Analysis
    (excerpt)
    “The police violence that has taken place at the University of California campuses at Berkeley and Davis does more than border on pure thuggery; it also reveals a display of force that is as unnecessary as it is brutal, and it is impossible to justify. These young people are being beaten on their campuses for simply displaying the courage to protest a system that has robbed them of both a quality education and a viable future.

    Finding our way to a more humane future demands a new politics, a new set of values, and a renewed sense of the fragile nature of democracy. In part, this means educating a new generation of intellectuals who not only defend higher education as a democratic public sphere, but also frame their own agency as intellectuals willing to connect their research, teaching, knowledge, and service with broader democratic concerns over equality, justice, and an alternative vision of what the university might be and what society could become.”
    (Read it ALL)

    http://www.truth-out.org/occupy-colleges-now-students-new-public-intellectuals/1321891418

    Published on Truthout (http://www.truth-out.org)

  44. Bruce E. Woych

    http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2011/11/mark-ames-how-uc-davis-chancellor-linda-katehi-brought-oppression-back-to-greece’s-universities.html

    WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 2011
    Mark Ames: How UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi Brought Oppression Back To Greece’s Universities
    Yves here. Reader sidelarge raised the issue yesterday in comments, of UC Davis chancellor Linda Katehi’s role in abolition of university asylum in Greece. The story is even uglier than the link he provided suggests.
    By Mark Ames, the author of Going Postal: Rage, Murder and Rebellion from Reagan’s Workplaces to Clinton’s Columbine. Cross posted from The eXiled
    (Introduction excerpt)
    “A friend of mine sent me this link claiming that UC Davis chancellor “Chemical” Linda Katehi, whose crackdown on peaceful university students shocked America, played a role in allowing Greece security forces to raid university campuses for the first time since the junta was overthrown in 1974. (H/T: Crooked Timber) I’ve checked this out with our friend in Athens, reporter Kostas Kallergis (who runs the local blog “When The Crisis Hits The Fan”), and he confirmed it–Linda Katehi really is the worst of all possible chancellors imaginable, the worst for us, and the worst for her native Greece.”

    see what is coming here next: read the article. No more LIES ! The CAT is out of the BAG!

    http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2011/11/mark-ames-how-uc-davis-chancellor-linda-katehi-brought-oppression-back-to-greece’s-universities.