Thursday, January 29, 2015

Priorities

The Syriza victory as a Rorschach test for U.S. politicians:

Mayor De Blasio and President Obama both called Tsipras this morning to congratulate him. According to the press release from the Mayor's office,
Mayor Bill de Blasio called Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras Thursday morning to congratulate him on his victory, and to commend him for forcefully raising the issue of inequality during his campaign. The Mayor expressed New York City’s solidarity with Greece in the joint struggle against inequality, and commented on how the Prime Minister’s victory sends a powerful message to progressives across the world. The Prime Minister expressed his admiration for New York City, and called it one of the most extraordinary cities in the world. The Prime Minister invited the Mayor to visit Greece, and the Mayor expressed interest in visiting in the future.
And here's the one from the White House:
The President spoke with Prime Minister Tsipras today to congratulate him on his recent election victory. The President noted that the United States, as a longstanding friend and ally, looks forward to working closely with the new Greek government to help Greece return to a path of long-term prosperity.  The two leaders also reviewed close cooperation between Greece and the United States on issues of European security and counterterrorism
In this context, there's something sinister about the words "long-term."

5 comments:

  1. From today's New York Times:

    "Creditors are demanding that Greece run a primary surplus of 4.5 percent of gross domestic product. Mr. Varoufakis, however, said Athens would propose to hold the level to 1 percent to 1.5 percent of G.D.P."

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/30/business/international/greeces-feisty-finance-minister-tries-a-more-moderate-message.html

    My guess is that the Troika is going to take a hardline and then it will be up to Syriza whether they default or continue the "fiscal waterboarding." By guess is that leave the Euro.

    It's awfully coincidental that the ECB did its QE mere days before Syriza took power. If there is a "Grexit" we'll see the ECB do more QE and the Fed will hold off raising rates or possibly help out Europe in some other way like by doing more QE if things get nasty.

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    1. I like Mark Weisbrot's take on this: https://news.vice.com/article/how-greece-could-change-the-future-of-europe

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  2. Well, De Blasio's comment can at least be interpreted as broadly sympathetic: it's not as though any public official is going to say, "Good job, now go and really give the Hun the what-for!" or "Congratulations, comrade; don't hesitate to strike a blow against the people's great enemy, finance capital!"

    Obama's instinct when it comes to financial questions seems to be to defer to the wisdom of the financier, so I wouldn't be surprised if he subscribes to the conventional wisdom on Greece. But he's probably also mindful of the need not to tick off the US's larger European allies.

    -Will (not Boisvert)

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    1. it's not as though any public official is going to say, "Good job, now go and really give the Hun the what-for!" or "Congratulations, comrade; don't hesitate to strike a blow against the people's great enemy, finance capital!"

      Not yet....

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