The Greek riots are beyond spark at this point–they are starting to reach full tilt blaze. Of course, footage of what’s happening there and in places like Iceland are not found in great abundance in here in the US. No. we’re searching for the next big terror threat, packing SUV’s with fireworks and fertilizer. The Greek riots are significant to say the least. To understand why people are pissed, we need to look at why the Greeks are being charred like souvlaki over the naked flame of betrayal. Does the name Goldman Sachs ring a a bell?
In 2002, Goldman Sachs and Greece’s debt managers decided to pump life into the Greek economy. For those that are still living in the 19th Century, GNP and GDP are no longer what they seem to be or perhaps never were. Greece and nearly every other country in the first world cannot rely on it’s own resources and burgeoning industry (unless you happen to be Poland) to compete in the global economy. That’s where GS comes into play. To understand the murky world of currency and credit swaps, let use baseball as an analogy.
So let’s say you’re Mark McGwire and you had a good roid run with your pal Jose Canseco, but Jose is gone and your supplier is as well. Your back is betraying you and you are missing more games than you’re playing. You hook up with your juice pimping bro and start the cycle all over again. You hoist and lift. The next thing you know, you’re jacking balls just as juiced out of parks at an eye popping rate. You find yourself in a race to break Roger Maris’ seasonal home run record with Sammy Sosa (hey where did Sammy get his juice?). By the end of the season, you’re the next Babe Ruth and Sammy is your Cantinflas. The rest of the league knows what you’ve been up and knows that if they want to compete, get big contracts, save their jobs, they gotta hit that juice as well. Barry Bonds, as fine a natural hitter as the game has ever seen (and a vain Leo at that) watched McGwire steal the spotlight and said, “damn!”
Barry got hooked up with Victor Conte, former bass player of “Tower Of Power.” Tower of Power? Can you believe that? You can’t make this stuff up. Anyway he was peddling roids to guys like Niner defensive tackle, Dana Stubblefield, who parlayed his performance into a NFL defensive player of the year award and a massive contract with The Redskins and sprinter, Tim Montgomery. The next thing you know, Barry is hitting home runs into McCovey Cove and going after both Maris AND Aaron. Even little guys like Marvin Benard got into the act, yanking 20+ jacks out of the yard and scoring a big contract as well.
You see, just playing well, executing, sound fundamentals, regular weight training, all that was not enough anymore. To compete, you had to stick a needle in your ass and pump up the volume.
Goldman Sachs are the Victor Conte of the global economy. If Italy is playing with currency swaps (and they were) and scoring big cash, then why not Spain, or Portugal or Greece? Once somebody crosses the line, that line will be crossed by everyone else, because if it isn’t, a dreadful panic that you’ll get left behind sets in.
So Greece took the plunge and started swapping. Here’s how it worked: Read the rest of this entry »