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Old Holborn: Government Bonds and the EU

24 Dec

Am I getting older and more right-wing? Or am I becoming more knowledgeable and appropriately piss-off?

From (with thanks): http://www.blottr.com/columnist/old-holborn/squeezing-lemons

Emphasis in red are mine.

Squeezing the Lemons

This week saw the European Central Bank suddenly “create” half a trillion Euros in order to lend to cash strapped banks, so that they could, in turn, lend money to us and businesses. It hasn’t solved anything because the European Central Bank will be lucky to get it back and the market knows this, but also, the Politicians are demanding that the banks now buy Government bonds with the money they have just been lent. Lets break that down again so you can see how the scam actually works.

A Government bond is what a State issues when it can’t fleece it’s citizens with enough taxes to cover the bills. It’s a promise to pay back based on future tax revenues, a huge IOU placed upon the citizens of the country that hopefully, they will work hard enough for the State to be able to borrow in their name, based upon their future labour. So the ECB created from nothing, a large pile of money that doesn’t exist and has lent this imaginary money to the banks to lend to you at a profit, whilst it is backed by the future labour of your children. When this money hits your account, it is very real but you are the only one who is going to be paying interest on it. The banks will get rich, the European Central Bank will earn a tidy sum, and one day, your kids will have to work to pay it back as well. Got that? Excellent, now we’re getting somewhere.

Greece has decided, in order to cover the debts of the bonds it has issued and cannot repay, that a special property tax of up to €20 per square metre will now be imposed on the citizens. If you own a house that uses electricity, a little extra will be tagged on to your leccy bill, to be handed straight to the bankers. And here’s the catch; don’t pay and the state owned electricity company will come round and disconnect your power. Ironically, the very same State that owes the electricity company around £140M in unpaid electricity bills. Very possibly the finest argument for the privatisation of utilities you will find anywhere. When the state can extort funds at this level, no one is safe. It can raid your wage packet, slap 20% on everything you buy in the shops and now cut off your electric if you don’t hand over that little bit more, Luigi. Or you sleep with da fishes, eh?

Naturally, the Greeks are not taking to this mafia enterprise lightly. Already on their knees, groups of electricians are vowing to boycott disconnections or simply reconnect those who refuse to pay and rumours of a new water tax are rife. In effect, the Government of Greece has sold and squandered the future labour of its citizens and is now systematically extracting what little wealth the private citizen has left – the very roof over their heads. Interesting times indeed.

Meanwhile, in the background, the EU prints off more money to lend to people who cannot afford it and can never repay it, in order to keep the wheels of the State turning, regardless of the consequences to the hard pressed citizen. 2012 may yet turn out to be the straw that breaks the camels back when the EU finally runs of out of imaginary money to lend to banks too big to fail. When that happens, the house of cards, built by decades of Politicians promises on sand, will collapse very quickly indeed, along with the massive centralised States it has created. At the height of the Great Depression in the ’30’s, the US had unemployment of 25% and Spain is already at 20% with a default in 2012 likely.

If I were you, dear reader, I would start slowly thinking about your own, personal plan B, just as the Greek citizens are. Plan for the worst, hope for the best and keep crossing your fingers that no one ever picks up the can that is continuously kicked down the road by our Politicians, because when they do, you will see things with your own eyes that our Grandchildren will be taught about in history books.

On that happy note, enjoy your Christmas and try to stay off the stuffing. I fear there’ll be more than enough of that to go around in 2012.

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