Thursday, November 24, 2011

Buy beans!

The time may have come to start hoarding tins of baked beans, wearing furs and running around in a post apocalyptic landscape:
Germany has been considered a safe haven of financial stability amid the ongoing euro crisis -- but that may be changing. Growing mistrust from investors seems apparent after what has been described as a "disastrous" government bond auction on Wednesday. Just two-thirds of the German bonds sold, leaving analysts concerned but not panicked[Spiegel].
I suggest now is precisely the time to panic, while the analysts are being cautiously worried. If we leave panicking till everyone is doing it, we'll have to fight for those tins of beans with our teeth.

The fucking Germans cannot borrow money! the country that escaped recession, the one that is still growing, the one that has been bailing everyone else out. Now, the Spiegel article suggests this may be a lack of confidence in the Eurozone as a whole, and of some of the fundamentals in the German economy; but it also has an expert suggest:
"Because of the low rate of return in Germany, some investors are now cautiously going to countries that they had recently avoided," he added. "In France, or even in Ireland, chances for returns are certainly promising."
that's right, it's more profitable to lend to risky countries because you get more interest. There is the cause of this mess in the first place: it's more profitable to lend to people who a less able to pay back (until the day they actually default that is, at which point you own their soul).

More to the point, though, this seems to me to reflect that there may not be as much money floating around generally: surely, normally, someone, someone, would want to pick up safe, unprofitable low hanging fruit.

Start breaking out the old family blunderbus: the apocalypse is here.

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Thursday, November 03, 2011

Occupying my time...

OK, so, clarification time. I didn't want to give the impression that I was against the #Occupy movement, or even thought it was just the usual suspects: my point is that our obligation, and even my own inclination, is to raise the issue of challenging for political power; and that unless the movement spreads into something that reaches into every street, then it will be smothered -- one way or another.

Let's put it this way, the image of Tahrir Square, and the Arab spring on which it is modelled were very dramatic. But the substance of the Arab spring happened the other week, with the election of the new government, the final grasping of the levers of political power by the new Ennahda Government in Tunisia (and the same old military in Egypt).

The old Trotskyist image of the steam and piston comes to mind: the popular protests were the steam on which the piston of the Islamist/Military parties came to power. Doubtless that image is still motivating Trotskyists here.

What I hope for, though is that we all become not steam, but small cogs, wielding a share in a precision mechanism in which we all can fine tune and control (and which we can brake by our refusal). Note how quietly the elections have gone, but how oh so determining they were in the future direction. The devil is in the detail.

Of course, in Oakland the protest has spread and taken the form of a "General Strike" -- lets hope our can do the same come N30; but I'm going to keep banging the tedious drum for the necessity for political action.

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