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Thread: Sarkozy Out

  1. #1
    New Romantic
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    Sarkozy Out

    Hollande in.

    Could mean big changes in the eurozone, as Hollande is opposed to the Sarkozy-Merkel austerity deal. I wonder how the markets will react tomorrow.

  2. #2
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    Sigh, markets, well I guess if we can't stop this economic turn, we will suffer right-wing hell yet again.

  3. #3
    World's End Supernova
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    Thank fucking god.

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    Things are getting /interesting/

    (See: Greece, too)

  5. #5
    New Romantic
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    In Greece, both the crazy extreme left, and a freaking neo Nazi party gained ground. Those guys are screwed.

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    That's the trick about austerity, it may be good policy but it's terrible politics. This won't be the last government to fall.

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    Also, terrible policy. That fact seems to be very slowly trickling out among Very Serious People at least in the media. Hopefully this accelerates that process.

  8. #8
    New Romantic
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    When you have negative infinity dollars, austerity isn't really a choice. It's just what happens.

    It's not like they could choose to spend more money. They have no money, and no one is gonna lend them any money.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Timex View Post
    When you have negative infinity dollars, austerity isn't really a choice. It's just what happens.

    It's not like they could choose to spend more money. They have no money, and no one is gonna lend them any money.
    Limping along and crashing hard later takes longer then just crashing hard.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Timex View Post
    When you have negative infinity dollars, austerity isn't really a choice. It's just what happens.

    It's not like they could choose to spend more money. They have no money, and no one is gonna lend them any money.
    They could just print money and screw inflation. This is what scares Germany so much.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by deccan View Post
    They could just print money and screw inflation. This is what scares Germany so much.
    Race to the bottom! Remember: incentives don't matter.

    This is a serious fail for the EU, clearly the next few days we'll be in free fall (yay!). The only bright side is that, maybe, this will be the final nail in the coffin for the US economy and we'll fall back into recession and that will be that for Obama.

    If things do go to shit, the Fed will be put to the test. Maybe we will see it willing to go further than in the past.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Huzurdaddi View Post
    The only bright side is that, maybe, this will be the final nail in the coffin for the US economy and we'll fall back into recession and that will be that for Obama.
    Because Mitt Romney will be a great president! Seriously, if anyone thinks the GOP will do a better job than a second term Obama, they need their head checked.

  13. #13
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    ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Timex View Post
    When you have negative infinity dollars, austerity isn't really a choice. It's just what happens.

    It's not like they could choose to spend more money. They have no money, and no one is gonna lend them any money.
    France's total public debt is about 86% of GDP. For comparison, in the US it's 103%. (Numbers come from wikipedia so may be slightly out of date.) So, uh, yeah, "negative infinity dollars" is not really what I'd call that situation. To make a comparison with personal finances (I know it's not really apt, but still): if I have an income of $100,000 a year, and total debts of $86,000, should I be thinking about declaring bankruptcy?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Timex View Post
    When you have negative infinity dollars, austerity isn't really a choice. It's just what happens.
    Yes, and austerity is how you get there. There's a reason the UK has managed to grow 3% less than the US over the last year.

    But hey, AAA!


    Huzurdaddi - That's right, the EU might actually survive now and the US will have a competitor besides China and India. Tragic!

  15. #15
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    The problem with austerity like this is that you yank a ton of spending out of an economy that was already struggling, which sends them back into a double dip recession (which just happened to the UK, which cut deeply in the last year), and that sends tax revenue down, which creates bigger deficits, which creates needs for even deeper cuts, which puts even further stresse on the economy and society. It's a vicious circle. Just as runaway spending is bad, yanking government spending when it's just about the only thing propping up the economy is also bad.

    Eventually, the voters get sick of this shit, and they vote for the other team.

    The only sensible route is that you can only do this kind of put-your-house-in-order when times are flush, just like under Clinton.

    I do wish the news would stop calling Greece a debt crisis. It's true that the Greeks are drowning in debt, but it's also because the Greek's are the most dysfunctional western society in the world, where tax evasion is the national past time. There's a lot more to Greek's problems than them spending like drunken sailors on leave. They'd be a lot better off it they had some kind of sense of civic duty.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Woolen Horde View Post
    They'd be a lot better off it they had some kind of sense of civic duty.
    I don't think it has anything to do with a sense of civic duty. Why do most people pay taxes? I think it is because they believe that the consequences of not paying (combined with the probability of being caught) outweigh the benefits.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Woolen Horde View Post
    the Greek's are the most dysfunctional western society in the world, where tax evasion is the national past time.
    You're aware that Corporate tax evasion is also rampant in the UK, right? By far the biggest problem with that in the EU, although it's going down, despite the number of people working on it at HMRC (the UK tax authority) being slashed because Cameron's tax changes are giving up a load of it (beyond even dropping the corporate tax rate...)

    Greek spending was quite average, the problem was tax collection. The UK is now also caught in the same trap, but it's being made legal.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Starlight View Post
    You're aware that Corporate tax evasion is also rampant in the UK, right? By far the biggest problem with that in the EU, although it's going down, despite the number of people working on it at HMRC (the UK tax authority) being slashed because Cameron's tax changes are giving up a load of it (beyond even dropping the corporate tax rate...)

    Greek spending was quite average, the problem was tax collection. The UK is now also caught in the same trap, but it's being made legal.
    It's not just corporate tax evasion in Greece. NO ONE PAYS TAXES. Small businesses? Nope. Homeowners? Nope. Ironically, it's the big multinationals who are the only ones paying taxes, because they actually have to follow laws in their own countries, and because they're actually used to doing the stuff needed to pay taxes, like keeping records.

    Business records and transactions basically don't exist in Greece. If you can't even be bothered to do the basic paperwork, you're fucked. Hell, the Greek government has no idea where its money comes from or where it goes.

  19. #19
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    Yeah, there's a huge difference between corporations using loopholes and the kind of systemic corruption that goes on in Greece. Just take a look at the corruption index. The UK is 16th, just behind Germany and Japan and ahead of the US. Greece is down in 80th place, equal with baksheesh friendly Morocco.

    Tax loopholes can be closed by legislation. Endemic corruption takes generations to overcome.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Partlett View Post
    Yeah, there's a huge difference between corporations using loopholes and the kind of systemic corruption that goes on in Greece.
    Absolutely, one's just fine with right wingers and one isn't. That's the ONLY difference. Simply because a "corruption index" is set up to capture certain events doesn't make it any less bit less important.

    You'll defend your corporatism and corporate welfare to the end. No, I'm not interested in your excuses - or the systematic way it's being made legal in the UK. It's endemic, *official* corruption of the worst sort, which is being defended by those in power (rather than ignored, as it was in Greece), multi-nationals are laughing all the way to the bank. There's a reason, again, that the Tories have severely slashed the number of people at HMRC working on this, despite those people being revenue positive, and increased the number working on benefit fraud despite that figure being low and static as a percentage (0.5%) for decades, and people working on that revenue negative.

  21. #21
    Social Worker Tin Wisdom's Avatar
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    I thought that Dawn Falcon was a better name, personally. Strong, bold. "Starlight" sounds a little too... passive.

  22. #22
    Social Worker cliffski's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lesslucid View Post
    France's total public debt is about 86% of GDP. For comparison, in the US it's 103%. (Numbers come from wikipedia so may be slightly out of date.) So, uh, yeah, "negative infinity dollars" is not really what I'd call that situation. To make a comparison with personal finances (I know it's not really apt, but still): if I have an income of $100,000 a year, and total debts of $86,000, should I be thinking about declaring bankruptcy?
    I'm not sure it's actually the total debt size that spooks lenders (in other words the bond market). It's the direction of travel.
    if your debt is large, but being paid back, nobody cares. If your debt is average, but getting worse at an accelerating rate, and you have made a badge-of-honor out of not going to any lengths to reverse that trend, then don't be surprised if people won't lend to you.

    I think politicians tend to get this backwards. The left claim to hate market forces and the bond market, but borrowing from them means they end up more at their mercy. The only way to *not* be at the mercy of the 'evil free market' is not to be in debt to it.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by lesslucid View Post
    France's total public debt is about 86% of GDP. For comparison, in the US it's 103%. (Numbers come from wikipedia so may be slightly out of date.) So, uh, yeah, "negative infinity dollars" is not really what I'd call that situation. To make a comparison with personal finances (I know it's not really apt, but still): if I have an income of $100,000 a year, and total debts of $86,000, should I be thinking about declaring bankruptcy?

    US public debt is around 70% of GDP I believe. The other 30+% is intra-govt debt IE the bonds in various trust funds, namely SS and Medicare HI

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by cliffski View Post
    I'm not sure it's actually the total debt size that spooks lenders (in other words the bond market). It's the direction of travel.
    if your debt is large, but being paid back, nobody cares. If your debt is average, but getting worse at an accelerating rate, and you have made a badge-of-honor out of not going to any lengths to reverse that trend, then don't be surprised if people won't lend to you.
    This is correct. Total debt as a percentage of GDP is largely irrelevant, confidence that you will pay that debt is the important thing.

    Quote Originally Posted by cliffski View Post
    I think politicians tend to get this backwards. The left claim to hate market forces and the bond market, but borrowing from them means they end up more at their mercy. The only way to *not* be at the mercy of the 'evil free market' is not to be in debt to it.
    This is not correct. Nobody serious on the left (bar actual communists) believes that the free market is evil, just that the notion that the free market left to itself will magically solve all the problems is a fantasy. Most left-wingers believe in a properly regulated free market, which is not the same thing as hating the free market.

  25. #25
    I thrust game designers New Romantic Teiman's Avatar
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    Sarkozy was a populist, and was serving the agenda of the media. One of the most anti-citizens efforts from the man was the 3 strikes law. Is good news that he is removed from a national responsability, but I don't know anything about the next.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by lesslucid View Post
    France's total public debt is about 86% of GDP. For comparison, in the US it's 103%. (Numbers come from wikipedia so may be slightly out of date.) So, uh, yeah, "negative infinity dollars" is not really what I'd call that situation. To make a comparison with personal finances (I know it's not really apt, but still): if I have an income of $100,000 a year, and total debts of $86,000, should I be thinking about declaring bankruptcy?
    France isn't really the one I was talking about... I was talking more about Greece, although other EU nations fall into the category of being totally screwed and having negative infinity dollars.

    Although, I just found this, which suggests that those other countries are also turbo screwed? And that those numbers you're citing are incorrect.

    So, if we're talking just total external debt, you've got the US at around 99% of it's GDP.

    Then we've got Italy at 136% of its GDP.
    Spain 169%
    Greece 178%
    Germany 183%
    Portugal 207%
    Austria 241%
    Finland 244%
    Norway 246%
    France 254%
    Sweden 263%
    Denmark 283%
    Belgium 353%
    Netherlands 367%
    Switzerland 391%
    UK 451%
    Ireland 1239%


    So.. ya, those numbers look pretty terrible.

    The real problem though, isn't their comparison to the US.. it's the fact that, whether anyone thinks this is fair or not, they are NOT the US.

    The US can take on far, far more debt than any of those other countries. Why? Because, basically no matter how bad things get, we look like the best game in town. If the US crumbles, then we're talking end-days shit.

    That's why when the US credit rating got downgraded, investment in US Treasuries actually jumped... People were like, "Whoa! The US government just got called out as being less reliable! We need to put our money somewhere safe, because that's gonna have bad impacts on the global economy! Where should we put it? In the US government.

    But no one says that about countries like Greece. In the case of Greece, the answer is, "We will never lend Greece any money, because they are never gonna pay us back."

    So, when you're hugely in debt, and no one is gonna lend you any more money? That translates into having negative infinity dollars. You can't choose to just continue spending... spend what? You have no money. You can't print money. No one will give you money.

    Like I said, at this point Austerity isn't a policy choice. It's simply a reality. There isn't any choice in the matter any more.

  27. #27
    New Romantic Alistair's Avatar
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    Not sure what those numbers represent... a more familar set are probably these.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tin Wisdom View Post
    I thought that Dawn Falcon was a better name, personally. Strong, bold. "Starlight" sounds a little too... passive.
    I had the exact same thought.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cliffski View Post
    I'm not sure it's actually the total debt size that spooks lenders (in other words the bond market). It's the direction of travel.
    if your debt is large, but being paid back, nobody cares. If your debt is average, but getting worse at an accelerating rate, and you have made a badge-of-honor out of not going to any lengths to reverse that trend, then don't be surprised if people won't lend to you.

    I think politicians tend to get this backwards. The left claim to hate market forces and the bond market, but borrowing from them means they end up more at their mercy. The only way to *not* be at the mercy of the 'evil free market' is not to be in debt to it.
    Which is why defaulting would be the best thing for everyone in the long run, it would spook lenders, and force real discussions. My fear as an American is that the most important thing to most American politicians is the military, Social Security, and corporate kickbacks.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tin Wisdom View Post
    I thought that Dawn Falcon was a better name, personally. Strong, bold. "Starlight" sounds a little too... passive.
    That's DF in disguise? Explains why I'm being accused of defending "corporatism and corporate welfare to the end" for saying corporate tax loopholes are a different kind of problem to corruption.

    Time to ignore the new incarnation too then.

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