The linear thinkers continue to be knocked for a loop. They do not understand the dynamics of a Fourth Turning. These people think the world continuously progresses. They think things will just settle down in the Middle East, Europe, China and the US. They think there are no consequences to the horrible decisions of our leaders and the pillaging of the common people by bankers, mega-corporations and politicians. They are badly mistaken.

Fourth Turnings ALWAYS sweep away the old order. Fourth Turnings are ALWAYS violent. Greece is just a preview. The intensity is increasing by the moment. And do not think for a moment that the video in the link below is not coming to America. It is inconceivable to the linear thinkers, but not to those with their eyes wide open.

Does this look like a decrease in intensity?

Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou offers to resign as austerity protests swell

Violence breaks out in Athens as thousands of Greek workers swarm downtown to protest a package of budget cuts and tax increases for the financially strapped nation.

Athens protestProtesters try to remove a fence protecting the Greek parliament during a demonstration in Athens. Thousands of demonstrators besieged the Greek parliament on Wednesday in a large anti-austerity protest marred by violence. (Louisa Gouliamaki / AFP/Getty Images / June 15, 2011)
By Henry Chu and Anthee Carassava, Los Angeles TimesJune 16, 2011

Reporting from London and Athens—

Angry protesters pushed the Greek government close to collapse Wednesday, putting Europe on notice that deep budget cuts to tame the region’s debt crisis face heavy public resistance and could crash on the rocks of national politics.

Thousands of people packed downtown Athens in an effort to block lawmakers from debating brutal austerity measures that European finance officials say are essential if near-bankrupt Greece wants their help to pay its bills. The gathering descended into violence — with some protesters hurling water bottles, rocks and firebombs — that took riot police hours to quell and helped spark a dramatic offer by Prime Minister George Papandreou to quit in favor of a unity government.

The volatile situation offered a stark example of the predicament facing the European Union as it tries to contain a debt crisis that has rattled markets for more than a year.

The EU has demanded painful spending cutbacks by Greece, Ireland and Portugal as the price of bailing out their cash-strapped governments. Spain and Italy also have passed major belt-tightening measures to avoid getting sucked into the euro mess.

But public opposition is growing in some of these countries, threatening to topple governments and to torpedo at home the collective solutions approved by EU leaders in Brussels.

In Athens, Papandreou’s Socialist government is seeking parliamentary approval of the austerity plan, including tax hikes, deep cuts in public-sector wages and a fire sale of state assets. Papandreou says the package is crucial if Greece wants additional bailout funds on top of the $146-billion lifeline promised by the EU and the International Monetary Fund last year.

But opposition leaders indicated Wednesday that they expected Papandreou’s resignation and the renegotiation of the bailout package.

After first offering to step down to make way for a government of national unity, Papandreou said on national television Wednesday night that he would reshuffle his Cabinet and seek a vote of confidence in Parliament.

“I have made repeated proposals to political parties for consensus. Today I renewed that attempt…. Despite my stance, the main opposition party handled this attempt like a public-relations drill,” said Papandreou, who is facing his lowest public approval ratings since taking office in 2009. “I will continue on the same path I charted.”

Outraged by previous budget reductions, thousands of Greeks have filled Syntagma Square in the heart of Athens over the last three weeks in protest. On Wednesday, the number ballooned to about 30,000 people, including members of the country’s two largest labor unions, which staged a 24-hour nationwide strike.

After three hours of scuffles, at least 12 protesters were arrested, shop windows around the square were shattered and thick plumes of tear gas hovered over the city, sending tourists scrambling for cover in side streets and alleyways.

“It wasn’t supposed to be this way,” lamented Stella Stamati, 43, a government-employed chemist who joined the protest with three colleagues.

Many of the demonstrators had been inspired by recent peaceful mass protests in Spain, where thousands of young people camped out in a Madrid plaza for days to shake their fists at government austerity policies and to express their frustration over a high level of joblessness that has hit the young the hardest.

Last month, Spain’s ruling Socialists were routed in regional and local elections widely seen as a rebuke of Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero‘s plan to slash state spending to bring down the public deficit.

In neighboring Portugal, voters booted the government in a general election last week out of unhappiness with the terms of the country’s bailout from the EU and IMF, which will require difficult structural reforms to the economy. The new government, however, has largely pledged to stick to the conditions.

For their part, Ireland’s new leaders are pushing hard for a renegotiation of the EU-IMF rescue package their predecessors had agreed to, further widening the cracks in the veneer of European unity.

Critics blame Germany, Europe’s paymaster, for having dithered over rescuing Greece last year, when the crisis looked more containable, because of political considerations at home. Many Germans oppose the use of their tax money to bail out their fiscally troubled neighbors.

Markets have reacted to Europe’s infighting and Greece’s woes by pushing borrowing costs for Athens to unheard-of highs. On Wednesday, the cost of insuring $10 million in Greek bonds rose to a record $1.725 million a year, according to data provider Markit. This week, the Standard & Poor’s ratings firm downgraded Greek bonds to the lowest rating of any of the 131 states on its books.

27 thoughts on “CRISIS INTENSIFIES”

  1. Just reminiscing …

    I was stationed in Athens from 1973 – 1974. In November 1974, the Greek Government of self-appointed President, George Papadopoulos was toppled by the country’s armed forces after weeks of unrest.

    Tanks rolled into Athens and troops took up positions around government buildings shortly before dawn. I believe “only” about 20 people died. More people were killed or injured at the Athens airport massacre (where I was stationed) a few months earlier. That was done courtesy of the Black September group.

    There was a LOT of anti-Americanism in the air. We locked down our little air base tighter than a drum. I was given an M-16 and told to shoot on sight anyone even approaching the runway or our aircraft. (No one did, thankfully.)

    I lived about a half mile off-base and walked to work that day. I wasn’t allowed to leave the base for five days.

    When I returned to the house I was renting I was met with a horrible sight. My 1965 VW mini-bus I purchased from a hippie for $500 was demolished. Firebombed, actually … and the tires slashed for good measure. It was covered by insurance. Except for all my 8-track tapes, and I had about 50 of them. That pissed me off pretty bad.

    That was my only bad experience there. The rest of the 18 months was pure joy. What a gorgeous country! The food and wine were magnificent. Except for a few hard-ass commie bastard students, the people were actually marvelous. They LOVE to talk-argue politics all day long. They were very hard and tireless workers … at least back then.

    I absolutely LOVED that place, the people, the culture. It makes me really sad to see what the Greek people are going through. I’m not smart enough to know whether it’s the people’s fault, the politicians, the bankers, or some combination thereof.

    But I am positive that if the riots and unrest can happen there, that it can (and probably will) happen here as well. We are not that different from the Greeks ……

  2. Stuck
    Enjoyed your comments and observations.

    Although admin and many thingk this is Coming To A Theatre Near You, I wonder how bad it will have to be to rouse J6P from the TV. Since we have a higher material standard of living and more chinese-made IGadgets at the ready, wonder if the temp of the water in the pan boiling the frog won’t have to get correspondingly higher in order for the frog to feel the heat.

    Not a position– just a question.

  3. Surly1, it’s a relevant question. But we know that, even in the Depression, people rioted when they got hungry enough. The government will have to keep feeding the 49 million on food stamps and those who are added to those rolls as the crisis deepens. The Romans had their bread and circuses for a reason; we’re going into summer with food (so far), but with the NFL lockout, our modern-day gladiators are temporarily out of business.

    The flash mobs in Chicago are an early indicator of things to come. Those kids are just bored… wait until they’re subsisting on their spoils.

  4. Someone needs to round up all the leaders of the resource poor nations and tell them” you cant join the club, there will never be enough money for you all to enjoy a decent lifstyle like us. Sorry for leading you on for all these years but hey shit happens!”
    Seriously though they were living in a fucking dreamworld if they thought that they could support state worker retirement at 50 odd with such a low gdp per capita. Someone needs to knock their heads together.
    It makes me laugh to see Scotland toying with independance from the UK. Sure carry on, im in total agreement that you can all live the highlife on the back of shortbread,whiskey and haggis exports.
    Fucking slimy politicians have tricked the ordinary working man in countless countries that the new way or direction will bring untold wealth and happiness to all. NAFTA, WTO, IMF ,GLOBALISATION, The E.C, etc etc.
    All it has brought is misery and pain that will be felt for generations in some countries.
    The elite havent been brought to account yet but it will probably happen. People tend to get pretty hostile towards people who have bankrupted them many times over on their behalf.

  5. The Collapsing Greek Income Statement, Or Why Greece Is Doomed
    Submitted by Tyler Durden on 06/16/2011 09:32 -0400

    With everyone focused exclusively on the Greek balance sheet, where apparently the market has now realized that you don’t cure unmanageable debt with yet more debt (something the Troica will figure out just as soon as the eurozone breaks apart), a far more important statement is the country’s P&L, or income statement. After all, if a country can not grow into its balance sheet with excess cash at the end of the day, all bailouts are completely irrelevant. Alas, as this historical and projected income from Egan-Jones shows, there is simply no hope for Greece as a “going concern”, and if anything should the ECB and IMF continue pursuing bailout after bailout, the end result will be Greek bonds that will be a bigger paradox than Schrodinger’s Cat: not bankrupt, yet trading at a price that when lim’ed to ∞ approaches zero. Sadly, there just is no way out, even if China pulls a White Knight for the 3rd time and triple down on good money after bad and worse.

    And Egan-Jones’, a rating agency that has proven infinitely better at predicting the future than Moody’s or S&P, summary of what to expect:

    End of the line – although Greece is likely to receive additional funds, those funds might be senior to existing debt and both creditors and Greece’s patience is waning. The rise in interest rates is likely to place an unbearable burden on the issuer and the austerity measures will further pressure GDP. The Hellenic Statistical Authority cited an accelerated contraction in domestic demand and a fall in consumer expenditures with the decline.

    We expect that Greece will be forced to restructure its debt within the next 2 to 18 months; it cannot sustain significant additional budget cuts, the tepid economy, restricted capital raising, and 20+% interest rates. Greece’s stated debt is EUR329B, GDP is EUR230B, and the federal budget deficit is EUR3.8B before interest expense and EUR16.4B after interest expense. The country has failed to meet its initial deficit target of 8.1% of GDP for 2010 as agreed to under the joint IMF-EU bailout terms in May 2010. Meanwhile, Greek debt (currently the highest in the EU at 127%) is projected to reach 160% of GDP in 2011. Austria withheld funds due to Greece after claiming the country has failed to meet its spoken commitments for the EU bailout package.

  6. Thinker

    re circuses, some say NFL deal in two weeks–

    and the wapo–

    “The NFL and locked out players have made enough progress in their recent negotiations that a deal between the two sides is within reach during the next two or three weeks, people on both sides of the dispute said Tuesday.

    “Owners of the 32 teams, scheduled to attend a meeting in Chicago Tuesday, have been told to leave their schedules open in case the session runs late that night or spills over into the following day, said several people who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the deliberations are at a sensitive stage. . .”

    TV people are paying high attention to this, since autombile advertising is down due to supply chain interruptions.

    On the othe hanmd, let’s be perfectly clear: Roger Goodell Eats Shit.

    Standing in the shadow of his audacious, 160-foot video screen, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones proudly told “60 Minutes” cameras last year that he paid $50 million for the monstrosity. Then a few minutes later, he compared the current NFL business model, the one that rakes in $9 billion a year, to a car wreck.

    “It’s for the fans that the owners are taking the stand we are right now,” Jones said solemnly.

    Everything’s bigger in Texas, even the bullshit.

    By now, Americans are used to being lied to. We are used to being gouged. So we turn to football to distract ourselves from these small, mounting injustices. We find simplicity and truth in men testing their wills against one another, never mind that the action takes place in palatial estates with 26,000 square feet of televisions.

    Only now, America’s pastime is starting to seem just as rigged and crooked as the world it lets us escape from. The NFL’s leader, a walking lie with helicopter-parent hair named Roger Goodell, dropped this doozy when discussing the ongoing NFL Lockout with Tampa Bay Buccaneers fans in an online chat last week:

    “We can’t continue to shift the cost, whether it’s the rising player cost or the rising cost of operating an NFL franchise, on to our fans,” he said.

    Think about that sentence for a moment. Savor it. Let its hypocritical preposterousness and slimy froth swish around in your mouth like a gulp of Two Buck Chuck. If that sentence had legs, it would give you a hug, swipe your wallet from your back pocket and then ask if you could spare some change for a cab ride home.

    Goodell’s spin is breathtaking. In a world of $10,000 personal-seat licenses, $85 replica jerseys and $9 stadium beers, Roger Goodell is fighting this lockout for you, the fan.

    Hell, maybe he is being honest in his own distorted way. How much more can the league charge you for a beer or a parking pass, after all? They’ve brainstormed just about as many ways to gouge you for three hours of entertainment as humanly fathomable, so the only way they can grow their profits is to gouge the players themselves.

    Let’s not forget that it is the NFL’s explicitly stated goal to triple its revenue to $25 billion per year by 2027. Where will that extra cheddar come from? The fan, of course. And not just in obvious ways, like the Versace-priced extortion that is NFL apparel. But in invisible ways, too. Ever wonder why your cable bill is so high? The NFL is charging television networks like NBC, CBS, Fox, ESPN and Direct TV more than $20 billion to broadcast games through the 2013 season.

    In turn, those networks, ESPN in particular, charge cable providers such as Comcast and Verizon an arm and a leg. The cable giants then pass that cost on to the consumer, whose TV bill now runs $50 a month and up ($58 if you want the privilege of watching the NFL Network). Yet paying that premium still doesn’t guarantee that you’ll be able to watch your favorite team on Sunday because, if your stadium isn’t sold out, the league will black out the game in the local market.

    The NFL blacked out 23 games in 2010, including 15 in Tampa and Oakland, where ticket prices average $90 and $115, respectively. Even in the midst of the Great Recession, the NFL offered no relief to fans in those markets. They huddled around radios or watched patchy internet streams. Their $50 cable bills were not sufficient.

    Then there’s the tax breaks and extortion scams that are financed, in the end, by the fan. If you are the owner of a small business and you need a new office or storefront, you take out a loan and pay interest. If you are the owner of an NFL franchise and you need a new stadium, you threaten to move the team elsewhere until the city agrees to pay your bills for you.

    Since 1990, NFL teams have received more than $7 billion in taxpayer funds to build or renovate stadiums. Seven. Billion. Dollars. Could have built a hell of a lot of schools.

    Just how much of the bill have taxpayers footed for NFL stadiums? Of the 31 stadiums built or remodeled in the last two decades, 29 were at least 75-percent publicly financed. Ten of them were 100-percent bought and paid for with your money.

    The owners aren’t businessmen. They are welfare queens in $3,000 suits.

    And with all undue respect to Mr. Jones, you can’t act po-faced when you charge $13 for a po’ boy sandwich at your publicly funded stadium.

    The message of Goodell and Jones is the kind of rhetoric favored by country-club economists: If we pay our players less (so the lie goes), our operating costs will go down and we will pass that savings on to the little guy. Ticket prices will drop. Cable bills will drop. Jersey prices will drop.

    Only they won’t because the league has its sights set on aggressive short-term revenue growth that would make the oil industry blush. Actually, the NFL is taking its cues directly from BP, Exxon and Shell. CEO Goodell is schilling big oil’s favorite fairytale: trickledown economics.

    But the only thing trickling down is Goodell’s pee on your leg. He’s telling you it’s raining. Hopefully you don’t believe him.

    It’s the same farce as the so-called “Steelers Rule,” the new ban on headshots that will supposedly make the game safer. Only it won’t, because the hard science on head trauma has shown that the cumulative effect of small hits over the course of a career is just as damaging to the brain as the kind of knockout blows thrown by James Harrison. The rule will do little to make the game safer. The rule is a sleight-of-hand trick to distract us from the truth, because the truth works against the owners’ agenda.

    The truth is that the game will never be safe. Football is an inherently violent and rapturous sport, and that is precisely why it thrills us to the core.

    If you don’t believe the NFL’s gladiators should be rewarded handsomely for their service, simply look at Jerome Bettis, who struggles to walk down a flight of stairs some days. Look at “Iron Mike” Webster, who left us too soon; who left us well before his body did. Look at all the nameless grunts who time has forgotten, whose brains don’t care that they were only on the practice squad.

    Do rookies earn too much money? The first-rounders do. But remember that Pro Bowl linebacker LaMarr Woodley made only $550k when he helped the Steelers to a Super Bowl last season. He could have held out, but he kept his mouth shut and risked his career for a shot at the Super Bowl.

    The warriors pay the cost for the rest of their lives. The owners, well, they don’t pay for anything anymore. They stretch out their arms and open their palms to the sky like Franco Harris before the miracle at Three Rivers Stadium and say, “More, please.”

    What an Immaculate Deception.

  7. It is now widely known that since 1996, Italy’s Treasury has regularly used swaps transactions to optically reduce its publicly reported debt and deficit ratios. Such trades remain controversial, and were the subject of fierce debate in late 2001, when Italian academic Gustavo Piga published a paper accusing eurozone countries of ‘window dressing’ their public accounts using derivatives (Risk January 2002, page 17

    Maybe Greece will take G Sachs with it when it fails.

  8. “Stuck,
    Did you ever get your Bread and Carpenters 8-tracks replaced?”

    LOL. Matt, you left out Three Dog Night, Jim Croce and American Funk Railroad.

  9. Matt — yes, I got them replaced. By the time I left Greece I saved enough money to buy a new car … in cash. I bought a 1975 Mercury Capri that I ordered in Greece and picked up at my next base in Southern California (Edwards AFB). And it had a Cassette Player!! Living large, baby!!

    Centerfield — Yup. Had those as well. And …Badfinger, Deep Purple, Eric Burdon and the Animals, etc. But my favorite was In-A-Gadda-Davida by Iron Butterfly. I had large and very loud speakers installed and my buddies and I would drive to Athens and crank that fucker up full blast. Poor Greeks had no idea WTF was going on !!

    For you unfortunate young Millenials who never heard of Iron Butterfly you would do well to click the link below and listen to what GREAT MUSIC was all about; Original video …

    Also, I never heard of American Funk Railroad. I am aware, however, of Grand Funk Railroad and their GREAT hit, “We’re An American Band”. You combined the group/song …. LOL.

    You un-cultured Millenials should check out that song too,

  10. Jim

    Maybe the Euro zone will break up into two groups — the monied groups and the poor bastards —kinda like the TBTF banks create their Bad Assets vs Good Assets subsidiaries.

    Germany, Austria, Swiss, Denmark, England, Scandanavians, and maybe France would be a formidable trading block.

    The rest of Europe would beg those countries … and get fucked in the process.

    I’ve read about this “de-coupling” process (plus or minus a country or two mentioned above) as a possibility on other blogs.

  11. Grand Funk Railroad…Yeah, I boogered that one up pretty good. I should have added Seals & Crofts to the Bread/Carpenters smack. Too funny.

  12. Centerfield — you keep hitting all the GOODIES !! Well done. You must be an old fuck like me … or just a good googler.

    Here is an AWESOME radio website. Called 8-tracks. I am providing the link for the ’70s. But they have other era’s as well. Nothing to load or install !!! Just click and play.

    Some DAMN fine music here, my friend. I’m listening to “Cream” even as I type.

  13. Stuck thanks for the link. I was in the Air Force as a 57130 from 71 thru 74. Homestead AFB on presidential support for Tricky Dick.

  14. Stuck, great video and thanks for posting it, takes me back to my younger “daze” and the music we played while in the service. Admin, bashes the boomer generation; however, our generation’s music will carry on long after we all have passed on.
    “War, what’s it good for, absolutely nothing” and toss in a little “We gotta get out of this place” top two songs in the army, during the late 60’s early 70’s.

  15. Art Cashin Compares This Week’s Action To The Days Before Black Friday

    Submitted by Tyler Durden on 06/16/2011 13:22 -0400

    Yesterday’s ominous selloff (today’s very temporary EURUSD, and 100% cross-asset correlation, bounce notwithstanding: after all the data just got even worse courtesy of the Philly Fed, meaning much more pain for the S&P before QE 3 comes) got you a little jittery, with Flash Crashy overtones? You are not alone. Market veteran Art Cashin recounts that yesterday’s market action was not so much reminiscent of 2010, or even the 2008 uber-volatile market, but really 1987.

    Some Echoes of 2008 (And One, Faint, Slightly Scarier Echo) – (For those of you who listen to me throughout the day on the UBS squawkbox this may be a little “old news” – but hang in there.)

    The stock market got hammered by a one-two punch yesterday. Actually, it was more like a one-two-three punch.

    Early on, stock futures were in the hole as the Euro sagged on the breakup of the emergency Greek rescue meeting late Tuesday and signs of new unrest in the Athens streets.

    Then, into that weakened and nervous environment, strode a series of lousy economic stats in the U.S. At 8:30, the CPI was a notch high which might be a hindrance to further Fed easing. Worse, and far more shocking, the NY (Empire) Fed Index imploded to -7.8% from +12. It had been expected to come in at +12. The plunge sent the already weak equity futures reeling.

    At 9:15, Industrial Production came in weaker than estimates and Capacity Utilization actually fell, reinforcing the suggestion that the economy was stalling.

    The Dow opened down about 100 points and the bulls immediately began to circle the wagons. They trimmed the losses slightly but were unable to mount a credible rally. Then, around 11:30, things began to unravel with a vengeance. There were confusing (and occasionally conflicting) headlines about the actions and intentions of the Greek PM, Mr. Papandreou. Had he been asked to resign? Did he say he would? Did he say he wouldn’t? Would there be a “unity government?” As a backdrop to all this, TV screens filled up with the likes of smoke canisters, riot batons and rock throwing mobs in Athens.

    What really broke the back of the Euro and the markets (we think) were reports of a “leaked” EU email about the breakup of Tuesday’s rescue mission. It was said to have a very pessimistic tone and cast doubt on an effective ultimate rescue. As stocks and oil and grains got pounded, some folks heard echoes of 2008. Some TV pundits saw similarities to Lehman in September. Most traders, however, saw things more analogous to March and Bear Stearns. The rumormongers had begun to shift the discussion from European banks to the unknown counterparties on European Credit Default Swaps.

    That universe is potentially enormous, populated as Captain Renault might say – by the usual suspects. That clearly runs the risk of some 2008 potential.

    By the closing bell, the ugliness had not lifted. The breadth was negative and outright atrocious. It was a “90% down day” and, we think, the third or fourth in this selloff. It not only erased all of the gains of the prior two days, it took us to new lows for this down leg.

    At the post close seminar of the Friends of Fermentation, the chatter about the echoes of 2008 grew a bit louder and more animated. A few of the geriatric veterans were a bit more somber and reflective.

    They recalled another volatile expiration week that followed a growingly aggressive selloff from a high only weeks before. That was not 2008. It was 1987. But that’s so unlikely, right? Pass the peanuts, please!

  16. hey stuck, good story. two quick questions:

    1. how deep was the agency involved in that greek military coup (if at all)?

    2. did they blow up your shit because you were an american, or for some other reason, or just random riot destruction?


  17. I would feel sorry for the common Greek if I could be sure they weren’t protesting because their government check won’t be arriving in the near future.

    Yes your government sold out to the IMF and co. What do you expect when everyone eats at the public trough? It eventually runs out.

  18. Howard

    I was 19 years old. I was living a politically clueless life. Hell, I had no idea the Greeks were even pissed off …. and I befriended a couple locals my age!!! All I cared about was having a good time. Good food, wine, and nookie. Got plenty of all of it. So, I can not answer the agency question.

    My minibus wasn’t the only vehicle blown up. To my recollection there were somewhere around 20 or so destroyed. Random? No! They targeted vehicles with US Military Decals on the windshields (needed to get on base).


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

You can add images to your comment by clicking here.