Thursday, 1 August 2013

By on August 1st, 2013 in government, politics

07:32 – In what must be a complete coincidence, the morning paper reports that North Carolina authorities have shut down the abortion clinic in Asheville, which was the only one of the state’s 17 abortion clinics that met the new ambulatory surgery facility standards required to remain open. The religious nutters who control our state legislature have gotten their own way, in effect outlawing abortion. Let’s hope their contemptible “victory” doesn’t last long. I’ve already emailed Mr. Obama to suggest that he issue an Executive Order that any hospital that receives direct or indirect federal funding must provide timely, inexpensive abortions on demand or lose that federal funding.

The IMF is not supposed to throw money down ratholes. Its brief is to provide temporary, short-term loans to countries that find themselves in financial difficulties. One guiding principle for the IMF is that it is not supposed to lend any money unless and until the borrowing country’s debt burden can be put on a sustainable footing. On that basis, the IMF has violated its own rules by lending money to Greece and Portugal, neither of which has a sustainable debt burden.

Since before the first Greek bailout, it’s been clear to any rational person that Greece’s debt burden is unsustainable, and that any “loans” made to Greece were in fact gifts because no reasonable person could ever have expected them to be repaid. It is not within the IMF’s remit to grant gifts to bankrupt countries. The IMF proudly proclaims that every loan it has made has been repaid, but it’s been pretty clear for at least two years now that that record is at serious risk. One cannot get blood from a turnip, and Greece is definitely a turnip.

There have, no doubt, been heated private discussions within the IMF over the last couple of years about just this issue. Why should the IMF be loaning money to a bunch of deadbeats who have neither the intention nor the ability ever to pay it back? Well, Brazil, representing itself and 10 other Central- and South-American countries, has finally gone public.

Although the article doesn’t touch on it, the IMF violating its own lending rules is only part of Brazil’s problem. The other part of it, and probably the more important, is that Brazil and a lot of other countries wonder why the IMF is involved at all. Their point, and it’s certainly a valid one, is that the eurozone crisis is not an IMF problem; it’s a eurozone problem. The eurozone is much wealthier than many of the countries whose contributions to the IMF are being used to bailout eurozone countries. Why should poor countries subsidize bailouts for the wealthy eurozone? Good question, and the only reasonable answer is that they shouldn’t. The eurozone crisis is an internal eurozone problem. The IMF and other international bodies should not be involved, nor should non-eurozone EU countries, and the US certainly should not be involved, either directly or indirectly as the major funding source for the IMF. The eurozone created this mess; cleaning it up should be their problem, as should paying all the bills for that clean-up.

The fact that the managing director of the IMF is a former French finance minister probably explains a lot. Without Ms. Lagarde’s influence, I think it’s unlikely that the IMF would have intervened in the first place. It’s high time for her to withdraw the IMF from this mess. For a start, the IMF should provide no further funds to the eurozone. The next step is to require the eurozone itself immediately to repay all outstanding debts to the IMF owed by eurozone members.

12 Comments and discussion on "Thursday, 1 August 2013"

  1. ayjblog says:

    we suffered our politicians and the IMF long long time, maybe our politicians are subproduct of the IMF.
    But, I was in Greece 3 months ago, and, lending to them? crisis? they have no idea about what is a crisis, nor Spain.
    And believe me, we know what is a crisis, we have one every 10 years, we are going to another one here

  2. bgrigg says:

    Amazing that countries like Egypt, Syria and Brazil all can march in the streets expressing their displeasure at how governments operate, and many on this site can’t be bothered to vote.


  3. Miles_Teg says:

    Silence is consent.

  4. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    No, silence is silence. Consent is consent. (I just checked that to make sure. The dictionary doesn’t list either word as a synonym for the other.)

  5. OFD says:

    Here we go again; we’re supposed to enthusiastically join in the absolute charade that is our political system and elections here in the U.S. And pretend there is a dime’s worth of difference between the two halves of the same Party or that a criminal Bolshevik cadre has not seized power here. Gee, if only every one voted and effectively “validated” their seizure, or maybe threw them out and let another gang of thieves and war criminals take control. And it is not yet time to compare us to places like Egypt, Syria and Brazil; shit-holes all. We’ll get there all in due course, not to worry.

    As for the IMF, World Bank and UN, we should have been out of all three long ago. It’s just another cabal of international gangsters and criminal scum who wear suits and pretend to know what they’re doing as they enrich and empower themselves and their cronies.

    Be careful encouraging Barry Soetero or any other occupant of the White House in issuing Executive Orders; you may like the one he issues this week but not so much the one he throws out there next week. Today he may be pro-abortion; next week he might issue an Order banning handgun ammunition. Those are tricky things and people of his caliber should not be allowed to play with them.

  6. bgrigg says:

    Where did I say that? I certainly don’t think changing one party for another will do any good, but I know that continually hammering away will eventually make a dent in whatever you’re hammering on. In my own province, we rose up and demanded a new tax be repealed, and it was. We demanded a wage increase to the Premier’s staff be repealed, and it was. Vocal opposition was key to both.

    Find your local rep and rip him a new one. Let him know exactly how he/she has failed (or succeeded), and remind them how they got their position. Keep doing it. Write letters to the papers, and keep doing that. Blog about it. Tell your friends to do the same. The politicians will do anything the people say, so start saying something. If you say nothing, you will get a lot more than you asked for.

    Democracy is not something you get as a “right” or what you do every four years, it’s something you have to fight for everyday. You would think a career soldier and cop would know that already. Isn’t that the line you swallowed to don the uniform? No, instead you spent your careers enforcing the establishment, and now you want to wash your hands off it. Bah!

    The USA was born out of revolution because of a government that thought it could just take and take without ever providing representation. People risked their lives to attempt to make your country a better place, and now you’re advocating laying down and waiting to become a shithole like Egypt. Detroit’s bancruptcy is merely the first step. Your plan is working. Do you really expect a phoenix to be born out of the flames?

    Don’t tell us to be careful about encouraging your president about executive orders, tell HIM. You’ve had two chances to vote in someone else and blew both by sitting on your hands. By allowing this socialist wonk into the office, you’ve given him tacit approval to do whatever he wants.

    Silence and Consent are not synonyms, but used in conjunction they mean a lot more then their individual definitions.

  7. MrAtoz says:

    I read that the Kremlin granted Snowden political asylum. That’s Putin giving Obummer the finger. I wonder what Obummer is going to do? Piss his pants? Nothing?

    An article on the Obamaphone. There is no end to government fuckups:

  8. MrAtoz says:

    You just have to read this story and say WTF, over:

    I can only image the resources wasted on this “operation.”

  9. Miles_Teg says:

    Silence is consent.

    I never said they were synonyms. For example, I heard of a woman who was abducted from a London Tube station. She struggled against the abduction but didn’t say anything, or scream, so no one intervened. She didn’t consent to being raped, but by failing to ask anyone for help or scream she effectively consented.

  10. Lynn McGuire says:

    Silence is consent

    Yes. This rule applies:

    Vote libertarian if you want but vote! Make them scared of you. And yes, there is not much difference between the democRATs and the republiCANs nowadays. John McCain is disgusting me now, I cannot believe that I voted for him for Pres. Even Rush is incredibly unhappy with the repubs and is calling out RINOs by name.

    Sorry about the abortion stuff but as Barry says, “elections matter”. I totally agree with Pres Clinton, “abortions should be safe, legal and rare”. Safety plays a large part in that.

  11. Lynn McGuire says:

    Today he may be pro-abortion; next week he might issue an Order banning handgun ammunition. Those are tricky things and people of his caliber should not be allowed to play with them.

    Nah, he is not going to ban ammo. He is going to tax it under some obscure law and add a new one $/round tax. I’ve been waiting for him to do this for quite a while now.

  12. SteveF says:

    In line with a recent mention of agencies clearing themselves: F.B.I. Said to Find It Could Not Have Averted Boston Attack

    The F.B.I. has concluded that there was little its agents could have done to prevent the Boston Marathon bombings, according to law enforcement officials, rejecting criticism that it could have better monitored one of the suspects before the attack.

    I’m not happy, to say the least, with the constant, pervasive, unwarranted, probably illegal, and probably unConstitutional surveillance the government butt-sniffers subject us subjects to. However, if this surveillance is going to take place, I think I’m hardly unreasonable in expecting the butt-sniffers to actually accomplish its stated purpose.

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