Perverse Transparency

Is sunlight the best disinfectant? Well, it is the best CEO compensation fertilizer…

Lost gem from the old days, now found online.

According to The Guardian, these are the conditions that Syriza, the alternative (non orthodox communist) left party that has finally smashed the post-dictatorship political party system in Greece, is setting for parties that want to be part of a possible coalition. The recent elections saw the combined share of the vote of the socialists (PASOK) and the conservatives (New Democracy) that have dominated the poitical system since the mid-7os, fall from 80% to around 30%.

1) The immediate cancellation of all impending measures that will impoverish Greeks further, such as cuts to pensions and salaries.

2) The immediate cancellation of all impending measures that undermine fundamental workers’ rights, such as the abolition of collective labor agreements.

3) The immediate abolition of a law granting MPs immunity from prosecution, reform of the electoral law and a general overhaul of the political system. According to Keep Talking Greece, that would include abolishing the 50-seat bonus for the party which wins the most seats.

4) An investigation into Greek banks, and the immediate publication of the audit performed on the Greek banking sector by BlackRock.

5) The setting up of an international auditing committee to investigate the causes of Greece’s public deficit, with a moratorium on all debt servicing until the findings of the audit are published.

Can the EU really reject such a call and still pose as a ‘club of democracies’?

Can any of the other parties reject these conditions and have any hope in any resulting general election if  a government cannot be formed?

It will also be interesting to see how much of the deficit was due to money flowing back to the ‘core’ EU economies and not into the pockets of the ‘lazy Greeks’.

Who would have thought 10 years ago that the alternative non communist left anywhere in the world would ever be in a position to pose such a ‘test of explication’ that would have markets all around the world going into a dive a few minutes after its announcement!

With the markets reacting like that, is Merkel really ready to take the test and see what will happen if she lets Greece go to the wall?


Call him what he likes to be called. (Well, not the marching-in-shiny-boots kind, of course! But quite honorable still.)

Making energy invisible, once more: see Renault’s new ad titled “L’électricité pour tous est là” (“Electricity for all is here”, more stuff in English here). Alternate title: “Externalizing pollution, courtesy of the electric car”. And now, have a nice day!

Lest We Forget

We live in the Age of Enron,  Thomas Frank remind$ us.

Components of increasingly frequent scandals as per the Enron template, to wit:

  1. “relentless hostility to regulate”,
  2. “capture of the private sector’s oversight mechanisms”,
  3. “distinctively truculent culture of the trading floor”
  4. “a sort of unconscious journalistic perversity”,
  5. we will not get it” and “convince ourselves that these terrible things happened to us because markets are not free enough“.

Banking crisis, anyone?

Yesterday evening, members of the Test Society saw and heard Laurie Anderson making fun of the invasion of cupcake shops in New York City and of the transformation of ideas into clever arm movements in front of a microphone. She is right.

It’s you vs. the corporations. No, really.


Spanish left-leaning voters punish mightily ruling PSOE government by hitting themselves in the head with a huge hammer. Punishment and ensuing democratic headache is expected to last for at least four years. Most welfare state arrangements are expected to end much sooner.

Spanish revolutionaries can’t make up their minds whether they want the Spanish Senate to disappear, or control tax havens and financial transactions, thereby changing a letter, from “m” to “b”, in the public revenue figure,  and the whole bloody global political economy with it.


Flash report: apparently, there is a revolution in Spain.

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