Monday, February 02, 2015

For Everything Else...

...there's Mastercard.  The Telegraph is reporting that Greece's Finance Ministry has hired the investment banking group Lazard to advise it on issues of debt and fiscal policy.

Those of you who are old enough will remember  Allende bringing into his cabinet three senior military officers.  These officers were co-opted in order to placate the bourgeoisie after their counterrevolutionary attempt at a nationwide lockout  had  been defeated by the spontaneous and self-organized resistance of the Chilean workers.

And if you're old enough to remember that, you will also recall that Lazard's former but not yet dearly departed managing director, Felix Rohatyn was the man placed in charge of New York City's finances in 1975, when bondholders faced the prospect of the city's bankruptcy.

Guess what? In 1966,  Rohatyn  had become of member of the board of International Telephone and Telegraph.  ITT had had a very comfortable relationship with the Third Reich before and during WW2. The company was a 25% owner of Focke-Wulf, the Luftwaffe's favorite fighter plane producer.  In the 1960s, ITT received $27 million dollars in compensation from.......the US government for damage its plants in Germany sustained from Allied bombing raids.

Always the patriot, ITT under Harold Geneen helped the CIA, the AFL-CIO and others pump money into the Brazilian military in order to overthrow the government of Joao Goulart.

 In 1973, ITT, owner of Chile's El Mercurio newspaper acted as bank and broadsheet for the agitation against, and the funding of the overthrow of the Unidad Popular government.

Circle complete?  Almost..

During Rohatyn's chairmanship of the hilariously named Municipal Assistance Corporation,  the city deconstructed itself in the service of debt service-- laying off workers, reducing services, freezing wages, shutting libraries, increasing public transport fares, and initiating tuition charges at CUNY (which somehow had managed to remain tuition free during the Great Depression).

Lazard, I mean Felix, Rohatyn's biggest triumph however was demanding that the city and state employees' pension funds purchase MAC bonds, thereby providing the city government the means to  transfer whatever wealth workers had accumulated back into the hands of the investment bankers and bondholders.

Hey Yanis, say hello to Felix, who says hello to Harold, who says hello to McCone, who says hello to Henry, who says hello to Augusto, all of whom say "fuck you" to workers everywhere. 

Now the circle's complete.  Isn't the world a really small and cozy place?

"Restructuring"  Greece's debt with the advice of Lazard is like asking Ted Bundy to cater your daughter's bat mitzvah.

There really is no alternative..... to the need for an immediate and complete default by government on its debt. 

Fuck you Yanis, and you too Alexis and the dead horses you ride in on.  If there's anything to be "paid back" it's this goddam daisy chain of corporate murderers you bring with you.

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