Remember the shocked tones in which the Latin American loan defaults were reported in the media in the 1980s. You’d think the sky had fallen in. There was a reason why that was, of course, which I’ll mention at the end of this post.
The amazing thing is that exactly the same deal is being done to help Greece get out of her financial problems, but does the word ‘default’ appear anywhere? No, it doesn’t.
Open Europe –
It is widely reported that a deal on restructuring Greek debt could be imminent with EU officials in Athens to discuss the issue. The scheme being discussed is three pronged: firstly it would see Greece borrow another €50bn from the European Financial Stability Facility. Secondly it would see Greece use the EFSF to buy back bonds at between 65% – 75% of their nominal value from the ECB and private bondholders. Thirdly the plan would see the maturity of the bail-out loans extended by 30 years. In return, Greece would need to impose further austerity measures, specifically introducing a cap on its budget deficit into its constitution. If adopted the scheme is expected to re-profile two thirds of Greece’s €330bn debt by the end of the year. It has been compared to the Brady plan which rescued Latin America from bankruptcy in the 1980s.
Why was it said to be the end of the world in the 1980s when Latin America defaulted?
Wall St had done a deal with the Arabs, you remember, Sheikh Yamani and the Oil Crisis, where the Arabs were persuaded to lift the oil price by four times overnight. That’s a nice deal, you might think, if you’re an oil producer, if not so good for people filling their fuel tanks.
There was a deal done though, whereby the Arabs agreed to recycle all the cash surplus back into the banking system, all the money earned by agreeing to lift the oil price to be placed in US Government 30 Year Treasuries. This was also a nice enough deal, on the face of it, for the Arabs.
What they weren’t told was that all the money was being paid into a Holding Company in the USA, and from there lent on to Third World countries, who were persuaded, or in some cases, bribed to take out massive debts which they could never repay. If the Presidents wouldn’t take out the debts, they were moved on, either by political agitation, as in Egypt this week, or by assassination.
President Magsaysay of the Philippines, for example, rejected the offer to take out big loans. His airoplane crashed and he was killed. Marcos was then ‘elected’, and he was up for borrowing billions, which he did. The money was soon frittered away, and he needed some more, as he couldn’t meet his obligations. But when he heard the terms of the new loans, he was shocked. He was asked to sign over all the Philippines’ natural resources in perpetuity, and to abandon the independence of the Peso, linking it to the US Dollar.
He refused to do so, and the People Power revolution was set up by the CIA, and he too was moved on. The next CIA-intended President Ninoy Aquino, was murdered coming down the airoplane steps as he returned from exile, his return assisted by the Americans. His wife, Corazon, became the next President in his place. His son, Noynoy won the election last year, and is the current President of the country. Signing up with the OWG pays big dividends in the Third World for the corrupt politicians at the top. For the poor millions, however, things are not so good.
The point of this long story is that when the Third World countries defaulted on their loans, the Arabs, who had lent the money on the artificially jacked up price of oil, were informed that the Holding Company had lost its assets and it was made insolvent. The filthy rich Arabs lost all their money. It was essential to ham the Latin American default up in the media so the Arabs didn’t realise they’d been conned into paying for the vast expansion of the OWG empire, or rather western motorists had done so.
As for Greece’s bondholders being offered 65%, that’s just for tasters. The losses can only get bigger from here. In conventional terms, it is a default. But unlike the situation in Latin America, this time your attention is not required. Though more power is accruing to the OWG, as this time, developed countries are being enslaved by debt, their political systems neutralised and their economies subsumed.
How do I know these things. I listened to this fella –