• High stakes in Athens for the next 2-weeks. the Syriza party-led Greek Government has a lot of right on its side , and they are showing signs of not overplaying their hand. They will prevail – instead of the Teachers & Civil Servants, (here in Government) Greece now has University Professors & other eminent experts as negotiators & strategists. They should be saluted, the War Debt point is very salient.
• This week John Fitzgerald of the ESRI., ‘owned-up’ to his failure to foresee the Irish crisis unfolding. For an eminent Economist, how could he have been so blind ? He wasn’t so blind in my opinion, he merely wasn’t prepared to put his head over the parapet at the key times in 2006 –> 2008 ( unlike Professor Morgan Kelly, UCD).
• ESRI is partly Government-financed ( there is a quid-pro-quo impact on ESRI commentaries here). Mr Fitzgerald’s self-confessed short-sightedness is a ‘Defence-of-convenience’. On 22nd April we’ll hear something similar from Messrs Ahern & Cowen, when they are hauled before the Committee of the Oireachtas Banking Inquiry. AIB wanted higher-level stress-testing in 2005 (than those tests of the Financial Regulator – which were light-weight ) – however this was choreography at the time, designed to ‘look-good’. AIB Bank & the then Government still had control of the ‘reporting’ outcome of the alleged higher-level stress tests.
In an Interview this week by the Guardian, Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis accidental economist, mentioned something he picked up long ago. “I was told, once, by a leftwing scholar that as a Marxist you have to do two things: always be optimistic and always have a view about everything. That advice still sounds good to me.” Mr Varoufakis went on to say “We’ve lost everything. So we can speak truth to power, and it’s about time we do.”
Even before any outcome is assured, Mr Varoufakis puts his Irish counterparts in the shameful shadows, in his accurate assessment that “We are a party of the left, but what we are putting on the table is essentially the agenda of a reformist bankruptcy lawyer from the City of London,” he says. “The bailout was not a bailout of Greece in 2010, it was a bailout of the German and French banks. The German public was misled into thinking that this was money going to the Greeks, the Greek public was misled into thinking that this was our salvation.”