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Date: Saturday, 25 May 2013 13:23
Τάσος Βέρμης - Tasos Vermis Φωτ. Δ. Γαλάνης 
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Date: Monday, 20 May 2013 17:46
Τάσος Βέρμης - Φωτ: Δ. Γαλάνης
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Date: Monday, 20 May 2013 17:46
Τάσος Βέρμης - Φωτ. Δ. Γαλάνης 
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Date: Sunday, 07 Apr 2013 14:46

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Date: Saturday, 16 Feb 2013 23:16
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Date: Sunday, 26 Aug 2012 21:23






Digital Studies
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Date: Wednesday, 08 Aug 2012 17:26

PHOTO BOOTH

PHOTOGRAPH: COURTESY BILL NAME
Billy Name’s Factory photographs.

Read more http://www.newyorker.com/#ixzz22xdTRjnL
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Date: Monday, 18 Jun 2012 21:44
Λούρος, Εκβολές Αχελώου, Αιτωλοακαρνανία
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Date: Sunday, 10 Jun 2012 12:40

Here They Come: Ireland Demands Renegotiation Of Its Bailout Terms To Match Spain

Well that didn't take long. The ink on the #Spailout is not dry yet (well technically there is no ink, because none of the actual details of the Spanish banking system rescue are even remotely known, and likely won't be because when it comes to answering where the money comes from there simply is no answer) and we already have an answer to one of our questions. Recall thatmere hours ago we asked: "We also wonder how will Ireland feel knowing that it has to suffer under backbreaking austerity in exchange for Troika generosity, while Spain gets away scott free." We now know. From the AFP: "Ireland wants to renegotiate its rescue plan to benefit from the same treatment as Spain, which looks set to win a bailout for its banks without any broader economic reforms in return, European sources said on Saturday." And with Ireland on the renegotiation train, next comes Greece. Only with Greece the wheels for a bailout overhaul are already in motion and are called a "vote of Syriza on June 17." And remember how everyone was threatening the Greeks with the 10th circle of hell if they dare to renegotiate the memorandum? Well, Spain just showed that a condition-free bailout is an option. Which means Syriza will get all the votes it needs and then some with promises of a consequence free bailout renegotiation. In other words Syriza's Tsipras should send a bottle of the finest champagne to de Guindos - he just won him the election.
...



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Date: Friday, 08 Jun 2012 13:27
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Date: Tuesday, 29 May 2012 21:57

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Date: Sunday, 27 May 2012 13:59

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Date: Monday, 21 May 2012 20:50

Αστικό 22

...
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Date: Sunday, 20 May 2012 21:25

The Suicide Machine

The True Costs of Bank Crises

by ROB URIE
In March 2010 Andrew Haldane, Executive Director for Financial Stability at the Bank of England, estimated that the financial crisis that began in 2008 will ultimately cost the world economy between $60 trillion and $200 trillion in lost production (link). The methods he used to reach his conclusions require a number of assumptions, but so would any effort at assessing the broader damage. And to his point, counting the cost of bank crises in terms of costs to the banks alone substantially misrepresents the economic harm that recurrent crises cause.
When J.P. Morgan announced last week that it had lost $2 billion from derivatives transactions gone awry, later revised to $3 billion and rising, the mainstream press reiterated the framing that this is a cost to be borne by the bank and that it indicates what the rest of us might be expected to contribute if another banking crisis erupts. The implication is that future crises are possible, ignoring that we are collectively still paying for the last crisis. And again, to Mr. Haldane’s point, the costs to Wall Street are nearly irrelevant when considering the total costs of banking crises.
This all proceeds from the premise that the broader economic order, of which the banks are a part, is a viable form of economic organization. Given that the current order is radically environmentally unsustainable, it is tempting to imagine that the lost production that Mr. Haldane is counting as a cost of the financial crisis has a silver lining in slowed environmental degradation. Additionally, any careful look at the business of banking finds degrees of predation inversely related to social power—even when they aren’t blowing themselves up, most of the world would be better off without predator banks.
This establishes a paradox—the existing economic (and political) order isn’t working. But, as political leaders on the right and what passes for the left these days claim, failing to sustain it would entail massive human costs in terms of unemployment, bankruptcy, poverty, divorce, suicide and the dissolution of our public institutions. Ironically, add increasing environmental destruction to this list and it well describes current conditions under the existing order. Apparently the best that defenders can offer is that things could be a lot worse
To point to the obvious, even Mr. Haldane’s lower cost estimate of $60 trillion isn’t being borne by the banks. The banks couldn’t pay this if they were forced to—it is more money than they will collectively earn in profits over coming decades. And it isn’t being borne by the large corporations that are earning the highest rate of profits in history. It is in fact a negative, an unmet promise made to the rest of us by the proponents of capitalism over recent decades. Through the prism of social struggle it appears as an absence, not as a more straightforwardly actionable misappropriation. But then, what is the ultimate difference?
Jamie Dimon, J.P. Morgan’s CEO, offered that the bank’s loss reflected a failure of risk models. But the bank’s risk models are necessarily narrowly delineated—what model could propose that transactions that could cost the broader economy $60 trillion if they go wrong balance out in favor of the transactions? Such risk models carry the implicit premise of heads, the banks win; tails, the rest of us lose. Practically speaking, these trades, when they work, are simply a method of converting a rigged game into cash. The assets being traded, reportedly a basket of credit default swaps, are un-funded insurance policies; accounting fictions that when aggregated guarantee bailouts—every bank requires that every other bank meet its obligations or the whole system collapses.
For all of the money that the banks have been allowed to create and pay out to the purported rocket scientists who build their risk models, the particular model under discussion in J.P. Morgan’s case (VAR, value-at-risk) is a work of rare idiocy. The question that it attempts to answer is: how badly can things go for one day, week, month etc. assuming (1) no other banks run into similar problems and (2) everything goes back to normal in the next period. What makes use of this model so questionable is that both of these assumptions are behind every spectacular financial collapse in modern history that didn’t involve outright theft (e.g. Ponzi schemes).
Ultimately the particulars of J.P. Morgan’s losses are so much noise. What they point to is an economic system designed to self-destruct. Add increasing environmental degradation in the face of global warming to structural financial fragility and what capitalism appears to have created is a full-blown suicide machine. And to invert Mr. Haldane’s premise—the $60 trillion in lost production (minimum) was never going to go to us anyway. The trajectory since the 1970s had it going to corporate executives, bankers and machines (automation).
The challenge for reformers and re-regulators is that the system is the problem. Companies pollute because they individually prosper while we collectively pay the costs. Banks take risks that are internally rational while they are systemically catastrophic. Environmental and financial crises cannot be solved with capitalism intact. In fact, when global warming and bank crises are considered, there is little evidence that capitalism ever produced any profits net of externalized costs. And the consolidation of wealth that capitalism produces undermines all attempts at remediation. Capitalism itself is a suicide machine.
What made J.P. Morgan’s loss news is the recognition that the financial crisis hasn’t been resolved. And again, this crisis isn’t from without. It is endemic to the system we are being told we must save. As Mr. Haldane has it, even if the crisis had been resolved, we would still collectively be out more than $60 trillion anyway. And the only way toward those trillions is through increasing environmental catastrophe. By appearances, the current order is in the process of imploding of its own weight. And while dislocations create fear, they also create openings for other possible futures.
Rob Urie is an artist and political economist in New York.
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Date: Sunday, 20 May 2012 21:20
 
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Date: Wednesday, 16 May 2012 23:23

Η Έφη είναι φίλη μου γι αυτό δεν θέλω κουλά σχόλια
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Date: Tuesday, 15 May 2012 12:07

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Date: Friday, 11 May 2012 16:04
 
The End of the End of Austerity

We’re All Greeks Now

by ROB URIE
One of the joys of being American is that every new day is a clean slate—no history, no memories, no experiences, a complete blank. This may help explain why our national conversations serve their intended purposes while being entirely content-free. Newsflash to self-described liberal economists: austerity works! If your goal is loot nations while putting their populations into permanent debt servitude, austerity is a real winner.
The IMF (International Monetary Fund) has been implementing “structural adjustment” programs, AKA austerity, for decades. It has usually “worked” for their bank clients in the sense that wealth extraction from victim nations to international banks took place. And given that victim nations tended to have both culpable leaders and “developing” nation status, the economic outcomes were rarely news in New York or Washington. Needless to say, outcomes were better for bankers than for their structurally adjusted victims.
When the ECB (European Central Bank) began discussing structural adjustment policies for Greece in 2009 there was little pretense that they would benefit the Greeks. European banks had loaded themselves to the gills with peripheral sovereign debt, in some measure to game the regulatory capital requirements in much the same way that Wall Street banks did with “AAA” rated garbage in the lead-up to the most recent financial disaster. And like their American counterparts, European banks had cynically lent money under fraudulent terms to people who could not pay it back. And European banks, like their American counterparts, require ongoing bailouts for the current economic order to stand.
Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany, leader of Germany’s center-right party and de facto head of the EU, faced rebellion by the German electorate over the proposed bailout of Greece before it became openly punitive. The line that austerity was the economic prescription needed to get Greece back on its feet was cynical apologia put forward by the dullard class of EU propaganda hacks. That American economists (Paul Krugman) debated the issue like it was a serious analytical dispute begs the question of where they have been for the last fifty years?
With only six decades of IMF history to draw from, the template being used in Europe (and in America) is (1) install or corrupt a political elite who will support extractive economic policies for the benefit of bankers, (2) indebt, or cause to become indebted, a naïve, oblivious or otherwise captive population who will accept, grudgingly or otherwise, the institutional convention that the debt is legitimate and must be repaid, (3) under a patina of intellectual legitimacy, implement openly extractive economic policies against entire populations for the benefit of said banks, (4) while the culpable elites retire to large houses behind high walls with their portions of the loot.
In the 1980s major New York banks (Wall Street) made loans to South American and African nations using this template. In some fair proportion the proceeds of these loans were promptly re-deposited into these same banks in the names of specific government officials. When the victim populations rebelled, arguing either that the debt was not legitimate and didn’t need to be repaid, or realized that the debt was a de facto form of slavery and couldn’t be repaid, these New York banks were bailed out by the U.S. government under the veil of “Brady Bonds” and the government took over as creditor to collect the debts.
This is the game now playing out in Europe and, in a less visible sense; the U.S. Wall Street bankers (including European banks) are conspiring with corrupt, naïve, duplicitous or powerless peripheral leaders to implement austerity policies on indebted populations. These populations are indebted because of banker duplicity and/or because of the financial bubbles and their aftermath that Wall Street created. These austerity programs are for the sole benefit of the banks. In the U.S. the Wall Street banks were bailed out without being made to write off the bad loans that never should have been made.  This creates a similar dynamic where some fair proportion of Americans will now live out their remaining days in debt slavery to the banks.
In addition to multi-trillion dollar unconditional and ongoing bailouts the Obama administration recently also gave the banks retroactive and future immunity for straightforwardly criminal behavior through the mortgage “settlement” and has expanded the corrupt and usurious student loan business for the benefit of the banks. Add the looting of state, municipal and private pensions, the corporate takeover of the legislative process and full implementation of neo-liberal austerity economics at the state and local levels and the battle lines in the U.S. are clearly drawn. We are all Greeks now.
The difference between current experience and prior history is that the banks have now effectively eliminated the national borders that previously delineated the core-periphery class struggle. What we are experiencing has a long history and known outcomes. The intellectual masturbation behind the Keynesian- Austerian “debate” hides the class conflict that is driving this process. The Keynesians believe that renewed recession in Europe proves their case. But as the saying goes, tell it to someone who gives a shit. The turmoil in Europe is power politics (class struggle) hiding behind a thin veil of ideological difference.  The bankers and their Austerian apologists know what they are doing. Too bad the same can’t be said for liberal economists.
Rob Urie is an artist and political economist in New York.
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Date: Friday, 11 May 2012 13:54
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Date: Thursday, 10 May 2012 14:38

Roubini: EU To Break Up Once Contagion Hits Italy And Spain

Forbes -
Roubini, or Dr. Doom as he's been dubbed by the media, is pessimistic on Europe - NYTimes.com Political uncertainty continues to rise in Europe as Greek politicians fail to build a government and more EU leaders, including German Finance Minister ...
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