Dissatisfied with the country’s worsening economic troubles and displeased with proposed austerity measures, thousands of demonstrators clashed with police in Madrid Tuesday. The protesters formed a human chain around the parliament building while police fired bullets at and beat the most violent in the crowd with truncheons. At least 22 people were arrested while 32 were injured, including four policeman. The protest was timed to the new 2013 budget, which will be announced by the government Thursday and includes cuts in inflation-linked pensions, taxes on stock transactions, the implantation of green taxes, and the elimination of several tax breaks. The region of Catalonia, which is responsible for 20 percent of the national output, called for an early election on Nov. 25 that could lead to a referendum on secession.
Dave Johnson at Seeing the Forest adds this:
The job of bankers is to assess risk. They are supposed to look at all the factors, and price a loan accordingly. If you have a credit card with very high risk, you might pay in the 20% range! This way the banks can lend out the money, and even if a large percentage of the borrowers default, they still do OK. They are expecting a certain default rate, they price accordingly, they do OK on the loan portfolio.
Same for when they lend to countries. They price loans according to the default risk, and over the lifetime of the loans they are supposed to get their money back plus some return, even with the expected defaults. If the banks screwed up and didn't price their loans correctly, this doesn't make the people of Greece lazy, etc. it makes the bankers incompetent.
OR the bankers did price correctly, and over the lifetimes of all of their loans they are getting their money back and a return, AND they are also taking advantage of the situation to get more, make a killing, force privatization, force wages down, get rid of that pesky democracy that has been in the way, etc.
So here we are again, with the elites in the position of being either stupid (incompetent) or evil. And with the people in misery as a result, while the elites do just fine for themselves. With the added bonus for the elites that the experiment of wresting control from the elites and to the people -- democracy -- ending.
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