After telling Norah O'Donnell how terrible it would be if we regulated the derivatives market, Judd Gregg and Pat Buchanan perform the exact exercise that Paul Krugman describes here:
Lately, financial news has been dominated by reports from Greece and other nations on the European periphery. And rightly so.But I’ve been troubled by reporting that focuses almost exclusively on European debts and deficits, conveying the impression that it’s all about government profligacy — and feeding into the narrative of our own deficit hawks, who want to slash spending even in the face of mass unemployment, and hold Greece up as an object lesson of what will happen if we don’t.
For the truth is that lack of fiscal discipline isn’t the whole, or even the main, source of Europe’s troubles — not even in Greece, whose government was indeed irresponsible (and hid its irresponsibility with creative accounting).
No, the real story behind the euromess lies not in the profligacy of politicians but in the arrogance of elites — specifically, the policy elites who pushed Europe into adopting a single currency well before the continent was ready for such an experiment. Read on...
Of course Gregg isn't going to talk about how the derivatives market is partially responsible for the mess Greece is in now.
Wall Street tactics akin to the ones that fostered subprime mortgages in America have worsened the financial crisis shaking Greece and undermining the euro by enabling European governments to hide their mounting debts.
...Even as the crisis was nearing the flashpoint, banks were searching for ways to help Greece forestall the day of reckoning. In early November — three months before Athens became the epicenter of global financial anxiety — a team from Goldman Sachs arrived in the ancient city with a very modern proposition for a government struggling to pay its bills, according to two people who were briefed on the meeting.
...As in the American subprime crisis and the implosion of the American International Group, financial derivatives played a role in the run-up of Greek debt. Instruments developed by Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase and a wide range of other banks enabled politicians to mask additional borrowing in Greece, Italy and possibly elsewhere.
Heaven forbid we might get any real reform that reigns these markets in. No, he'd rather tell us we need to cut social programs instead of regulating the financial institutions that almost took down our entire economy and helped put Greece in the mess they are now.
Here's Megan Carpenter from The Washington Independent on Russia Today explaining what Goldman Sachs did.
Goldman Sachs tricky derivatives trades may have masked the Greek debt just long enough to hurt all of us again. Goldman Sachs made up an exchange rate that allowed the Greeks to look as though they were only engaging in a currency swap when, in effect, they were getting more than a billion more than they should have from the trades in credit. Its likely that Goldman made a killing on the commissions for the swaps, and then sold the swaps to a Greek bank for even higher profits.