- An anxious world awaits the results of Greece's elections
- Greece and the 'Kick the Can Theory'
- American jihadist group to hold conference in Chicago on Sunday
- Mubarak's military cronies seem poised to rule Egypt
An anxious world awaits the results of Greece's elections
Mainstream analysts were apocalyptic on Friday, which always surprises me, since usually they're giggly and optimistic, and they call me apocalyptic. Since last month's elections only produced a splintered party result, and no group of parties was able to get together to form a governing coalition, a new election will be held on Sunday. In the worst case scenario, the winner will be the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA), led by Alexis Tsipras, 38, and he will immediately repudiate the EU's austerity requirements, causing Greece to go bankrupt and leave the euro currency, triggering a world financial crisis. People in Greece are extremely anxious, especially old people with a memory of starvation in World War II, who are stockpiling food and money. People are withdrawaling a billion euros a day from Greek banks, fearful that their euros will be converted to drachmas worth much less. With Greece gone from euroland, Ireland, Portugal and Spain would soon follow, triggering a worldwide financial crisis. AP
Greece and the 'Kick the Can Theory'
Last year I proposed the "Kick the Can Theory," which says that if you want to know what's going to happen, just assume that European leaders will "kick the can down the road," meaning that they'll do the minimum possible to postpone the crisis a little longer, to prevent a current crisis without fixing the problem, so that the crisis will recur in worse form weeks or months later. Last month, I asked what would happen in Greece if the "Kick the Can Theory" holds in that case. I wrote that, "Whoever wins on June 17 will agree with Europe on some face-saving minor reduction in the austerity requirements, thus kicking the can down the road for a few weeks."
It's beginning to look like that's exactly what's going to happen. Alex Tsipras is no longer talking about throwing the austerity requirements out; he's talking about "renegotiating" them. And some EU officials are talking about softening the austerity requirements, perhaps by lengthening the amount of time required to implement them. So it looks like a crisis will be averted next week, and the can will have been kicked down the road once more.
As I've been saying for years, there is NO solution to this problem. There was a huge real estate and credit bubble that grew over a period of 12 years (1995-2007), and it's going to take that many years for the bubble to deflate. And by the Law of Mean Reversion, it will actually take a lot longer. Recall that after the stock market crash of 1929, the stock market didn't return to pre-crash levels until 1953. In the meantime, it's truly astonishing to see how powerful the "Kick the Can Theory" is in predicting what politicians are going to do -- in Europe and America. Spiegel
American jihadist group to hold conference in Chicago on Sunday
Hizb Al-Tahrir, or the Islamic Party, is an international Islamist organization that has been proactively working for the re-establishment of a global Islamic caliphate, to be governed as per the teachings of the Koran. In recent years, it has called for military coups in Islamic countries. The group has branches in Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia, Tunisia, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, Morocco, Palestinian territories, etc. In Islamic countries, it has sought to recruit top military officers to its ideological fold in the hope of carrying out a military coup to usher in an era of Islamic rule. In Pakistan, it has strived to bring about an Islamic revolution, hoping to transform Pakistan into an ideal Islamic state that could lead the Ummah (the global Muslim nation). In recent years, several top Pakistani Army officers were discovered to have links with Hizb Al-Tahrir Pakistan, and were suspended. The American branch is holding a major conference in the Chicago area on Sunday, "Revolution: Liberation by Revelation - Muslims Marching Toward Victory." The exact place will be announced at the last minute in order to discourage protesters. Memri and Hizb Al-Tahrir America
Mubarak's military cronies seem poised to rule Egypt
There are two ways to look at Thursday's rulings by Egypt's Supreme Judicial Court, dissolving the parliament and allowing a former Prime Minister appointed by deposed leader Hosni Mubarak to run for president in Sunday's election. One way of looking at it is to say that Egypt's court system is finally beginning to reassert itself, after being powerless for decades under dictatorial rule. The other way is to say that the court's judges, who had been appointed by Mubarak, are seeking to reinstate the army's power and to thwart the Egyptian Revolution. The latter is certainly what the young revolutionary liberals are saying. With the parliament dissolved, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) is in charge of all functions of government. All the liberal candidates were defeated in the first round of the election. One is Ahmed Shafiq,a military figure appointed by Mubarak. The other is Mohamed Morsi, the candidate of the Muslim Brotherhood. So the discouraged liberals have to choose between a secular military man and an Islamist, leading many of them to conclude that their whole revolution has been a waste of time and blood. CS Monitor