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The Wall Street Greek blog is the sexy & syndicated financial securities markets publication of former Senior Equity Analyst Markos N. Kaminis. Our stock market blog reaches reputable publishers & private networks and is an unbiased, independent Wall Street research resource on the economy, stocks, gold & currency, energy & oil, real estate and more. Wall Street & Greece should be as honest, dependable and passionate as The Greek.

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Thursday, April 29, 2010

Greece News & My Disgust!

Greece news disgust
Today's Greek Disgust

Enough already! I am tired of seeing my ancestral homeland sink. We offer Greece some advice in the paragraphs that follow, so please be sure to find it below.

I think we have all contracted Greece news on the brain disease by now. The Greek drama has been playing out for what seems like an eternity at this point. Of course, we have European Disunity to blame for that, along with Greek government mismanagement and Wall Street swindling. Thank the Greek Gods, the devil (or rather S&P), seems to have found the ingredients to bring the EU toward a reunion of sorts... finally. We cover the latest Greek news, provide important advice to Greece, and report on all of the day's American and global market-moving news in today's copy.

"The Greek" earned clients a 23% average annual return over five years as a stock analyst on Wall Street. While writing for Wall Street Greek and others, he presciently predicted the financial crisis and housing and banking failures of the Great Recession. Visit the front pages of Wall Street Greek now to see our current coverage of business news, global financial markets, real estate, shipping, fine art, technical analysis and global affairs.


Greece News & My Disgust!

GreekIf not for Greece news overload, we would have just the two usual economic reports to worry about today. Well, that and a storm of earnings reports, plus a few more Congressional hearings. The day's economic data proved bland while providing more of the same data trends that have played true for too long now. Both the Weekly Jobless Claims and Natural Gas Inventory Report offered little to salt markets today. That said, we always have Greece news to provide a little zest, albeit without the olive oil and lemon.

Greece News & My Disgust

In yesterday's Coffee, entitled "S&P Downgrades Spurred European Response," we noted the vast global market decline that followed the rating agency's downgrades of Greece, Portugal and Spain. The IMF and EU responded quickly to the downgrades though in assuring investors that a distribution of aid is just days away. Greek markets recovered before closing yesterday, and in today's activity through publishing, we saw the remainder of Europe regain lost ground.

  • Germany's DAX Index +1.0%
  • U.K. FTSE 100 +0.56%
  • France's CAC 40 +1.42%
  • Spain's IBEX 35 +2.69%
  • Italy's FTSE MIB +0.9%
  • Portugal's PSI General +4.53%
  • Ireland's Irish Overall +3.53%
  • Greece's Athens Composite Share +7.14%

Of all these movers, the Greeks might be wisest to take these gains and move to Cyprus. The austerity measures being introduced to help Greece attempt to turn its economy on a dime threaten to drive civil unrest and engineer deep political divide. That's not to mention that Ben Bernanke keeps reminding Americans that these kinds of actions turned an average recession into the Great Depression in the US.

Pressured by the stupid Europeans (I can't find a better description), who seem unwilling to endure the bad times with the good, Greece is forcing a new set of austerity measures down its citizens throats. I feel the Prime Minister is making the kind of mistake here that ensures a radical political party will win government control at the next election... and oh by the way, that could come via coup given the degree of disgust Greek citizens have for the current situation. The feeling on the streets is simply understood: Why should Greeks suffer for the corruption of their government officials and the mismanagement of Wall Street?

The answer is simple as well: They shouldn't!

Greek union officials reported today that the IMF is requiring Greece to raise sales taxes (further), scrap bonuses and accept a three-year pay freeze. The bonuses union members have grown accustomed to amount to two months salary, and therefore mark a significant cut in pay. Prime Minister Papandreou is a wonderful gentleman, but we hope he has a talent for sales as well, since he is going to have to sell "saving Greece" to a passionate people that see the product as skata (read shit).

For the sake of justice, the pious people of Greece burned a Christmas tree; and for the sake of justice, they drove the soldiers who guard the tomb of their beloved unknown soldier away. We are talking about a people who have pelted their politicians with objects of all sorts, including fists. We are talking about a people who will not be taken advantage of, nor burdened with the weight of government corruption and Wall Street swindling.

As a matter of fact, I think it would be wise for Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS) and crew to remove any signage, and consider hiding Greek operations on some deserted island for a few years. I feel sorry for the Prime Minister, because in saving Greece, he will likely lose his government. And neither will the New Democrats take it back, since they have been attributed with much of the blame.

Greece would be wise to consider these ideas for starters:

  • Tax tourists, not your citizens! Same as in New York City, a leader from the upper class places the burden of economic decline on his already stressed working class. Just as New York will always attract tourists, Greece will as well (as long as it is peaceful). So instead of strapping your hard working blue collar countrymen, it would be wise to look toward visitors to bear the cost.

  • Shipping Companies must pay taxes! Shipping companies do not really pay taxes in Greece, despite running most of their operations from the country. Rather, because assets consist of seaborne vessels, they place a small office in Liberia, The Canary Islands or some other lie, and pay virtually no taxes to Greece on the exorbitant wealth stores they amass. I say Greek shipping families should decide if they want to be Greek citizens or not. If they do not pay taxes to Greece, then they should lose citizenship and move elsewhere. Greeks may be a proud people, but we are not a stupid people, and we are tired of being screwed.

  • Penalty for government corruption must be merciless! If you give these gentlemen to the crowds of rioters, they will eat them like cabbage, so to speak. The people run the government! This is democracy! So, to preserve the cabbage industry, it would be wise to put corrupt leaders into Turkish prisons. Greek prisons would be too kind.

  • Seek retribution for the stolen riches and history of Greece! Force Germany, the United Kingdom and Turkey to repay Greece for the wealth stolen over the centuries.
If you want real change the people can support, these are the kinds of measures you must institute. Penalize unfairly earned wealth, tourists who will come anyway, and the cheaters who have caused this crisis by mismanagement and corruption. Do not torture the good Greek people who work hard for a simple existence.

The current plan inspired by Greece's big brothers is not feasible. It will only open up black markets, torch the streets of Athens and lead more Greek wealth to leave the country. It will only usher in a radical government to replace the current. Please, I beg any intelligent reader with reach to the Greek government to share my words with them, and let them consider these words carefully. I'm sure I could enhance Greece's budget plan and save Greece much pain, if only you will give me a chance to. I am available to help serve Greece's effort.

House Panel Keys on Goldman's Swaps & Greece

A House of Representatives panel took up the subject of credit-default Swaps and their role in Greece's debt crisis today. In other words, the feds are doing all they can to turn up the heat on Goldman and Wall Street, which works in favor of getting financial regulatory reform passed. Meanwhile, the Senate Banking Committee is reviewing "short-termism" in financial markets.

Weekly Jobless Claims

Weekly Jobless Claims were reported today for the period ended April 24. New unemployment benefits filers numbered 448,000, about in line with the economists' consensus for 447K. Claims were lower than the prior week's revised number of 459,000, and also significantly shorter than the data from two weeks ago (480K). However, the four-week moving average tells a sad story. That telling metric produced an increase of 1,500 claims, to a mark of 462,500. Perhaps census hiring is still not a factor.

The consistency of employment outflow illustrates a desolate labor market, and implies that elevated unemployment will persist for some time to come. Next week offers market watchers the latest unemployment figures, and we see little reason to be enthusiastic about that. The insured unemployment rate stuck at 3.6% for the April 17 period.

The largest increases in initial claims for the week ending April 17 were in Puerto Rico (+3,549), Iowa (+1,606), Georgia (+1,412), Connecticut (+768), and Florida (+422), while the largest decreases were in New York (-21,010), California (-15,380), Pennsylvania (-4,512), Oregon (-4,317), and New Jersey (-3,777). This data seems to show cyclical gains beginning in the hardest hit regions of the country. Though, all indications are that small business is not participating in any hiring. This illustrates a failing of the Obama Administration's job incentive program, which is geared toward small business.

EIA Natural Gas Report

The EIA's latest Natural Gas Report showed another increase in inventory, this time by 83 Bcf (versus last week's 73 Bcf). The report, covering the period ended April 23, shows natural gas inventory 303 Bcf above its five-year average for this time of year (last week's data showed it 286 Bcf above). Based on the EIA's charts, it looks to us as though natural gas inventory is already above the upper limit of the average range for this time of year. Thus, there seems little reason to forecast higher pricing, unless you see near-term global economic growth higher than economists estimate; or if you foresee a conflict with Iran in the near-term.

Corporate Earnings & News Drivers

Harman International (NYSE: HAR) hosts a meeting with investors. Rio Tinto (NYSE: RTP) has a 4-for-1 split scheduled. Reporting earnings, look for data from Exxon Mobil (NYSE: XOM), ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP), Burger King (NYSE: BKC), Santander (NYSE: STD). Also look for EPS reports from Abaxis (Nasdaq: ABAX), Acer Inc. (OTC: ASIYF.PK), ACI Worldwide (Nasdaq: ACIW), Acme Packet (Nasdaq: APKT), Actel (Nasdaq: ACTL), Aetna (NYSE: AET), Agnico-Eagle Mines (NYSE: AEM), Agree Realty (NYSE: ADC), Akeena Solar (Nasdaq: AKNS), Alaska Communications (Nasdaq: ALSK), Alexandria Real Estate (NYSE: ARE), America Movil (NYSE: AMX), American Dental Partners (Nasdaq: ADPI), American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP), Anaren (Nasdaq: ANEN), Antigenics (Nasdaq: AGEN), Apache Corp. (NYSE: APA), AP Capital (Nasdaq: ACAP), Applied Micro Circuits (Nasdaq: AMCC), ArcelorMittal (NYSE: MT), Ariba (Nasdaq: ARBA), Art Technology (Nasdaq: ARTG), Artio Global (NYSE: ART), Asbury Automotive (NYSE: ABG), Asset Acceptance (Nasdaq: AACC), AstraZeneca (NYSE: AZN), Athenahealth (Nasdaq: ATHN), AVEO Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: AVEO), Baldwin & Lyons (Nasdaq: BWINA), Ball Corp. (NYSE: BLL), Ballard Power (Nasdaq: BLDP), Bally Technologies (NYSE: BYI), Banco de Chile (NYSE: BCH), Banco Santander (NYSE: STD), Bancorp Rhode Island (Nasdaq: BARI), BASF Catalysts (Nasdaq: BCAT), Becton, Dickinson and Co. (NYSE: BDX), Bel Fuse Inc. (Nasdaq: BELFB), Belden Inc. (NYSE: BDC), Bemis (NYSE: BMS), Benchmark Electronics (NYSE: BHE), BioMarin Pharmaceutical (Nasdaq: BMRN), Bofi Holding (Nasdaq: BOFI), BorgWarner (NYSE: BWA), Brigham Exploration (Nasdaq: BEXP), Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE: BMY), Bruker (Nasdaq: BRKR), Brunswick (NYSE: BC), Brush Eng. Materials (NYSE: BW), Bryn Mawr Bank (Nasdaq: BMTC), Build A Bear Workshop (NYSE: BBW), Bunge Ltd. (NYSE: BG), Calgon Carbon (NYSE: CCC), Caliper Life Sciences (Nasdaq: CALP), Callaway Golf (NYSE: ELY), Callidus Software (Nasdaq: CALD), Cameron (NYSE: CAM), CARBO Ceramics (NYSE: CRR), Cardinal Health (NYSE: CAH), Cardtronics (Nasdaq: CATM), CDI Corp. (NYSE: CDI), Celgene (Nasdaq: CELG), Cenovus Energy (NYSE: CVE), Center Fin'l Corp. (Nasdaq: CLFC), Cerus (Nasdaq: CERS), CEVA, Inc. (Nasdaq: CEVA), CH Energy Group (NYSE: CHG), Chart Industries (Nasdaq: GTLS), Chelsea Therapeutics (Nasdaq: CHTP), Chicago Mercantile Exchange (NYSE: CME), China Petroleum & Chemical (NYSE: SNP), China Sunergy (Nasdaq: CSUN), Chiquita Brands (NYSE: CQB), City National (NYSE: CYN), Clarient (Nasdaq: CLRT), Clearwater Paper (NYSE: CLW), Coherent (Nasdaq: COHR), Coinstar (Nasdaq: CSTR), Colgate-Palmolive (NYSE: CL), Colonial Properties (NYSE: CLP), CommScope (NYSE: CTV), CONMED (Nasdaq: CNMD), CONSOL Energy (NYSE: CNX), Constant Contact (Nasdaq: CTCT), Credit Acceptance (Nasdaq: CACC), CTC Media (Nasdaq: CTCM), Cumulus Media (Nasdaq: CMLS), Curtiss-Wright (NYSE: CW), Cybersource (Nasdaq: CYBS), Cytokinetics (Nasdaq: CYTK), D&B (NYSE: DNB), Dana Holding (NYSE: DAN), Deltek Inc. (Nasdaq: PROJ), DENTSPLY Int'l (Nasdaq: XRAY), Depomed (Nasdaq: DEPO), Digirad (Nasdaq: DRAD), Digital Realty Trust (NYSE: DLR), Digital River (Nasdaq: DRIV), Dolby Laboratories (NYSE: DLB), Dominion Resources (NYSE: D), Double Eagle Petroleum (Nasdaq: DBLE), Dover Downs Gaming (NYSE: DDE), Dover Motorsports (NYSE: DVD), DPL, Inc. (NYSE: DPL), Duff & Phelps (NYSE: DUF), Duke Realty (NYSE: DRE), Dynamic Materials (Nasdaq: BOOM), Eastman Kodak (NYSE: EK), eFuture Info (Nasdaq: EFUT), Electronics for Imaging (Nasdaq: EFII), EMCOR (NYSE: EME), Emergency Medical Svs. (NYSE: EMS), Empire District Electric (NYSE: EDE), Enbridge Energy (NYSE: EEQ), Energen (NYSE: EGN), Entergy (NYSE: ETR), Entravision Communications (NYSE: EVC), ev3 (Nasdaq: EVVV), Expedia (Nasdaq: EXPE), FalconStor Software (Nasdaq: FALC), Financial Institutions (Nasdaq: FISI), First Potomac Realty (NYSE: FPO), Fiserv (Nasdaq: FISV), Fisher Communications (Nasdaq: FSCI), Forrester Research (Nasdaq: FORR), Fortune Brands (NYSE: FO), France Telecom (NYSE: FTE), Franklin Electric (Nasdaq: FELE), Gazprom (OTC: OGZPF), Genesee & Wyoming (NYSE: GWR), Genpact (NYSE: G), Gen-Probe (Nasdaq: GPRO), Genworth Fin'l (NYSE: GNW), GFI Group (Nasdaq: GFIG), Global Crossing (Nasdaq: GLBC), GrafTech Int'l (NYSE: GTI), Greatbatch (NYSE: GB), Green Plains Renewable (Nasdaq: GPRE), Grupo Financiero Inbursa SA (OTC: GPFOY), Grupo Simec (NYSE: SIM), Guidance Software (Nasdaq: GUID), Hanmi Fin'l (Nasdaq: HAFC), Harris Interactive (Nasdaq: HPOL), Harsco (NYSE: HSC), Harte-Hanks (NYSE: HHS), Hartford Fin'l (NYSE: HIG), Harvard Bioscience (Nasdaq: HBIO), HealthSpring (NYSE: HS), Helmerich & Payne (NYSE: HP), Hercules Offshore (Nasdaq: HERO), Holly Energy (NYSE: HEP), Huron Consulting (Nasdaq: HURN), IMAX Corp. (Nasdaq: IMAX), Immunogen (Nasdaq: IMGN), Imperial Oil (NYSE: IMO), Ingram Micro (NYSE: IM), Innodata Isogen (Nasdaq: INOD), Intermec (NYSE: IN), InterMune (Nasdaq: ITMN), International Paper (NYSE: IP), Int'l Rectifier (NYSE: IRF), Investment Technology Group (NYSE: ITG), Investors Bancorp (Nasdaq: ISBC), Iron Mountain (NYSE: IRM), iStar Fin'l (NYSE: SFI), Ixia (Nasdaq: XXIA), Jarden (NYSE: JAH), John B. Sanfilippo (Nasdaq: JBSS), KB Fin'l (NYSE: KB), KBR, Inc. (NYSE: KBR), Keithley Instruments (NYSE: KEI), Kellogg (NYSE: K), Kennametal (NYSE: KMT), Key Energy Svcs. (NYSE: KEG), Key Technology (Nasdaq: KTEC), Keynote Systems (Nasdaq: KEYN), KKR Fin'l (NYSE: KFN), KLA-Tencor (Nasdaq: KLAC), Kratos Defense & Security (Nasdaq: KTOS), K-Sea Transportation (NYSE: KSP), KT Corp. (NYSE: KT), LaBarge (NYSE: LB), Lancaster Colony (Nasdaq: LANC), Lantronix (Nasdaq: LTRX), LaserCard (Nasdaq: LCRD), LeMaitre Vascular (Nasdaq: LMAT), Libbey (NYSE: LBY), Linn Energy (Nasdaq: LINE), LKQ Corp. (Nasdaq: LKQX), Lubrizol (NYSE: LZ), Luxottica (NYSE: LUX), Macatawa Bank (Nasdaq: MCBC), Mack-Cali Realty (NYSE: CLI), Maxim Integrated (Nasdaq: MXIM), Maxwell Tech (Nasdaq: MXWL), McAfee (NYSE: MFE), Mead Johnson Nutrition (NYSE: MJN), MedAssets (Nasdaq: MDAS), MEMC Electronic Materials (NYSE: WFR), Merchants Bancshares (Nasdaq: MBVT), Merit Medical (Nasdaq: MMSI), MetLife (NYSE: MET), Mettler-Toledo (NYSE: MTD), MICROS System (Nasdaq: MCRS), Microtune (Nasdaq: TUNE), Mine Safety Appliances (NYSE: MSA), Mohawk Industries (NYSE: MHK), Monolithic Power (Nasdaq: MPWR), Monster Worldwide (NYSE: MWW), Motorola (NYSE: MOT), Mylan (NYSE: MYL), National Technical Systems (Nasdaq: NTSC), Natus Medical (Nasdaq: BABY), NEI (Nasdaq: NENG), Neogenomics (Nasdaq: NGNM), NetLogic Microsystems (Nasdaq: NETL), NetScout Systems (Nasdaq: NTCT), Newpark Resources (NYSE: NR), NII Holdings (Nasdaq: NIHD), Noble Energy (NYSE: NBL), Novamed (Nasdaq: NOVA), NSTAR (NYSE: NST), NuStar Energy (NYSE: NS), Occidental Petroleum (NYSE: OXY), Oclaro (Nasdaq: OCLR), OfficeMax (NYSE: OMX), Olympic Steel (Nasdaq: ZEUS), On Assignment (Nasdaq: ASGN), OneBeacon Insurance (NYSE: OB), Online Resources (Nasdaq: ORCC), Open Text (Nasdaq: OTEX), Oshkosh Corp. (NYSE: OSK), Pacific Capital Bancorp (Nasdaq: PCBC), Palomar Medical (Nasdaq: PMTI), Patni Computer (NYSE: PTI), Patterson-UTI (Nasdaq: PTEN), PC Connection (Nasdaq: PCCC), PDL BioPharma (Nasdaq: PDLI), Pennsylvania Real Estate Inv. Trust (NYSE: PEI), Perrigo (Nasdaq: PRGO), Pinnacle Data Systems (NYSE: PNS), Potash Corp. (NYSE: POT), Power-One (Nasdaq: PWER), Pozen (Nasdaq: POZN), Pride Int'l (NYSE: PDE), Primedia (NYSE: PRM), Procter & Gamble (NYSE: PG), Pro-Dex (Nasdaq: PDEX), Provident Fin'l (Nasdaq: PROV), QLogic (Nasdaq: QLGC), Questcor Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: QCOR), Quidel (Nasdaq: QDEL), Radware (Nasdaq: RDWR), RAIT Fin'l Trust (NYSE: RAS), Regal Entertainment (NYSE: RGC), Reliv Int'l (Nasdaq: RELV), Repsol (NYSE: REP), Republic Services (NYSE: RSG), ResMed (NYSE: RMD), Revlon (NYSE: REV), Rochester Medical (Nasdaq: ROCM), Rockwood Holdings (NYSE: ROC), Rubicon Tech (Nasdaq: RBCN), Ruddick (NYSE: RDK), Rudolph Tech (Nasdaq: RTEC), Safeway (NYSE: SWY), Saia (Nasdaq: SAIA), Sally Beauty (NYSE: SBH), Sanofi-Aventis (NYSE: SNY), Selectica (Nasdaq: SLTC), Senomyx (Nasdaq: SNMX), Siemens (NYSE: SI), Silgan (Nasdaq: SLGN), Silicon Motion (Nasdaq: SIMO), Sinopec Shanghai Petrochemical (NYSE: SHI), Skyworks (Nasdaq: SWKS), Sonic Foundry (Nasdaq: SOFO), Sourcefire (Nasdaq: FIRE), Southwestern Energy (NYSE: SWN), Spirit Aerosystems (NYSE: SPR), Stamps.com (Nasdaq: STMP), Standard Register (NYSE: SR), Standex Int'l (NYSE: SXI), Starwood Hotels (NYSE: HOT), State Auto Fin'l (Nasdaq: STFC), StellarOne (Nasdaq: STEL), Stewart Info (NYSE: STC), Strayer Education (Nasdaq: STRA), Sun Healthcare (Nasdaq: SUNH), Sunoco (NYSE: SUN), Support.com (Nasdaq: SPRT), Surewest Communications (Nasdaq: SURW), Symetra Fin'l (NYSE: SYA), Symyx Tech (Nasdaq: SMMX), TeleCommunications Systems (Nasdaq: TSYS), Teledyne (NYSE: TDY), Telular (Nasdaq: WRLS), Tenneco (NYSE: TEN), Terra Nitrogen (NYSE: TNH), Tesoro (NYSE: TSO), The Brinks Co. (NYSE: BCO), The First American Corp. (NYSE: FAF), The Interpublic Group (NYSE: IPG), The Timberland Co. (NYSE: TBL), The Timken Co. (NYSE: TKR), Thoratec (Nasdaq: THOR), Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC), Tollgrade Communications (Nasdaq: TLGD), TranSwitch (Nasdaq: TXCCD), TriMas (NYSE: TRS), Trimble Navigation (Nasdaq: TRMB), Ultralife (Nasdaq: ULBI), Unifi (NYSE: UFI), Unilever (NYSE: UL), United Stationers (Nasdaq: USTR), United Therapeutics (Nasdaq: UTHR), Universal American (NYSE: UAM), Valassis Communications (NYSE: VCI), ValueClick (Nasdaq: VCLK), Varian Semi (Nasdaq: VSEA), Viacom (NYSE: VIA), VISTAPRINT (Nasdaq: VPRT), Volcom (Nasdaq: VLCM), Washington Real Estate Inv. Trust (NYSE: WRE), Waste Management (NYSE: WM), Wayside Technology (Nasdaq: WSTG), Wesbanco (Nasdaq: WSBC), West Bancorporation (Nasdaq: WTBA), West Pharmaceutical Services (NYSE: WST), Weyco (Nasdaq: WEYS), Weyerhaeuser (NYSE: WY), Wisdomtree Investments (OTC: WSDT.PK), World Acceptance (Nasdaq: WRLD), WSFS Fin'l (Nasdaq: WSFS), Wynn Resorts (Nasdaq: WYNN), Xcel Energy (NYSE: XEL) and Zoll Medical (Nasdaq: ZOLL).


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Anonymous hans said...

It's great that its all the fault of others. Iv'e had lunch overlooking the beach clubs full of people with taxable incomes of $10,000 and great houses and apartments and Mercedes.Add the constant corruption ,bribes to get anything done and a complete welfare mentality. The problem is that Western Europe broadened the community to include countries with an Arab mentality. Get your house in order or leave the EEC.

4:54 PM  
Anonymous Greek said...


You might read the article before commenting next time. Your statement seems to say otherwise. I thought I was PRETTY CLEAR that Greek mismanagement and corruption played a key role in causing this problem. My article is pro-Greek working class, and suggests another way to get things in order without bankrupting the average Greek in the process and sending Greece into a depression.

"Arab mentality?" Please Hans. I believe Greeks had an advanced civilization before Western Europeans could start a fire... or speak. Come on Hans!!!

7:33 PM  
Anonymous Manny said...

Greece is in a crisis, fighting for survival. During such times, citizens of a country have to make sacrifices or face extinction. No one will nor should bail out Greece with a blank check. Austerity measure are 100% necessary. If and when Greece gets out of this crisis, the politicians responsible should be tried for treason.

3:35 PM  
Anonymous DD Ramsey said...

"Tax tourists, not your citizens!" This is a briliant idea! Why woud anyone even consider taxing their citizens when the tourism industry could easily do it in small increments that most tourists wouldn't even notice or care about. They're in the country enjoying and expecting to pay a little extra for that enjoyment, so it makes perfect "cents"!

"Shipping Companies must pay taxes!" First of all, I can't believe that this isn't already a standard. A country in financial crisis doesn't tax one of its biggest money makers? That's idiotic. Big biz needs to pay taxes if the country it's in expects to survive.

"Penalty for government corruption must be merciless!" I agree. However! What are the real chances that the people making the rules (i.e. abusing the system mercilessly) are going to punish themselves. Greek, I agree with you, but this one might be an impossible dream.

7:37 AM  
Anonymous adam said...

Come on - dont you guys get it?? Cant you see the root cause to the current situation and the pending doom millions of people will face. Hwt more do you need to prove to you that we do indeed live in a class society. Capitalism is KILLING YOU!!! It is destroying the fabric of society, the environment you live in and the future of your children. It is not in the interests of the working class. I cant believe that this is still not obvious to people.

12:26 PM  
Anonymous Gray, Germany said...

"My article is pro-Greek working class, and suggests another way to get things in order without bankrupting the average Greek in the process and sending Greece into a depression."
Imho your article is rather pro-Greek wealthy class. You call for Greek investors to jump the ship and leave for Cyprus! Not very patriotic, but harmful for the nation. And even though you are against taxing blue collar workers even more (a debatable point), you don't advocate raising taxes on the rich, but on tourists, one of the few groups that bring some money to Greece! Sry, but that's simply IDIOTIC. Tourists in general are cost-sensitive customers, and most of them chose the location with the best bang for the buck. And the best vacation experiences. That ain't Greek now, as the recent reports, at Greeknews and elsewhere, about the tourism industry have shown.

Instead, Turkey is having a heyday, not at least because they don't harrass their visitors with illegal strikes and blockades. But you want to punish the few tourists that still chose Greece by taxing them! That's mindboggling. Instead of doing this, which will ultimately hurt all those blue collar workers in tourism, Papandreou should close all tax loopholes, go after tax evaders, and use at least part of that money to make Greece more attractive for tourists. Where are the protestors fighting for such a reasonable policy?

7:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are you real? Freedom must have some controls. Socialism does not work and never has for long.

8:37 AM  
Anonymous Greek said...


Is your reading comprehension okay?

First of all, you say I'm for the rich? I blankly stated I'm for the blue collar Greek working class.

You said we should tax the tax evaders. Did I not write that Greek shipping companies are evading taxes and should be forced to decide if they want to enjoy the benefits of living in the country they love or not, by paying taxes or not? I said tax the greatest evaders, the Greek shippers who place their paper headquarters in Liberia or some other LIE. Did you read that???? Hello????

I did not say tax tourists out of Greece. I said, tax tourism. SO you add a fee to your ticket to see the Acropolis, which you will come to see if you want to see it. I am talking about adding small fees to all kinds of things like hotel rooms and plane tickets, boat trips, museums, etc. It will be so small they will not notice, but it will add incrementally to income.

If you tax hard working Greeks, you will only create a broad black market in Greece, drive money out of Greece and drive civil uprising leading to entry of radical government. This is not a black and white issue. Papandreou needs to understand what these intense and impossible austerity measured being forced down the throats of Greece will bring to Greece. As I said before, FIRE, DESTRUCTION, RADICALISATION.

READ!!! What I have been saying has been playing out. I said governments would fall all across Europe. Germany is next after Britain. Enjoy your chaos, OR take my advice and better consider local populations. Find amicable solutions, not the direct solution of taxing your people to death.

Gray, how dare you question my expertise. Where is yours by the way?

9:31 AM  
Anonymous Gray said...

"I blankly stated I'm for the blue collar Greek working class."
And at the same time you advice Greek investors to leave for Cyprus! Now, where shall the jobs for blue collar workers come from if the investors leave? Hmm? Sorry, but that makes no sense, and so I concluded that your "blank statement" is only lip services.

"I did not say tax tourists out of Greece."
Any measure making Greece more costly for visitors drives tourists to other countries. You seem to think the number of tourists is a constant, and that they will be willing to spend more money. That's a strange view of that market, and all evidence shows its not true. Just look at the development in the tourist sector in the past years, when Greece became more expensive.

"If you tax hard working Greeks, you will only create a broad black market in Greece, drive money out of Greece and drive civil uprising leading to entry of radical government."
I mostly agree. However, some caveats: You have to tax all hard working Greeks the same way, not tax workers harder than doctors, taxi drivers, restaurant owners etc! And it's not the workers who can avoid the taxes by going into the black market, it's those other groups. That has to stop! Greece desperately needs to increase tax returns to recuce the deficit. That money has to come from the top 5% which bag the biggest amount of incomes. Reducing the available money for the lower groups will hurt the domestic market, and should be avoided. So, imho Papandreou is mistaken in increasing the VAT. Higher taxes on imported goods are a great idea (Greece has to reduce the trade imbalance), but domestic products have to be supported instead of being made more expensive!

"I said governments would fall all across Europe"
Sry, but that's panic mongering. And I don't know why you put oil into the flames by spreading such FUD. Hmm, are you betting on a weaker Euro, maybe?

"Where is yours by the way?" Oh, I studied economics long ago, even though I don't work in that sector nowadays. And if you remember some stuff from economics, too, you should see that taxing the tourists more can only backfire. Also, you seem to be against all austerity measures. Here's what Krugman writes about this: "Greece is currently running a huge primary deficit — 8.5 percent of GDP in 2009. So even a complete debt default wouldn’t save Greece from the necessity of savage fiscal austerity." See? Some budget reductions are inevitable, and that Papandreou focusses on the public sector, with its low productivity and high corruption, is actually a good idea.

No misunderstanding, if you really care about the blue collar workers in Greece, I'm on your side. But I'm concerned that recipes that haven't been thought through can easily make the desease worse instead of curing it. The goal has to be to strenghten Greece's economy, not to handicap it even more by making its products more expensive, right?

10:19 AM  
Anonymous Greek said...

I have to comment briefly this time, and will return to this later.

Of course cost controls must be instituted against corrupt and over spending in the public sector. However, when you take away 2 months pay from people who have grown accustomed to it, it does not feel like missing a bonus, but a reduction in salary. Job cuts in the public sector might make sense over the long-run, but you had better replace it with new industry.

The public sector employs a large portion of Greeks, so you push unemployment higher by making job cuts in the sector now. Unemployed people cause more chaos, because they have more to be upset about and more time to illustrate that.

We must be more creative in cost reduction. I proposed stretching out budget trimming. Instead of forcing down Greek throats in a matter of a year or two, radical change by any historical standard. Instead, spread it out over a period of years. This has to be supported by broader big brother Europe, or it cannot happen.

Tax evasion has to stop. That's not debatable, and everyone agrees.

Okay, raise sales taxes on some items, but on things Greeks use regularly? That's painful. Luxury goods fine, but if you take away cigarettes and alcohol, Greeks are going to go crazy. Still, I can understand the necessity of these taxes in this situation.

We have to find ways to raise this money without making people feel like they are paying for their government's missteps and Wall Street swindling.

Yes, for as long as the Greek government and European masters fail to properly address this problem, smart money should move to Cyprus and elsewhere. Otherwise, it will be destroyed by fluid and efficient markets. I will never fail my fiduciary responsibilities for the sake of kissing up to any government or the pride that leads many of us in the press to "be nice" to certain factions.

I'm independent, and I mean it. I serve the people.

11:13 AM  
Anonymous Gray, Germany said...

"I have to comment briefly this time"
Totally understandable. And, actually, the festivities of celebration week, which undoubtedly include large amounts of Metaxa, Ouzo, and Greek vine do help the home country to reduce its trade imbalance. Support Greece, one glass after another! Ja-Mas

"Job cuts in the public sector might make sense over the long-run, but you had better replace it with new industry."
Sure, totally agree. But the government is already standing with its back to the wall, and simply doesn't have the time to make the conversion more smoothly. I really have to say, even though I don't totally agree with all of Papandreous reforms, I admire his courage to make the necessary, inevitable decisions in such a fast way and to push this through. That guy has cojones (how do you call that in Greek?).

"if you take away cigarettes and alcohol, Greeks are going to go crazy" Dunno where the cigarettes come from, but Greeks should definitively drink more alcohol. They have lots of great domestic products to chose from. Oh, and the rest of Europe should drink more Greek stuff, too. I have to go shopping for food anyway, I guess I'll buy me some Ouzo. Nobody shall say I don't give an ounce of support to the Greeks!

"Yes, for as long as the Greek government and European masters fail to properly address this problem, smart money should move to Cyprus and elsewhere."
Aw, come on, they adress the problem alright. It's just that nobody likes their solution. People prefer a happy end, like the tooth fairy flying over Greece and dumping some billion Euros. But that won't happen.

Ok, enough of this. Neither you nor me will solve this mess, and even if we did, prolly nobody would listen to us. Makes more sense to ignore this for a while and go partying. Have fun!

11:39 AM  
Anonymous Greek said...

With regard to my statement about money running to Cyprus or elsewhere, I should clarify that I was specifically referring to the 7% rise in the Athens Composite Share Index that day. I said Greek investors might be wisest to take their profits and run to Cyprus. I think that statement has proven good advice for those investment funds.

I'm not sure if the EU effects insurance for banking funds like our FDIC insures $100K per account, and this number was increased to reassure a stressed nation the banks were safe. If those funds are insured by the EU in some manner, than there would be no reason to take funds out of banks.

Also, recently I stated that NBG had dispersed risk, with extensive operations elsewhere. Still, that does not protect its shareholders when masses sell off shares. I would not own Greek stocks now. Also, the euro is about to unravel. I'll have an article on this for sure in the next few weeks.

11:52 AM  
Anonymous Gray, Germany said...

"I said Greek investors might be wisest to take their profits and run to Cyprus."
Thinking more about this, I ask myself, what shall they do with their Euros in Cyprus? Apart from what a friend who vacationed there told me, I dunno much about that island, but I'm under the impression that this economy consists of agricultural products, tourism, and some smuggling to Lebanon. Where are the business opportunities there? What shall the Cypriotic banks do with that money?

12:15 PM  
Anonymous adam said...

to anomymous at 8:37am, whom asks "Are you real? Freedom must have some controls. Socialism does not work and never has for long"

can I ask you - "Is the system working now?" yes or no

3:06 PM  

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