Greek Crisis: Why Greece’s Lenders Need to Suffer

Originally posted on Sustainable Development, Economy & Democracy:

These first excerpts from an article by Adam Davidson published in The New York Times Magazine on 28 July 2015 deserves the closest attention of anyone who wishes to have a balanced understanding of the events shaping what we call here the “Greek crisis”.

Bond traders goldman SachsThere is definitive proof, for anyone willing to look, that Greece is not solely or even primarily responsible for its own financial crisis. The proof is not especially exciting: It is a single bond, with the identification code GR0133004177. But a consideration of this bond should end, permanently, any discussion of Greece’s crisis as a moral failing on the part of the Greeks.

GR0133004177 is the technical name for a bond the Greek government sold on Nov. 10, 2009, in a public auction. Every business day, governments and companies hold auctions like this; it is how they borrow money. Bond auctions, though, are not at all…

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More on Illich, Energy and Equity

Further to our recent posting on “Climate Change 101: Thinking about Illich, Energy and Equity” we have just received he following commentary from Chris Bradshaw (See author note below.)


Illich book covve - toward a history of needsI used your post to re-read — after, I estimate, 25 years — this delightful essay. I own two copies, one which is part of “Towards a History of Needs” published four years later in 1977).

In that volume, there is an introductory note, which might be useful to add (see end, along with the forward for the 1974 publication — Perennial Library — of this essay by itself). Two things come from these two extras: a) this essay first appeared in Le Monde (yes, probably in French), and b) his defined audience included, equally, the under-developed world.

He, of course, missed global warming as an issue that would fit nicely next to “energy crisis.”

I would add that he missed the link between high-speed and high-power and the formalities of control — rules, regulations, resources — that also disenfranchise those with less speed and power.

Peter D. Norton’s recent book, “Fighting Traffic” does a yeoman effort to show how the transition from “transit” to “transport” in North American cities took place 1915-1935.

I will continue to muse over Illich’s brilliant thinking.

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Greek Crisis:”Greece must sign a deal now”

Originally posted on Sustainable Development, Economy & Democracy:

Greece line in front of bank 28jun15

In the following op-ed, thirteen prominent economists of Greek origin from around the world call on Greece to sign a credible agreement with the Europeans immediately.


What would be crucial elements of a good agreement?

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Climate Change 101: Thinking about Illich, Energy and Equity

ivan illich picIn the context of ongoing work on a new book, “Toward a General Theory of Transport in Cities”, it is becoming increasingly clear to me that the starting point for policy and political decisions in the field often described as “urban transport” absolutely has to open up with considerations not of vehicles and infrastructure, technology and entrepreneurship, nor even of people and cities, but on the very bottom line our starting place must be climate and GHG emissions. And the other half of the climate coin is energy, and in fact equity.

So may I suggest that this could be  a good time for us to have another look at Illich’s incisive and important 1974 book “Energy and Equity”.  And I ask you, how do you think these remarks and views stand the test of time? We need to bear in mind the political (Vietnam, Cold War, Allende,  voter registration, 1968, etc.) currents of the time, along with the Oil Crisis, Club of Rome, The Limits of Growth,  etc., discussions, concerns and panics of the early seventies.  But none of this detracts from the singular vision that this exceptional observer and finest of men has given us.

So here you have it. The whole thing. Print it out. Mark it up. Share your thoughts. Let me take a single phrase from the book to get the ball rolling: “Participatory democracy postulates low-energy technology. Only participatory democracy creates the conditions for rational technology.” (And this almost two decades before the phrase “sustainable development” first appeared on the radar screen.  So off we go through the looking glass and into the future with Illich as our guide!)

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Greek Crisis: Selected international media coverage

Originally posted on Sustainable Development, Economy & Democracy:

greek crisis eading newspapersThe following listing provides links to selected references from international  sources of high quality and with quite different points of view. Access to these sources are, as might be expected, quite uneven.  About half of them require that you pay or subscribe to access full text of particles.  But over these last weeks we have done fairly well with these addresses, offering as they do some quite different perspectives on these unfolding events.

* The Guardian on Greece –

* Der Spiegel on Greece –

* Le Monde on Grèce –

* Financial Times on Greece –

* Krugman on Greece –

* The Economist on Greece –

Other SDED coverage here: 

*  SDED on the Greek Crisishere.

*  SDED Facebook Coverage:  – here.

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Greek government-debt crisis timeline *

Originally posted on Sustainable Development, Economy & Democracy:

wikipedia logoEssential reading from Wikipedia on this subject:

This article contains the timeline of events for the Greek government-debt crisis which began in 2009 and is ongoing. During this period many changes have occurred in Greece. The income of many Greeks has declined, levels of unemployment have increased, elections and resignations of politicians have altered the country’s political landscape radically, the Greek parliament has passed many austerity bills, and protests have become common sights throughout the country. A brief summary follows highlighting some key events since the Greek elections of October 2009.

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Greek Crisis: Jean Tirole on Europe’s Future Is Federal

Originally posted on Sustainable Development, Economy & Democracy:

8 July 2015. –

jean tirole  FranceNumerous Europeans view Europe as a one-way street: they appreciate its advantages but are little inclined to accept common rules. An increasing number throughout the Union are handing their vote to populist parties – Front National, Syriza, Podemos – that surf on this Eurosceptic wave and rise up against “foreign”- imported constraints.

Embroiled with the Greek crisis, European policymakers will soon have to step back and reflect on the broader issue of the Eurozone’s future. Before envisaging an exit or, on the contrary, more sustained integration, it’s right to reflect upon the consequences of each option.

Oversimplifying, there are three strategies for the Eurozone: (a) a minimalist approach that would see a return to national currencies, while keeping Europe perhaps as a free trade area and retaining a few institutions that have made a real difference such…

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