Kill the Chicken …

… to scare the monkeys.

Andrew Lilico gets the game over Syriza exactly right.

In current discussions of what Greece might or might not get in the way of concessions from the Eurozone, there has so far been relatively little appreciation of one basic political reality: as far as the governments of Spain, Portugal, Ireland, probably Italy and perhaps even France are concerned, Syriza must fail and must be seen to fail. … […] And note: I haven’t even got on to the problem of how voters in Germany or Finland or the Netherlands would react to being told that Syriza had extracted concessions with its comic-book antics.

Unless Syriza-led Greece is hideously crucified, it wins — and what will be unfolding is an extremely brutal zero-sum game (in which Greece cannot be allowed to win). For the EU establishment, a Syriza success story would be a catastrophe of almost incomprehensible magnitude. It would bring with it an entire narrative of core institutional delegitimation, which in the case of the peripheral nations (as glossed by Lilico) runs: “… what we really should have done was to raise the minimum wage, hire back the public sector staff that had been fired, say we weren’t going to pay our debts to our eurozone partners, cosy up to the Russians and tell the Germans they didn’t feel nearly guilty enough about World War Two. Then everyone would have said we were ‘rock stars’ and and forgiven our debts.”

It’s unthinkable that Germany could let this story put down roots in the fertile manure of renewed growth. Instead, there will be war by other means. Crucially, the more calamitously things now turn out for Greece, the more the EU will be strengthened, if only for a while.

From the perspective of these eurozone governments, Syriza must fail. The best way for it to fail would be for it to capitulate utterly and crawl back to Greece with its tail between its legs and a few cosmetic patronising “concessions” such as renaming the “Troika” the “Consultative Committee” (or, if it makes them feel better, the “Symvouleftiki Epitropi”). If it won’t do that — and there’s a good chance that if it did try to do that then the Greek government would collapse, anyway — then things get a bit more complicated. Because if it’s bad and dangerous for Syriza to succeed inside the euro, it would be disastrous for it to succeed outside the euro.

It’s hard to see how this doesn’t get intense.

ADDED: The game (formalized)

February 12, 2015admin 11 Comments »


11 Responses to this entry

  • Kill the Chicken … | Neoreactive Says:

    […] Kill the Chicken … […]

    Posted on February 12th, 2015 at 4:10 pm Reply | Quote
  • Orthodox Says:

    Expectations seem very off to me in the financial markets, in light of the probabilities. Podemos in Spain is already leading the polls by a solid margin and will win big in December. Clearly, any victory by Syriza is a victory for Podemos and the Spanish will demand the same next year. Then Italy, Portugal….

    The German press is very anti-Greece, as is the German public who are fed a steady diet of anti-Greek news (which consists of reporting the facts). Merkel would not survive a win by Syriza, and anti-euro parties such as the Finns will gain votes. Soini of the Finns has already said Greece is the #1 issue for the Finns in the April election. Have to think UKIP wins either way.


    Posted on February 12th, 2015 at 6:29 pm Reply | Quote
  • modern economics Says:

    who’s the bigger fool? the man who takes a loan he knows he can’t repay. or the man who loans him the money knowing he can’t repay?


    Posted on February 12th, 2015 at 6:30 pm Reply | Quote
  • Rasputin Says:

    If Greece is smart, its banks will switch their reserves to Bitcoin before the signal comes to exit the Euro. Bitcoin will effectively become the national currency of Greece and, once it has weathered the initial storm brought about by its exit, it will begin to prosper from setting it’s foundations on a hard currency that is going to grow exponentially in the years / decades to come. In an age where governments increasingly default on debts and / or debase their currencies, it will become clear from Greece’s example that Bitcoin is the modern worlds premier store of value. This realisation will in turn will lead to a massive increase in the value of Bitcoin itself. Then either the USG will finally sence danger and kill it (Moldbug wasn’t wrong, he was just a little off in his timing) or it doesn’t / can’t and Bitcoin finally begins its take over from Fiat money in earnest.


    Posted on February 12th, 2015 at 8:27 pm Reply | Quote
  • Kill the Chicken … | Reaction Times Says:

    […] Source: Outside In […]

    Posted on February 12th, 2015 at 8:44 pm Reply | Quote
  • peter connor Says:

    Syriza must get serious concessions, otherwise the coalition will disintegrate in short order, so no, Greece will not be humiliated….Greece actually holds the stronger hand, if they simply repudiate the debt, the EU and many of its banks disintegrate…


    Posted on February 13th, 2015 at 2:55 am Reply | Quote
  • vxxc2014 Says:

    No one’s debt situation is “sustainable”. *

    All this debt has been fraudulent and created to back the banks gambling with imaginary default swaps and the like. They should have been allowed to face market Darwinism in 2008 instead of plunging civilization into an existential debt crisis.

    Zero it. It’s Fraud and the nations and peoples of the West have been conveniently enslaved to back the Fraud. Before the Talmudic rhetorical nonsense about deadbeats starts – the deadbeats lost their mortgaged houses. And the deadbeats weren’t gambling with Credit Default swaps, just the far more innocent and less destructive bet their houses would rise in value faster than their payments. But they lost and paid for it. Our precious elites have now wagered that Civilization will somehow miraculously payoff fantastic debts based on fraudulent derivative transactions from the 2000’s. We can’t and that’s the core problem.

    *On an aside note we’re either going to have to invent many new words if not a new language when this is all over, so debased has ours become by politics.

    “Progress” for instance is a useful word I’d like back at least for day to day matters such as we’re making progress on this or that problem.


    Posted on February 13th, 2015 at 3:40 am Reply | Quote
  • vxxc2014 Says:

    “You can defend EMU policies, or you can defend your political base, but you cannot do both. ”

    You can defend the indefensible elites or the nations but not both, and in truth the elites need the nations and not the other way round.


    Posted on February 13th, 2015 at 3:49 am Reply | Quote
  • bob sykes Says:

    Zero Hedge has it wrong. Greece in not in recession; it is in a full-blown 1930’s Great Depression: overall unemployment, 26%; youth unemployment, 50%; GDP, down 25%.

    The fact is that the Greek economy cannot pay back the debt, and Greece will be forced to default. Furthermore, the recent large decline in living standards is permant and might get much worse. An economy based on olives and tourists cannot sustain a northern European life style.

    Greece also has to get out of the euro. Being tied to this currency prevents economic development that might help the situation. What happens to its membership in the EU is up to Brussells.

    In the long run, both the euro and EU are not viable. The difference in living standards from Norway to Greece exceeds the difference in the US between Connecticut and Mississippi. The ECB has almost none of the powers of the Federal Reserve, which makes it nearly impossible to defend the euro. In the US, regional differences are ameliorated by Federal Government economic transfers between rich and poor states. These transfers are used in all sorts of areas, like education, welfare, transportation. The US differences are also ameliorated by internal migration. In Europe, there is no tradition of migration, and language and cultural barriers strongly inhibit it. Western Europeans, including Brits, are up in arms over immigrant Poles, Romanians, etc.

    PS: The recent Minsk accords, which many expect will fail, signify another instability. Both the US and the UK were excluded from the negotiations. The UK has not been excluded from a major European security conference since the Napolionic wars, and the US has not been excluded since 1945. So, this month both the EU and NATO have been substantially weakened.

    Combined with the spreading chaos in Africa, the Middle East and major European cities (by the same races), and the immediate future looks increasingly grim.


    Posted on February 13th, 2015 at 12:52 pm Reply | Quote
  • forkinhell Says:

    Hey, look at that!

    Just out from the Eurogroup, the final statement. Bottom line: Greece caves on pretty much everything, however the dreaded “Troika” words has been replaced with “institutions.” Sarcasm aside, Greece has just kicked the can for four months. Why four months? Because that’s just ahead of the big Greek debt maturity.


    Posted on February 20th, 2015 at 8:23 pm Reply | Quote
  • This Week in Reaction (2015/02/13) | The Reactivity Place Says:

    […] values of “governance” and certain values of “Epoch”. Also from Land, Kill the Chicken—Guardian excerpts and select thoughts on the Greek “Far Left” Syriza […]

    Posted on June 17th, 2015 at 3:43 pm Reply | Quote

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