Home > Uncategorized > How to turn a recession into a depression

How to turn a recession into a depression

from David Ruccio


Greece is a perfect example of how to turn a bad economic situation into something even worse. As Reuters reports, 

Rescue funds from the European Union and International Monetary Fund saved Greece from bankruptcy, but the austerity and reform policies the lenders attached as conditions have helped to turn recession into a depression.

As a result, the poverty rate in Greece almost doubled (between 2008 and 2015), rising from 11.2 percent to 22.2 percent.


And average (per adult) GDP has fallen below what it was three decades ago.

Meanwhile, IMF and European institutions are demanding further austerity measures (equivalent to 2 percent of gross domestic product) before agreeing on a new deal to aid Greece.

  1. patrick newman
    February 23, 2017 at 12:07 pm

    “… agreeing on a new deal to aid Greece.” Presumeably they mean aid them to pay some old debts by taking on new ones!

  2. antireifier
    February 23, 2017 at 1:18 pm

    Forgive their debts. 100% haircut! By now they have likely paid much more than the original loan. So they probably have paid it back more than once.

  3. February 23, 2017 at 4:43 pm

    Greece along with Ireland and Puerto Rico have been turned into financial colonies. Corrupt governments have made the general public responsible for the debts that lined their pockets with kickbacks from corporatists who sell everything from dams to highway markers every half kilometer.

    The United States has special laws that deal with this problem for colonies it seizes from other nations. The example here are colonies close to independence from Spain that the US reduced to military backed colonial austerity rather than allow them their hard fought freedom they had won from Spain.

    When Spain attempted to collect debts that former colonies owed; the United States quite logically responded that it was not responsible for the debts that corrupt administrators had built up under the umbrella of a false government imposed by Spain.

    Times have changed so that now we see financial colonies developed through the IMF, national banks and large financial institutions who supply personnel to quasi government agencies. Greece, Ireland and Puerto Rico and others owe nothing to corrupt governments and financial institutions of Europe and North America.

    I predict that a nonviolent day of reckoning is not far off. People in fancy black suits with shoulder pads are soon to be seen as playing a game no more complicated than the board game called monopoly. Emperors without clothes hide naked behind the curtain of Oz.

    • February 26, 2017 at 6:38 am

      Your prediction of “… a nonviolent day of reckoning is not far off. People in fancy black suits with shoulder pads are soon to be seen as playing a game no more complicated
      than the board game called monopoly. Emperors without clothes hide naked behind the curtain of Oz” is interesting but not necessarily the way things will go. In his new book, Walter Scheidel, Dickason Professor in the Humanities, Stanford University contends that historically inequality has been leveled only by terrible violence and upheaval. Since the Stone Age, according to Scheidel inequality has significantly lessened only after a war, revolution, state collapse or plague. Take a look and let us know what you think.

      “The Great Leveler: Violence and the History of Inequality from the Stone Age to the Twenty-First Century”

  4. February 24, 2017 at 1:31 pm

    Don’t forget that what the EU did to Greece post-2008 would be considered lax compared with what the US did to Iraq in 2003. The failure of mainstream media to report on the actual causes of the Iraq Civil War that followed the removal of Saddam Hussein and the hundreds of thousands of peaceful protesters could possibly be the greatest failure of mainstream media in history.

    • February 25, 2017 at 1:38 pm

      Just as much a media failure is the reporting on the origins and history of ISIS (Daesh). It’s made up of fighters from around the world, never has put more than 3 Divisions of troops into the field, and is largely the brain child and is being lead by former Generals in Saddam Hussein’s army, There’s always blowback. George W. Bush and the first round of bright young “new” conservatives not only turned Iraq into a disaster zone but destabilized the entire Middle East and created the origins of ISIS. Quite a set of accomplishments for a President who was generally considered a political and mental defective.

      • February 25, 2017 at 6:30 pm

        Would the Iraqi generals have been as motivated to fight if we had implemented the Marshal Plan in Iraq with a transition planned to democratic socialism like you find in Europe? I guess we will never know.

      • February 26, 2017 at 4:44 am

        jeff1089, the Iraqi Generals are upset about the overthrow and “murder” of Saddam Hussein. Which means they are angry with the US. Getting even, revenge are on their minds. A Marshal Plan and transition could not change this. It would, however make recruiting fighters for their army more difficult. Perhaps even impossible.

      • robert locke
        February 26, 2017 at 2:38 pm

        on 9/11, my sister was returning to Los Angeles from visiting me in Honolulu. Access to the Honolulu Airport was difficult, if nearly impossible. Why? I never understood the alarm and outrage of Americans about events at the time. Bush should have returned to Washington, and even gone to NY to reassure the people immediately, instead the administration and America had a collective nervous breakdown about terrorism. More people are shot down on the streets because of free access to guns than were ever killed by terrorists.

      • February 28, 2017 at 12:19 pm

        Robert, correct. From 9/11/2001 through 12/31/2014 2961 Americans were killed on US soil by terrorists. Most of this number obviously came on 9/11/01. During this same period people with guns killed 126,000 Americans on US soil. It’s not even close.

        American reactions to the attacks on 9/11 are not surprising. The US has not been invaded in 10 generations. It’s difficult to process something you’ve never experienced previously. Especially something like the attacks. Plus, the US has claimed the mightiest armed forces in the world for over 30 years. With that in mind how is it possible some guys with small knives and box cutters destroyed two iconic US buildings? Hence, the 1000 conspiracy theories still circulating about how the US was betrayed by a 5th column, or its own government. Add to this that the nation has really never healed the wounds of these attacks. Its leaders have consistently failed to facilitate this healing in any way. George W. Bush invaded everywhere, imprisoned many, and tortured many more. Obama tried to end Bush’s wars, prisons, torture. And failed. God knows Trump is just plain lost on healing.

      • robert locke
        February 28, 2017 at 2:22 pm

        With these comparative figures, a rational person would conclude that we should restrict the amount of guns in circulations generally not those available to terrorists. Conclusion: people who set public police are nuts, stay away from the place. But you know. I have lived decades in the US and never personally witnessed anybody being shot. Maybe it was the neighborhood where I lived.

    • March 2, 2017 at 10:02 am

      Yuval Harari in his new book “Homo Deus” reminds us that today “more people commit suicide than are killed by soldiers, terrorists and criminals combined.” That’s a first in human history. As is that now more people die from old age that from infectious diseases. These changes reflect human history of the last 50 years. Humans are finally it seems learning to take care of themselves and live humbly with the Earth. The current wave of populist nativism is hopefully the final convulsions of the birth of a saner, safer, and more sustainable human society. The final birth of the Anthropocene. This is a good thing.

  5. Hepion
    February 25, 2017 at 8:36 pm

    Sensible path for Greece would be to issue its own currency, restore its prosperity, and pay back euro debts with very long timescales, like hundred years, and very low interest rates

    While issuing its own currency Greek state could buy sensible amounts of euros in the currency markets every year, and use it to pay down debt

    • February 26, 2017 at 4:52 am

      At what discount would a Greek currency be traded with Euros or dollars? Wouldn’t be face value I expect.

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