Voices from Russia

Sunday, 15 February 2015

“Grexit” Could Cause EU Collapse

Barbara-Marie Drezhlo. Euroised Greece. 2012

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American economist Barry Eichengreen warned that the consequences of a Greek exit from the Eurozone could be devastating, and that the governments of the monetary union are taking the possible repercussions too lightly. In an interview with Die Welt am Sonntag, Eichengreen, UC Berkeley Professor of Economics, said that the consequences “would spread to other countries. When a Portuguese family or Spanish businessperson sees that Euros have been converted into drachmas, they’ll take their money out of their accounts. That could lead to a run on the banks”. Eichengreen continued that this scenario would snowball, “investors would speculate on the next candidate to leave the Eurozone”, thus endangering the entire Euro project. He also thinks that financial markets are also guilty of miscalculation, with share prices giving an overly positive picture. “My experience as an economic historian has taught me that markets always look relaxed, until suddenly… they aren’t. From the banking crisis of 2008 to the emerging markets crises of the 1990s, anybody can take their favourite financial crisis and discover that markets are really not a good crisis indicator. In the run-up to the crash, the players were always too relaxed for too long, and then later fell into a complete panic”. Eichengreen believed that the new Greek government should be given more time, “They should be given some breathing space, which is also in the interests of their creditors. I’d be in favour of tying interest payments on the borrowing to economic growth. Only when the Greek economy grows, should the country pay interest, otherwise the payments will simply be deferred. The Euro is of great symbolic and geostrategic worth for Europe”. He added that such an eventuality on the economic front would also have consequences for the West in terms of the European geostrategic situation. He observed, “The West hardly wants Russia to be able to position itself as a saviour, and become involved”, adding that this would have “dramatic consequences” for NATO.

15 February 2015

Sputnik International

http://sputniknews.com/europe/20150215/1018299307.html

Monday, 4 June 2012

Is the University of California System Collapsing?

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Local academics believe that the University of California system is on the verge of collapse due to constant spending cuts. Even if officials approve Governor Brown’s proposed tax increase, a number of education programs and departments will have to shut down. For a long time, many thought that California had the best public university system in the USA. UCLA and UC Berkeley are among the top 25 American schools, but the situation has deteriorated. According to faculty, the schools have to admit more students or cut programmes and downsize staff. Even though the level of education is going down, tuition fees are going up, as the universities are underfinanced. According to Nathan Brostrom, Executive Vice President for Business Operations at the UC Office of the President, the chief administrative officer of the University of California, the state’s higher education system is enduring a severe financial crisis. The budget of schools is still at the 2007 level, whilst the number of students is growing. University staff said that the lack of funding hampers long-term planning.

Funding was the main reason of a conflict between California authorities and taxpayers. Governor Jerry Brown proposed to increase taxes to fund education, but taxpayers weren’t happy with this. If the University of California system collapses, it will negatively affect the whole country. First, UC alumnae are top professionals all over the country. At the same time, high tuition fees will frustrate young people, spurring them on to take to the streets. High tuition is a burning problem for all of America. Student loans are bigger than any other kind of loans, leading to long-lasting burdens for students. Even President Obama said that he and his wife only paid off their loans some eight years ago. Higher tuition and lower education quality will result in more young protesters. Last April, several large American cities saw protests marking the so-called One Trillion Day when the total of student loans across the country reached one trillion dollars.

American authorities are quite imprudent in their crackdowns on student demonstrations. California was the epicentre of police violence targeted against students and youngsters, namely a crackdown that injured a 26-year-old Iraq War veteran amidst the dispersal of a peaceful rally with tear gas. Federal and New York authorities spy on Muslim students. Such methods will only undermine the trust of young people, who are traditionally some of the most active members of the society. Nevertheless, the government still has faith that these measures will work, failing to notice that the country is on the verge of public collapse.

4 June 2012

Vladimir Gladkov

Voice of Russia World Service

http://english.ruvr.ru/2012_06_04/77010659/

Editor’s Note:

Let’s keep it simple. If Wafflin’ Willy and the Magic Gotchies Brigade take the White House, expect them to slash federal aid to education to free up funds for warmongering, prisons, and fancy toys for the DoD (generally overpriced and usually cranky on ops). After all, Willy said that you could go to your parents for a loan… he did, after all. Oh, I forgot… most Americans aren’t gazillionaires like George Romney. We don’t have the money to do such… so, in Willy’s way of thinking, “Go wash dishes… college is for the respectable people in society. If you can’t pay for it, you can’t get it. If you were any good, you’d be as affluent as we are”. Trust me, that IS their attitude.

The present system sucks… it’s the frying pan. However, Willy’s solution is to throw people into the fire… they don’t count, in any case, “They’re not Mormons; they don’t count as human beings”. You forget that Willy’s an unrepentant member of an unhinged cult at your own peril (Reformed Egyptian, indeed!)…

BMD

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