Thursday, April 14, 2011

guilt by association

IMF forecast adds to Portugal’s gloom
European Union, European Central Bank and IMF officials began negotiations on the terms of the rescue programme in Lisbon on Tuesday as the Washington-based Fund projected that Portugal would be the only developed country to suffer a recession next year, with output declining by 0.5 per cent after a fall of 1.5 per cent in 2011.

Although the EU is leading the negotiations and will supply most of the aid, the Portuguese generally refer to the rescue as an "IMF bail-out", shorthand for what many see as the unpleasant face of global capitalism. (...)

Vítor Bento, an economist, said Portugal had been demonising the IMF as "a big bad wolf" since foreign payments crises in the late 1970s and early 1980s, when the country negotiated two standby agreements with it. (...)

Mr Bento, who is also chief executive of the Portugal bank payments company Sibs, said the memory of past crises has led many Portuguese to ascribe their hard times to the IMF and not to the economic difficulties that required its intervention.

"When a country reaches such a critical situation that it needs the help of the IMF, it will inevitably have to make a big economic adjustment," he said. "To blame the IMF for that adjustment is just ideology and propaganda."

We rise to challenges, this is one.

Friday, April 08, 2011

«Un pueblo suicida»

Sócrates eleito secretário-geral do PS
José Sócrates foi eleito secretário-geral do PS com 93,3 por cento dos votos, segundo os resultados provisórios das eleições realizadas sexta-feira e sábado, revelou um comunicado da Comissão Organizadora do XVII Congresso Nacional do partido. (...)

De acordo com o comunicado, os resultados conhecidos correspondem ao apuramento de 717 das 721 secções de voto em que a percentagem de participação no ato [sic] eleitoral foi de 89,95 por cento.
Socialistas gritam apoio a Sócrates no primeiro dia de trabalhos
21h43 Discurso de José Sócrates durou uma hora. Foi interrompido 56 vezes com palmas que, no total, representaram mais de 11 minutos.
21h42 Fim de discurso de José Sócrates com congressistas em gritos de "viva" ao secretário-geral.
21h40 Sócrates: “Só preciso de saber uma coisa neste congresso. Só preciso de uma resposta. (…) Está o PS comigo? Estão comigo todos os socialistas neste combate?” Congressistas gritam “sim” e levantam-se em palmas.
20h54 Sócrates volta a levantar o congresso.
20h45 José Sócrates aplaudido de pé mais de 30 segundos antes de começar a falar.
20h43 Congresso volta a levantar-se para Sócrates.
19h59 Congresso rendido a Sócrates. E ainda agora começou...
19h58 Sócrates no palco. Congresso de pé. Abraço entre Sócrates e Almeida Santos anima ainda mais a sala.
19h57 José Sócrates chega à sala e tem forte ovação. Grita-se "PS".
Sondagem: PSD vence, mas PS está em recuperação
O PSD ganharia as eleições legislativas com 6% de vantagem sobre o PS, caso se realizassem hoje. De acordo com a sondagem Universidade Católica/JN/DN/Antena 1/RTP, os social-democratas alcançariam 39%, o que em conjunto com o CDS-PP (7%) colocaria a Direita no limiar da maioria absoluta, embora numa situação próxima do "empate", caso se some o score do conjunto dos partidos de Esquerda.

É que o PS regista uma assinalável subida de 7%, apesar da queda do Governo, reconquistando terreno aos social-democratas.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

A culpa foi da oposição

Se o mestre diz é porque é

The Economic Consequences of the Peace, John Maynard Keynes, 1919. pp. 235-248.
Lenin is said to have declared that the best way to destroy the capitalist system was to debauch the currency. By a continuing process of inflation, governments can confiscate, secretly and unobserved, an important part of the wealth of their citizens. By this method they not only confiscate, but they confiscate arbitrarily; and, while the process impoverishes many, it actually enriches some. The sight of this arbitrary rearrangement of riches strikes not only at security but [also] at confidence in the equity of the existing distribution of wealth.

Those to whom the system brings windfalls, beyond their deserts and even beyond their expectations or desires, become "profiteers," who are the object of the hatred of the bourgeoisie, whom the inflationism has impoverished, not less than of the proletariat. As the inflation proceeds and the real value of the currency fluctuates wildly from month to month, all permanent relations between debtors and creditors, which form the ultimate foundation of capitalism, become so utterly disordered as to be almost meaningless; and the process of wealth-getting degenerates into a gamble and a lottery.

Lenin was certainly right. There is no subtler, no surer means of overturning the existing basis of society than to debauch the currency. The process engages all the hidden forces of economic law on the side of destruction, and does it in a manner which not one man in a million is able to diagnose.