JESSICA DESVARIEUX: Welcome back to The Real
News. I’m Jessica Desvarieux in Baltimore. I’m joined now by Bill Black, as well as Michael
Hudson. Bill Black is in Quito, Ecuador, and Michael joins us from Germany. Thank you both
for being here. HUDSON: Good to be here. DESVARIEUX: All right. Let’s pick up where
we left off. We were talking about alternatives to the deal that’s being presented to the
Greek people in this referendum vote. Michael, lay out some specifics. What are some alternatives
that would be in the interest of everyday Greek people? HUDSON: Well, what Bill was describing in
the first half is really finance as war. What they want is the same thing that warfare wants.
They want the land, and they want a tribute in the form of interest. Basically, the Eurozone
went to Greece and said, look, we’re going to–just in case Spain’s Podemos party or
other countries want to not pay their debts, we’re going to use you as an example and we’re
going to wreck you. And it’s begun to backfire this week, because
what they show is that remaining in the Eurozone itself is pretty hopeless, financially. And
the leaders of the Syriza party have said, look, we’re not only fighting for Greece,
we’re fighting for all of Europe. And what we want to do is save Europe from austerity.
And we want to save Europe by having a real central bank whose role is to create money,
to spend money into the economy. We want a central bank that doesn’t give money to banks.
We want a central bank that pays for government spending and rebuilding the Greek economy.
And we need to be out of the Eurozone in order to do that. DESVARIEUX: Wouldn’t they also have to reform
their tax system, or enforcement, at least, of that tax system? HUDSON: Yes. I mean, they’re talking about
what–a lot of debts are going to be canceled. Not only to the European banks, but we’re
talking about a domestic debt holiday very much like Germany’s economic miracle, in 1948
the Allied monetary reform, where they canceled all the internal German debts except for the
debts that employers used for wages. We’re talking about a huge debt write off. But you
don’t want to make real estate owners suddenly owning their property free and clear. So we
need a tax system that not only is going to stop the tax evasion by the oligarchs who
have used the banks to avoid it. We’re going to take away the tax deductibility
of interest payments, so that they can’t pretend to expense all their profits and interest,
and we’re also going to have a rent tax. For what we’ve privatized already, we’re going
to tax the economic rent to recover for the country what these owners didn’t create, like
the phone systems that Carlos Slim made in Mexico that Bill mentioned before. We’re going
to collect the economic rent fully in a tax system. So financial reform is going to go
hand-in-hand with tax reform, and that’s what terrifies the Europeans. Because they say,
wait a minute, all of the money that you call profits is actually rent extraction. It’s
all exploitation. You can’t stop exploitation, that’s what our financial system is all about. DESVARIEUX: But Bill, I could imagine people
who are in the elite are going to say, hold on a minute. You want to raise taxes, you
want to create new taxes. I’m going to leave. I’m going to another country and setting up
shop. What do you make of that argument? BLACK: Well first, all their money already
left. They’ve been evading taxes for years, so them leaving will have next to no effect. But yes, I mean, forget them. What the Troika
has done throughout huge expanses of Europe, roughly nations with half the population of
Europe, their leading export these days is their college graduates. As soon as you get
your degree, you leave. And that isn’t just the southern periphery, the so-called Mediterranean.
That’s also the Baltic states as well. There’s an incredibly insipid article in the
New York Times at the time that we are taping this interview about Bulgaria that says, Bulgarians
have no sympathy for the Greeks. Well, and then it turns out this is a hard-right government
that has welcomed austerity and produced the usual problems. And of course, their government
would fail within 24 hours, as would the Spanish government, if they ever admitted that Austerity
was economically illiterate. The equivalent of bleeding a patient to make them better. So all of these nations and the Troika is
locked into this position that they can never admit the truth. DESVARIEUX: All right. Michael, I know you’re
going to be headed to Brussels, you’re giving a speech to the Euro parliament on Thursday
on the Greek situation and the IMF. Can you just quickly lay out for us, what are you
going to be advocating for? HUDSON: Well first of all, for treating the
debt claims of the IMF and the European Central Bank as odious debts. This means they shouldn’t
have been put in place to begin with, and the debts, the money that was lent to Greece,
except it went right through Greece to pay the French banks and the German banks, and
to enable the American Wall Street banks to make a killing. The Wall Street banks made whole reputations
of buying bonds at 30 cents on the dollar and suddenly they went up to 100 cents on
the dollar. The market basically said Greece couldn’t pay in 2010. The market priced its
bonds very low. Right now Greece bonds are yielding 33 percent. So the market says Greece
can’t pay. And so when Europe is saying, we want to impose
a market economy, everything the European Central Bank and IMF is doing is against the
market. They’re not recognizing what any real market analyst realizes, that the debts can’t
be paid. We want to create a real market economy by getting rid of the [wrong] [incompr.],
by getting rid of the exploitation, by writing off the bad debts, by reforming the tax system. And in–a few years ago Christine Lagarde
provided a list to Greece of Greek tax evaders that had 50 billion Euros in Switzerland.
This 50 billion Euros is enough to pay–was enough to pay all of Greece’s debts. And the
technocratic leader that the financial interests installed, Lucas Papademos, the very man who
falsified all of the Greek payments and debt statements in 2001, didn’t do anything at
all with the list. He refused to move against the oligarchs. So what you have is, is really a combination
of treason and criminal behavior. Now that there is a crisis in Greece this enables Syriza
to get the support of the people to throw the bad guys in jail. I’d like to say to throw
the lawbreakers in jail, but they don’t have any laws against that kind of crime taking
place. So they have to draw up a whole new set of laws to make Greece a fair economy
instead of the unfair economy that the IMF and the European Central Banks have turned
it into. DESVARIEUX: And it’s now being reported by
the Associated Press that Greece’s credit rating has been pretty much cut in half, and
it’s now a junk, junk credit rating. I just want to thank you both, gentlemen,
for joining us, and we’re going to continue to cover this story here on The Real News.
You guys always have such interesting perspectives to bring to this program. Thank you both for
being with us. BLACK: Thank you. DESVARIEUX: And thank you for joining us on
The Real News Network.