Rob Johnson on Greece: "Ungovernable Banks Pitted Against Democracy"

Nov 7, 2011

Roosevelt Institute Senior Fellow Rob Johnson got up bright and early to join Chris Hayes and, as Chris put it, "untangle the Grecian mess." Lots of news came out of there recently, but what's really going on? To put it bluntly, Rob says, "They've gone over the waterfall." But American's can't afford to shrug off Greece's troubles as far away from home. "Greek failures affect your front yard" when they start a worldwide financial shock, Rob warns.

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After Prime Minister Papandreou attempted to have the public vote on the austerity measures being demanded in return for a bailout, he's now about to lose his job. Irony isn't dead. "We all have to laugh a little bit," Rob says, "that the place where democracy originated is now terrified of resorting to democracy." Why is everyone so terrified? "What's really going on in Greece in the big picture is fear of the structure of ungovernable banks pitted against democracy," he explains.

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So how do the Greeks find their way out of this mess? Rob sees three paths, and only one of them will work: 1. "You can do inflation, which they can't do," as they don't control their own currency; 2. "You can do austerity... which is a bad endgame because it makes things worse;" and 3. "Restructuring of the debt, and that's where we've got to be but everybody's terrified to do that to the banks." But while that is a dire situation, it also underlines why cries that the U.S. will end up like Greece "is madness," Rob adds. "It doesn't apply."

Watch the full segment to see him also discuss the slightly more positive outcome of the recent G20 meetings and why Move Your Money is channeling so much pent-up frustration.

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