“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Beware of Greeks Looking for Gifts

Euro dithering of the first order. German angst as to what to do. Greek labor intransigence. The Russians and Chinese bailing Greece out, and now talk of shifting it to the IMF which means more US bailouts.

Folks, forget the nonsense you hear about the Greeks being the birthplace of democracy. They may have invented it but have rarely practiced it and then only in short spurts. Greece has been ruled by tyrants and Turks and since the early seventies, socialists under the dreadful Papandreou family.

The current Papandreou has been a lifelong Socialist and is the president of Socialist International, a grouping of national Socialist parties.

His father, the late Andreas Papandreou, founded the Pasok party. His grandfather was prime minister in the 1960s before he was thrown out by a military coup.

They have been ardent anti-Americans. Greek intellectuals are the worst of the US haters.

Greece has yet to learn the lesson about socialism and the US may not be far behind, but this is a European and Greek problem of their own causing.

No gifts to Greece.


  1. US Treasuries prices shot higher as a deepening fiscal crisis in some euro zone countries and a sharp stock slide whetted investors' appetite for safe-haven US government debt.


    Bank of Tokyo/Mitsubishi UFJ chief financial economist Chris Rupkey said Treasuries prices peaked just before the two-year note auction, adding the market had gone too far on fear about Greece.


    At its highs, the 30-year long bond was up nearly two points on the day and was last up 1-8/32, yielding 4.59 per cent versus Monday's close of 4.67 per cent.

    Euro-zone Fiscal Crisis

  2. China is undermining the dollar by the back-door

    By Gerard Lyons

    Published: April 27 2010 15:50 | Last updated: April 27 2010 15:50

    There is a ticking time bomb under the dollar. When it explodes depends not just on the US economy but also on policy actions in Beijing and Washington. Over the last year the Chinese have undermined the dollar by the back-door, questioning it as a store of value and medium-of-exchange.

    Although the Chinese are not advocating the renminbi as the alternative to the dollar this may be only a matter of time. One needs to focus on what the Chinese do, as well as listen to what they say. A key development is China’s encouragement of international use of the renminbi, although they prefer to call it invoicing.

    This may be from a low starting point but one Chinese saying may be worth bearing in mind: “A march of 10,000 miles begins with one small step”. Early signs are promising.

    China is encouraging exporters to invoice in the renminbi and is setting up systems to allow trade payments in renminbi. This make sense. China’s trade is soaring. New trade corridors may soon require new means of payment. When the Chinese and Brazilian Presidents met last year they agreed to use their own currencies to settle more of their bilateral trade, rather than invoicing in dollars. Although viewed as symbolic, it is a sign of things to come....

  3. The crisis also saw China sign a host of bilateral currency swap agreements with countries ranging from Indonesia to Belarus and Argentina. China’s growing trade and financial links with the rest of the world will make the renminbi more acceptable.

    Gradualism dictates the Chinese approach to most policy measures. The process is logical. Look at the theory, examine the pros and cons, debate the issue, implement slowly and observe. If the project works, roll it out. On that basis, there is more to come.

    Since a pilot programme started in July 2009 the volume of international trade settled in the Chinese currency has totalled Rmb11.6bn ($1.7bn). Although only 0.1 per cent of Chinese trade in that time, it has gathered momentum. This has encouraged the authorities to expand the programme.

    Renminbi invoicing has been restricted to 400 mainland companies in five cities: Shanghai, Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Dongguan and Zhuhai. It will soon widen to cover thousands of mainland companies and more provinces, including Heilongjiang in northeast China which has sought approval to settle trade with Russia in renminbi.

    These are still early days and China will need to clear a few technical hurdles to make the renminbi widely acceptable. For instance, guidelines for invoicing and settling trade in renminbi need to be harmonised.

    Hong Kong is the main beneficiary as the renminbi gains acceptance abroad. It has the natural advantage of a renminbi deposit base, well-established trade links with China and a head-start in developing renminbi financial products. The city’s regulators are ensuring it retains its edge...

  4. Since February, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority has made it easier for its banks to process trade transactions in renminbi, to develop renminbi based financial products such as bonds, and to extend loans to and take deposits from local companies in renminbi.

    In January, China implemented a free-trade agreement with ASEAN, the Southeast Asian grouping of 10 countries. Rising Chinese trade with the rest of Asia will boost renminbi settlement in Hong Kong.

    There will be future tipping points. Convertibility of the renminbi on both trade and capital accounts would be the ultimate hurdle to cross for China to make its currency globally acceptable. This will eventually happen. China also needs to develop its capital markets and financial infrastructure.

    As international reserves soar I detect among reserve managers a desire to shift away from the dollar. Yet they do not want to actively sell the dollar, lest it triggers the crisis they fear. Instead fewer net new reserves are being placed in the dollar. I call this passive diversification but until the renminbi becomes convertible it is unlikely to take its rightful place in reserve holdings.

    International use of the renminbi will also rise as Chinese firms invest overseas and its government increases support to other countries. This is already happening. For instance, China recently signed a $20bn financing deal with Venezuela, half to be paid in renminbi.

    Furthermore, renminbi use has increased despite the currency’s peg to the dollar. Once the renminbi starts to appreciate it may receive an additional boost as a store of value. This de-pegging of the renminbi to the dollar could occur soon, but it is more likely to be a gradual and ongoing shift than a big one-off move. It would signal a trend appreciation of the renminbi. “Made in China”, the three most common words of the last decade, may soon be joined by “Paid in renminbi”.

  5. All this brought to you by the architects ofthe theory that it is not important where you manufacture.

  6. I wonder how that Chinese copper mine in Afghanistan is doing?

  7. Pamela Anderson is on Dancing With Stars tonight. She's gonna get elimintated.

  8. Not too badly, thanks for asking:

    President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan is on a visit to China seeking investment for his war-torn nation. This is Karzai’s first visit to China since his re-election last year, and his fourth as Afghan president.

    President Karzai is also due to present the Chinese leadership with his plan for reconciliation with the Taliban.

    China has been increasingly seen as a key player in maintaining stability in Afghanistan, particularly in the future when US troops pull out.

    China recently participated in a six-nation talks on Afghanistan’s security and future. The participants included Pakistan, Iran, Russia, Tajikistan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. The meeting was held in Istanbul in the last week of January.

    As part of Karzai’s visit to China, Beijing announced today more investments in Afghanistan and pledged to continue aiding reconstruction efforts in the war-torn neighboring country.

  9. We go into a country , spend billions blowing shit up, finance it by hocking ourselves to the Chinese, guaranteeing them a future cash stream.

    The Chinese, take the cash flow, invest it into the reconstruction of the wrecked economy, generate good will, and end up with a long term investment and more cash flow.

    While the Chinese build their copper mines, they receive protection from the US military, strengthen their currency, grow their economy and use the profits to build up their own military, which our rulers and masters assure us will never be a threat to the US.

  10. Trying to merge disparate groups is always like stuffing wildcats into a burlap bag and hoping they fall in love. That rarely happens.


    This nation has tried itself, its taxpayers -- and especially its military personnel -- dearly over the past six decades, trying to pound square pegs into round holes. Isn’t it time we tried something completely different?

    Isn’t it time we stopped trying to re-create ourselves everywhere we go?

    Failures of Understanding

  11. O/T--My wife wants me to take dancing lessons with her. I guess I will, but she better have boots on. She always watches Dancing With Stars, and dreams, of being danced right off her feet.

  12. Some of those dancers are dang good.

  13. China has the same problem we do. They are a Major Oil Importer. They import about 5 Million barrels of oil/day, and every car,and truck they build they have to import a little more. And, they're building a whole lot of cars, and trucks.

    This time in 2012 they'll be importin about 7 Million bod, and global production will probably be a couple of million b/day less than it is now. By the time we hit 2015 The Wheels are completely off - everywhere.

  14. More bad news. China uses oil much more efficiently than we do. Those little cars use a lot less petrol, and they aren't driven as much. They, also, have a couple of Trillion in the bank.

    They can definitely (in the short term, at least) outbid us for the marginl barrel of oil.

  15. NOW, for the Good News: China has One huge glaring Achilles Heel. Being a Socialist/Communist Country they have a pitiful Agriculture system.

    From readying the field for planting, to delivery to the supermarket/kiosk, their system is pathetic. AND, it won't get much better.

    As we transition to biofuels (fairly easily, once we get started) they will lag way behind. They just don't have the equipment, and expertise on a widespread basis to readily change over.

  16. I know this about farming. The family farm is best. When your life and income depends on it, you will get out there and work your ass off. That's what I know. If you don't do it, the wife will get pissed, then the whole thing might go to hell. You got to get our there and work your ass off, some government/corporation isn't going to do it. There is no incentive, and that's what counts, makes you get up in the morning.

  17. "They have been ardent anti-Americans. Greek intellectuals are the worst of the US haters."

    true. the greeks i knew had much malice towards us.

  18. They run good Coney Islands and I love their salads.


  19. 2019.11.22台北知名酒店經紀公司數據統計22日最新資料,2019年酒店上班女性人數占比逾76%,八大行業提供全國逾7成8的酒店打工就業機會,大學生酒店兼差就業人數達865萬人,顯見八大行業酒店小姐產業環境快速變遷之上,目前上班族酒店兼職的酒店小姐對於台灣經濟依舊有著舉足輕重的地位,抱有渴望未來發展不忘白天的本職學能。八大行業龐大利益來源於制服店、便服店、禮服店、鋼琴酒吧、日式酒店、飯局、傳播等,財金專家指出每年獲利為在新台幣5億以上,其他行業則指前一年營業額1億元以下。

  20. 2020.01.15酒店工作環境與酒店小姐酒店兼差滿意度息息相關,根據知名酒店經紀調查顯示,2019整體酒店上班感到滿意的比率為74.3%,而近一年中有加班者占48.3%,平均每月加班17.9小時。為了解在八大行業就業酒店打工的工作狀況、對工作環境滿意度及職涯規劃等情形,酒店經紀公司辦理「制服店、便服店、禮服店、鋼琴酒吧、日式酒店、飯局、傳播就業狀況調查」,以大學生/上班族/單親媽媽設定調查對象,總計回收有效酒店兼職樣本5000份,並於今天公布調查結果。酒店經紀調查顯示,2019年酒店小姐對整體酒店工作感到滿意的比率為76.3%,較去年上升0.4個百分點,感到不滿意者則占2.4%。其中,對整體感到滿意者,以性別工作平等、同事間的相處與友誼滿意比率都逾9成6最高,其次為行政對公關的關切與照顧占96.8%;而不滿意者中,以明配(性交易)不滿意比率占76.7%居首,其次為酒店工作負荷量占68.0%。

  21. 2020.05.03酒店工作因武漢肺炎(COVID-19、新冠肺炎)新冠肺炎連續6天零確診,讓停業快3周的酒店舞廳業者見到曙光,期盼政府讓他們重新開門做生意。業者估計,全台至少20萬人靠八大行業酒店S維持生計,其中有數萬人是依賴店家的清潔阿姨、賣口香糖、香腸這種「艱苦人」,呼籲政府慎重考慮,在防疫得當的情況下,盡快讓八大行業酒店上班復業,給他們一條生路。台北市八大行業張姓酒店業者表示,酒店歇業,酒店PT小姐雖還能兼差傳播飯局妹,但酒店打工毫無保障,私接案子還被搶、乾洗白嫖的慘狀;另泊車少爺、幹部、經紀,這些人也都各有出路,但總不如原來穩定,至於原本薪水就不高、替代性更高的清潔阿姨,更是頓時少了一份穩定薪水;還有收保特瓶、紙箱的回收阿伯,也大受影響。張姓業者說,這些依附酒店養家餬口的艱苦人,全台少說至少20萬人,如今因政府防疫停業標準不一,酒店、舞廳歇業,他們連兼差機會都沒,只能在家喝西北風「防疫」。他自嘲,「政府的作為,是寧讓人民餓死,也不能得肺炎死。」業者有苦難言。另一劉姓舞廳業者說,會配合停業的店家,都是繳稅合法業者,八大行業若轉地下化,等同「保障非法,取締合法」,政府應讓合法業者在確保防疫規範前提下復業,反而能有效控管,若都轉入地下化,風險更大。造成全台酒店舞廳停業的北市高檔酒店女公關,疫情指揮中心日前已宣布,她的感染源不明,且沒傳染給任何人。不少業者看到這消息都納悶,「小姐結案了,我們為何歇業?何時能重開?」這是攸關20多萬八大行業從業人員共同疑惑,政府應盡速給個答案。

  22. 2020.05.07全國八大行業酒店工作本月9日停業滿1個月,小姐酒店S、經紀、業者無不「酒店上班苦哈哈」,八大行業有小姐甚至做起外送員,不過,行政院長蘇貞昌本月4日宣布擴大紓困,無保酒店PT工作者可領1萬元,且可當天申請,有酒店小姐衝去公所申請,但馬上被「打槍」。酒店打工小姐小荳說,日前看新聞說政府下令紓困加碼,跑去公所申請,但卻被刁難,須附上很多證明,例如提供戶口名簿、調查名下有無財產、家人有無財產、以往有無領過政府補助的失業救助金等措施,若有,就不符合資格。事後才知是今天開放申請,但公所人員給人的感覺就「霧煞煞」,不清楚申請資格,雖然她最後還是資格不符,空歡喜一場,但還是希望政府快提供更明確申請規定,讓受疫情影響的勞工安心。小荳說,自己從南部上台北工作,想賺高薪照顧父母,才到酒店上班,如今停業,目前偶爾接接飯局加減賺,但好像「臨時工」,收入很不穩定。

  23. 2020.05.28酒店小姐的基本介紹跟工作內容受到新冠肺炎疫情衝擊,全國舞廳酒店停業。不過我在酒店上班的日子,台北市商業處今(27)日宣布,截至26日止,共計受理53家業者申請復業,其中46家已核准。台北市商業處傍晚發新聞稿表示不敢來酒店上班-酒店打工的原因,復業之酒店、舞廳需在營業場所設置單一入口,並使用北市府提供的防疫實名制APP,要求入內消費者須提供身分證、居留證正本供掃碼,或以健保卡、駕照拍照後,手動鍵入基本資料,上傳至市府的酒店上班-酒店兼職-兼差如何達成人生的第一桶金雲端硬碟,未攜帶證件者則不得進入。商業處酒店兼差不是一個複雜的工作環境?指出,復業後警方會不定時巡邏稽查APP實名制落實酒店小姐酒店上班到底都在做什麼?情況,違規業者由衛生局依「傳染病防治法」等條款,處新台幣3,000元以上、1萬5,000元以下罰緩,且可按次處罰,違規超過3次者可命令停業1個月。最後,商業處強調,業者要確實遵守北市府的防疫措施,由工作人員為消費者量額溫、手部噴酒精,同時要求工作人員在公共區域也需要戴口罩、勤洗手及早晚量額溫,特別注意環境清潔,以落實防疫規範並盡到管理責任。便服店: #王牌酒店 #香閣里拉酒店 #麗園酒店 #龍亨酒店 #香水酒店 #金典酒店 #威晶酒店 #威士登酒店。禮服店: #麗緻忠孝酒店 #麗緻敦南酒店 #維多立亞酒店 #百達妃麗酒店 #萬豪酒店 #金荷酒店 #大富豪酒店 #絕色酒店。制服店:#麗都 #淘寶酒店 #金碧輝煌酒店 #金昌酒店 #金聰酒店 #君悅酒店 #盛世酒店 #奧斯卡酒店 #龍昇酒店 #龍昌酒店 #百富酒店 #台北東區酒店兼職。