The next chapter: Argentina, or, What happens when a country can’t pay its debts?
During the six month stand-off between Athens and Brussels, which we documented in Greece on the Edge?, while European intransigence was driving Greece ever closer to default on its massive debt – a step which would inevitably entail exiting the euro – various commentators began asking whether Greece might have anything to learn, one way or the other, from the case of Argentina,* where the currency collapsed in December 2001, the banks put up shutters, the country got through five presidents in twelve days, and ended up (when the IMF withdrew its support) in a spectacular default.
There are big differences between the two countries, of course, but there are also strong similarities in the economic dilemma facing them. Continue reading
We present a new version of the teaser for our documentary film Money Puzzles. There is no fixed definition of what a teaser is. In advertising it might be a cryptic ad that anticipates a full-blown campaign. Movie teasers are like trailers (so called because they were originally shown after the feature in the cinema) but nowadays they are sometimes produced before the film is finished, even well in advance, and typically intended to target a known fan base through the internet.
In our case, the teaser has a triple function. Continue reading
Posted in Capitalism, Debtology, Documentary, Film matters, Media, Notice, Politics, Video, Video Blog
Tagged Capitalism, Debt, Documentary, Greece, Money, Politics, Resistance
This film is a chapter from the forthcoming feature documentary, Money Puzzles, a film about money, debt and the fight against austerity. Money Puzzles is conceived as a follow up to the filmmakers’ award winning film, Secret City. Whereas Secret City investigated a crucial institutional structure that was invisible to most and shrouded in secrecy, Money Puzzles focuses on an everyday commodity the reality of which is hidden in plain sight.
Nowhere is the reality of debt money more evident than in Greece right now. The tussles over the so-called bailout shone a light upon the institutional structures that underpin money and its relations. Yet that light seems to have blinded journalists from the mainstream media and their political counterparts.
Posted in Capitalism, Debtology, Media, Politics, Video
Tagged Capitalism, Europe, Greece, Media, Politics, Recession, Resistance
Since getting back from Athens, we’ve been hard at work editing the next episode of ‘Money Puzzles‘, our film project on money, debt and the fightback against austerity. To reflect the dire situation in Greece after the government, despite the overwhelming No vote in the referendum of July 5th, caved in to the masters of Europe, we’re calling this new episode ‘Greece, Europe, Undemocracy’. We define ‘undemocracy’ as ‘a condition found in democratic countries when democracy has been denied’ (see also ‘democratic deficit’)’. Like our previous filming forays, we shall release this as a free-standing short, to be later incorporated into the finished film. Continue reading
Posted in Capitalism, Debtology, Documentary, Media, Politics
Tagged Capitalism, Debt, Economics, Greece, Money, Politics, Resistance
Athens, 20 July 2015
Two weeks after the referendum in which the Greek people delivered an overwhelming No to Austerity, one week after the Syriza government nonetheless accepted the terms dictated by Brussels, many people in Greece feel either betrayed or confused or both. I’m in Athens with Lee Salter to film an episode for our new film, Money Puzzles, and attend an international conference called, hopefully, Democracy Rising, where some of the best brains of the academic left from Europe and North America have been trying to grapple with the contradictions which these unexpected developments have now thrown up, and relate them to the broader canvas of the anti-capitalist social movements that have emerged in the last few years around the world. It is not an easy brief, in part because of a degree of disconnection between the academic language of many of the panellists and the political need for plain-speaking. This disconnect is also part of the political blockage of the left that we all need to learn to overcome. We need to speak simple truth not only to power but also each other.
Posted in Academic life, Capitalism, Debtology, Media, Politics, Protests
Tagged Academic life, Capitalism, Documentary, Greece, Politics, Video activism
How to make a film about money & debt without money or going into debt? In a word: crowdfunding.
Find out how and why we’re making a follow up to ‘Secret City’
Please support us here.
Posted in Capitalism, Debtology, Notice, Politics, Protests, Video
Tagged Argentina, Capitalism, Greece, Politics, Recession, Resistance, Video activism
The mood in Athens as Greece approaches the crunch.
Greece is being punished by the obstinate, pig-headed, anti-democratic plutocracy of the EU and the IMF for the crime of electing the wrong government, a government that opposes austerity as a misconceived and unworkable policy that creates unpayable debts and has indefensible consequences for the mass of the people. In May 2015, I went to Athens with the #DebtAction Group organised by Johnna Montgomerie of the Political Economic Research Centre (PERC) at Goldsmiths College, to meet activists, trade unionists, journalists and academics and gauge the mood at ground level as Greece approaches the crunch. The resulting film looks at the effects of five years of austerity on household debt, and visits the CommonsFest, a forum for alternative politics, while economist and Syriza MP Costas Lapavitsas explains why the euro has been such a disaster for Greece.
Posted in Capitalism, Debtology, Documentary, Notice, Politics, Video, Video Blog
Tagged Capitalism, Documentary, Greece, Politics, Recession, Resistance
The thought can hardly be original, but visiting the Acropolis during a recent trip to Athens, I couldn’t help but see it as a symbol of the condition of Greece: under renovation, but work currently suspended. At the end of April, the liquidity crisis forced the government to stop payment on public works because the European funding they relied on has dried up. Greece is being punished by the obstinate, pig-headed, anti-democratic plutocracy of the EU and the IMF for the crime of electing the wrong government, a government that opposes austerity as an unworkable policy that creates unpayable debts and has indefensible consequences for the mass of the people. Continue reading
Reports that Labour has lost its ‘soul’ may not be exaggerated. Whoever they pick as their new leader is probably beside the point, because judging from the opening salvos, they just don’t get it. In fact they never did. Five years ago, Labour took so long to replace Gordon Brown that the Tory/neoliberal media apparatus was easily able to induce a series of instant false memories that utterly distorted the truth about the 2008 crash. Pinning the blame on Labour’s economic mismanagement, they told lies about the deficit that disguised the real cause-and-effect of the financial bubble that burst when Lehman Brothers went bust (and Brown ‘saved the world‘ by bailing out the banks). Then, as if wishing to confirm Naomi Klein’s thesis of the Shock Doctrine, they imposed austerity. Which patently doesn’t work. Continue reading