William Engdahl punished an excellent analysis of the Greek debt crisis, oil and gas reserves emerging near the battered nation, and the leverage that the US and EU used to buy Greek government owned energy companies on the cheap, just before they strike it rich. The United States government is u to the hips in this. Hillary Clinton’s ambassador for Eurasian energy, Richard Morningstar, is all for the privatization deal and husband Bill has even schmoozed for Noble Energy for Mediterranean oil deals (in Israel).
Call me cynical (or realistic) but it sounds like a Money Party mega swindle: Goldman sells Greece paper it knows will tank; the crisis emerges; normal IMF garbage, er, doctrine is offered – privatize. Clinton and the Germans weigh in and Greece puts up its gas company for nothing when it’s looking at at a $300 bil take for oil and gas revenues over time from the government owned companies.
There’s just one problem if this or a variation of this scenario is true. Everything involving Greece has been fraudulent. The risk factor for the firms acquiring Greek government assets is an unraveling of the plot. But, hey, who cares. It’s quarterly bonus time and if someone challenges them, they’ll just bring those making the charges some democracy Libyan style.
“ATHENS – Greece Wednesday invited bids for state-owned gas company DEPA and natural gas grid operator DESFA, moving ahead with a long-awaited privatization program aimed at raising EUR19 billion by 2015 to aid in addressing its huge debt crisis.” February 29
“In December 2010, as it seemed the Greek crisis might still be resolved without the by-now huge bailouts or privatizations, Greece’s Energy Ministry formed a special group of experts to research the prospects for oil and gas in Greek waters. Greece’s Energean Oil & Gas began increased investment into drilling in the offshore waters after a successful smaller oil discovery in 2009. Major geological surveys were made. Preliminary estimates now are that total offshore oil in Greek waters exceeds 22 billion barrels in the Ionian Sea off western Greece and some 4 billion barrels in the northern Aegean Sea.  Link
“Tulane University oil expert David Hynes told an audience in Athens recently that Greece could potentially solve its entire public debt crisis through development of its new-found gas and oil. He conservatively estimates that exploitation of the reserves already discovered could bring the country more than €302 billion over 25 years. The Greek government instead has just been forced to agree to huge government layoffs, wage cuts and pension cuts to get access to a second EU and IMF loan that will only drive the country deeper into an economic decline.  Link
“Notably, the IMF and EU governments, among them Germany, demand instead that Greece sell off its valuable ports and public companies, among them of course, Greek state oil companies, to reduce state debt. Under the best of conditions the asset selloffs would bring the country perhaps €50 billion.  Plans call for the Greek state-owned natural gas company, DEPA, to privatize 65% of its shares to reduce debt.  Buyers would likely come from outside the country, as few Greek companies are in a position in the crisis to take it.” F. William Engdahl, The New Mediterranean Oil and Gas Bonanza, March 5
I am so profoundly grateful that we have the opportunity to choose between two presidential candidates who would both endorse this type of deal.