Greece’s Proposals to End the Crisis

Yanis Varoufakis:

That Greece needs to adjust there is no doubt. The question, however, is not how much adjustment Greece needs to make. It is, rather, what kind of adjustment. If by ‘adjustment’ we mean fiscal consolidation, wage and pension cuts, and tax rate increases, it is clear we have done more of that than any other country in peacetime.

  • The public sector’s structural, or cyclically adjusted, fiscal deficit turned into a surplus on the back of a ‘world record beating’ 20% adjustment
  • Wages fell by 37%
  • Pensions were reduced by up to 48%
  • State employment diminished by 30%
  • Consumer spending was curtailed by 33%
  • Even the nation’s chronic current account deficit dropped by 16%.

No one can say that Greece has not adjusted to its new, post-2008, circumstances. But what we can say is that gigantic adjustment, whether necessary or not, has produced more problems than it solved:

  • Aggregate real GDP fell by 27% while nominal GDP continued to fall quarter-in-quarter-out for 18 quarters non-stop to this day
  • Unemployment skyrocketed to 27%
  • Undeclared labour reached 34%
  • Banks are labouring under non-performing loans that exceed 40% in value
  • Public debt has exceeded 180% of GDP
  • Young well-qualified people are abandoning Greece in droves
  • Poverty, hunger and energy deprivation have registered increases usually associated with a state at war
  • Investment in productive capacity has evaporated.

Our alleged backtracking on ‘pension reforms’ is that we have suspended the further reduction in pensions that have already lost 40% of their value when the prices of the goods and services that pensioners need, e.g. pharmaceuticals, have hardly moved. Consider this relatively unknown fact: Around 1 million families survive today on the meagre pension of a grandfather or a grandmother as the rest of the family members are unemployed in a country where only 9% of the unemployed receive any unemployment benefit. Cutting that one, solitary pension is tantamount to turning a family into the streets.

In other words an enormous chunk of the country’s households (Greece has 11M inhabitants) are a “breadwinner” away from ending up in the streets. It’s no wonder that extreme right and left groups are so strong in Greece.


Eddy Cue: “Apple Music will pay artist for streaming, even during customer’s free trial period”

For context: To Apple, Love Taylor.

I never thought I’d create a Taylor Swift tag on this blog.


The Blogging Tactic No One Is Talking About: Optimizing the Past

Pamela Vaughan:

Nine months ago, I analyzed a report that would transform not only my role on the HubSpot blogging team, but also the whole blog’s editorial strategy. The results have been nothing short of eye-opening. And I’m not just talking about the findings from the report — I’m also talking about the business results we’ve generated from the shift we made in our blogging strategy because of those findings.


Stripe Is the New PayPal

Interesting shit storm…


I Do Not Agree To Your Terms

Mike Ash:

Apple introduced their News app at WWDC, and the other day they sent me an e-mail saying they want to include this blog in News.

But, of course, the lawyers have to get involved.



US Bans Trans Fat


Food companies will be able to petition the FDA to gain approval of specific uses of partially hydrogenated oils if they have data proving the use isn’t harmful. Companies will have until June 2018 to comply with the FDA’s determination, either by removing trans fat or gaining a waiver. The FDA said it hasn’t seen any data to prove that even low levels of partially hydrogenated oils are safe.

That’s a spectacular development… if Big Food doesn’t manage to get around it with botched studies. Of which there are many.


New Data Shows Losing 80% of Mobile Users Is Normal

Andrew Chen and Ankit Jain looked into the data. It’s not pretty.



MI6: “Russia and China broke into Snowden files”

Russia and China have reportedly decrypted Snowden’s files. MI6 ends up pulling spies out of the two countries. And blaming Snowden for having done “incalculable damage”.

Perhaps there wouldn’t be any damage had there not been anything to reveal in the first place?


The Psychology of Upgrade Emails: Make Something to Lose

Janet Choi, for customer.io:

If you have a free trial for a SaaS product — the kind where an upgrade is required to continue use — loss aversion naturally comes into play. You’re relying on the psychology of free trial users to feel resistance against losing something they have, increase their desire to keep using it — and pay for the ability to do so.

So true. TL;DR version: make your freemium users temporarily test your largest plan. You’ll get a better conversion rate because you can then tell them what they’ll lose, and they’ll have had a taste of it to boot, instead of needing to highlight what they’ll gain if they sign up for the larger plan down the road.


Ad Blocking Is Coming to iOS

Joshua Benton, reporting for NiemandLab:

It didn’t get a mention in Apple’s big keynote announcements Monday — which already had plenty of interest to publishers — but deep within Apple’s developer documentation lies perhaps the most important item of all to the news industry.

Adblocking is coming to the iPhone with iOS 9.

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