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Mysterious positivity of the Amplituhedron

Some comments on papers by Susskind; and Arkani-Hamed et al. (twice)

So far, the latest arXiv preprints emerged on December 31st. The paper arXiv:1501.00001 (with the new redundant zero) should be out on Monday.

On the Sylvester day (for Yankees: 1/2 of Europe plus Israel uses this name for New Year's Eve), three hep-th papers were authored or co-authored by very famous physicists. One was by Nima, another one was by Arkani, and the third one was... by Susskind. ;-)

Leonard Susskind wrote an essay about the ER-EPR (worhhole-entanglement) correspondence and especially about the interpretation of the GHZ states and quantum teleportation within the paradigm started by Maldacena and Susskind. It's fun to read Lenny's papers but I found the issues in this new paper sort of obvious, so I don't think that there's something new for me to learn here.

Susskind tries to solve some "potential paradoxes" involving entanglement and measurements by different observers in different orders that could lead to inconsistencies if ER-EPR is assumed to hold as well. I find it trivial to see – or trivial to prove – that no such inconsistencies can possibly exist. At the end, the ER-EPR correspondence is just assigning a new, wormhole-like interpretation to some special states in the Hilbert space of two or numerous black holes (or other objects).

Because there is no inconsistency in quantum mechanics, there can't be any inconsistency in the same quantum mechanics presented along with some new names (or illustrations) for some of the basis vectors in the Hilbert space. The real point is that the different "labels" for the different bases of the Hilbert space can't be in conflict with each other because they provide us with complementary, inequivalent, but mutually not contradicting descriptions of the same thing.

In principle, we may assume that we analyze a Hilbert space of two black holes whose microstates may be entangled in any way; or one Einstein-Rosen bridge whose throat may be filled with some arbitrarily entangled matter. There is no way to fully decide which description – which topology – is the right one. Whether the two black holes are connected by a bridge may only be found by the agreement in the infalling observers' observations and the same agreement – correlation – may be guaranteed by entanglement. Moreover, no GR-based observations in the shared black hole interiors may influence other observations by the outside observers because the future of the observers inside ends up in the singularity. The guaranteed death of the people inside the black holes and bridges reduces or eliminates the potential for new contradictions.

That's also why the topological invariants of the spacetime – the number of bridges between black holes, for example – aren't well-defined Hermitian operators (i.e. observables) on the Hilbert space. You must start your description by deciding about your background and its topology, and any physical phenomena may be described within the language you have chosen. I have stated this principle of mine many times and right now, I decided to coin a new term for this principle,

background indifference.
It may sound similar to "background independence" but the content is very different and, to some extent, the opposite thing. The background independence – as used by various, often not really credible, quantum gravity people – means that the theory doesn't assume any background and it creates all backgrounds on equal footings as solutions. These people often fail to see that the background independence is often just a question of the formalism, not a property of the theory, and their proposed theories usually refuse to provide us with any realistic, nearly flat, backgrounds which is why "background independence" is just a way to mask this fatal flaw and sell it as a virtue.
On the other hand, "background indifference" says that even if the Hilbert space and the set of possible phenomena are fixed, you may choose more or less any background you want, and the pre-determined physical phenomena may be expressed using this background, anyway. Any background may be viewed as an excitation of another background – even if their topology seem to be different! The only difference between several backgrounds is that one of them is more "useful" – that it requires less complicated excitations to describe the relevant states.
A way to explain why "background independence" and "background indifference" are morally opposite to each other is to say that "background independence" (or some champions of the term as a matter of dogma) want you to feel guilty whenever you choose a specific background to expand around, in order to describe the physical phenomena. On the other hand, "background indifference" wants you to feel no guilt at all. You are not only allowed to choose a background to describe phenomena – but any choice is just good in principle!

I can enumerate – and I have enumerated – about a dozen of "mostly qualitatively different" realizations within string theory that support this paradigm shift.

Susskind talks about the GHZ state, an entangled state of three quantum bits\[

\ket\psi_{GHZ} = \frac{ \ket{\uparrow\uparrow\uparrow} + \ket{\downarrow\downarrow\downarrow} }{\sqrt{2}}

\] and uses it to claim that these considerations are the reason why the "potential inconsistencies" in ER-EPR don't exist. I think that this way of talking about the problem makes the potential for inconsistencies even smaller simply because the GHZ state itself is described as a non-classical, Schrödinger's-cat-like superposition in the gravitational language. So the general relativistic description of black holes in these "general" superpositions is "general" and therefore "hard" and the best way to proceed is to use the normal language of quantum mechanics. But in that language, everything works as smoothly as it always does in quantum mechanics. You may measure many observables on the three-qubit system in various orders, the theory always yields probabilistic predictions, and there will never be any conflict.

Susskind's comments about teleportation seem equally obvious. The very concept of "quantum teleportation" is just a way to talk about quantum entanglement once again, in the second simplest context, so it's just a new fancy word without new ideas. If you can't solve a quantum teleportation problem, it means that you haven't understood quantum entanglement at all. It's silly to say that "quantum teleportation" is a "completely new thing". The very same comments apply when you use the wormhole language to describe these things.

Quantum mechanics is fascinating but this set of postulates and rules that fully define this framework of modern physics is rather limited and too many people – apparently including Susskind – are deliberately making quantum mechanics (and every example of a quantum mechanical system with some symbols for its Hilbert space vectors) look more contrived than it is.

Off-topic: this 2014 epic rap battle video has 30 million views. I find it weird that someone even had the idea to compare Isaac Newton with Bill Nye or Neil deGrasse Tyson. It's how the mass culture vacuums the brains of the masses.

Twistor minirevolution

So let me switch to the new interesting papers by Nima Arkani-Hamed and Jaroslav Trnka (A&T) – with different co-authors:
On-Shell Structures of MHV Amplitudes Beyond the Planar Limit (A&T, Bourjaily, Cachazo, Postnikov)

Positive Amplitudes In The Amplituhedron (A&T, Hodges)
While Susskind's new paper may be said to be too trivial, these amazing fancy papers are perhaps too nontrivial!

Note that in this business of scattering amplitudes of the \(\NNN=4\) gauge theory in \(d=4\), one considers the N\({}^k\)MHV scattering of \(n\) external on-shell gluons (or superpartners) at \(\ell\) loops at the planar level (string diagram topology: disk), or beyond it (string diagram topology: higher genus \(g\)). Here, N stands for "next to" and "MHV" stands for a "maximally helicity-violating" amplitude.

The five-author paper looks into the \(k=0\) i.e. MHV amplitudes (no "next to" is added before "maximally helicity violating") but they go beyond the planar level, \(g\geq 0\). They decompose the amplitudes in a certain way and find strong evidence that they may always be written as\[

{\mathcal A}_i = \sum_i {\rm polylog}_i \cdot \text{color factor}_i \cdot {\mathcal A}_{i,\text{Parke-Taylor}}

\] It's some linear combination of some Parke-Taylor amplitudes, up to the color-factor and polylogarithm prefactors. I am afraid that one may only fully appreciate the depth of the result if one has fully internalized the meaning of the polylogarithms and of the Parke-Taylor amplitudes, and I would count myself to be mostly outside both groups, of course. ;-)

The scattering amplitudes have been decomposed into "terms" – different Feynman or Feynman-like diagrams – in so many ways that it's a bit hard to even remain sensible when it comes to the question "how nontrivial it is for such a decomposition to exist". For example, a non-expert in this very business might think that it may be a mathematical triviality for such a decomposition to exist.

However, it's not really nontrivial – at least not for the 5 co-authors of that paper. And some positivity is needed for their argument. I suppose that the final sum in the displayed formula above is claimed to have some "positive weights", too.

Some positivity seems to be the central player of the 3-author paper, too. But at least superficially, when you decide to only see the "same kind" if it is "strictly and obviously the same kind", it is a different positivity. They work with the planar, \(g=0\) amplitudes only, but also allow the helicity violation to be non-maximal – \(k\geq 0\) and "next to" may be added many (\(k\)) times.

The scattering amplitudes in the twistor-like variables are integrals of some differential form. For the MHVs, i.e. \(k=0\), it's natural to interpret the form as a volume form, so the amplitude density is manifestly positive given some choice of the signs. The amplitude "is" a volume of the amplituhedron, a polytope of its own type. But in this new paper, they show that for \(k\geq 0\), when the relevant amplituhedron becomes non-linear in a way, there is still some positivity of the differential form.

This is surprising. When I was a kid or a teenager, I had a big disrespect for inequalities. Inequalities are effectively "not equalities" so they are not telling you what something is not equal to. Isn't it better to shut up and just tell me what they are equal to? Most of my classmates knew what 1+1 or 13*5*31 was not equal to; but it was always fancier to know it was equal to. ;-) Equations surely communicate more information than inequalities, right? And inequalities aren't unique in any sense. You may always soften it. Is that still a valuable result if you soften an inequality? And many questions like that arise.

But I became a much less radical hater of inequalities in the following years. ;-) Some inequalities have important physical interpretations – like the uncertainty principle, energy conditions, and positivity of the absolute temperature, entropy, heat capacity, and many other things (especially but not only in thermodynamics).

And even if there is no "very important" physical interpretation of an inequality, an inequality may be very non-trivial if it is guaranteed to hold for every choice of parameters – at every place of the space where the amplituhedron lives, and for every value of \(n,k,\ell\), for example. It's so unlikely for an inequality to hold this generally that one should be curious why it holds. Is there some simple explanation? Is there some relationship to some physical intuition, like the principles in the previous paragraph?

At the end, I would guess that there is a pretty clear physical explanation of the positivity encountered in the realm of Amplituhedrons. But I think that the "explanation" could be pretty much the same as the explanation of the question why it seems natural to consider the logarithms of the amplitudes.

You know, \(\log{\mathcal A}\) is an OK thing to consider as long as one avoids \({\mathcal A}=0\). And for a real and continuously changing \({\mathcal A}\) that is positive at one point, the only way to avoid zero is for \({\mathcal A}\) to stay positive! So I think that a good answer to the question "why it's so natural to consider the logarithms of the amplitudes" (i.e. to write the amplitudes as the exponential of something else) will also answer the question "why do the amplitudes respect the positivity". And the answer to the first question, "why \(\log{\mathcal A}\) is OK", will probably be more explicit.

Will these realizations be spiritually satisfying? Will we enthusiastically scream "heureka" when we learn about the answer? Due to the superposition principle, it's surely unnatural in "general quantum mechanics" to write amplitudes as the exponential of something else. Why is it natural for the \(\NNN=4\) gauge theory – and perhaps some other theories? Well, the matrix elements of transformation operators such as \(\exp(\alpha H)\) are naturally exponentials of something else. But the S-matrix is a time-ordered exponential which is expected to destroy the simple exponential form of the matrix elements, isn't it? Maybe this form half-survives in the twistor description. Will I understand the answer? Or will just the people who have written 10+ papers on the unusual methods to calculate the scattering amplitudes and the twistor minirevolution understand it?

Does their technological edge give them a deeper understanding of something that is spiritually or conceptually important or is their skill analogous to the skill of someone who has spent decades by calculating the electron's magnetic moment at the five-loop level – something we could call professional and difficult but otherwise uninspired work?

As you can see, I am uncertain not only about the answers to many technical questions but even those to many big-picture, conceptual, and seemingly sociological ones. Already at this time, I think that issues like the Amplituhedron are heavily understudied. There should be hundreds of papers on the subject – but the number of people in the world whose brains are powerful enough to get to the right rhythm might actually be close to one dozen, the number of people who were once preposterously claimed to understand general relativity.

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reader guest said...

last week i was thinking about conciseness god eternity and thought only way this things can make sense is to think that like triangle or square that is a information field in mathematics that always exist there must be a complex geometrical object that encode algorithm of conciseness in its structure that make this information field self aware suddenly i reminded of amplituhedron and emergent space time ,apparently there exist two amplituhedron one positive and one negative .now Satan make sense :)

reader Roby 83 said...

A greek colleague who is searching for a position abroad told me the situation. In order to get votes, Tsipras makes irrealistic promises. Still, the more likely outcome of the election seems to be that nobody will get enough votes to form a government. In this case Greece would collapse in chaos, maybe the military apparatus will take control.

reader Michele Lavender said...

well perhaps it would better for some people to stick to light particles and stay away from politics,stop digging at Greece and Greeks all the time,spend some energy on convincing the germans to pay up their debt to the many countries they invaded and occupied because so far the monies have not been paid to Greece and germany had loads of money from the EC when that wall in east germany came down to rebuild the impoverished place,havnt paid it back yet...debtors...big time...AND when Greece was on its knees in this crisis the germans demanded that Greece must stick to its precrisis plans for purchasing military equipment from them or no loans,all about do not understand what has happened here,wages dropped from 8.50 to 3.50 over night but the rent etc,,, doesnt drop though does it.I live here and its been insane,unemployed people have been thrown to the dogs,left to die,refused all medical care and tablets...refused surgery And TROIKA or shall we say...DESTROYKER did not say..HEY WE MUST MEET THE NEEDS OF THE PEOPLE,all they said was.... BLEED THEM DRY.....

reader someguy said...

Why have logarithms of amplitudes not been considered before? I mean the probability of a state in statistical thermodynamics is exp(-S), so entropy -log(p) is the entropy, which is the form in which boltzmann first wrote it. Why isnt this applied to the feynman probability amplitude exp(iS)?

reader Luboš Motl said...

Please, don't be silly. You are over 60 years too late. The war reparations were recently solved in 1953:

Germany was forgiven much of the debt, Greece signed it, and those treaties determine the actual obligations. You simply can't solve current problems by inventing bizarre interpretations of events that happened about a century ago.

Alternatively, you can, but you shouldn't be surprised if you're invaded again.

reader Eclectikus said...

This subject of Syriza is very interesting from Spain because we have here the twin brother party, Podemos ("We can"), using the same populism and chimeric politic, and although in this case they have distanced from the Venezuelan "Chavismo" (and somewhat from the communism, too), it's absolutely clear that they would be a fatal influence in case of come to power or even have some influence on it, e.g. in the case that the "normal left" -PSOE- could win with their help (by making majority in the parlament with them in coalition).

Many people is happy with this eventuality, but I tend to think that "The Law of Conservation of Politic Idiocy" (idiots nor increase neither decrease, they simply change of Party) is universal, and in Spain this, as much, sum around the 20% of the population, historically divided between the two parties of the left we "enjoy" here. Therefore this is a case of "divide and rule", i.e. they are just stealing votes to their ideological cronies. So I give very little credibility to polls who give the government (or a big chance of influence on it) to Podemos.

But the truth is that they still have a lot of sympathy and the opportunity to see the consequences of Populism on a similar country (partner in the PIGS - Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain), It can be quite a vaccine and awaken the excess of idiots still recoverable over this chronic 20% mentioned above.

reader Luboš Motl said...

LOL, Roughly speaking, yes. But neither the entropy nor expmoments truly an amplitude. The latter is the integrand in the path integral. The amplitude is a path integral that also depends on the moments

reader Luboš Motl said...

20 percent is just fine.

reader Eclectikus said...

Well, they still can do a great and irreparable damage, by themselves or with the help of other 20% of border idiots, arrivistes and clueless people. O.o

reader Uncle Al said...

GR and QM say "Newton is approximate." Boson photon vacuum symmetries demand achiral isotropic vacuum, then Noetherian conservation of angular momentum for fermion quarks and their summations. Vacuum is not observed to be achiral isotropic toward matter: parity violations, symmetry breakings, chiral anomalies, baryogenesis, Chern-Simons repair of Einstein-Hilbert action. Milgrom acceleration is conservation leakage - no dark matter.

Quantum gravitation and SUSY are approximate not empirical. 1) Geometric Eötvös experiment with enantiomorphic alpha-quartz test masses to measure vacuum chiral anisotropy toward matter, then 2) fully quantize physics from empirically exact postulates.

reader someguy said...

The same can be said about entropy. This is probably not the best example, but if you throw a coin which is fair, then the proper way of calculating P(Heads) is to sum over some subset of its phase space terms of the form exp(-S). Say the coin is tossed in a way that assigns equal probability to all its possible initial states, and say there are N possible initial states. The symmetry of the coin implies that N/2 of these states will land as heads, and the other N/2 will land as tails, so you sum over the probabilities of the states which land heads:

P(H) = sum exp( -logN) = (N/2)(1/N) = 1/2

reader someguy said...

Both the entropies log(2) of the final probability and log(N) of the act of throwing have a natural interpretation, its just that they are different. perhaps there is some analogy with amplitudes where we can think of log( path integral exp(iS) as some kind of action, but not the action associated with the paths?

reader pEGO said...

Painting is called "Birth". There is pure COMPUTER ALGORITHM work (without any drawing or modeling with hand) based on Mandelbrot fractal. Up you could see shape of lying woman down small child and connection between woman and child, it is too hard get good visible shape from fractal, I didn't retouch it due to consistency of math algorithm.

reader alejandro rivero said...

Kinoshita got into problems with Cvitanovic just about the same criticism you are doing; the goal of K was to do just a calculation, while C become worried about finding some deeper understanding of the sum of some families of terms.

reader worldsheet said...

Dear Lubos, Thanks for an interesting post. I also feel that an extension to non-planar integrands is an interesting direction. Perhaps the exploration for NMHV is probably around the corner followed by structures of amplitudes for theories that has less supersymmetry. In the five author paper, I find it striking that the answer for the particular case of the amplitude after integration for the MHV amplitude is conjectured to have a nice form of polylogs weighted by Parke Taylor factors. But ultimately, it would be nice to see if Nima or company or perhaps other folks will figure out a way to integrate these non trivial integrands and derive explicit answers.

reader Quantum said...

Fancy Lubos caring about matters of deep spiritual importance! What is the world coming to?

reader de^mol said...

I normally agree with you, Lubos, but this time I do not. The Brussels troika has Greece by the balls, and they will force it to bleed until the very end. German money doesn't go to Greece, but to the European banks. That's because Greece lent too much money, so they have to pay the huge sums of money already only in interest.

Greece has been bankrupt for many years now, and Brussels and the rest of the world refuse to accept it. That means that the Greek people will suffer for years and years to come. The Greek politicians are partly to blame for taking on so much debt, but the European banks even more. You should not give money to a bankrupt country. Every moron understands that they won't be able to pay it back, so for sure the banks knew. They also knew that the people running Europe, (i.e. ECB) are ruled by their bank friends (eg. Draghi), so they knew they would be bailed out, by European tax payers money, organised by the biggest scam in history: ESM (check it out). And the bonus is they (the banks, not the European tax payers who are paying it) get control over most Greek businesses in return, such as harbors, airports, etc. That is the game that is played. So the real crooks are the international banks + the ECB. The Greek people suffer and so do the normal Europeans.

What sane people would do is let Greek go bankrupt, the European banks should lick their wounds (they were so stupid to lent them the money), and Greek should get out of the Euro. With a devaluated drachme the Greek people will not be able to afford foreign luxury goods, like German cars, but they will be able to start producing their own food and needs, and that will give them the ability to create more jobs, a devaluated drachme will attract even more turism, etc. So they can return to breed and eat.

I do agree that Syriza is not the answer, because it is not promising these hard measures, such as getting out of the Euro, but instead is looking for the communist solution. But I guess in fact, that for Greece and the rest of Europe anything is better than parties that comply with the robbing banks in Brussels.

The same holds for Podemos in Spain. Their analyses, that the crisis is the result of corrupt politicians and banks, is correct, and the people in Spain know it. That makes them very popular. The problem is, again, the solutions of Podemos are not mine. I am more of the Nigel Farage solution, but since in Spain and Greece there are no similar parties, I think better Syriza and Podemos than continue to get robbed by the banks.

In fact, Brussels is controlled by banks and international companies, and this combination of politics and large companies has a name: fascism.

Syriza and Podemos is communism. Well, 2 ideologies I detest. It's what Nigel says: we want to cooperate, do business, drink beer together, but as independent, democratic nation states, based on free trade and markets. The latter, the liberal solution, is the one I envisage for Europe.

Anyway, fascist Brussels must be crashed, and if that is done by some communists, so be it. Then we will see what comes out of it, but worse it can not get for Greece or Spain.

reader Eclectikus said...

Sorry, but Podemos has no analysis about Economy, their single strategy is to take the government saying what (some) people like to hear, and changing the message as function of electoral target achieved... First they say that we will never pay the debt, then they were going to audit it, and now that it have to be restructured... and the same with any single topics on their unicornial preliminar electoral program.

On the other hand the case of Spain is different from Greece, which is good and bad, good because we have freedom to do what we want, and bad because what we want could be Podemos. In the case of Greece, still ruling Syriza, the real power it's not in Athens, it's in Brussels and Berlin.

Or in other words, Syriza's hands are tied to perform their extravagant politic, and otherwise Podemos is (relatively) free to turn Spain into the European Venezuela. Although the chances that Podemos come to power in Spain are low compared with the options of Syriza. We'll see.

reader Luboš Motl said...

Dear de^mol, apologies but I find pretty much every sentence in your comment irrational or misleading.

First, there is nothing wrong about the financial aid's going through banks. That's exactly the purpose for which banks were invented, and IMF, WB-like banks are optimized for doing this kind of work at the level of helping whole nation. So all this would-be emotional talk about "bleeding to the end" is just populist rubbish. Of course that the funds and banks are trying - very mildly - to convince Greece to behave economically because it's the most likely way to minimize the losses.

Second, concerning the bankruptcy, Greece has *already* bankrupted in Spring 2012. You must have missed it. The word "bankruptcy" sounds dramatic but what actually happened was that something like 100 billion euros of debt was forgiven - the money was donated to Greece. This created a Greece that was totally viable and sustainable, as the following two years unambiguously proved. If something goes wrong, it's purely Greece's fault.

The problem now, after the decades of communist paradise and mismanagement and years after the bankruptcy, is no longer primarily about the debt from the past that may be repaid or not. The main question is how Greece manages to do business in the future. The real problem is that Syriza wants to have *new* budget deficits, to create new debt, and to do so every year in the future, and this is really economically and morally unacceptable and hopefully won't be allowed.

These communist assholes openly say that they think that they can blackmail Germans and others forever. But they will hopefully be proven wrong. They are not big-scale racketeers with aces in their hands. They are low-key obnoxious beggars whose well-deserved hard landing has been accepted by most people outside Greece as the expected outcome.

reader de^mol said...

Yes it is wrong to pay banks back the super loans with taxpayers money, so I don't agree with you. If I lend money to my neighbor and I cry he isn't going to pay me back the money, I also can't go nowhere to get my money back. Banks can, they just pay it back with taxpayer's money through their banking friends in Frankfurt. And that is wrong, because these tax payers had nothing to do with the decision between the bank and another country. And if I find a crazy guy that would be so stupid to pay back the neighbors money, to whom should go the left neighbors assets in return? To the guy who bailed me out? Or to me? Who was so stupid to lend it to somebody in the first place? A smart guy would say, well I give you money, then I'll get the assets. In this case, the smart guy is the tax payer, not the bank. But hey, not the tax payer is granted co-ownership, but the bank.

So in Europe, Banks get it ALL. They have NO risks. They get bailed out ALL the time and pick up the assets AS WELL. And they know this game as no other. That is also why they were and are so keen on lending heaps of money to countries and people that are not likely to be able to pay back the money. The banks will get their money back + ASSETS.

I just let you look at the next video, and look for yourself looking at all parts of the interview (long) with William Black. The whole lending system is one big scam. In America it is typified as the sub prime scandal. William Black explains this system very well: the sub primes were a deliberate fraud, they knew those people were unable to pay back the loans, and is exactly the same system as what they did in Greece:

It has another very big benefit to banks. In the time of spending, banks lending heaps of money have very wealthy balances. They get in the beginning very high profits over the lended money (more lended money, more money getting back to the banks every month). What they didn't tell the public is that the risks involved were big, very big, and that the pyramid scheme would one day collapse. But until that happened they were able to give themselves millions of salaries and bonuses.

And in Spain, where they lend money to stupid projects like Airports in the middle of nowhere where no airplanes land, where a boy of 3 years old could have told you no planes would land there:

But banks would not realize it? Of course they do, they know that they have contracts that will force the countries to pay them back. This way they turn these countries, removing all assets, into slavery and northern tax payers pay the bill. They just bribe local politicians who get away with bribe money, and those politicians are gone 5 years down the road, leaving the country in ruins.

And remember, 5 years ago Papandreou wanted to organize a referendum to leave the Euro, that was denied by Brussels, instead they put an unelected puppet called Papademos (a bankster) in power, not to leave the EU. So that leaves them with no option. They are locked in. Turned into modern slaves for the banks.

And remember, bankrupcy forms a healthy part of a capitalistic system. It forces people to think twice about where they invest and to whom they give money to. And as I already showed you, these banks took on projects that a child of 3 years old would not have taken on. But hey, banks can't go bankrupt...

reader Luboš Motl said...

Apologies, I have no idea what you're talking about.

It's the Greek taxpayers who have borrowed the money, so it is obviously also the Greek taxpayers who must repay the loan.

If your neighbor borrows money and isn't repaying them according to a contract, an executioner arrives and confiscates his assets, placing him in jail if the neighbor tries to resist.

reader de^mol said...

you didn't read or understood what wrote. I said Podemos analysed the problem well: corrupt politicians and banks.

I also said they don't have the answer, so please understand what somebody writes before you react.

reader de^mol said...

First of all, lots of projects were loans to the Government, for example for roads, airports, health, payment of salaries, whatever. The Greek government debt is rising to 200%, and yes, that money is government loan, not peoples loan. The government is paying more on interest alone than on running projects.

But in fact it doesn't matter. The game is the same, and yes, banks did the same trick with peoples loans for buying houses for example. So yes, also people took on too much loans. They gave mortgages in Spain for example to people that were so high, that I know people who told me that even their children will be paying off the debts. And yes, again, it is stupid from these kind of people to get such a big loan, but so it is from the banks. And banks are more to blame, because most of the normal people taking up loans are just uneducated people.

Banks lied to them that they wouldn't have problems to pay back the money because houses would keep on rising. Without the big loans NO house at all. Banks gave loans so high that a small apartment in Madrid rose to 350000 euro's. That's insane if you know what salaries Spanish people were earning.

So again, they KNEW that people were not able to pay it back. They knew that houses were not going to rise forever. Giving higher and higher loans drives up the prices for houses, so they knew they created a pyramid game. After the crisis the banks got bailed out, and because of the debts of the people AND the local governments picked up whole housing blocks for almost NOTHING. After that, of course they rose renting prices... So at last they get everything. It has nothing to do with free markets, nothing.

Outright wrong is, however, that the banks get a free ride after the lending so much money that the people were unable to pay back the debts. AND ALSO the assets. They are as wrong as the people lending the money, but the people lending the money pay it TWICE. They still have to pay back the loans AND pay the bail outs through their taxes. You see how that works?

So again, watch the video by William Black and you might start to understand the biggest fraud in Western history. I might not be able to explain it to you the way he does. Please watch the video.

reader de^mol said...

If he is not able to pay back, the executioner puts him in jail, but since he is declared bankrupt, I won't get my money back from the state... The banks do. With the ASSETS.

reader Eclectikus said...

I understood your text de^mol, indeed it is not particularly convoluted. What I have tried to tell you is that the declarations of "Podemos" don't come from their "analysis", come from a mere electoral strategy.

A quick test of this fact, is that their criticism is fully biased, both towards politicians (they are focused just in the right wing, when the largest corruption case in the history of democracy in Spain is produced by governments and socialist unions in Andalucía), and banks (forgetting that 90% of the banking bailout was precisely to public banks, "Las Cajas de Ahorros", the ones which they want to promote). I hope you see the incompatibility between "analysis" and "political opportunism", as different as "real politics" and "populism".

reader Luboš Motl said...

Why does it matter what the money was used for by the Greek government?

Much of it went to overfeed millions of useless fats bureaucrats in the overbloated apparatus, much went to building thousands of kilometers of mostly useless, loss-making roads, unnecessary airports,and so on. And what? It's still projects that the Greek nation decided to realize for borrowed money, and if they do these things without repaying the debt, they are exactly the same kind of criminals as those who go to a car shop and steal a car. What's the fucking difference?

reader de^mol said...

I already said that I don't like their solution, but I have heard Pablo saying many times that he blames corrupt politicians and banks. And that simple fact is, according to me, correct.

And yes, he does focus on the right, but it is honest to say that the right is in power at the moment.

For the rest I do agree with you, that PSOE is as much to blame and corrupt as is PP. And yes, Podemos is not the solution. I also already stated that.

And yes, smaller banks got lots of bailouts. They were forced to play the same pyramid game as the big banks, otherwise they would have gone bankrupt years ago. Clients would have gone to the big banks if the small banks would have said no to high mortgage schemes. And the bonus for the small bank directors was that they could pick up millions of bonuses during the 'good times'. Until the party was over...

So yes, I would like a much more realistic opposition in Spain, a Spanish 'Nigel Farage', but such a guy is not present in Spain, unfortunately. But I am sure we can't continue on the road we are going with PP and PSOE.

reader de^mol said...

I already said it doesn't matter. What matters is that Banks DELIBERATELY over lend, driving up prices, and that they pick up all in the end: high returns during the rising times, and bailouts and assets when it goes wrong, whereas in the normal world they would have gone bankrupt. And yes, these local politicians are of course also wrong and to blame. But you simply look only at those guys, whereas they are small in comparison to what the real bad guys do.

As if you don't understand that when they pick up a drug trafficker at an airport there is a big guy in the shade laughing his brains out.

What matters is the banks have NO risks, do the bribing to local corrupt politicians and ultimately take it ALL. A million bribe money is nothing for those banks. You keep on focusing on one group of the scammers, and the biggest and most intelligent fraudsters get thus away with it, because you don't want to see them, as they put themselves as much in the dark as possible.

And because they are nowadays in the center of power, notably by establishing ESM, that will enable them to bail out the banks until the last person is bankrupt, including you, and that fact gives them total power. Europe is no longer controlled by politicians, but by international bank people.

And mind you, the same people also control the western press, control politicians (since they decide who they bailout and thus control tax payers money) and they are the ones trying to fuck with Russia. Simply because similar fraudsters (oligarchs) in Russia tried to fuck up the system there too, and Putin threw them out.

reader Luboš Motl said...

Your conspiracy theories make no sense. Is it OK if I will generously ignore this latest comment?

reader Eclectikus said...

So we're basically agree, except perhaps that you consider that the analysis of "Podemos" is accurate, and I consider it simplistic, biased and hollow.

About the banks, I also agree, just a detail, it's not just a question of the size of banks, it's (mainly) a question of the politicization of banking when the bank is public. And a powerful public banking is one of the main points of Podemos... in short, a horror.

Unfortunately we have not an UKIP in Spain. Our hope is that they end up destroying each other in the best Stalinist tradition. Currently the first fights are already there, for example between Pablo Iglesias and Pablo Echenique, an old friend of Lubos ;-)

reader de^mol said...

Of course you can ignore it, but please look at William Blacks vid and to what the ESM really stands for. Read their own pamflets, I guess it should be enough to understand who controls Europe.

And I tell you something, Brussels will, even if you don't like it, keep sending money to 'Greece', even when it doesn't make sense. Until of course, there comes either war or a coup d'etat.

reader de^mol said...

yes, I really guess we mostly agree, but I never heard of Pablo Echenique. I will read into this guy.

reader de^mol said...

and you still have to explain to me how it is possible that banks did not complain when they were seeing that local politicians were investing their money into such stupid projects, and keeping part of the money for themselves. The example I gave you in Spain is far from the only one. They are doing it currently also in Eastern Europe, even after all the fuck ups:

Are bankster really so stupid? If so, how can it be that those people are running banks and get millions of 'bonuses' every year?

reader Eclectikus said...

Now he is a flaming MEP, some parasites change the host now and again (although probably he's the most honest of all this horde):

reader Thomas W said...

You are wrong Lubos, please see:

reader Luboš Motl said...

I think that half or most of the article is right and confirms what I am saying!

Money is indeed created by loans - which is managed by commercial banks - and the overall money supply present for this reason is dictated by central banks' policies. In peaceful times, the availability of money is dictated by the central interest rates.

In other times, it may be affected in other ways, like by artificially devaluing currency, in the case of the harmful Czech National Bank policy. There are other options. Quantitative easing increases the amount of money in the "narrow sense" in the economy, but it doesn't really increase the amount of money in the broader sense because the bonds were a form of money, too, and whether they're spent for something of short-term value depends on the potential borrowers.

But what's wrong is the claim that the commercial banks are not intermediaries. They *are* intermediaries, and this fact in no way contradicts the proposition that they create the money by giving loans - simply because money *is* nothing else than the total amount of financial relationships (loans) that have been created i.e. the total "work as an intermediary" that has been played by the commercial banks! It is the *same thing*.