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traderjoe1976
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Actual consequences of a U.S. / Greece bankruptcies?

November 3rd, 2011, 4:15 pm

Well, you see, the common person in the street is patriotic and does not understand what will happen to the Drachma when default occurs. The European countries have already offered a good deal by cutting the outstanding debt in half provided Greece undertakes financial reforms. I think that it is unreasonable to ask the European countries to cancel the debt completely so that Greece does not have to undertake any financial reforms and then run up the debt again in order to maintain their social welfare system. Even if they cancel debt completely, Greece will again face the same default scenario in 7-8 years after it has run up the debt again without undertaking any financial reforms.
 
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quantmeh
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Actual consequences of a U.S. / Greece bankruptcies?

November 3rd, 2011, 5:11 pm

Sarcozy spoke: Euro can survive without Greece.Lichtenstein spoke: Euro is more important than Grece.as I've been saying all along: Greece is out, it's just a matter of time. WSJ can be happy now
 
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traderjoe1976
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Actual consequences of a U.S. / Greece bankruptcies?

November 3rd, 2011, 7:11 pm

The most important issue is this:Will the single mom's who are doing the pole dance in Anthis's profile accept Drachma as tips or will they demand Euro for payment?
 
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quantmeh
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Actual consequences of a U.S. / Greece bankruptcies?

November 3rd, 2011, 7:21 pm

QuoteOriginally posted by: traderjoe1976Will the single mom's who are doing the pole dance in Anthis's profile accept Drachma as tips or will they demand Euro for payment?i wanted to go to vacation to Greece. before Euro it was as cheap as Turkey. during Euro, they priced themselves out of my plans. now they have hope to see me again
 
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Anthis
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Actual consequences of a U.S. / Greece bankruptcies?

November 3rd, 2011, 7:51 pm

QuoteOriginally posted by: traderjoe1976Well, you see, the common person in the street is patriotic and does not understand what will happen to the Drachma when default occurs. The European countries have already offered a good deal by cutting the outstanding debt in half provided Greece undertakes financial reforms. I think that it is unreasonable to ask the European countries to cancel the debt completely so that Greece does not have to undertake any financial reforms and then run up the debt again in order to maintain their social welfare system. Even if they cancel debt completely, Greece will again face the same default scenario in 7-8 years after it has run up the debt again without undertaking any financial reforms.I understand from the above that you have little grasp of the situation. First, when you have a deal where the lender accepts to get paid back half his principal and its called haircut, and not default, then the hairdresser must have some sort of magic in his hands. The initiative for referendum (which has been canceled as I ve just got informed ) sprung for internal reasons solely or almost solely. ALL the opposition parties claim that the current government lacks people's mandate and altogether ask for elections trying to capitalize on government's lack of popularity. If elections take place tomorrow, no single party will have the majority in the parliament, end result chaos. A referendum was the best option to calm opposition, protests, strikes, riots, even internal opposition within the government party. I am surprised about the mess the word referendum caused, though I understand that through some chain effect the random sheepherd has the power to determine if the eurozone will collapse or not. BUT, the motto "we belong to the west" has been pivotal the last 200 years or more, if it was not today I would have been an Ottoman. People here, of 30something or older, have memories of drachma times, high inflation, devaluations, kissing a banker's ass to get a loan at 30% rate etc. Habit formations shaped during these times, still persist today, the non government debt is ridiculusly low compared to levels in other countries. Many people still acquire their homes or cars with 100% equity funds. Plus, polls show that 80% of people want to have euro, and all parties currently in parliament with the exception of communist party (<10% of the electorate) consider euro as a strategic choice for the nation.A return to drachma will only be beneficial for the oligarchy, they ll become richer overnight simply because they moved their euros in foreign banks. After that, they shall keep on tax evading as usual, swaping favours with government, banks and media, at the expense of the majority. This ruling class must be flanked and restricted, if not eliminated, not being helped to grow stronger than ever. This can only take place within eurozone. Consequently, if the referendum had been phrased properly like euro with some austerity, or default, devaluation, drachma and poverty, then obviously euro will win without question. After than none will have the right to complain, strike or protest. Some sort of social peace hopefully is secured, no war from the media, the bankers that will lose control their banks due to dilution, not even from the opposition within the party, for the next two years when there will be next foreseen elections. Simply, too many benefits for setting up a pseudo-dillema...Last, but not least, I am bit surprised about your comment about the greek welfare system. I wonder, have you studied it and compared with other countries systems or you just parroting the media nonsense and aphorisms?Having lived, studied and worked in few other EU countries I can confirm the only common among their systems and ours is just the name. In other EU countries, even in the neoliberal UK, being a mom (single or not) is a normal job, without redudancy risk. Here the only benefit is a tax credit of ~200 euros per year per child for the average household. Growing a child requires much more of course. Being a single mom, its just bad luck, a one way ticket to pole dancing... While in other countries, being unemployed is not that terrible after all, people can live for years on benefits, here being unemployed essentially means you are f*cked. The benefit is 450 euros for 12 months and zero afterwards. This amount just ensures that the unemployed wont become homeless for the next 12 months. Beneficiaries are only those who had a job over the last two years, essentially excluding new entrants in the job market and people who have seasonal or temporary jobs. The list can be long.
 
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Fermion
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Actual consequences of a U.S. / Greece bankruptcies?

November 3rd, 2011, 9:01 pm

QuoteOriginally posted by: Anthis<The initiative for referendum (which has been canceled as I ve just got informed ) sprung for internal reasons solely or almost solely. ALL the opposition parties claim that the current government lacks people's mandate and altogether ask for elections trying to capitalize on government's lack of popularity.Seems like the bankers realized they had lost control of the ruling party and have been talking to the opposition in order to blackmail PASOK to get back in line.
 
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Traden4Alpha
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Actual consequences of a U.S. / Greece bankruptcies?

November 4th, 2011, 2:11 pm

As usual, Anthis, you've created another insightful post with many items I agree about and many ideas to discuss.Riots: This is the only point where I must strenuously disagree with you (but not violently! ). Riots damage GDP which causes more austerity. Riots damage investors' confidence which causes less investment in new business and less hiring. Riots damage lenders' confidence which causes higher interest rates. Riots are destructive, not constructive. Riots don't grow food, don't develop new products, don't build roads, don't increase tourism, don't boost exports, etc. Quite the opposite. It may be easy to smash things, but growth requires building things. Like you, I am not surprised by the violence. Nor do I suggest that the protestors be denied the right to speak, peaceably assemble, etc. In fact, the right to do idiotic things seems central to the creation of innovation and new ideas. But I am deeply saddened by the counterproductiveness of rioting.Government Spending Cuts: I've no doubt that all governments can (and should) cut waste in procurement and procedures but that doesn't mean those cuts won't feel like austerity to the civil servants and government contractors who see reductions in their hours and invoices. GDP calculations don't differentiate between good spending vs. wasteful spending. Thus, any cuts in spending by the Greek government (even those for efficiency) will mean a reduction in GDP unless the private sector compensates for the reduced government spending in some way (e.g., consumers willingly pay a private company to do something government has stopped doing). Cutting waste == austerity in the short-run even if it promotes growth in the long run.Overtime: Although overtime pay may be inefficient for the employer, the employees come to expect it. We've had this issue in the U.S. with auto workers and sea port workers who earn double or treble the average wage through a combination of coercive union contracts and company's natural reluctance to hire more workers who will inevitably become permanent liabilities due to restrictive lay-off policies and pension liabilities. Many of these overtime workers boost their lifestyles rather than save their windfalls. They buy fancier cars, get mortgages for bigger houses, and increase consumption in a myriad of ways. The end of overtime (due to the business cycle or consumers who get tired of over-paying for products made by overpaid workers) is then a financial catastrophe for these workers. For overtime workers, more efficient manpower strategies would be a horrible austerity measure because they might lose 30% to 50% their income.This issue is part of a much more general problem that has afflicted many of the people and countries in this extended crisis. People can too readily become accustomed to unsustainable economic conditions if it benefits them. They come to believe they deserve debt-fueled wages, debt-fueled houses, debt-fueled pensions, debt-fueled returns, etc. And when the debt-fueled gravy train stops, they become quite pissed that they can no longer have what they never should have had in the first place. No one protests against easy money.Higher Education: This seems to be a major problem in many countries from the Mid-East to the U.S. Lots of parents (and their offspring) bought into the false logic that because the best jobs require a college education, then a college education will give them the best jobs. Like you, I am in favour of education but see nasty disconnects between what colleges deliver and what students need and expect. In the U.S., both high demand for college education and the rampant use of too-easily-accessible student loan debt has created massive inflation on college tuition. At this point, some U.S. colleges charge more for a 4-year degree than that education provides in NPV of differential lifetime earnings (and that was before the recession walloped the employment prospects of recent grads).Fixing this problem requires a much more protracted discussion of the mix of high-skill and low-skill jobs in an economy, the sorting of people into education/careers paths for high and low-skill jobs (a serious problem!), the creation of high-skill economies, and a bunch of issues around productivity.Jobs: The challenge of competing with low-labour cost countries has now extended to a lot of college-educated white-collar work, not just menial jobs or factory work. I know business leaders (ranging from a local 15-person tech consulting firm to global 70,000 person networking companies) that can (and do) hire engineers in China and India. It's not that hard. They can find decent engineers for 1/8-1/5 the cost of U.S. engineers. Until BRIC wages rise (or US/EU wages fall), BRIC economies will grow and Western economies will stagnate.Part of the problem is a deeply held belief that someone should GIVE someone a job. It's not a matter of giving jobs, no one is entitled to a job, and the notion that governments (or companies) can provide lifetime employment is both increasingly wrong and increasingly unsustainable. If the unemployed wait to be given jobs, they will be waiting a very long time.What frustrates me so much is not the gap between haves and have nots, but the senseless gap between unemployed labour and unemployed capital. Tons of people are unemployed right now, especially among our most youthful, energetic, and educated citizens. Similarly, tons of capital is unemployed right now, earning squat on potentially-worthless sovereign bonds. If those unemployed grads banded together to create a compelling plans for all the wonderful things they could build and sell, I'd bet that a fair number of them could form new companies and gain funding from all that surplus capital. For example, I'd wager that those unemployed Greek grads know far more about what Greek consumers want than do faceless global corporations with their cheap BRIC employees. I'd rather see these protestors "occupying" retail shelves and online businesses with exciting new products and services rather than mindlessly chanting and burning. Sure, maybe it's easier to riot and it's more emotionally satisfying to use physical violence to revenge perceived economic violence. But that physical violence will only worsen the rioter's prospects for a job and diminish their prospects for a better future. If people wait for governments and companies to give them jobs, then they will be disappointed. Instead, if the Greeks (and Americans) want jobs they will have to build them themselves. If these disaffected youth spent more energy making their own jobs and less energy whining about the lack of a future, they'd have both jobs and a future.
Last edited by Traden4Alpha on November 3rd, 2011, 11:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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Fermion
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Actual consequences of a U.S. / Greece bankruptcies?

November 4th, 2011, 3:43 pm

QuoteOriginally posted by: Traden4AlphaRiots: This is the only point where I must strenuously disagree with you (but not violently! ). Riots damage GDP which causes more austerity. Riots damage investors' confidence which causes less investment in new business and less hiring. Riots damage lenders' confidence which causes higher interest rates. Riots are destructive, not constructive. Riots don't grow food, don't develop new products, don't build roads, don't increase tourism, don't boost exports, etc. Quite the opposite. It may be easy to smash things, but growth requires building things. Like you, I am not surprised by the violence. Nor do I suggest that the protestors be denied the right to speak, peaceably assemble, etc. In fact, the right to do idiotic things seems central to the creation of innovation and new ideas. But I am deeply saddened by the counterproductiveness of rioting.But apparently not by the counter-productiveness of the policies that lead to riots. Often rioting is the inevitable result when speech and peaceful assembly are ignored. Nevertheless, I agree rioting is never as productive as organized revolt.QuotePart of the problem is a deeply held belief that someone should GIVE someone a job. It's not a matter of giving jobs, no one is entitled to a job, and the notion that governments (or companies) can provide lifetime employment is both increasingly wrong and increasingly unsustainable.If no one is entitled to a job, then no one is entitled to control the economy in such a way that they have no other way to earn a living. It is indeed the role of government to ensure that everyone has such a means and to make sure that private companies can't prevent it.QuoteIf the unemployed wait to be given jobs, they will be waiting a very long time.So perhaps they should riot? Or would you prefer they revolt?QuoteWhat frustrates me so much is not the gap between haves and have nots, but the senseless gap between unemployed labour and unemployed capital. Tons of people are unemployed right now, especially among our most youthful, energetic, and educated citizens. Similarly, tons of capital is unemployed right now, earning squat on potentially-worthless sovereign bonds. If those unemployed grads banded together to create a compelling plans for all the wonderful things they could build and sell, I'd bet that a fair number of them could form new companies and gain funding from all that surplus capital.Yes, it's so easy for ordinary folk with big ideas to get their hands on that "surplus" (you mean confiscated) capital. Not!QuoteFor example, I'd wager that those unemployed Greek grads know far more about what Greek consumers want than do faceless global corporations with their cheap BRIC employees. I'd rather see these protestors "occupying" retail shelves and online businesses with exciting new products and services rather than mindlessly chanting and burning. Even when no one has the income to be able to buy those exciting new products? QuoteSure, maybe it's easier to riot and it's more emotionally satisfying to use physical violence to revenge perceived economic violence. But that physical violence will only worsen the rioter's prospects for a job and diminish their prospects for a better future. If people wait for governments and companies to give them jobs, then they will be disappointed. Instead, if the Greeks (and Americans) want jobs they will have to build them themselves. If these disaffected youth spent more energy making their own jobs and less energy whining about the lack of a future, they'd have both jobs and a future.Or overthrowing governments and corporations that either deny them that possibility or narrow the possibilities so much that it is the effectively the same thing.
 
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Actual consequences of a U.S. / Greece bankruptcies?

November 4th, 2011, 3:50 pm

QuoteOriginally posted by: FermionQuoteOriginally posted by: Anthis<The initiative for referendum (which has been canceled as I ve just got informed ) sprung for internal reasons solely or almost solely. ALL the opposition parties claim that the current government lacks people's mandate and altogether ask for elections trying to capitalize on government's lack of popularity.Seems like the bankers realized they had lost control of the ruling party and have been talking to the opposition in order to blackmail PASOK to get back in line.Are "The Colonels" waiting in the wings to take over again if the bankers don't get their way? Will Mikis Theodorakis, the composer of Zorba The Greek spend his last years in jail again? Or perhaps an imperialist adventure will provoke a Turkish intervention to bring them down again?Recent comments by Theodorakis on the current situation.
Last edited by Fermion on November 3rd, 2011, 11:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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Anthis
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Actual consequences of a U.S. / Greece bankruptcies?

November 13th, 2011, 1:04 am

Riots: Nobody is happy with riots. Not even the rioters. But nobody buys the "dont protest/strike/riot" argument though. Actually what they have to lose? The jobs they dont have, or for those who have them, the low salaries that become lower, or the non existent job security? If they keep quiet the know well that nobody gives a sh*t about them. At best they are just a statistic. Do you think the jobless care a lot about the interests of the elite? An elite who seeks constantly more freedom for them and more restrictions for the rest? Its just allows the powers that be (political, economic, financial, business powers), those who make decisions about other people's lives to sleep more comfortably. But then people will become a silent storm that just needs a sparkle to blast. When the riot will evolve to a revolt, then it will be too late for them. The most efficient way to suppress riots is to restrict the factors causing them.For example, I read comments in international media about our new, appointed and not elected, prime minister, and I grinned bitterly. Albeit as an economist he has a flawless cv, its questionable if he is the proper one for the role. A closer look will reveal that this guy is part of an elite from his cradle, private school, studies at MIT, when it was prohibitively expensive, roles in Fed, in World Bank, before he ends as Central Banker in Greece and ECB. An elite guy, devoted all his life to serve the elite, and never conflict with them. Will he stop riots? I really doubt. For the average voter the new government is something between a coup and a circus. Since he is not elected he shouldnt expect any respect from the electorate. He is not seen as "one of us" be the average voter. Not the one who will clash and fight for the interests of the average people. Plus, the shame that for first time after the junta, a far right party people hold government positions. Government Spending Cuts: When a government spends 1 billion in yearly to hire 50 000 people part of this amount will return to government as income tax, another part will be contributed to pension and healthcare funds, and the remaining disposable income will be mostly spend, consequently distributed to a much higher number of people and everytime money changes hands the government will be getting its cut via indirect (VAT) and income taxes. On the contrary, if the government spends this billion as overpricing (eg contract value of 10 billion instead of 9, because the rulying party must return a favour, or its members try to embezle public funds) in a procurement or infrastructure contract, be it a bridge or the procurement of computers or F-16s, this billion will be either concentrated in few hands or go abroad, most likely both. It wont be distributed to the wider economy, and it will be taxed little, if any at all. If this billion has been financed with taxation, the government redistributes money from the majority to a minority, while if it has been financed by debt, the minority earns at the expense of the future generations of the majority. Even if in a static setting this has no effect on GDP, in a dynamic setting matters a lot. Higher Education: I dont wanna imagine, what would have happened here if we had the US higher education system where students have to pay their tuition and graduates start their lives with a huge debt burden. Here universities are public by constitution, tuition and books are free, and students whose family income is below a certain threshold can have free accomodation and meals. The logic is to grant equal access to higher education to the most competent ones, irrespective of class and income. Jobs: I am rather convinced that the competition with low labour cost countries is just another fairy tale. I dont think the Greek, Italian or Spanish worker, blue or white collar, or jobseeker has anything to do with the Bulgarian or Chinese worker. All of them swim in the same pool of shit. Obviously the Chinese worker will not work for ever from sunrise to sunset for a plate of rice. This supposed competition seems affecting certain countries and not others. Eg I read somewhere there is currently lack of 1 million engineers in Germany and other northern countries. Why the German workers are sort of immune to competition from the Chinese and others are not?Especially when many German products are only partially produced in Germany, some times they are just branded there. Why these workers are paid the double or triple than their southern colleagues, and are still considered productive while the later are not? Obviously not because they have 3 heads and 6 hands. It must be something else. Perhaps the fundamentals of the economy. Perhaps its just the competition between capital and labour. Its the deification of returns and yields over jobs, wages and salaries. They want workers to be employees in profit times but partners in losses times. Privatisation of profits, socialization of losses. I am more and more convinced its a class war. The 10% against the 90%. Or the 1% against the 99%. Probably this perceived and probably artificial crisis, offers a good time for the western nations to reconsider their priorities. If the Greek, Italian or US workers really want to become the likes of the Chinese or Vietnamese workers, I guess they can do it themselves, and restore the perceived lost productivity and competitiveness. They dont need any IMF or capital markets to impose policies on elected governments. But is this what we really want?
 
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Fermion
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Actual consequences of a U.S. / Greece bankruptcies?

November 13th, 2011, 6:29 am

Very well said, Anthis.
 
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zerdna
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Actual consequences of a U.S. / Greece bankruptcies?

November 14th, 2011, 3:31 am

It's hard to understand Anthis, what exactly you think is the right course of action in Greece. On one hand you seem to note that problems lie in corrupt government and bureaucracy. You give examples of overpriced procurement with benefits appropriated by the government thieves and those connected to them. You claim, probably rightly, that Greek leadership is formed from elite insiders. By the way, current PM sounds as hardly a deterioration. G-Pap was so to speak Pap the Third, both father Pap and grandfather Pap were PMs. But going back to the main question -- if the government steals and wastes capital as you are saying, why are you opposing cutting the government budget then? As far as German workers vs Greek workers, it's a lot of things. It's centuries of engineering culture and of general culture, general attitude to life. Basically, Germans as you saw didn't buy into various types of crap other people, like even Americans and most of Europeans did. Germans apparently much less believed in getting rich either by way of miraculous rise of their internet shares or their houses. They didn't believe it's OK not to pay debt, be it to some other country or to their own bank, or just commercial credit that one businessman extends to another. They seem to believe as strange as it sounds in paying debts, paying taxes, and working hard. Anyone who has been to Greece even for a short time gets a suspicion it's a different story in all respects. Judging by your other posts i think you realize this as well.
 
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Anthis
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Actual consequences of a U.S. / Greece bankruptcies?

November 14th, 2011, 1:14 pm

Zerdna pal, please have a look on the following links, think if you wish to reconsider your questions and then I ll reply. OECD average retirement ageOECD annual working hoursSpiegelKrugman, for what it worths
 
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exCBOE
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Actual consequences of a U.S. / Greece bankruptcies?

November 14th, 2011, 1:38 pm

I have been following this thread with some interest and even amusement. Not that I don't feel sympathy for the Greek people. For the most part they are helpless as individuals to control their own economic destiny. There is no shortage of political solutions offered. Punish the Greeks! No, punish the banks! No, punish everyone in the world who has more wealth than the average Greek. Does anyone want to speak up for Kenya or Nigeria? On a global scale, the world cannot consume more than it produces for very long.It is not a left/right question. Sure, whatever wealth there is can be distributed in any way by those who wield the most force. Overuse of this technique tends to depress future production unless still more force is used to increase supplies. Ultimately, this amounts to slavery for someone. Once you have divided the world into nation states, you have reduced the pool of force wielders. Realistically, there are only a handful of nations or groups of nations who can force their will on others. Within individual countries, the use of force is relatively unfettered by outside influence. I don't think many Wilmotters relish escalating either internal or external force as a solution to Greece's problems. But all the gobbledegook about Euros and drachmas, exchange rates and interest rates, austerity vs. more debt serves to obscure those pesky underlying production/consumption issues. I am told that we live in an interdependent world economy. Saving Greece requires such a small sacrifice on my part. Why force individual Greeks to bear the burden alone. surely, if the tables were turned they would help me out. Right? But if I remain skeptical, a more subtle mechanism, just shy of force can get me to pay. So the story goes--- some banks in Greece loaned money to their government. That money was borrowed from a Portuguese bank who borrowed it from a German bank. Naturally that money didn't come from German equity; it came from US banks. Meanwhile every bank in the world was lending money to the US treasury. Ripple, ripple. The US FED can't permit the US banks to fail, so it loans money to US banks to help them absorb the default of the German banks. After all, they were just trying to help the poor Portuguese banks, who in turn were just feeling sorry for the Greek banks, who hardly were in a position to refuse to help the Greek government. You can't blame the Greek government. The voters were holding an electoral gun to their heads. One might conclude that the poor unemployed Greeks were using force to get free money from the US FED. This is not quite true. There was no gun. Any of the intermediaries could have said no. As soon as Greece, or its citizens embarked on a course of excessive leverage of their equity via debt, somebody had to be left holding the bag. Luckily the FED could turn to the Chinese for help, but that was the last voluntary source. The next step is to tax the American people. But oops. America has elections too. And overwhelming defensive capability. What if the American taxpayers go all Calvin Coolidge and send a message to Greece that "you hired the money, didn't you?"It is worth remembering the infamous Dawes plan which sparked that comment. Germany owed France and England war reparations. England and France owed American banks debts hired to fight the Great War. So the idea was to complete the triangle by having American banks lend the German government money to pay the reparations. Then France and England could pay their debts to American banks who have now effectively exchanged French and British bank debt for German sovereign debt. The French, in particular, thought that simple morality required that German reparations should at least pay off France's war debts. What could go wrong? Welcome to the 1930s.Excess leverage means more leverage than you can back up without using force. If that leads to a loss, it means somebody has consumed something and somebody else had to produce it, but not at an agreed upon price. So, who is to blame? It doesn't matter. Everybody who made a bad loan shares responsibility. The Greek banks should have said no. The Portuguese banks should have said no. And so on down the line. At the end of the game, some entities own the actual equity (wealth) in the world. In a left world, it is stupid bureaucrats; in a right world it is rapacious capitalists.In the real world somebody is saying no. Let the Greeks decide what to do democratically. Portugal is out of the picture. German banks will say nein. Or the Greek people can figure out a way to consume at a rate which requires no outside debt. All the fancy talk about how Greece got here amounts to nought in the end. Somebody must absorb the recent excess consumption of Greece. Somebody must absorb it in the future unless Greece tightens its belt. There is no other choice. I don't really care, but if I am asked to bear part of the burden, I'll vote no.
Last edited by exCBOE on November 13th, 2011, 11:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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zerdna
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Actual consequences of a U.S. / Greece bankruptcies?

November 14th, 2011, 1:48 pm

Anthis, are you kidding me. The "debt" forgiveness to Germany after ww2 this article is talking about is formal lowering of amount of reparations that Germany was made to pay. Allies took physically away all German manufacturing, shipped away best German engineers, have a third of working age male German population doing slave labor for several years, that is on top of Germany being more ruined after the war then any country except Russia. I could go on and on, but when there seemed nothing else to be sucked out of Germans, Americans said, "fine, it's enough". That is debt relief you are talking about. Allies could extract anything they wanted, do you think the way they counted amount of reparations was anything related to their actual value? As far as Greeks working 30% more than Germans, it's great -- you have to explain then why Greek productivity is so abhorrently low. But talking of lies, damn lies, and statistics, I saw Greece, you live in Greece. What do you want to believe more, your eyes or statistics?
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