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

July 23rd, 2011, 8:30 am

QuoteOriginally posted by: AnthisQuoteOriginally posted by: Traden4AlphaQuoteOriginally posted by: CuchulainnQuote And maybe Germans will get disgusted with the "lazy" members of the EU, use their resources to ring-fence German banks, and let the rest of the EU collapse.It's nothing to do with laziness. It was cheap lending. The work week in Greece is 41 hours, while in north EU it's 30. But do Greek workers accomplish as much in 41 hours as German workers accomplish in 30? Perhaps "laziness" is the wrong word and I apologize for that. Perhaps the problem is low worker productivity and high pension profligacy (in terms of generous retirement age and wage fractions for Greek pensions).As an economist living in Greece, I can assure you that this 41 hours week is simply an understatement. Its "greek statistics", just the other side of the coin. Such stats come from hours recorded, reported, and paid out to people with employee status. In private sector people work regularly long unpaid overtime, that are never recorded or reported either, either with legal loopholes, eg christian everyone as some sort of manager, or plain employer extortion. The same is valid for self employed people whose population is disproportionate higher than EU average, farmers, fishermen, people working in seasonal jobs, such as in tourism industry. Furthermore, there are people who do second or third jobs, and due to exclusivity clauses, these jobs must be black, consequently hours worked are neither recorded nor reported anywhere. In summary, having witnessed the aforementioned reality, I wouldnt be surprised if the average week hours were higher than 50.As for lower productivity, when the labour cost is cheap compared to EU average, however you estimate it, there is no short supply of labour, even skilled labour, the employer has little incentive to invest in technology. I ve witnessed this on multiple cases and on multiple aspects. Another issue is the low R&D spending, which is more related to the high number of SME in the economy, and secondary to the risk aversion and risk bearing capacity of entrepreneurs.I agree with Anthis. What is written in the press/media and the reality on the ground are somewhat different. I would tend to believe that 41 hours is a lower bound.
Last edited by Cuchulainn on July 22nd, 2011, 10:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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exCBOE
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Actual consequences of a U.S. / Greece bankruptcies?

July 23rd, 2011, 10:39 am

I agree there is no point trying to characterize whole groups of people as being lazy. Everyone should negotiate the best deal he or she can. But something doesn't add up. Where has all the money gone? You can't deny it was borrowed. If it wasn't spent on productive investments or on R&D, and if it wasn't invested in pension funds, and if wages were low compared to the rest of Europe, somebody has some explaining to do. Is it plausible that Greek workers, with no children to support, can't earn enough in 41 or even 60 hours to keep themselves in gyros and retsina?
 
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farmer
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Actual consequences of a U.S. / Greece bankruptcies?

July 23rd, 2011, 12:41 pm

QuoteOriginally posted by: exCBOEIs it plausible that Greek workers, with no children to support, can't earn enough in 41 or even 60 hours to keep themselves in gyros and retsina?They are just earning it the way dogs earn it. By running around barking and wagging their tails.
 
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trackstar
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Actual consequences of a U.S. / Greece bankruptcies?

July 23rd, 2011, 1:03 pm

A few comments in search of some data:1) Based on walking and driving around here, there appears to be a baby boom going on. They are *everywhere* in a way that I have never noticed before. During a recession, cancel the cable TV and...?Don't know what it is like in other parts of the US or Europe, but it's not hard to get national birth rates.2) Are older people who are still healthy working past 65? If not in their original jobs, then in different industries or starting small businesses?3) With the aging population, there is a tremendous strain on pensions and a huge boom in geriatric care, both institutions and home care - staff, equipment and management. This will siphon off money from the government, but I can see first-hand the amount of inefficiency and waste in the system. There are also large transfers from families to this system. If you are entrepreneurial, you can find ways to recycle that wealth to some extent.4) After the vast efforts in medical research that have gone into prolonging life, (but what kind of quality of living?), we may begin to adjust our views, at least for the post-boomer generation (Gen X).I've spent a considerable amount of time visiting elderly relatives in nursing homes and rehab centers and have assisted several people with the process of setting up and supervising home-based care. If you are going to spend over ten grand a month, you might as well be in your own house with better food, cute pets, and dedicated private aides.As for myself, once I am alone in the world and can't ride horses any more, I will find a way to leave gracefully.I am not going to be a drain on society, eating gruel and raving at the four white walls in a skilled nursing facility. **BTW - it is fair for you to ask, "What is the difference between that last comment and what you are doing here on Wilmott?"The answer is - The food here is better! And none of you are nurses.
Last edited by trackstar on July 22nd, 2011, 10:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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Traden4Alpha
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Actual consequences of a U.S. / Greece bankruptcies?

July 24th, 2011, 12:06 pm

The citizens of a country are the ultimate debtors backing any government borrowing and spending. If the citizens abdicate their responsibility for due diligence on the sustainability of government spending, government borrowing, and government pension programs, then all is lost.By all means, hold politicians, bankers, rating agencies, and buyers of sovereign bonds accountable for making stupid decisions, but the ultimate responsibility always resides with the citizens (especially in the case of Ponzi social pension funds in which no bankers, rating agencies, or bond buyers may be involved).
Last edited by Traden4Alpha on July 23rd, 2011, 10:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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farmer
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Actual consequences of a U.S. / Greece bankruptcies?

July 24th, 2011, 12:20 pm

QuoteOriginally posted by: Traden4AlphaIf the citizens abdicate their responsibility for due diligence on the sustainability of government spendingTheir only responsibility is to themselves. And if they manage to rob and rob again, you have to be impressed with their hustle.
 
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Anthis
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Actual consequences of a U.S. / Greece bankruptcies?

July 24th, 2011, 12:36 pm

QuoteOriginally posted by: exCBOE But something doesn't add up. Where has all the money gone? You can't deny it was borrowed. If it wasn't spent on productive investments or on R&D, and if it wasn't invested in pension funds, and if wages were low compared to the rest of Europe, somebody has some explaining to do. About 100bil either directly as cash or as government guarantees was spent over the last 3 years to "support" the banks. The rest has gone to serve previous debt, on overpriced defence contracts, on overpriced infrastructure projects, on overpriced public sector procurement, on government-fed and parasitic entrepreneurship, on a chaotic, inneficient, public sector in general. Of course media have not even touched these aspects, they insist that for the situation is responsible the average public sector employee. QuoteIs it plausible that Greek workers, with no children to support, can't earn enough in 41 or even 60 hours to keep themselves in gyros and retsina?Over the last 15 years the GDP has grown yearly by ~4%. At the same time the contribution of labour to GDP has been diminishing constantly. In layman terms, a young couple, both working, earns net, some 2000 euros per month, whereas the cost of accomodation (rent or mortgage, bills etc) for a two bedroom flat starts from 600. This level of income just allows them to survive, not even survive decently. Unless, the couple doesnt own their home, as an inheritance or gift from parents, is not "sponsored" regularly by parents, thus the wealth of the previous generations, subsidizes current employers, then the only choice is to get a second and a third job. Obviously in such a setting its getting harder and harder to raise children. Two generations back, having children was perceived as an asset, today its a liability.
Last edited by Anthis on July 23rd, 2011, 10:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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farmer
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Actual consequences of a U.S. / Greece bankruptcies?

July 24th, 2011, 12:43 pm

QuoteOriginally posted by: AnthisOver the last 15 years the GDP has grown yearly by ~4%. At the same time the contribution of labour to GDP has been diminishing constantly. In layman terms, a young couple, both working, earns net, some 2000 euros per month, whereas the cost of accomodation (rent or mortgage, bills etc) for a two bedroom flat starts from 600. This level of income just allows them to survive, not even survive decently.It's called a yurt. Just something to think about...So why don't some of these losers pool together with other young people, buy a tract of land, and build a condo complex on it? The thing would be built, and owned by them forever, in three months of work.
 
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Anthis
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Actual consequences of a U.S. / Greece bankruptcies?

July 24th, 2011, 12:55 pm

QuoteOriginally posted by: farmerQuoteOriginally posted by: AnthisOver the last 15 years the GDP has grown yearly by ~4%. At the same time the contribution of labour to GDP has been diminishing constantly. In layman terms, a young couple, both working, earns net, some 2000 euros per month, whereas the cost of accomodation (rent or mortgage, bills etc) for a two bedroom flat starts from 600. This level of income just allows them to survive, not even survive decently.It's called a yurt. Just something to think about...So why don't some of these losers pool together with other young people, buy a tract of land, and build a condo complex on it? The thing would be built, and owned by them forever, in three months of work.Buy? With zero savings, they could only squat.
 
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Traden4Alpha
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Actual consequences of a U.S. / Greece bankruptcies?

July 24th, 2011, 1:11 pm

QuoteOriginally posted by: trackstar.....3) With the aging population, there is a tremendous strain on pensions and a huge boom in geriatric care, both institutions and home care - staff, equipment and management. This will siphon off money from the government, but I can see first-hand the amount of inefficiency and waste in the system. There are also large transfers from families to this system. If you are entrepreneurial, you can find ways to recycle that wealth to some extent.....I've spent a considerable amount of time visiting elderly relatives in nursing homes and rehab centers and have assisted several people with the process of setting up and supervising home-based care. If you are going to spend over ten grand a month, you might as well be in your own house with better food, cute pets, and dedicated private aides.Exactly! We've reached a situation in which medically feasible >> economically feasible. Most people don't earn in a lifetime the surplus resources (wages - cost-of-living) needed to pay for all the living expenses and medical care they might consume in old age.
 
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traderjoe1976
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Actual consequences of a U.S. / Greece bankruptcies?

July 24th, 2011, 1:15 pm

QuoteOriginally posted by: Anthis Two generations back, having children was perceived as an asset, today its a liability.This is tragic. But it explains the rapidly aging demographic of EU population. Soon there will be too few working population trying to support the liabilities of too many retirees. It is a prescription for economic disaster.USA does not have this problem. Thanks to the Hispanic population in USA, there is abundant supply of kids and young people. The main problem is to convince them to get college education and high-level skills.
 
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Anthis
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Actual consequences of a U.S. / Greece bankruptcies?

July 24th, 2011, 1:46 pm

QuoteOriginally posted by: traderjoe1976QuoteOriginally posted by: Anthis Two generations back, having children was perceived as an asset, today its a liability.This is tragic. But it explains the rapidly aging demographic of EU population. Soon there will be too few working population trying to support the liabilities of too many retirees. It is a prescription for economic disaster.USA does not have this problem. Thanks to the Hispanic population in USA, there is abundant supply of kids and young people. The main problem is to convince them to get college education and high-level skills.What are you talking about? I said that todays retirees are supporting the working population, not the other way around...
 
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Fermion
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Actual consequences of a U.S. / Greece bankruptcies?

July 24th, 2011, 2:06 pm

QuoteOriginally posted by: Traden4AlphaQuoteOriginally posted by: trackstar.....3) With the aging population, there is a tremendous strain on pensions and a huge boom in geriatric care, both institutions and home care - staff, equipment and management. This will siphon off money from the government, but I can see first-hand the amount of inefficiency and waste in the system. There are also large transfers from families to this system. If you are entrepreneurial, you can find ways to recycle that wealth to some extent.....I've spent a considerable amount of time visiting elderly relatives in nursing homes and rehab centers and have assisted several people with the process of setting up and supervising home-based care. If you are going to spend over ten grand a month, you might as well be in your own house with better food, cute pets, and dedicated private aides.Exactly! We've reached a situation in which medically feasible >> economically feasible. I knew I could trust you to miss the point. TS was talking about inefficiency, not feasible cost. On top of that we need to understand that elders are extremely vulnerable to being scammed by service providers who over-charge and fail to provide services paid for. We have a collective social responsibility to protect the most vulnerable amongst us. Sure, a certain responsibility falls on families, but not all elders have supportive families and families are, like other consumers or workers, a bunch of disorganized units unlikely or unable to act collectively and with many other responsibilities calling on their time and energy. Government responsibility is by far the cheapest and most effective option -- as long as there is a government with the will (not possible under capitalism, of course). QuoteMost people don't earn in a lifetime the surplus resources (wages - cost-of-living) needed to pay for all the living expenses and medical care they might consume in old age.Capitalism doesn't permit that for the majority of people. In the last few decades, in particular, the Reagan/Bush/Clinton/Bush give-away to banks, credit card companies, defense contractors and oil companies and the highest earners has resulted in an income gap that has widened so much that only the very rich have enough savings to support a comfortable retirement.
 
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rmax
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Actual consequences of a U.S. / Greece bankruptcies?

August 6th, 2011, 5:42 am

QuoteOriginally posted by: rmaxI am no economist, but:Greece1. Greece defaults will result in a large amount of instability due to the number of people holding Greek debt.2. Greece will not be able to raise finances - the only way out of hock is inflation3. Interbank interest rates might be low, but to any retail side rates will have a huge factor of increase due to credit risk4. Infrastructure cannot be renewed due to no public funding5. Food prices go up, riots, unemploymentUS1. We are all fucked.2. No we are really are3. I am not a big fan of the US, but we better start learning Mandarin4. You think you are going to have issues when negotiating the price of an instrument because the implicit assumption is that T-Bills are AAA, that is going to be like going down to the chemists on the scale of the universe5. Robert Peston becomes PM6. We are still fucked7. FuckedS&P downgrade US to AAA
 
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CrashedMint
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Actual consequences of a U.S. / Greece bankruptcies?

August 6th, 2011, 10:52 am

So now that T-Bills are AA+, what exactly happens to the other products that derive their price in part from the fact that tbill=safe?
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