very little quality of life for generations...more like.
there are reported cases of child malnutritions in Athens and other cities, while
Greece is said to top the global list of per capita ownership of Porsche Cayennes
The real problem is that French, German and Dutch banks have lent €130 billion to the Greek Government that they have no hope of getting back. The EU leaders are more concerned about their domestic positions than the wider problem in the Eurozone, and that dichotomy is likely to become more acute as time ticks on.
BNP Paribas is in for €37 billion, Commerzabank €15 billion, and the EU leaders think they can solve what is an economic crises by force of political will. The discussion is not about how to repay these debts, but is more about concealing it and hoping it will go away. Mervyn King believes that the political inaction on the actual problem, rather than posturing about the symptoms, can last for, at most, about two more years, leaving the Euro economies stagnant and the position worsening, with the possibility of an implosion.
Italy’s economy hasn’t grown in 10 years, and it’s unlikely Greece can do better than that, and probably it will do worse.
The desperation to prop up the Euro will be exposed for the folly it is, and the damage done in the meantime will be untold.
It is a brave man who can predict anything with any degree of certainty, and the strains between the Euro countries will become more and more apparent.
This is worth resurrecting a dead thread for IMO.
Do you know what life was like in post war Germany? The Marshall aid didn't see the average German out buying property. It kept the average German fed and allowed German companies to rebuild.
Germany wasn't handed its country back on a plate after the war. It took many years of 6 day weeks and 12 hour days of work by average Germans (who may retire at 68 by the way) to rebuild their country and actually REPAY with interest the Marshall aid they received. The United States didn't really sacrifice anything. They made loans which were repaid with interest.
Greece is not the same at all. They have received credit which they do not wish to repay in full. They do not work as long as Germans (or Americans for that matter) nor do they pay as much tax. I would say it's morally wrong for Greece to receive any breaks so long as they may retire so early.
The biggest help however was the Allied creation of the current German constitution. The true cost of protecting Germany during the Cold War was over two trillion dollars. Without such a massive expenditure by the American Taxpayer, it could be argued that Germany might have been Putin’s plaything. But, German sensibilities would preclude such an acknowledgment. The trillions of dollars the American middle class has spent protecting your sorry a-- was and is the basis of your prosperity. The single currency allows Germany to essentially borrow at a vastly lower interest rate than market without having to actually borrow or even print the physical cash.
We should not forget that when the financial crisis broke out in 2008, about 30% of the billions of American dollars poured into AIG to cover its insurance obligations found their way into German banks that AIG had insured. Germany never acknowledged that transfer of funds that were crucial to prevent the German financial system from collapsing. You should be grateful for all this.
I should mention the Anglo Irish Bank bailout by the Irish taxpayers. The Irish never consented to guaranteeing the German bondholders of our banks yet you expect us to pay 32% of our GDP to speculators based in Germany and across Europe and the US. I find it amazing how you then oppose the ECB from keeping our interest rates low - if Germany had yields above 6% you would be crying out loud for an ECB bazooka.
You've made some amazing assumptions about my thoughts on many various issues there.
Firstly, I'm not German. I'm Irish. I just live in Germany.
This thread is about Greece. I never mentioned my feelings about Ireland, yet you have stated:
I mean, wtf?
I actually think the blanket guarantee was an amazing mistake. I believe Ireland should have created a state bank to carry out the basic banking functions such as cheque clearance and so on and I'd have let Anglo, AIB, BoI and the whole lot of them go to the wall and if they took down German banks with them then so be it: private banks should never be bailed out by public money.
You say Germany was "protected" during the cold war. The US did not station missiles and troops in Europe to protect Europeans. They placed them there to be able to hit the USSR faster than the USSR could hit the Americans. That's why the US reacted so badly when the USSR tried to "protect" Cuba by stationing nuclear missiles on it. Do you really think the USSR (and by extension the US in Western Europe) was acting in Cuba's best interests, or its own?
America looks after America, nothing wrong with that, but please don't believe everything the US does is in some benign benevolent way for someone else's benefit. They calculate the benefit to themselves first.
The point still stands: Germany was not handed back a "fixed up" country in 1945. It was a shocking place to live with hunger and mass homelessness. Germany brought it all on themselves of course, but to compare the suffering of a German child born in 1945 to a Greek child born in 2012 is a bad joke. It is also a bad joke to suggest that the Greeks would work their way out of their mess if they only got a little help "like those Germans".
It isn't really a million miles from what we are taking and planning to do TBH.
This was interesting I thought:
I read entries on Adam Curtis's blog when I can (people probably know his excellent documentaries; his blog is equally excellent), and am currently going through a backlog, as haven't read it in about half a year.
There is a brilliant entry on Greece, which puts the current economic crisis in some historical context; watch the hour-long documentary at the end, am just part way into it, but it's very good:
EDIT: Finished watching that documentary at the end of the article; it is a seriously good documentary, and the events toward the end (detailing the Athens Polytechnic uprising) are pretty shocking.
An update. Inhumane IMO.
The Austerity vrs Stimulus debate is a fake one...what is needed is reforms structered toward growth.
However weak caretaker Govts in Greece Italy etc and weak Govt here too have not undertaken such measures.
Any stimulus is evaporated in the instability.The markets react to the uncertainty of caretaker govts and social unrest as much as fears of bank runs euro collapse and defaults.
Infact the markets have reacted severly to political unrest and elections. They need to reform and enforce corporate laws.
I do think they(germany and France ) have been using collective action clauses and chanelling bailouts through sovereign debt as a way of trying to secure there own bondholders and relieve them of accountability. It might actually simply be cheaper for them to recapitalize their own banks.
Eurobonds are not going to help as they would be destructive to the German economy and to be honest EU debt is still unsustainable no matter where it is.
I wonder sometimes if the closer union is genuine or used as a bluff to get out of requests for Eurobonds. They all ask for things they know they know govts will never give in to so they can be seen to be trying to show leadership and union but cannot get blamed for the stalemate.
It has to be said the current strategy has failed.
Merkel may be right in saying there cannot be eurobonds and banking union without greater poloitical union (she is probably right) but it does get her of the hook as other leaders cannot give this. They all have their own electorate to answer to also. And Merkels first responsibilty is to her electorate and the same goes for Hollande etc. Monti being an unelected leader of Italy has less of a mandate to press her on issues. Which is a shame with him being an economist.
They will all try to get a union that best suits them.(if that is what happens)..as that is their moral duty to their electotrates.
The fact that EU citizens in some countries are prepared to let child malnutrition go on in other EU countries is disgusting to me.
Putting money into insolvent banks is stupid and immoral. It wastes money and encourages people to keep their savings in unsafe banks. There is no reason why insolvent banks could not have been wound down in a structured way and certain banks supported. Perhaps worry over certain bondholders..but certainly contagion could have been prevented that way. No scenario is a nightmare if it is managed well.
There was no need for it to it to be such a disaster.
Putting banks on welfare is not capitalism it is protectionism it is corporate facism.
To protect the banking sector it should have been audited legally (instead of Irish accountants hiding stuff) and partially bailed out. The rest wound down gradually. And slowly along with growth stimulating reforms and a strengthening of banking and corporate law to help market confidence and public confidence.
It has been totally mismanaged.
This is the type of system the Greeks voted for. They sowed the wind.
It's inhumane in Greece when they can't afford all the luxuries of 21st century society - but it's ok in South America, Africa, Asia?
There's a massive double standard at work here. The Greeks lived off credit for a decade or more and are now discovering that they have to repay (some of) it. Perhaps you feel they are too stupid to govern themselves?
IT IS WRONG EVERYWHERE...but just because we can't do everything everywhere does not mean we should do nothing here now...
And we should help everywhere ...where we can
CANCEL ALL DEBT!
There's nothing stopping you giving away your money, is there?
You realise that one man's debt is another man's savings? CANCEL ALL SAVINGS AND PENSIONS!
If debt, and by extension, lending were cancelled tomorrow, Greece, not to mention Ireland would be absolutely and completely f*cked.
Austerity? You ain't seen nothing yet.