Tuesday, June 19

Greek/EU financial crisis--the short version

I've been reading endless "expert" analysis of the financial situation in Greece/EU for a couple of years now, and have been uniformly aghast at what appears to be the resolute stupidity of the "experts." As I see it they've essentially closed their eyes to the concrete wall the EU is driving into at 100 mph.

One almost thinks the "experts" have been paid to keep publishing soothing, happy thoughts. Why would they do that, you ask? Two reasons, both revolting to non-elite taxpayers: First is to keep the sucker lenders ponying up boatloads of cash.

Second is that U.S. "elite opinion-shapers" have uniformly held the EU in ultra-high regard. All those nit-picky, detailed trade and behavior rules, all that social welfare spending, no military forces worth mentioning, are all things American elites prize. So they don't want to see such a grand enterprise implode.

Blogger Ace of Spades agrees that there's a lot of denial, and summarized the situation well:
Greece owes 161 Billion (billion, with a B) Euros to other Eurozone governments (mostly Germany), and 50 Billion (still with a B) to the European Central Bank.

They cannot possibly repay it. Not only can't they repay-- it's pretty clear they don't want to. They ran up a titanic bill on someone else's credit card, and are simply not going to pay it. Ever.

And it gets worse. Because even [if Germany takes] a 70 billion write-down [on previous loans to Greece] the Germans would then have to extend new credit to the Greeks, and hope the Greeks would pay that back.

[But the Greeks won't repay what they owe now. So why would anyone think they'd repay new loans?]

So the Germans don't want to do that, for obvious reasons.

The recent election in Greece doesn't change the basic fact: Regardless of who won, Greece cannot repay its borrowings, and will not. Spain can't pay either.

I don't see any way out. The EuroZone project is doomed, and no one seems willing to confront this.

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