Thursday, June 30, 2011

BBC Double Think

From a BBC report on Greece today:
The majority of the Greek people are unconvinced by a plan dictated by outsiders. In almost every conversation I have had on the streets the same view emerges: Greeks believe the bankers caused the crisis and that they, the ordinary people, are picking up the bill. The narrative may be flawed, but it won't easily disappear.
The idea that the world economic crisis was caused by the banks is, of course absurd. In other news Oceana continues to do well in its war against East Asia.
Recommend this Post


  1. I understand Greeks' individual reluctance to embrace the plan.

    But then, why do we have to bail them out? (And it _is_ us -- the money for the latest bailout comes from the IMF.)

    Either they embrace austerity, or they can try to dig themselves out of the mess. They have no God-given right to an international bailout.

  2. They should default, or threaten too. As Raul Prebish once told me, "If you owe the the bank 10 dollars and you don't pay, they call the police. If you a billion, they call a restaurant and take you to dinner."

  3. They've _been_ doing that -- that was how they got money out of Germany the first few times. As a default would sink the Euro.

    Trouble is, the Germans have had enough.

  4. The world should institute a Tobin tax and use the money to bail out Greece. The Greeks do need reform. They have way too many tax dodgers and political corruption up the ying yang, but the common people of Greece do not deserve what they are going to get. Not by a long shot.

  5. Actually, I think Greece would probably do better to tell the international community to get bent, and to come up with a recovery plan themselves.

    They could protect the programs they see as most valuable, and then hack away at the programs they value less. Their choices might surprise, but they'd be their own.

    Unfortunately, the common people of Greece DO deserve what they're going to get, because they're the ones who put up with that political culture. You get the political class you're willing to tolerate.