Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Tis but a scratch

When the bill comes due, nations that have fallen prey to the entitlement vortex begin to foster more than street violence and class warfare.  These states sometimes breed denial once they run out of other peoples' money.   

That's the conclusion I reached after reading about the reaction of some Greek politicians who don't appreciate the futility of their fiscal situation.  A year and a half ago, German officials sensibly averred that part of a Greek bailout plan could involve the sale (or lease) of state-owned assets, as well as, other austerity measures. This proposal did not amount to a wholesale transfer of Greece's sovereignty as its opponents claimed.  Rather, it was part of a larger plan to lift a struggling debtor out of its self-induced mess through privatization of government assets including some Greek islands.  

In response, one Greek government official said, if such asset transfers came to pass, it will result in a Greek boycott of German goods.  Oh No!  You're broke, you can't borrow and you threaten not to buy my products.  I'm reminded of the Black Knight from Monty Python and The Holy Grail.  After being drawn and quartered, the dismembered knight vowed to attack his foe (who didn't want to fight in the first place).  


Above is the clip.  Watch King Arthur's reply to the Black Knight, which could be Angela Merkel's reply to the aforementioned Greek official -- "What are you going to do, bleed on me?"  (Start at the 1:15 mark if you're in a hurry).  I'm sympathetic to the suffering in Greece, but it's hard to abide some of their politicians and citizens who want to perpetuate the drunken government spending and market meddling that caused their mess.  Debtors can't be choosers, but that won't stop some of them from trying. At the end of a 99 year lease, the British honored their treaty with China and transferred sovereignty of Hong Kong in 1997. Life went on.  Perhaps a lease of Mykonos to creditors would restore some government credibility in Greece? 
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October 2, 2011 - NEWS UPDATE - Reuters just released this report on the Greek financial crisis...

"The Greek cabinet is expected to approve a contentious plan Sunday to lay off state workers, and sign off on a draft of next year's budget, in a race to slash spending, free up bailout loans and stave off bankruptcy.

Without the release of an 8 billion euro ($10.7 billion) tranche of an EU bailout, massively indebted Greece could run out of money to pay state wage bills within weeks.  European officials are scrambling to avert a Greek debt default, which could wreck the balance sheets of European banks, damage the prospects of the euro single currency and possibly plunge the world into a new global financial crisis."