Saturday, February 18, 2012

Myopia Reigns

A "Greek Deal" will be cheered by stock markets as taking the Greek issue off the table. But, does it? Will Greece honor the severe austerity embodied in any Greek deal? Not likely.

Politicians love situations like this. A patchwork solution that makes the long run problems far, far worse than simply ignoring the problem and letting nature takes it's course.

Greece needs a "workout," not a debt expansion and extension and austerity.

The Eurozone needs policies that promote economic growth and economic opportunity. European politicians are supporting policies that do the opposite. Default is not a bad thing. "Extend and pretend" is not a policy. It is a cop-out.

What is needed are two things: 1) a recognition that the high levels of debt in the Eurozone are not only unsustainable, they are unpayable; 2) the absurd "protection" and "entitlement" programs that characterize the European welfare model are inconsistent with economic growth and economic opportunity.

But, in the short run, the Tim Geithner mentality will reign, no doubt. A Greek deal is reminiscent of the famous "Emporer Has No Clothes" story. For a while, it works, but it has no chance of working in the long run.

None of this will matter for long as the Greeks will not live up to the austerity programs forced upon them by their politicians. The bailout will simply buy time for the present disastrous economic policies to continue unabated until discussion begins about the next bailout that Greece will need.

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