Friday, January 13, 2017

The End Game for Greece

What's next?--revolution?  dictatorship?  The Greek economy is near collapse.  Today's article in the Wall Street Journal by Nektaria Stamouli describes the plight of the formerly middle class Greek families. They have run out of money.  Done.

All of this was completely unnecessary.  When Greek public debt became un-payable six years ago, they should have simply defaulted.  Then some kind of workout with their creditors could have been put in place and their debt would have been totally extinguished. The losers?  Those who were foolish enough to make loans to Greece.  They deserved to lose.  Unfortunately, they didn't lose.

Enter -- Angela Merkel.  She used Germany's public credit to force a bailout of Greek creditors -- an absurdly stupid and callous move.  Now the German economy is saddled with un-payable debt and the Greek economy has collapsed, exactly what one would expect from the Merkel bailout.  No surprises here.  Just more bureacratic stupidity by politicians who know little or no economics.

The Eurozone has no hope as long as each country is presumed to bailout each other country.  It's as if the US were poised to bailout Illinois, New York and California, when their inevitable bankruptcy appears on horizon.  Fortunately, the US states will just go bankrupt without a bailout and the US will survive, unlike the Eurozone.  The problem is not that Europe did not properly integrate.  The problem is that Eurozone assumed member country debts.  Such a policy doomed the Eurozone just as surely as it doomed Greece and will doom Spain and Italy in time.

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