European Union

Greek Bailout Already Making Situation Worse

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The $146 billion bailout package approved this weekend for Greece is advertised as a move to "stop the worst crisis in the [euro]'s 11-year history," but it is having exactly the opposite effect.

We have to keep the money flowing or these people might go commie.

First, the bailout, which effectively kicks Greece's pending default forward, has not solved the problem that the cost of debt service for the PIIGS countries is increasing. That's in part because this is not actually a problem. The question is not why Greece has to pay such a high yield on its bonds but why Portugal and other on-deck defaulters have to pay so little. The bailout was supposed to put debt buyers at ease about Europe's overleveraged states, but because it only allows these countries to take on more debt, it has not.

Second, while German Chancellor Angela Merkel is taking credit for bringing in International Monetary Fund support and forcing some tougher fiscal-cleanup conditions on Greece, the bailout does not address the counterproductive elements in Greece's own so-called austerity package, including currency controls and cash-transaction limitations that will only slow the country's economy. "This is an ambitious program that contains tough savings measures and on the other hand seeks to improve the efficiency of the Greek economy," Merkel says. That may be true, but there is no math by which you can collect more taxes while reducing private sector economic activity.

Third, the move has only irritated German and French voters who are outraged at having to pay for the wastrelsy of a country that, it is now clear, should never have been a euro participant in the first place. Elections rarely turn on foreign affairs in any country, and the Financial Times' Quentin Peel makes the case that the Greek bailout will not have a big impact on this week's vote in North Rhine-Westphalia. But if the goal of the aid package was to build confidence throughout the euro zone, it doesn't seem to have accomplished that either.

Fourth, the status of the euro itself has been undermined, not strengthened, by the bailout. No doubt some Keynesian Klown will pop up to blame this development on "speculators," "ratings agencies," or the biggest devil of all, "markets." Back on Planet Earth, futures traders, who get rewarded by guessing correctly what will happen to an asset, are hammering the euro. BusinessWeek reports:

The euro has depreciated 7 percent this year, including last week's 0.7 percent loss, as growing concern that the sovereign debt crisis will slow Europe's economy reduced confidence in a region whose $13.6 trillion gross domestic product is exceeded only by the U.S.

"Greece is a Lehman Brothers for the sovereign world," Robin Marshall, who helps oversee $20 billion as director of fixed income at Smith & Williamson Asset Management in London, said yesterday. "A 100 billion euro package is a big amount and it might help to buy Greece some breathing space, but as an investor I'm still cautious. Policy makers can promise what they like, I still have doubts that the Greeks will have the stomach to take these tough measures."

Fifth, Marshall's doubts are well founded. As they have shown throughout this crisis, Greece's strong and ancient socialist institutions can only respond to market discipline with violence. From the London Times:

May Day protests in Greece turned violent yesterday as youths in gas masks and hoods set fire to vehicles, smashed shop fronts and threw molotov cocktails and rocks at police in an explosion of fury over austerity measures they claim will hurt only the poor.

Tourists were cut off from their hotels as thousands of communists, civil servants and private-sector workers converged on a main square in Athens to vent their rage at the European Union and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

"No to the IMF's junta," they chanted as a youth in a black hood produced a hammer to try to smash windows of the luxury Grande Bretagne hotel.

Another painted anti-capitalist slogans on the facade, and demonstrators intervened to prevent him from spraying an Australian woman with paint as she tried to get back into the hotel. Japanese tourists stood taking photographs of the mayhem with mobile phones before being forced to retreat, coughing and sneezing, under a cloud of tear gas.

So you have politicians defying the will of the voters to pour more water into a leaky bucket; transnational economic planners destroying a currency in order to save it; markets responding to those actions with predictable horror; and the few recipients of all the largesse too dumb to say "Thank you." This is apparently what EU stability looks like.

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  1. This puts things in persepctive for how US style protests occur. When the tea party people start doing this, then people can start complaining about it actually being violent.

    Though I fully expect something closer to this over the next decade from both left and right movements as our own fiscal day of reckoning approaches.

    1. Those are Tea Party protests… the shields were borrowed.

      1. Exactly. This is obviously a false flag protest by the Tea Partiers meant to discredit socialists. Wake up, sheep-people.

    2. Aren’t you extremely grateful our protestors are *against* getting free money, and *for* cutting government spending?

      Fuck man, I would love to see some tea party riots with people screaming “Stop giving me free money!”

      We’re so much better off than Greece in that way. Lets count our blessings.

      1. 10 bucks they might say “Stop giving me free money!” but thanks to the Neo-Con hijacking, they don’t really mean it. Unfortunately, the same tools that made the 8 Bush 2 Electric Boogaloo years shitacular have co-opted a populist movement that probably doesn’t know the difference between Medicare and Planning for retirement.

        Regarding Europe’s new red-headed step-child Greece, the U.S. already has one in California. Have you seen those union protests? They might not be violent but they sure as hell are technically saying “Give us more of YOUR money!”

        1. What neocon hijacking? Not in Dallas TX.

        2. You watch too much CNN if the word “neo-con” has any meaning to you in relation to the Tea Partiers. These are the same people who were unhappy with the deficits under Bush and they are angrier now by roughly the same order of magnitude as the deficits themselves have grown. Foreign policy is a completely separate issue.

          Really what scares the leftists the most about the Tea Party is that these are the people who have silently made the country work while being shat upon over and over again. The progressives KNOW that their supporters can’t figure out how to use a self-pay pump at the gas station let alone tun a gas station. If the Tea Party demographic decides enough is enough then the party is over for everyone.

          In short, union thugs, or hippies or race baiters being mad about something is one thing… responsible adults being mad is a totally different matter. What the first three groups do is really of no consequence in anything other than a political sense. But the latter matters in an existential sense.

          That is why the media is desperate to discredit them. The parents are about to cut off everyone’s allowance and the party will be over.

          1. TO: Tohayekwithyou
            YOU HIT THE NAIL ON THE HEAD.
            BOTTOM LINE – TAXPAYERS SHOULD UNITE AND BOYCOTT PAYING TAXES, STARVE THE GOVERNMENT – WE: 40 – 50% GIVE OR TAKE – ARE PAYING THE BULK OF THE BILL. CAN THEY PUT MILLIONS OF MIDDLE CLASS AMERICANS IN JAIL? WHAT THE HECK DO WE HAVE TO LOSE AT THIS POINT IF WE DON’T TURN THE PROGRESSIVE TIDE IN NOVEMBER?

            1. Starve the beast doesn’t work. The government, because it can print its own money, grows faster when it isn’t tied to taxes. We need to directly cut spending, cutting taxes doesn’t do the job.

              1. Perhaps it’s true that the FEDERAL government can largely print itself more money — thought eventually the reckoning comes via inflation.

                But starving DOES work for state and local governments. I spend my time denying sustenance to these two Hydras.

          2. the Progressives here figured that the rest of the world was just a bit worse off than us. That is the only justification for printing so much money. The US is still far,far better off than Europe or the Chinese.

          3. People don’t know the meaning of neo-con (new conservative, or a Reagan style of politics)

      2. You missed the protest by SEIU in Illinois. Protesters shouted “Raise our Taxes”
        http://webcache.googleusercont…..&gl=us

        1. Just in case someone here doesn’t realize it, the SEIU government employees want the government to raise everyone’s taxes in order to pay for their ridiculous pension and benefit packages.

          1. including theirs?

            1. Of course. They take a ding in taxes and retain their golden retirement and benefits. Just balance the dollars.

            2. Would you accept a 5% tax increase to guarantee a 10% raise and a fully funded pension? That’s the problem- they want taxes raised to protect their pay, and they end up benefitting, rather than losing like the majority of taxpayers will.

        2. I was surprised that the Illinois government didn’t just say:

          “Yes, you’re right. You want us to raise _your_ taxes, we’ll do it. We’ll immediately impose a XX% surtax on all unionized government employees”.

  2. Are Larry Summers and Tim Geithner working at the ECB?

    They are the ones who laid the path for the economic ruin we’re in . Larry Summers, Tim Geithner and Robert Rubin and others in the Clinton White House organized one bailout after another of risky Wall Street investments. Things no one really remembers today.

    These are the bailouts this corrupt cabal perpetrated in the 90s, all of them were to protect US Wall Street creditors… giving fincincial companies the expectation they could do whatever they want and never suffer for it….

    Mexico Currency Crisis

    GOP Congress objected to any bailout.. Clinton White House did it anyway

    Then came the bailouts for Indonesia, Thailand and South Korea.

    GOP Congress objected.. Clinotn White House did it anyway

    Then the Russian currency was collapsing..

    Clinton White House bailed them out

    Then came the collapse of the Hedge Fund Long Term Capital Management

    Then came Argentia and then Brasil

    In all these cases the Baby Boomers who took the reigns of Wall Street and the White House worked in cahoots to have the Treasury Dept and the IMF work outside of Congress’ oversight to prop up the sequential collapses so that Wall Street creditors would not lose thier investments.

    This storm merged with the Govt extortion of banks and lenders to give mortgages to practically anyone

    Now these people are back in power. It’s going to be a catastrophe.

  3. Many, many Greeks would like to have Stalin’s dead cock up their ass.

    1. And who are we to stand in the way of that? I say put it on pay-per-view.

  4. May Day protests in Greece turned violent yesterday as youths in gas masks and hoods set fire to vehicles, smashed shop fronts and threw molotov cocktails and rocks at police in an explosion of fury over austerity measures they claim will hurt only the poor.

    God these people are retarded. Does anyone even take this crap seriously anymore?

    It will only hurt the poor? Really? The package of tax increase, spending cuts, currency controls and cash-transaction limitations ONLY hurts poor people?

    It’s like they have actually stopped thinking and are just repeating the slogans by rote.

    1. Japanese tourists stood taking photographs of the mayhem with mobile phones before being forced to retreat, coughing and sneezing, under a cloud of tear gas.

      More surrealism.
      Hey … it’s an anti-capitalist riot. How quaint. I’ll think I’ll take a few shots for my Facebook page.

      Here’s me at the Parthenon. And here I am with some rioters – see the red flags? How cute !

      1. They’re Japanese tourists.

        If you’re at all surprised by this behavior, you’ve obviously never met a Japanese tourist – or seen any comedy act from the 80s, for that matter.

        1. “OH look, an American trash can!” *snap* *snap* *snap*

    2. These are the sorts of people who think that violence and strikes are the solution to any economic crisis, and governments shouldn’t cut spending as long as anyone in the country still has some money. Way to go ‘tards. Save your economy by destroying what little remains of it. When it finally tanks, just blame the rich capitalist states for not giving you enough free money.

    3. They do have a point…..because their assets are still denominated in euros, rich people can simply move their assets outside of the country.

      Poor people always get the shaft in times like these.

      1. Adam from Oak Town,

        If “rich” people have left their money in Greece and can simply move it to another location, that means it was never invested there. If that money were invested in Greece, the “rich” people would have to find a buyer for their investments before moving their money out of Greece.

        The Greek financial crisis comes down to a huge billboard that says “Do not invest in Greece”.

        1. Or loan them a red cent. Jesus, do we need to dig up fucking Aesop to tack a moral onto this fable?

  5. One things amusing about the Greek crisis is that apparently there are huge numbers of jobs that count as “hazardousness” and thus eligible for early retirement (50 for women, 55 for men). This list includes hairdressers (chemicals), radio/TV announcers (bacteria on microphones) and musicians who play wind instruments (gastric reflux).

    1. …musicians who play wind instruments (gastric reflux).

      The stupid! It burns!

    2. The article you link to, to my surprise, was actually an informative and fairly written piece. I was shocked that the similarities between the Greek crisis and our own budget problems were talked about.

    3. things -> thing
      hazardousness -> hazardous

      That’s what what I get for posting on painkillers late at night….

      1. ATTN:

        Please mail all unused painkillers to:

        capitol l
        123 Main St.
        Anywhere USA

        For proper disposal.

        1. That’s my office address cap l. You have some ‘splainin to do!

          1. Your door will the busted down and a flash grenade tossed in at any moment…

            1. Do I get to shoot his dog?

  6. It’s like they have actually stopped thinking and are just repeating the slogans by rote.

    This statement also works as a succinct summary of political discourse in our own country.

  7. Back on Planet Earth, futures traders, who get rewarded by guessing correctly what will happen to an asset, are hammering the euro.

    And a couple a years ago, they were hammering the US Dollar. I wouldn’t read too much into short term FOREX trends.

    1. Given the events of 2008, they were smart to hammer the dollar a couple of years ago.

      Think it’s bad now? Wait until interest rates go back up.

    2. The dollar is still down against the ounce of gold, last I checked.

    3. And a couple a years ago, they were hammering the US Dollar. I wouldn’t read too much into short term FOREX trends.

      And gaming its value through short term deals with Asian central banks, yeah, that inner tube will stay afloat on the Yangtze.

  8. The U.S. can issue debt in its own currency, so it doesn’t face the immediate liquidity risk that Greece faces. But the deficits are no more sustainable here than they are in Greece. Check out http://stopobama2010.com to try to do something about it here.

  9. If they throw Molotov cocktails at the police, I think it’s fair game for the police to use flamethrowers, for crowd control purposes.

    1. Wait, lemme reset my f-stop first!!

  10. Brother in Law and a friend visited Athens once. First bar they went to, somebody put roofies in their drinks – they knew immediately what was happening, and sprinted back to the hotel before they got rolled by Zorba and his buddies. Said stick to the islands – beautiful, people are friendly, and enough foreigners to look out for each other if something goes down.

    1. Just stay out of Athens and probably Thessaloniki. The rest of the country is amazing.

  11. Given the Greek people’s behavior in the face of being told no, it is clear we should support this bailout…because it’s for the children.

  12. I guessing spending all those billions of dollars on the olympics a few years ago wasn’t such a good idea after all.

    1. You can’t put a price on National Pride.
      Well, I mean, you can, but that doesn’t mean you have to pay it back.

    2. THIS

  13. That may be true, but there is no math by which you can collect more taxes while reducing private sector economic activity.

    At a big enough macro level, sure, but its my understanding that Greece has a huge tax evasion problem. Actually collecting taxes due may allow them to bring in more tax revenue even if their economy is contracting.

    1. But if they have to tax evasion that means people will have less discretionary income, which means more pain.

  14. Global sovereign ponzi is teetering. Greeks will get the best (maybe only) bailout offer of the Euro PIIGS. The Germans will not buy into serial bailouts. Next time they will say “no” and will bail out their own banks instead profilgate neighbors.

    Euro:dollar 1:1 is coming.

    1. The Germans ARE bailing out their own banks. One big reason Greece was the first to hit the wall because so much of its sovereign debt is held by foreign banks, French and German.

      By contrast, US debt (for example) is mostly held by Americans and American institutions, who have more to lose from pulling the plug.

      Greece needs to default, and European banks need to lose money. Maybe that will teach them to lend money to a country that’s been in default for half of its modern history! Who stuck a gun to any investor’s head and made them lend money to Athens that Athens never had a prayer of being able to pay back?

      1. +100

      2. Uh, more than half of the US’s sovereign debt is held by foreigners, because Americans don’t have the savings for the government to sell its bonds domestically, and they haven’t quite gotten to the point where they just print their budget.

  15. and the few recipients of all the largesse too dumb to say “Thank you.”

    This is one of the nit-picking little things that bugs me. Far from being grateful, every bailout recipient seems to be pissed off. They all seem to have an attitude of, “really!? that’s all you can spare you tightwad?”

    1. It’s a common syndrome. The charity recipient comes to despise the social worker for illuminating his flaws.

    2. You mean we have to repay this??? Exploiter!

    3. Pas une sou a L’Amerique !

      French response to request
      for repayment of war loans.

    4. It’s known as the “entitlement mentality”.

  16. Sounds like California in six months

  17. It sounds bad, but imagine if Greece still had its own currency. A currency everyone else in the world had to use. And the just kept printing, and printing, and printing.

    Oh wait, that’s us…

  18. The entire world economy is nothing but a giant Ponzi scheme the collapse of which is inevitable.

  19. Greece’s debt is roughly $13,300 per person.

    USA’s debt is roughly $42,800 per person and growing.

    Who’s going to bail out the USA???

    1. True, but what is Greece’s GDP per capita? It’s about GDP/debt ratio.

    2. Just get the Chinese to do it. Say that we’re creating essential demand that their economy needs to stay afloat.

  20. 1. Which comes 1st, the $146b or austerity? Once the aid is received, austerity can be put on the backburner.

    2. Now the other PIIGS can just wait. No need for austerity plan now. Just wait, so the austerity plan can be tied to a bailout.

    3. Even if the economy shrinks because of taxation, tax revenue may still go up. The net impact is truly unknown.

    My hunch is that the catastrophe or armageddon of a Greek default was overstated. A Greek default would have been (or will be) painful, but I think the market adjusts and moves on.

    1. But what does a sovereign default mean to a Euro country? I’m not sure anyone knows. They can’t devalue the euro, and it’s not like creditors can repossess the Parthenon. What happens when the government stops paying workers because no one is loaning them money?

  21. Great article the other day, interviewed a couple Greeks who compared their system to the Soviets — ten years to get the permits to build a hotel, 35 permits and two months to open any business versus 48 hours in the UK according to one guy.

    Giving them more debt now will only make the problem worse.

    1. Something I noticed there 30 years ago, which may still be the case: lots of just-started construction (e.g. a foundation with rusty rebar sticking out of it). Apparently landowners don’t pay tax on land during the process of construction, so lots of things are perpetually “under construction.”

  22. It’s not just the spoiled civil servants rioting. There are plenty of private sector workers in those marches. The average Greek working in the private sector has to live on 700 euro a month, works the longest hours of anybody in the EU, and already is paying huge taxes, in the form of bribes to greedy civil servants.

    Even if he had the money—and he doesn’t—why is he obliged to pay back money he never saw that his government supposedly threw away on God knows what, so some bastard in Paris or Berlin won’t have to sell his yacht? No more than the average Reason reader would be obliged to pay the bar-tab of his alcoholic cousin three states over!

    Our average Greek is basically being given three choices:

    (a) if he’s wealthy or skilled enough, moving himself and his assets out of Greece; or, if he can’t do that;

    (b) Lying down and accepting years, decades, or generations of poverty as he pays out of his hide for the corruption and incompetence of his government; or

    (c) Standing up for himself and his country, and telling the Germans that if they want Corfu, they can damn well come get it, because the Greek people don’t owe them a eurocent–and his own government to put their house in order or be replaced, swiftly and permanently, by one who will.

    You know, I thought readers of Reason would be cheering the Greeks on for actually getting serious about putting the terror of God into their own government. This is what Americans ought to be doing—descending on the streets of DC and every state capital in America in the hundreds of thousands, every goddamned day and night, and demanding their freedom back—right now.

    1. You know, I thought readers of Reason would be cheering the Greeks on for actually getting serious about putting the terror of God into their own government

      But they aren’t. They’re marching to demand Europe keep giving them money they can never pay back. That’s not a libertarian position by any stretch.

      1. I really don’t know—I actually agree that the EU isn’t doing enough to help. The loans aren’t a gift—the understanding is that they will have to be repaid too. If the EU were serious about helping Greece, we wouldn’t be talking about more loans—the discussion would be about forgiving the theft bonds and telling French and German banks to drop dead.

        Of course, cuts would still have to be made—even more urgently, with Greece shut out of credit markets—but with interest payments wiped out, reducing the size of the Greek government to an affordable size would be much easier.

        As it is, average Greeks know damned well that in their country only the poor pay taxes, and only the poor will be forced to pay off the theft bonds. (Rich Americans grumble about taxes, but they pay them.) Rich Greeks, who never paid a cent to Athens if they could avoid it, are already cashing out and moving their assets offshore, and leaving their compatriots to their fate.

        What is that fate? Being ruled by decree by the EU and IMF (hence the allusions to the military junta of the Seventies), and foreign bankers grabbing what’s left of Greece’s capital stock at bargain-basement prices. Our 700 euro a month Greek, if he can’t leave, will have little to look forward to but spending a good chunk of the rest of his life as a peon to the Germans and French, paying back-breaking taxes to pay for someone else’s party.

        You’re right—if the Greek state’s debt can’t be paid, it never will be paid. The libertarian position (I thought) was that it shouldn’t be paid, and yes, the Greeks are justifiably horrified that their government is willing to sell Corfu (figuratively speaking, for now anyway) to pay it.

        1. Theft bonds, WTF. The Greeks SPENT that money, on themselves. No one forced them to, but they “needed” the money so they borrowed it. You are supporting theft, theft by the Greeks of German and French money.

          Of course you are probably also advocating that banks then should control how much Governments can borrow. A government may want to borrow more, but it is up to the banks not to lend these “theft bonds”. Doesn’t sound popular to me.

          The root of the problem appears to be the belief of a majority of Greeks that they can make themselves wealthy by taking and spending other peoples money, and then evade having to repay their debts.

    2. sounds like the enemy of the “average Greek working in the private sector” are greek unions and greek government, not the people lending greece money

      forcing people in other countries to bail you out for overspending is hardly libertarian

    3. Yeah, except that they still want free shit from other countries. If they weren’t for other countries to give them more stuff, they might have a legitimate argument.

  23. Greece cannot pay its debts…not near enough young Greeks in the pipeline. So I’m thinking Turkey will take them over again, do a minor holocaust and all will be well again.

    Seriously though Greece is just the first to bump up against the demographic/fiscal reality that faces damn near all Western welfare states plus Japan.

    Maybe a wake-up call for the cosmopolitan elites? Nah they got theirs and their kids (if they have them) are at Harvard…what could go wrong?

    1. Demographic decline is not much of a problem as long as the per person productivity continues to increase to offset it. Based on the productivity levels of 1935, Social Security in the US should have hit the wall circa 1970. However, by then each worker was producing far more wealth per captia and so could support a lower ratio of workers to retirees.

      The real danger is a combination of environmentalism, over regulation and general socialist inefficiency will keep per capita productivity from rising fast enough. Environmentalism is a particular danger because the laws of physics dictate that increased productivity requires greater energy use.

      You can have fun with fact. Whenever some green starts fantasizing about a future economy which uses very little energy, just ask them, “How will that affect social security and the general welfare state.” They have the cutest expression on their faces. It’s just like a deer in your headlights before you run them over.

      1. Demographic decline in per person productivity

        Vs rise in per person criminality,
        as seen in Argentina; The Underclass
        gets hungry, ain’t _nobody_ gonna be
        happy – or safe.

  24. That picture (above) looks like a scene from 300.

  25. so…

    how long before the euro goes back to parity with the usd?

    it was there in july 2002, had a good run, but now is well on it’s way to falling another 25% in the next year.

    dow jones?
    16k in two years. between inflation, and europeans betting on the relative value of the dollar versus the euro, things will get better, here.

    europe?
    the scale of the greek implosion, relative to the other pots getting ready to boil, combined with their resistance to spend money on the ‘smaller’ problem country, leads one to believe that with each passing sovreign currency collapse, the euro will weaken.

    germans will have to accept that getting out now, however damaging, is far more preferable to the condition they will find themselves in, later.

    1. But the Germans want a lower Euro to help their exports. What will hurt them is the fact that they are playing a mercantilist game with the rest of Europe to finance their own retirement schemes. So they may gain more sales to Brazil or Asia but lose the internal market as the Med economies tank.

  26. This thing in Athens is not unique. My boyfriend worked for the NSA back in the seventies and was vacationing there when they held their last revolution. He had to dodge tanks, machine gun fire and rioters and sneak back into his hotel through the back entrance of the kitchen. Really, nothing new here. Move along.

    1. hmm, intelligence guy “on vacation” in a country when a revolution was going one

  27. Good luck getting the Euro to parity with the dollar. We have our OWN problems with the greenback, namely three times as many in print now as we had only two years ago. Dilution of value of the currency equals inflation, unless the economy is so stunned that prices must be lowered to attract buyers. And in that case, LOTS of companies are going out of business.

  28. “Good luck getting the Euro to parity with the dollar.”

    ‘success’ is a relative thing.

    in a vacuum, the usd looks worthless. but against the backdrop of europe, it looks pretty good.

    20% gold is still a recommended hedge, but inflation itself isn’t that big a villian.

    if you need to borrow, it sucks.
    if you have cash to lend(or invest), it is a bonanza.

    i guess for liberals, it is the worst of conditions, as the distance between the wealthy and poor explodes, but even that brings the dem party good ratings.

    inflation also brings back the idea that banks should pay a good interest on SAVINGS. (this is probably the most critical of conditions that will have to occur, for our long term national attempt at fiscal sanity.)

  29. Standing up for himself and his country, and telling the Germans that if they want Corfu, they can damn well come get it,

    Maybe not the best plan . . . .

    1. What the hell are the Germans going to do? Be very, very angry and write a letter to the Greeks telling them how angry they are? The days when screwing with the Germans meant being utterly crushed are past. Most Germans today are far too wussified to back up their claims.

      1. What are the Germans going to do?

        Look the other way while Turkey takes
        back Cyprus, for starters.

        Declare Greece persona non protecta.

        1. The germans have very little to do with protecting europe nowadays. That is mostly the US.

          1. The germans have very little to do with protecting europe nowadays. That is mostly the US.

            Seriously, we should quit that shit already. Paying top dollar on defense to protect Europe while they get free healthcare (which is awesome, thanks to their free-riding on our Pharma R&D)…

            this brings a whole new meaning to “protection money”

            I say, let the SovietsRussians invade if they want. Those welfare state candyasses can damn well protect themselves. Or not. Who cares?

  30. They have run out of other people’s money and thus are experiencing, although apparently not learning, the problem with socialism.

  31. Its sad, but pretty interesting to watch…Greece is turning into the real life version of Atlas Shrugged. Once you get large portions of your population indoctrinated with socialism and entitlements it’s nearly impossible to get the country back once it begins to collapse. The best thing to do now is just let it run its course so the world can see the destruction that socialism unleashes on the economy and society as a whole ONCE AGAIN! Maybe it will stick this time!?

  32. Pshaw, $146 Billion, no wonder. You need to spent a trillion, that is Billion with a capital “T” to get anything done. Look how well it has worked over in the USA

  33. One point that hasn’t been made: the Greeks are getting ‘aid’ loaned to them by European governments through the EUCB, and via the IMF. Indeed, one of Ms. Merkel’s ‘successes’ is getting the IMF to pony up, even though Greece doesn’t have a balance of payment problem (yet).

    So, where does the IMF get its money from?

    Silly question.

    A big chunk from Uncle Sugar, of course. According to the IMF website, our quota is about $37 billion. Some of that will go to Greece.

    Thanks, Mr. President, now we’re loaning money to the Greeks. What a good idea.

    1. Wow, that can’t be good.

  34. Hooray Steve White, for making the most useful comment that should have been in the main article or one of the first comments.

    US share of Greece bail out:

    37 Billion

  35. This is how socialists always say thank you for 37 billion dollars

    http://www.boston.com/news/wor….._violence/

  36. Incidentally … nice little article about the Euro crisis here:
    http://www.independent.org/new…..sp?id=2763

  37. Still the old, tired, never-worked Ayn Rand arguments.

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