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February 09, 2015

Greece, Germany Spar Over Debt

Get this: Greece wants to not pay back the billions it has borrowed from Germany, and in fact would very much to like to borrow billions more (which it will also not repay, so I don't know what "borrow" means here), and Germany, for its part, would like its billions of dollars back, and definitely would not like to give Greece even more billions.

The EU is coming apart. All of Europe wanted to jack into Germany's super-stable currency and generally positive economic profile. But this was all Cargo Cult. They just wanted the benefits of German fiscal and economic policy. They didn't want to actually pursue the thrifty and responsible habits of the Germans that produces these economic benefits.

So for a decade, what these countries have been doing is spending just as insanely as they ever had, only now they were back-stopped with German currency. Oh, I know the call it a "Euro," but that Euro's value is guaranteed by German banks.

And Greece is now saying: We took money from you for a decade and wasted it, and we intend to waste billions more, and there's nothing you can do to stop us, except kick us out of the EU, which we know you won't do, so there's nothing you can do but continue to subsidize us like rotten, hooligan teenagers.

And while Germany is threatening Greece that they had better buckle down and get on some program that will bring them to a point of financial viability, they're like parents threatening their freeloading hooligan teenage kids: They're not going to carry out the threat and they know it.

So here's Greece saying "F*ck you old man, give me more money to spend on flashy cars and dirty women."

(Reuters) - Greece and its euro zone partners engaged in brinkmanship on Monday, with leftist Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras insisting his country would not extend its reform-linked bailout and Germany saying it would get no more money without such a program.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker warned Greeks not to expect the euro zone to bow to Tsipras' demands in a growing confrontation which spooked financial markets and prompted U.S. and Canadian pleas for calm and compromise.

Escalating the rhetoric, Greece's finance minister said the euro zone could collapse "like a house of cards" if Athens were forced out.

A Greek finance official said he did not believe Juncker, IMF chief Christine Lagarde or German Chancellor Angela Merkel would let Greece go bankrupt, but Merkel said Greece needed to come up with a sustainable proposal.

There's an old saying: If you owe a bank a million dollars, you've got a problem. But if you owe a bank a hundred million dollars, the bank has a problem.

Germany might have the problem here with Greece.

France, a country with northern-european charm and southern-european financial discipline, sides with Greece, because France is sucking billions of dollars out of Germany too and would also like More Billions of Free German Marks Too Please.

France expressed sympathy for the new Greek government's hope of renegotiating the tough terms of its bailout, amid growing international calls for Germany to rethink its austerity-heavy approach to the debt crises in Greece and Europe.

...

His comments--and similar remarks by President Barack Obama --are the latest example of a pushback in Europe and beyond against Berlin's handling of the eurozone debt crisis. Germany, Europe's biggest economy, has pressed since 2010 for tight fiscal and monetary policies as the best way to force other countries to adopt supply-side overhauls to make them more frugal and competitive...

This could turn into the fabled "Grexit," or "Greek Exit from the Euro Zone."

I hope so. This is ridiculous.


digg this
posted by Ace at 06:08 PM

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