Saturday, 13 June 2015

The Greek Getty reversal

"If you owe the bank $100 that's your problem. If you owe the bank $100 million, that's the bank's problem." (J. Paul Getty)

As the Greek tragedy rumbles on, the brutal realpolitick of the situation keeps falling between the lines of all the articles being written about the subject. This reality is straightforward; in 2009 and 2010 a Grexit would have been a very bad thing, now it’s apparently very much less so. 

Greece’s tax dodging elites have already shifted as much of their assets overseas as they can. And as Greece’s current finance minister noted, 90% of Greece’s original $260bn bailout was used to repay French, German and Greek banks; since then, European banks have been extricating themselves from as much of their remaining Greek debts as they possible can.

Alongside this detailed plans for managing the mechanical consequences of a Grexit i.e. what about cash machines and currency transfers etc., were written (and tested) so long ago they’re already gathering dust in cupboards across Europe.

So with the rich ok, the (non-Greek) banks ok and arrangements for managing things well established, our lords and masters don’t especially give a damn about Greece defaulting. Yes it would be a pain, but then the resultant devaluation would create lots of investment opportunities, so its swings and roundabouts and the troika negotiating with Greece knows this.

 One wee caveat presumably concerns Greek politics; given mainstream politics has already failed, if Syrzia doesn't work what's left?

16/6/15 - P.S. Chat from a mate helped me clarify a further point; the "that Greek lot are amateurish and  immature" line being taken is destructive bollocks. When the EU elite say this they conveniently forget the Greeks they were willing to negotitate with and lend big muneh too where the ones who tolerated industrial scale tax avoidance, ran up the massive debts in the first place and were actively criminal in the pursuit of their own interests i.e. the EU blame them its no us line appears to be better a bunch of incompetent crooks than folks actually willing to speak a lot (but not all, the WWII repatriations chat was daft, if desperate) of sense........ ahhh, perhaps that's why, given the EU's blinkered and dogmatic approach, Syrzia is getting called amateurish.

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