"History is a wonderful thing, if only it was true"

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Greeks bearing Gifts

Five Greek Myths, 2010 Version - Real Time Economics - WSJ:

A synopsis:

(1) This is a new type of crisis. It isn’t. Governments have been defaulting for debasing their currencies for centuries. For the past 180 years, they say, Greece has been in default at least half the time

(2) Small economies such as Greece can’t launch major financial turmoil. They can. See Thailand in 1997.

(3) Fiscal austerity will solve Europe’s debt difficulties. It’s necessary, but it doesn’t pay off quickly. Default or restructuring is neither pleasant nor avoidable.

(4) The euro is to blame for Greece’s financial woes. It make it easy for Greece to borrow – a lot. But the U.K. and the U.S. borrowed a lot too. Good times bred complacency among lenders.

(5) It can’t happen here. Well, who would have thought a year ago that a member of the European Union would be on the on the brink of default. “Taking for granted that Uncle Sam can indefinitely borrow at reasonable rates is a risk proposition,” the Reinharts say.

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