Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Hugh Hendry debating economists and ambassadors on the Euro and Greece. Loan sharking in the EU.

Hugh Hendry, in the guise of the evil speculator debates Stiglitz and the Spanish ambassador to the UK on the current situation in Greece.    The Greek situation is a mess and in my opinion a 'bailout' would create a tremendous moral hazard.  Ireland, Spain, and Portugal would all scream foul and demand their own cash / backstop.    Only if the bailout includes draconian spending cuts and severe punishment for failure would it actually solve the problem.  Considering we are talking about Greece which has a 200 year history of reneging on its debt the odds drop by quite a bit of a sucessful workout.

Even if you could get the Greeks to promise to spending cuts, would they follow through with it?  The Germans (presumed donor) could agree to purchase Greek debt ONLY AFTER they cut their budget each and every year until the have a balanced budget.  No balanced budget, no more debt buys by Germany.  Perhaps the Germans could attach a percentage of  EU funds flowing to Greece as their payment source? 

Even better, take the title to a few Greek Islands as collateral.  Don't pay up, you get an island (or 20 or so) 

There's some great commentary afterwards at zerohedge on this debate. Go on over and check it out. 

ht Zerohedge

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