Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Eurocratic Mathematics

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So, they've bailed out Greece again. This time investors took shorter 'haircuts' and the European Central Bank will pass its profits on Greek bonds (yeah, right) to national central banks so that it "may be allocated by Member States to further improving the sustainability of Greece’s public debt." If all goes really well (uhuh), this €130 bn 'lifeline' should mean that Greece will still owe the world 120% of its GDP in 8 years time.

To ensure Greece takes the requisite fiscal pain, it is to be permanently monitored  - the sovereign equivalent of house arrest. But the Greeks won't mind the ankle bracelet, as they've had one before. Five years after the 1893 default:
"foreign pressure led Greece to accept the creation of the International Committee for Greek Debt Management. This committee monitored the country's economic policy as well as the tax collection and management systems of Greece."
In fact, Greece has been in default for about half the time since achieving independence from the Ottomans. It's the country's part-time job. And I'm sure the latest reprieve won't rid Greece of its feeble system of political patronage, either. History is doomed to repeat.

So of course the numbers are all rubbish. This is Eurocratic mathematics, the bunting on the facade of a single Europe.

I'm sure we'll all get used to it - unless, of course, they cut Greece loose...

Image from Demonocracy, hat-tip, ZeroHedge.
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