Thursday, July 9, 2015


I've taken heat for stating what all should should have known all along about the so-called Greek crisis, which Greek legislators brought upon all Greeks over many years: What must be paid back will be paid back.

Populist fools everywhere want Greeks to be their Hercules heroes. They want the Greeks to default and stiff the bankers because they have been indoctrinated to believe bankers are evil swindlers who somehow by the very nature of the banking, cheat everyone.

If Greek law givers want to stay in the Euro zone, they must pay back enough of the outstanding debt apportioned over time to reduce cumulative debt-to-GDP to 110%. However much debt that Eurogroup ministers say Greek law givers have up to the full amount will be the sum apportioned.

If Greek law givers don't want to stay in the Euro zone, they won't pay back anything, at least not on bonds sold in Greece under Greek jurisdiction. If that is what Tsipras and his cronies decide, Greeks won't have much of an economy though.

As I have said repeatedly, should the Greeks return to the Drachma, the real austerity will begin. If Tsipras doesn't do as told and if Greek law givers don't do as told, they can enjoy crushing third world poverty under their Drachma.

With a return to the Drachma, voluntarily Greeks will turn their country into a Submerging Market™.

If Greeks don't want to become Argentinians, Venezuelans, Iranians, North Koreans and the like, Greek law givers are going to play ball. Greek law givers will be on the hook for bonds sold outside of Greece and falling under jurisdiction elsewhere. Those obligations are not going away.

Many have heralded Alexis Tsipras, the Greek Prime Minister as a negotiating genius, someone who has played the Eurogroup ministers as if they were fools. That belief is the belief of fools.

Tspiras called for a snap referendum, politicking for a no-vote. Greeks gave him what he wanted, a no-vote. Only in fantasy land did self-confused pundits claim Tsipras would be emboldened with a no-vote, being empowered to dictate terms and conditions to the Eurogroup ministers.

To any clear-minded thinker, it was obvious, with a no-vote, Tsipras straightaway had to put forth his plan. The Eurogroup ministers called him on it. In short, the no-vote meant no more delay tactics could be played.

If Tsipras wanted the Greek banking system out of the Euro, why didn't he announce so on the day of winning election and SYRIZA taking power? Why didn't SYRIZA pass a law the next day to swap Drachma for Euro?

If Tsipras has wanted the Greek banking system out of the Euro all along, why go back to the Eurogroup ministers over five months, becoming a street beggar each time, panhandling for another bailout?

Greek law givers lost any leverage when the ECB shuttered ECB-aligned banks. €60 Euro a day ATM withdrawals with no other banking services seized up the machinery known as commerce.

By cutting off emergency liquidity assistance (ELA) to Greek banks, Greek bankers were forced to close. Closing the banks effectively cut off the metaphorical water supply to Greeks.

Greek banks have much of their reserves tied to Greek law givers. With impaired reserves, Greek bankers relied upon the ELA. Those reserves deteriorated worse precisely because of the Tsipras-led SYRIZA.

Also, there is no way for the leaders of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania along with Slovakia and Slovenia, leaders who helped their peoples financially atone for the sins of communism, to sell to their citizens that Greeks must stay in the Euro and to do that, they must let the Greeks off the hook for all of their profligate spending.

In an interview with Radio Free Europe's Rikard Jozwiak, Sandra Kalniete, the former Latvian foreign minister and current member of European Parliament had stern words to say about Tsipras and the Greeks.
I would say that, of course, Europe has to show solidarity, but that means that Greece has to go forward with [a] very precise and concrete reform program not only on paper but they have to convince Europeans that they are going to implement it. Because I consider that this isn't fair that countries like Ireland, Spain, Portugal, and Latvia -- we went through [a] reform program. Our people made such sacrifices, and now there comes a nation which received much more from the European Union and international society in credit, and now they are saying that they are not able to reform Greece to make it sustainable. I simply cannot accept it.
I believe the euro can survive without Greece. Greece cannot survive without the euro, that's the dilemma. Of course, every European [is] conscious [of] the geopolitical importance of Greece in an environment which is rather difficult to manage and in front of migration waves which are coming from Syria and Libya, and they are also reaching Greece.  ~ Sandra Kalniete, member of the European Parliament and former Latvian foreign minister
Only a day or so ago, Tsipras foolishly said that a "clash with Europe ... will take ... the euro zone down." Greece GDP is a rounding error — 1.84% of the total Euro zone GDP less the Greek GDP. That is like throwing two cents on the ground for every Euro in your pocket.

On July 20, Greek law makers owe US$3.9 billion. That date marked the final call in this poker game anyway. As it is, the deadbeat socialist-communist SYRIZA legislature already missed a major payment owed to generous creditors.

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