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Old 04-24-2010, 06:46 PM   #31
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Default Re: Credit crisis in Greece, others to follow...?

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Originally Posted by Chip_s_m View Post
As for states having their own currency, it's been proposed. Ron Paul is a huge proponent of that type of system. Some state senator from South Carolina also wants it. It's actually been proposed in a few states. Unfortunately, federal legal tender laws prevent it. Sure would be nice to have a backup for safety, though...
Seriously? I haven't heard about it but I'm glad it can't happen. The world doesn't need more currencies. I'm actually one of the few who's happy with the Euro and wants Britain to join. Some middle-eastern countries are also trying to create a monetary union. I think it helps create economic partnerships and stability.


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well, i guess we'll be facing the same scenario as last time: the world would end if it wasn't for governments' / taxpayers' money. if we were to implement the libertarian policies you're so fond of, then yes, the world as we know it would end.
In case you hadn't noticed this whole mess was created by governments in the first place. It's the Greek government that's defaulting here, not the private sector. They were the ones who recklessly borrowed and overspent, not the private sector. The Portuguese, Italian and Spanish defaults you're so worried about are all cases of governments overspending, not their private sectors. Maybe it's time for governments to stop getting involved and start introducing libertarian policies. Unless of course you're happy to keep paying for more bailouts (do you really think this will be Greece's last if Germany just gives in to their demands?).
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Old 04-24-2010, 07:07 PM   #32
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Default Re: Credit crisis in Greece, others to follow...?

That's what happens when you have a common currency but not a common economic policy.

Unless that changes, this stuff is bound to happen every time a contraction/recession comes along.
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Old 04-24-2010, 07:38 PM   #33
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Default Re: Credit crisis in Greece, others to follow...?

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That's what happens when you have a common currency but not a common economic policy.

Unless that changes, this stuff is bound to happen every time a contraction/recession comes along.
Well they tried to enforce a common fiscal policy, limiting deficits to 3% of GDP. But literally every country ended up breaking this rule.

In the end it's Greece's problem. The rest of Europe takes a hit too but that would have happened anyway, even without the single currency.
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Old 04-24-2010, 10:56 PM   #34
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Default Re: Credit crisis in Greece, others to follow...?

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In case you hadn't noticed this whole mess was created by governments in the first place. It's the Greek government that's defaulting here, not the private sector. They were the ones who recklessly borrowed and overspent, not the private sector. The Portuguese, Italian and Spanish defaults you're so worried about are all cases of governments overspending, not their private sectors. Maybe it's time for governments to stop getting involved and start introducing libertarian policies. Unless of course you're happy to keep paying for more bailouts (do you really think this will be Greece's last if Germany just gives in to their demands?).


Couldn't agree more.
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Old 04-25-2010, 12:45 AM   #35
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Default Re: Credit crisis in Greece, others to follow...?

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It was never in doubt that someday the richer countries would have to pay for the Euro beggars...
It is of strategic importance to Europe to become strong and united.
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Old 04-25-2010, 02:19 AM   #36
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Default Re: Credit crisis in Greece, others to follow...?

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Well they tried to enforce a common fiscal policy, limiting deficits to 3% of GDP. But literally every country ended up breaking this rule.
That, and the 60% debt rule (also ignored by pretty much everyone) were about the only measures taken. Hardly definable as a common fiscal policy. And let's be honest, even then everybody knew that that meant less than nothing. It's like the caring mother telling her 15-year-old kid before a party not to drink any alcohol.

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In the end it's Greece's problem. The rest of Europe takes a hit too but that would have happened anyway, even without the single currency.
True, but every country would be less dependant on the fate of others and would have more freedom to act.
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Old 04-25-2010, 11:17 AM   #37
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Default Re: Credit crisis in Greece, others to follow...?

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Originally Posted by Rrrainer View Post
you're right about the revision thing, my bad.

so do you expect greece to come to terms with the harsh methods papandreou has proposed, saving tons of money but (maybe) crippling the economy until there's hardly anything left? will people accept it without rioting like mad?

btw are you in greece?
Greece does not have much of a choice at the moment. Popular unrests are not predictable, so far I have not seen as much as expected actually. US and UK sre different cases historically so it is impossible to just say they will follow Greece's fate just because they have terrible debt dynamics. The political and social system will either respond well or not and from that response their fate will depend.

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No-one forced you to dump your Drachmas and Pesetas for Deutsche Marks.
While technically true, that statement does not take into account the political economy of the situation when the Euro was introduced. The South carried a history of currency depreciations and so on so the ruling parties claimed monetary stability with the Euro. If they didn't join while they could, the opposition parties would have a field day. Obviously the consequences were far beyond the horizon, at a time they would be pacefully retired making money from the public lectres circuit.

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Lose-lose situation. It's very much in France and Germany's interest not to give false impressions that struggling countries can always lean on them for help. What's to stop Greeks from borrowing and spending more even after they get bailed out? They either lose directly by paying or indirectly by not paying.
The IMF type of help is a pay-go system, money is provided contingent on hitting certain goals. Obviously the process carries water and even though it appears as if IMF has a one type recipy for all in reality the recipy changes through time. IMF in the 90's was much different than IMF is today.

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There's the other problem. What happens when a larger country needs help?
A Bretton-Woods III agreement is a possibility. Of course a crisis is another possibility. We will know when it happens.
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Old 04-27-2010, 12:28 AM   #38
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Default Re: Credit crisis in Greece, others to follow...?

Jimnik the deluded free-marketeer still clinging hard to his beliefs.

If governments had taken libertarian positions in this crisis there wouldn't be a functioning global banking system left. The average person would have lost their life savings. Unless they were quick enough to withdraw their savings following the inevitable panic that would've followed the initial major bank closures.

The economic meltdown proves that financial institutions need tough regulation and not the free reign they've been given in the past. Banking is too important to leave to the bankers.

And yes governments are hugely culpable as well.
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Old 04-27-2010, 03:26 AM   #39
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Default Re: Credit crisis in Greece, others to follow...?

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Who cares? let Germany pay, you've gained the most from that shit euro no one else needs, and you've bought most of the cheap summer houses too, after nearly obliterating Greece during 2WW.

So now shut up and pay out.
Pretty much in a nutshell. The facts are there need to be regulations, if not might as well be Somalia.
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I definitely would have preferred Gaba winning as he needs the points much more, but Jan would have beaten him anyway. I expect Hajek to destroy Machado, like 6-1 6-2.
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Old 04-27-2010, 05:07 AM   #40
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Jimnik the deluded free-marketeer still clinging hard to his beliefs.

If governments had taken libertarian positions in this crisis there wouldn't be a functioning global banking system left. The average person would have lost their life savings. Unless they were quick enough to withdraw their savings following the inevitable panic that would've followed the initial major bank closures.

The economic meltdown proves that financial institutions need tough regulation and not the free reign they've been given in the past. Banking is too important to leave to the bankers.

And yes governments are hugely culpable as well.
I say again, this Greece crisis was the government's fault, not the free market. If you think you can blame free market banking for this, you're the deluded one.
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Old 04-27-2010, 05:38 AM   #41
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Default Re: Credit crisis in Greece, others to follow...?

If governments hadn't been messing with the economy in the first place then there wouldn't have even been a crisis. Don't let the negative consequences of government intervention lead you to believe that yet more intervention is needed.

It's not in the best interests of bank shareholders to let their banks get in financial trouble. It is, however, in the best interest of politicians to pass seemingly popular laws, even if those laws are terribly stupid: Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, affirmative-action lending, setting interest rates way too low (or even being involved with setting rates at all), pressuring ratings agencies to maintain positive ratings (to make sure constituent home prices keep going up up up!...oops), a history of bailing out banks in some way or another (see: Mexican debt crisis in the nineties) thereby creating moral hazards, etc etc etc. The politicians look great when they do this stuff because it "helps the people blah blah blah". However, those very same people are really hurting now, and many of them may not ever be able to buy a house again since their credit rating will be damaged for years. At best their life savings and standard of living have been significantly reduced (as have everyone else's). If government hadn't interfered in the market/economy with all those policies/legislation in the above list none of this would have happened. Nice job pols. Enjoy the lucrative lobbying gig as a fallback should the voters ever catch on.

Government interference caused the crisis, not the banks. The banks are responsible, however, for failing to catch on, and yes, this was partly due to greed. That said, it is their job to catch on to this type of stuff so that they can serve their clients in the best manner possible. However, given the complexity of the situation and the fact that 99% of them got it wrong, this isn't something they should be terribly ashamed of (unless of course they committed fraud or ethical violations, which the court system is designed to handle...btw I'm all for revamping enforcement methods, especially since the SEC has a problem with employees surfing pornsites on the job). This isn't to say that the bankers shouldn't suffer consequences, such as going bankrupt or losing their jobs (certainly not getting fat bonuses), but I'm not about to decry them as evil, except for the few bad apples, which will appear in any group.

And the fact that they all got it wrong just proves my point. If the people who make careers working in the banking system, seeing it firsthand everyday, can't understand what's happening then why should we expect some government regulator to be able to? Ben Bernanke is often cited as one of our best economists (his predecessor Alan Greenspan was even revered as a hero), yet just a couple months before home prices began plummeting he was on record saying there was no housing bubble. Right before Bear Stearns collapsed he claimed that the housing bubble was contained and wouldn't affect the financial system. And just a couple weeks before Lehman Brothers went bust he claimed that the crisis was over. Hell, even when Lehman was collapsing the records show he believed that Merrill Lynch would be a perfect candidate to buy it. Merrill itself collapsed within a week. He just didn't understand what was happening. This isn't to say that he's not smart or even that he screwed up, it just means it's an impossible task. We're literally asking him to predict the future and to change it if it looks bad. Only a few people knew what was going on. Some of them were just lucky, and there's nothing saying that the others will predict/understand the next crisis. It can't be done.

We can play whack-a-mole with the economy every time something goes wrong. But frequently we're going to find that new regulations will just create some adverse side effect. A regulation is simply a control mechanism. When a new regulation is created it's designed to control the behavior of individuals or institutions, with the intent being that innocent bystanders (or even those being controlled) will be protected. So when we pass regulations on such a huge segment of the economy, one that is already extremely complex, we're essentially trying to control millions of people/institutions and to dictate how they interact with one another. That's obviously a monumental task. No amount of regulators/watchdogs/enforcement agencies will be able to do so. At some point, we have to just let people be responsible for protecting themselves, and I think we passed that point long ago. All we can really do is to provide an effective legal system to punish those who violate the rights of others. No amount of regulation, however, will prevent people's rights from being violated.

We can help, however, by not complicating the system. This means politicians shouldn't be throwing monkey wrenches into the economy that mislead all the parties involved, whether they're bankers, investors, borrowers, homeowners, whoever. Sometimes shit happens. People get burned and it sucks. But those individuals learn from the incident. Look at the tech bubble a decade ago. No one understood the business models of internet companies. Not investors, politicians, established businessmen, or even the management at many of these companies. They were so damn new and the experts didn't even know anything about them (sounds kind of like a mortgage-backed security...hmmm). Everyone literally thought that a successful web company was one that merely had a lot of visitors, or even just the potential to. That's important for a website, but profitability barely factored into the equation. How stupid is that in retrospect? People were investing a fortune into companies that hadn't made a dime and had little chance to do so. Sure enough, it all went bust. But we didn't address that situation by passing all sorts of regulations on internet companies, even though a lot of people were hurt when the bubble burst. The internet is arguably the least regulated area of the economy. But there's no new internet bubble popping up. The sector is doing just fine. Even if there aren't any new regulations passed on the finance industry there won't be another housing bubble anytime soon (or at least not with the same causes). People aren't that stupid. They typically learn from their mistakes.

And until Ben Bernanke can start predicting the future (and even if he could, would we listen?), there will certainly be another economic crisis, regardless of what type of regulations are passed. There's a decent chance that the regulations themselves might even cause that next crisis. With these proposed financial reform regulations we can also count on increased borrowing costs for businesses and individuals along with higher fees. It certainly won't help unemployment, especially if our banks have to compete with other banks in foreign countries with looser regulations. I just don't see the point.

What's this have to do with Greece? Are they victims of the financial crisis. Yes. But did they position themselves to weather an economic downturn? No. They spent and spent and spent and left themselves very little cushion. Their spending would have caught up with them anyway even without the crisis. My favorite line is that "speculators" are to blame for their problems. Did they really not know that speculators play a role in the sovereign debt markets when they decided to issue debt? What about the speculators that are currently buying Greek bonds (and thereby pushing the interest rates lower), taking on the risk that Greece will default but hoping it doesn't? Funny, I don't think they'd have a problem with these speculators. They have a responsibility to look after their own finances. If they default then that's their fault. They knew the risks involved with issuing debt. It sucks, but they'll survive and will be able to move on and hopefully will spend less on credit in the future. It's not like they're being treated unfairly. The same thing can easily happen to any other country if it mismanages it's finances.

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Old 04-27-2010, 02:27 PM   #42
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Default Re: Credit crisis in Greece, others to follow...?

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Who cares? let Germany pay, you've gained the most from that shit euro no one else needs, and you've bought most of the cheap summer houses too, after nearly obliterating Greece during 2WW.

So now shut up and pay out.
Christopher Hitchins comes to the defense of Germany in his column today. He says that Germany should not be victimised for the incompetence of the PIGS (Portugal, Ireland, Greece, Spain.)
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Old 04-27-2010, 03:44 PM   #43
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Default Re: Credit crisis in Greece, others to follow...?

The motif of proponents of big government seems to be that government has a perpetual duty to interpose itself, whereas the motif of proponents of free enterprise is the vanquishment of any regulatory system. It doesn't take a genius to deduce that a hybrid model of the aforementioned philosophies would suffice.

What's the purpose of engaging one another when the results are predetermined ? If everyone religiously adheres to a certain ideology, is not the very point of discourse undermined ? The notion of a world in which unfettered free markets exist is, well, quixotic. Similarly, the notion of a world in which personal finances and private companies are micromanaged is, well, absurd.

Wall Street is inhabited by wildly intelligent people, yet some are naive enough to regard such individuals as magnanimous and innocuous. Main Street is inhabited by average investors, many of whom enter the market fully aware of the inherent risk involved, yet desirous of wealth. Why should the government reward the cupidity of fools ?

My diatribe has nothing to do with Greece, but I've noticed that each thread pertaining to finance succumbs to a similar fate: simplistic, ideologically based skirmishes.
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Old 04-27-2010, 03:47 PM   #44
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Default Re: Credit crisis in Greece, others to follow...?

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Christopher Hitchins comes to the defense of Germany in his column today. He says that Germany should not be victimised for the incompetence of the PIGS (Portugal, Ireland, Greece, Spain.)
Love the acronym PIGS.
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I definitely would have preferred Gaba winning as he needs the points much more, but Jan would have beaten him anyway. I expect Hajek to destroy Machado, like 6-1 6-2.
Machado wins 6-2 6-1
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Old 04-27-2010, 03:51 PM   #45
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Default Re: Credit crisis in Greece, others to follow...?

i was thinking about removing this gago freak from my ignore list, but now that action jackson has quoted him and i can see what he's posting - what a wise decision i've made last year.

@ jimnik

it's a bit like the question about chicken and egg regarding the greek state and who's to blame. the main reason for government largesse over the last 5 years was the fake boom that made them think economies across the globe were actually doing well. if growth rates had stayed the same there'd be no greek problem whatsoever.

anyways, the guys who come to the rescue are governments nonetheless, not the private sector. governments create a mess, governments bail them out - unlike last time, where the private sector created the mess and governments bailed them out.
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