June 29th, 2015


Some stuff you should know about Greece before you lose your s***

Thanks to goldsquare for the link to this article, which is pretty much the dictionary definition of sangfroid but a good corrective to the growing sense of panic. Quoting the same chunk goldsquare did, which I think sets the tone nicely:
Bringing things up to the modern era, we look at the period from Greece’s independence in the 1830’s to today. In this roughly 200-year period, Greece has been in default to its creditors during roughly 90 of these years, or half the time. To a person with any historical awareness, being told that Greece is on the verge of a default is like hearing Dean Martin is on the verge of a martini.
I confess, I've been expecting a Grexit and default for months -- while it's going to be a bad scene economically, the politics have looked pretty much intractable since Syriza got elected. They had painted themselves into a corner with unrealistic election promises (out of naivete as much as anything, it sounds like), and nobody on the EU side -- and yes, this has clearly been a matter of sides for quite some time now -- has been willing to admit that maybe the austerity thing got pushed too far.

Everyone's basically doom-and-glooming about an imminent breakup of Europe, which seems overdone and then some. This whole episode has mostly illustrated that the EU, as a polity, is still very immature, and is trying to have it both ways, ignoring the tensions between the sovereign nations within it and the requirements of a large-scale monetary system. Europe definitely needs to start growing up and figuring out what it wants to be, but Greece leaving doesn't mean everything is doomed -- it just shows what can happen if they don't start actually wrestling with the hard issues...