The Greece Deal: Here’s the Money, Promise Not to Spend It

The problem with Greece is finally resolved. After 14 hours of negotiations, the finance ministers of the European nations and the European monetary affairs commissioner Olli Rehn can congratulate themselves for a well done job. Europe can breathe easier now. The Greek problem is resolved, and Europe is back on track.

What was the deal that miraculously solved the problem which many unbelievers considered unsolvable? It was a deal of mutual obligations, where everyone – Greece and her partners – take specific steps, accept mutual obligations, and sacrifice what is necessary for the deal to work.

Let’s see.

The obligations of the private creditors of the Greek government: Lose 75% on the net value of the Greek bonds they have purchased.

The obligations of the European governments (that is, the European taxpayers): Give Greece additional $173 billion in bailouts ($17,300 per capita, given the population of Greece); lose half the profits on Greek bailout bonds; forgo the profits on the Greek bonds currently held.

The obligations of the Greek government: promise to reduce spending; promise to allow monitoring of its finances by the European Union; promise to lower the minimum wage and free the labor market.

In other words, the saving solution for the Greek debt crisis is to give the addict the next doze of heroin against his promise he is not going to use it. Uh huh.

Of course, that’s the way the American government operates too. After the financial industry in the US became addicted to the easy money created by the Federal Reserve and created several bubbles which went kaboom, the Federal Government had a solution: Bailout. In other words, since the bankers got addicted to too much fiat money, let’s give them more to fix the problem.

Which brings me back to the question: Could the government do such stupid things when we had the gold standard?