The Emperor Has No Clothes

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I don’t think this is going to come as a great shock to any readers of 321gold but the lamestreet media has done a rotten job of educating the public on the dangers of the current mess in the EU, most notably Greece. The best reporting I have read on what’s going on has come from Pater Tenebrarum of You should go to his site daily, it’s very good.

There are two very important concepts that I want to talk about in this piece. The first is that all loans get paid. ALL LOANS GET PAID. If not by the borrower, then by the lender. Greece is a serial deadbeat. Tax evasion is a national sport. In Athens, taxes have been paid on about 300 swimming pools. Google Earth reveals over 17,000 pools in the city, all owned by people claiming to make less than 35,000 Euros a year.

The EU paid most of the cost for an underground system for the 2004 Olympics. Tickets for the subway are on an honor basis, and most Greeks simply don’t pay. The average wage for workers on the tube is about $100,000; three times the pay in the private sector. The company brings in about $128 million in revenue yearly with costs of $800 million. No wonder the Greeks are in the street rioting, they have a sweet deal going and want the good times to continue.

The EU has already turned over 110 billion Euros and is preparing to dump another 110 billion Euros down into the cesspool that is Greek finance. The money will never be paid back; Greece doesn’t pay their bills. They want the rest of the EU to pay their bills.

The lamestreet media suggests the problems are over for Greece once this latest loan is in place. Nothing could be further from the truth. Greece has done nothing to get their finances in order and they will consume just as long as anyone is dumb enough to hand them money.

The second major point that I want to make is that we focus on taxes collected when we should focus on just how much the government spends. That’s just as true of the US as it is of Greece. Everything any government spends will ultimately become a tax. It can be a direct tax in the form of income taxes or VAT or sales taxes or Corporate income taxes. But the money spent by the government all has to be collected in one form or another. Inflation is a tax, default and destruction of pensions is a tax, excess printing of money is a tax.

Here are some numbers that should jump off the page at you. These are charts showing the current yield on 2-year and 10-year notes.

With 2-year interest rates above 30% for Greece, how could any reasonable person believe they can ever pay back what they owe? It’s simply not possible.

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