Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Greece & a Euro-bubble

Anybody else see at least a passing similarity between the situation of Greece and the housing bubble that spurred on the Great Recession?

I find the comparisons imperfect but unavoidable. 

Yes, the banks and Wall St. lent freely when, for a number of reasons, they shouldn't have. (One reason: "Don't sell drugs outside schools, nor shall thou peddle shit to grade schoolers.")

And yes, to giddy borrowers it all made so much sense: housing prices would continue to inflate wildly and paying back debt would be cake.

Thus

blows

your

bubble.

Greece, seems to me, is victim of and participant in what might be called a euro-bubble.

Key difference? The euro-zone has structural problems, as in no genuine central bank, no counterpart to the Federal Reserve. This points to the disadvantages of a confederation, if that's what the EU is, as compared to a consensual — and constitutional — federal system, like our own.

Mind you, I'm a fan of the EU. Has Germany attacked France since its founding? Has France marched into Germany? Has Russia attacked England? Has Germany ransacked Poland?  Such historically unprecedented acts of intra-European restraint, such successful stifling of primal urges, are to be appreciated.

Another difference:  Wall St. and the banks went that extra length in the Great Recession, designing financial instruments that injected poisonous loans into the global system. Was it illegal? Not at the time.  But it was really bad.

No one I know of is trying to package the euro-crisis and pass it on. That may happen — or not — courtesy of globalization itself.


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