The Bankrupt as Victims

One of the amazing aspects of our new post-modern outlook on personal responsibility and obligations is that folks who are profligate and take on too much debt are increasingly considered victims to which other people owe something (generally a bailout).

We see this no only among US mortgage holders but in Greece as well

Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos told lawmakers to back a deeply unpopular EU/IMF rescue in a vote on Sunday or condemn the country to a "vortex" of recession.

He spoke in a televised address to the nation, ahead of Sunday's vote on 3.3 billion euros ($4.35 billions) in wage, pension and job cuts as the price of a 130-billion-euro bailout from the European Union and International Monetary Fund.

The effort to ease Greece's huge debt burden has brought thousands into the streets in protest, and there were signs on Saturday of a small rebellion among lawmakers uneasy with the extent of the cuts.

So outsiders generously agree to pay for 130 billion Euros of past Greek spending if only the Greeks will cut their current spending by 3.3 billion Euros (at which spending level the country would still be running large deficits).  And people riot as if they have been gang-raped.  Incredible.

Let the Greeks go.  Of course, this is not actually about bailing out Greece, but about bailing out, indirectly, European banks that invested in Greek bonds.  The banks seem to run public policy in Europe, even more so than in the US.

  • lukas

    But of course people are being gang-raped by the Greek kleptocracy of public servants and well-connected businessmen.

  • me

    Couldn't agree more on principle - the entire idea that it's somehow in everybody's best interest to give the money that I decided not to spend on a bubbly house and saved to the morons who bought into the "it can only go up" scheme upsets me to no end.

    In all fairness, though, the folks rioting in Greece aren't the ones that pocketed all that foreign money.

  • NormD

    In defense of the banks, they invested in Greek sovereign debt because government regulators required them to have reserves and counted Greek sovereign debt as risk-free.

    Much as I don't like banks, they got screwed

    Also this consultant, who writes long posts from within Greece, says Greek government employment is in line with the US.

    http://www.philip-atticus.com/2011/09/public-sector-employment-in-greece.html