The current dispute between the Greeks and the Germans is already determined…
It is written large…
Written on the walls of public buildings.
It’s written in the new Greek finance minister’s macho bluster.
It’s written in the new Greek prime minister’s condescending lectures to the German people.
It’s written in the unquenchable Greek thirst for magazine cartoons of German leaders in Nazi uniforms.
It’s written in all of the expressions of approval of this turn around of the country towards Self Determination.
It is heartening because you see the soul of the Independent and Fearless nation of Greek citizens finally coming through.
And it’s all right…
It’s only wrong that the source of Greek self-righteousness is obviously misplaced: The Greek people think the German people should feel shame for the sins of their past, and an obligation to expiate those sins — instead of understanding that they are truly the victims of a Banking Too Big To Fail economic snafu, and that they are called to pay for saving the German Banks really.
So it is today’s enemy they need to see clearly, and stop focusing on the German Nazis that their fathers and grandfathers defeated roundly and permanently, in the Second World War.
As if to illustrate the point, the Greek Ministry of Finance recently commissioned a study to determine how much Germany should pay Greece for the atrocities committed by Germans in World War II. (The number they came up with, 301 billion euros, was suspiciously close to Greece’s outstanding debt.) This study did not make it more likely that Germany would pay Greece reparations: just the reverse. It enraged the German politicians whose indulgence the Greek government now seeks. But it still served its purpose — to remind everyone that the Greek people still insist on their own righteousness.
The new Greek government is fighting to survive but at the same time it is fighting the systemic corruption at the highest levels of the Eurozone, the unwillingness of Greeks to pay taxes, the inside resistance to reform, and the general corruption, but it is making headway because of it’s vast popular mandate.
But never mind all that… they fight often flailing at windmills but they forget to address the real root cause of the economic problems of the country. They forget to identify and share with the people widely the knowledge that because the corrupt Barrosso administration obedient to Germany, along with the Eurozone’s ECB, chose to save the German Banks that were massively exposed to the Sovereign Bonds [non-prudent] by throwing the whole of Greece into the cauldron of fire [or rather the Spartan death pit named Keadas] — this whole Greek crisis came to being.
Saving the German banker-wankers who assumed that investing in Sovereign Bonds carried no risk is a delusion when we have to follow racists remarks and deformed ideas in order to collectively punish a People for the profligacy of the few. Even in bloody fighting war the Geneva Accords prohibit “Collective punishment” but in undeclared Economic war — who cares is this is a worrisome event…
Knowledge is power, and that “knowledge” has to be communicated to the new guard of Greece. Power unfortunately is not knowledge — and that has to be remembered by the New guard as well…
Change is slow in the making, and deep economic intelligence is in rather short supply, but one only hopes that Greeks will persevere.
But there is a spate of Good News in that the Greek people started dancing all over again. Hope and Happiness is now shared throughout.
Hope is everywhere you turn in Greece.
And you now see that ordinary feelings of self-preservation have been suspended.
That is a good signal of the Wisdom of the Crowds that better days are up ahead.
The willingness of the Greeks to vote into power an independent political party bent on antagonizing their creditors, and standing up for what’s right — is the most obvious example.
But there are others.
For instance, every week comes some report of Greek people pulling a few billions of euros out of their banks, presumably to move it to safer banks based in Germany and Switzerland. That isn’t surprising; what’s shocking is that there are still savings to withdraw from Greek banks.
On the face of it the decision is binary, except it isn’t.
Greeks understand that this is not a zero sum game. Not by a long shot…
Every Greek knows that there is a very real possibility that Greece will leave the euro. And they also know that if that happens, the euros in Greek bank accounts will become, overnight, new drachmas, and maybe worth half of what they were valued the day before. The risk is real — and yet there are, by last count, 140 billion or so euros ($160 billion) still on deposit with the Greek banks, earning roughly 1.5 percent annual interest.
The classical and yet faulty economic actor best interest Theory, would indicate that if Greece were to exit the euro zone tomorrow, roughly 70 billion euros of Greek savings that might have been preserved with a phone call, would go poof. But the collective wisdom says this is not the case. And that is News to most Eurozone bureaucrats and Frankfurt banker-wankers, but is not News to Greeks.
For them, the real news is that Greeks are dancing all over again…
Dancing and fighting back with their collective head held high.
It’s possible that these Greek savers know something the rest of the world doesn’t. It’s possible that they are too lazy or fatalistic to bother to prepare for the worst. But I’ll bet a lot of those euros still held in Greek banks are governed by the spirit that governs the behaviour of the nation.
It’s an “I dare you to do this to me” sentiment, hardened perhaps by seven years of Austerity and Sadness repeated in solemn rendition of the national anthem.
If you want to predict what people will do in most financial situations, then figure out what is in their narrow self-interest to do, and assume they will sooner or later figure it out, too.
But that doesn’t work when people’s behavior isn’t confined to the narrow channel of self-interest…
And we best remember that when the going gets tough, because as Winston Churchill said:
“It is not Greeks who fight like heroes but it’s the Heroes who fight like the Greeks”.