I had a typically rambling discussion with a taxi driver today about cloud computing, the viability of Obama’s tax plans, Dublin’s former cattle marts, and negative equity carries. At some point, he told me an all-too-familiar tale-of-woe about a friend of his who had bought an investment property well outside of Dublin and who was now paying for more than half of the mortgage on the place. As the driver then explained, “its only worth half the price he bought it for… assuming someone was prepared to buy it.” And therein lies the rub! Because if there are no buyers at half the price, then it is worth something less again.
…sometimes, Clov, you must learn to suffer better than that if you want them to weary of punishing you…
Endgame – Samuel Beckett
Below are excerpts from three complementary pieces regarding the long foreseen failure of the policies of austerity in Greece. For the curious, the headings refer to the Three Fates of Greek mythology whose job it was to spin, measure, and cut the thread of life.
Clotho – The Things That Were
Whatever the political consequences, every sensible financial commentator understands that the Greek economy can take no more. The “bailout” will merely push it deeper into the mire. The EU’s terms do not begin to match the altruism the United States showed to the defeated Germans after 1945. America did not pauperise West Germans as many in France and indeed Washington wanted. America guaranteed their security, then gave them loans from the Marshall Plan that allowed the West German economic miracle to begin. Greece has invaded no one and committed no crimes against humanity. Yet the EU, which boasts that solidarity is its founding principle, is forcing it into destitution and chaos.