Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Greek default this summer: implications

Greece is within six months of utter and irreversible collapse. Her electorate will not accept the German castor oil plan. She has the choice of balancing her budget under a German rifle corps, or defaulting and balancing her budget anyway (deadbeats can’t borrow).

By September, she will be in default in the worst possible way. Greece is not Argentina, she is Egypt, or Congo. There will be nothing orderly or lawful about her default. Her banks will succumb, her creditors will be left penniless, the ECB will no longer remember her name, and her tax revenues will drift towards zero. She will be a humanitarian basket case, except for the fact that Europe will be unsympathetic to Marxist defaulters. Maybe UNICEF will step in.

Once Greece sinks beneath the waves, Europe will have to come up with a jerry-rigged central funding scheme to keep the fires of hell away from Ireland, Portugal, and the other dodgy credits. Good luck on that. I would expect the worst for Eire and Lisbon.

How many times does the world have to learn that ungovernable Third World countries should not peg their currencies to anything of real external value? Isn’t that the lesson of Latin America, East Asia and, now, the golden Teutonic paradise of euroland?

The Anglosphere is lucky that (aside from Eire) neither UK, US, CAN, AU or NZ have chained ourselves to this catastrophe.  We’ll get the blowback, but not another Depression.

Investment implications? No idea, aside from bullish for $ and gold.

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