Barry Ritholtz: Not the Greeks, But Their Creditors Get Bailed Out
Ahhh, the Greeks! Long considered the cradle of Western civilization, Greece is the birthplace of democracy, the founders of Western philosophical thought. The Greeks invented the Olympic Games, literature, political science, and too numerous too enumerate scientific and mathematical principles. The first coin was minted there, as was the university education, and the idea of theater and drama.
What they did not invent was Tragedy, but they are certainly embracing it today.
In that way, the Greeks are not so different than you or I. We Americans socialized the losses of our banks, while being so dumb as to leave the profits privatized. (The worst of both worlds!). Or the Irish, for that matter, who like us and the Greeks, were foolish enough to assume the bad debts of their reckless bankers.
Whenever you hear a Bailout being discussed, look to see who it is that is actually being bailed out. It is not the Greek people or even the Greek government — rather, it is the creditors of Greece. These are the banks mostly in Europe, primarily in Germany and France, but also includes Japan, China and the US.
Thus, it is no surprise that Greek people are rioting and the banks are rallying. They are the beneficiaries of the Greek austerity, of the EU’s largesse, of the various rescue.
Greece has all sorts of problems, from their tax base to their economy. But the Greek people are savvy enough to know when they are being raped and pillaged. The media may not get it AT ALL, but the ones who seem to know the score are the rioters in the streets of Athens, Thessaloniki and Syntagma Square.
Greece! It is a shame there will be nothing left of you once the bankers finish picking over your bones . . .