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  1. Wealth
June 27, 2011

Beware Greeks Bearing Gilts

By Spear's

With the Greek tragedy unfolding in Athens, it’s time to go back to the classics and dust off those old words of wisdom

With the Greek tragedy unfolding in Athens, it’s time to go back to the classics and dust off those old words of wisdom, with new translations that reflect the latest improvements in that ancient art, as in:

        Timeo Danaos et dona ferentes.
        I fear the Greeks bearing Gilts.

Or, perhaps, that wisest of old adages:

        Si nihil habes, nihil cum eo facere potes.
        If you haven’t got any socks, you can’t pull them up.

Ah, well, neither a borrower nor a lender be, advised the Bard about credit cards, as he foresaw the introduction of Barclaycard four hundred years before the event.

And indeed, Greece is like a drunken sailor on a three-day pass, who’s maxed out on his €110.0 billion credit card limit without making any repayments, and then the bank offers him another card with a €120.0 billion limit, but forgets to ask for the first €110.0 billion back! Now the central bankers are asking what assets he’s got, and the answer is not good: a few old relics, aeroplanes left over from the bankruptcy of Olympic Airways, cement plants and pot-holed toll-roads, the sort of investments that fell by the roadside decades ago.

The idea that this load of second-hand Greek-owned assets is worth €50.0 billion is a bad joke. (I once financed a Greek with a successful acquisition in Birmingham; he was delighted, and exclaimed on completion: “Brand new equipment – ten years old!”)

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The villains in all this nonsense are not the Greeks, bless the socks they won’t shortly have, but the rational constructivist dreams of the euro-elite politicians and their unelected bureaucrats who are prepared to ride roughshod over the best interests of the people they are meant to protect.

Stop dreaming you rationalist idiots, and start thinking about the 45% youth unemployment in Spain and all over the EU: they are los Indignados, Les Indignés, the Indignant Ones, and they are indignant with you lot smugly sitting in Brussels on your untaxed salaries, your gross expenses and your gold-plated pensions.

And now these locusts are out to destroy Greece and seize her assets to keep their uncosted dream – of more centralised power and tax-free salaries and expenses and pensions – alive at the expense of all the people of Europe.

It’s all your fault and no one else’s, you load of clapped-out, politically-correct, has-beens or never-were’s – Woy Jenkins, Boyo Kinnock(s), Oily Brittan, Mortgage Mandy and all those old useless Tory toffs, dead-sheep Howe, Heseltine of the low-swinging-mace and Hurd-Instinct, who last week in the Lords banded together to save the EU Human Rights bill. How about your Duties to the electorate?

[That’s enough rhetoric, Ed. What’s the solution?]

The think-tank Open Europe has done the maths to show what most of already knew, that if you bail out Greece again it will still go bust within two years and cause losses three times greater down the road. Greece is bust and should be allowed to go bust: the eurocrats think that by lending more money to this indolent layabout bankrupt that it will make him less bankrupt and less indolent, as though pouring more scrumpy down the throat of a sozzled old tramp will make him sober!

The new money earmarked now for Greece should be used to prop up the German and French banking systems instead, where it’s sorely needed.

Greece should leave the euro-zone now, crystallise the losses, re-introduce the Drachma at a 60-80% devaluation against the €uro, and the resultant loss on the Drachma-€uro conversion should be shared between the bankrupt debtor and the blinkered creditors who led their debtor into that position in the first place.

The Greek economy would begin to recover the next day, we could all go on cheap holidays again and the euro-zone would be free of all future Grecian problems forever – apart from the EU’s similar follies in Portugal and Ireland, and probably Spain and Italy and Belgium, the ground-zero of all this nonsense in the first place.

Let any bankrupt go bankrupt is the basic rule of Capitalism, and it applies as equally to a State, Corporation, Company, Charity or Individual, and even to Banks! Even a bankrupt should be left to pay for his own Ouzo, Punt e Mes, Sangria, Campari or Affligem, EU take note.

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