Greece

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Re: Greece

Postby apater » 08 May 2010 19:48

Nemo2 wrote:
apater wrote:(If Germany dropped out of the euro, their economy would go south quickly).
Germany's?
Yes, Germany's.
Putting the Greek debt crisis in context wrote:As long as they were buying German and French military hardware, automobiles, fridges, stoves and a host of other products they could not afford, Berlin and Paris did not ask too many questions.
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Re: Greece

Postby Nemo2 » 08 May 2010 20:03

apater wrote:
Nemo2 wrote:
apater wrote:(If Germany dropped out of the euro, their economy would go south quickly).
Germany's?
Yes, Germany's.
Putting the Greek debt crisis in context wrote:As long as they were buying German and French military hardware, automobiles, fridges, stoves and a host of other products they could not afford, Berlin and Paris did not ask too many questions.

OK, just confirming that that was what you meant.
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Re: Greece

Postby parvus » 08 May 2010 21:19

rhenderson wrote:Message to Greece..

Socialism was a lot of fun wasn't it ? Well, now it's time to pay the bill. :shock:

Who was it that said "Socialism is a wonderful experience until you run out of other people's money."

Why would you call it socialism? Greece has massive youth unemployment, entrenched civil servants, and overly generous pension schemes. Instead of sharing the wealth, and promoting social mobility, ISTM the Greeks have entrenched crony (state) capitalism: jobs for the lads and the rest can fend for themselves in the underground economy. Including the so-called capitalists who don't or won't pay their taxes. So much of the population looks for generous state subventions, and others, for generous state concessions (or at least tacit acceptance of tax-dodging). Helluva way to run a railway.
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Re: Greece

Postby WishingWealth » 08 May 2010 21:40

Three or four years IIRC Greece was in the news because of all the massive fires in and around Athens.

Many of those fires were due to an unintended consequence of some old laws/rulings/rights...* :x
The law said nobody can build in a park or land when there are trees in such parks, lands.
Can you imagine all the blonde from Greece paying the kids a few Euros to go 'make facts on the ground'.

Now if/when you go visit Greece, some of the new luxury homes built on what looks like almost bare 'prime land' may be the result of those unintended consequences.

WW

* Those theories are still under dispute though.
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Re: Greece

Postby mac1214 » 09 May 2010 12:06

Probably a few of the Greek union members and hooligans will come to Toronto for it's G8 meeting to practice their rock-throwings skills and and window-smashing abilities. Those union marchers are an ungrateful group, not only living nicely on borrowed money, for years, then when their EU partners decides to ante up $140 billion Euros to bail them out, they seem to get even angrier. They should be thankful, but unions don't say thanks, because they're convinced that they deserve every penny. Plus saying thanks is civilized.
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Re: Greece

Postby retireat50 » 09 May 2010 12:20

So what is the latest on the rescue package this weekend? I've been checking BBC, Bloomberg, etc and nothing so far and it would be around 6PM in Europe now. I feel that if something significant is not announced before markets open tomorrow we will be in for a very large drop and potentially one of/or the biggest drops of all time. I think many people took the time this weekend to evaluate their risk tolerance and most investors do not want to revisit the pain of 2008 and will be selling, especially if nothing is done about the situation overseas. Asian markets will open shortly and it's not going to be pretty....
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Re: Greece

Postby newguy » 09 May 2010 14:15

http://www.zdf.de/ Merkel can't form a majority. Britains in the same boat. I dunno what's going to happen but the question may soon be do I go long or short the Deutschmark.

newguy

oops, english here. http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid= ... ERePehQ1mA
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Re: Greece

Postby j831robert » 09 May 2010 14:29

parvus: re yours of 08May2010 21.19hrs - 'Why call it socialism'. My reply to the original question was based on TV news shots (republished in some newspapers) showing rioters (not 'protesters') in Greece at the Parthanon prominently displaying Red Hammer and Sickle (I got the spelling right this time) flags ergo the communist brand of socialism. I didn't think it worthwhile to challenge later usage of the term socialism but in Greece the Communist Party is still strong - and has been since during the 2nd WW - and is probably sufficiently well organized to create serious problems for any form of government but their own. Ask just about any native Greek !!!
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Re: Greece

Postby CROCKD » 09 May 2010 15:25

newguy wrote:the question may soon be do I go long or short the Deutschmark.


How do you do this on something which is not a legal currency.

From Wikipedia

the introduction of euro notes and coins in early 2002. The Deutsche Mark ceased to be legal tender immediately upon the introduction of the euro—in contrast to the other Eurozone nations, where the euro and legacy currency circulated side by side for up to two months. DM coins and banknotes continued to be accepted as valid forms of payment in Germany until 28 February 2002.
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Re: Greece

Postby Bylo Selhi » 09 May 2010 15:35

CROCKD wrote:How do you do this on something which is not a legal currency.

You vill follow our eenshtrooctions und you vill like eet ;)
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Re: Greece

Postby newguy » 09 May 2010 16:17

CROCKD wrote:
newguy wrote:the question may soon be do I go long or short the Deutschmark.


How do you do this on something which is not a legal currency.

This could possibly be the end of the euro if Germany fails to support it. Very interesting weekend.

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Re: Greece

Postby apater » 09 May 2010 18:50

Bloomberg reports that the EU Preps $645 Billion Fund to Fight ‘Wolfpack’.Is it enough? In time?
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Re: Greece

Postby retireat50 » 09 May 2010 20:35

Futures for tomorrow are up 180 on the Dow. One time EU bailout, one time!!!
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Re: Greece

Postby mac1214 » 10 May 2010 11:38

'Predictions aren't worth the paper they're printed on' - mac1214, one person predicted a big drop and the market made a big gain. Selling into a panic has always been a losing strategy, like it was in March 2009. Although buying during a panic is usually money-making. Why would Canadians sell on trouble with Greece? Governments always win in these situatuions and the nervous nellies always lose, unless they bought while everyone was selling.
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Re: Greece

Postby Mike Schimek » 11 May 2010 04:32

I heard in a interview that 66% of Greeks are either employed by the government or on a government pension :shock: Anyone else come across this?
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Re: Greece

Postby brucecohen » 11 May 2010 08:15

Mike Schimek wrote:I heard in a interview that 66% of Greeks are either employed by the government or on a government pension :shock: Anyone else come across this?

Here are the OECD stats. This puts govt employment (2005) at 14.1% of the total workforce. That's average for the OECD but I've read elsewhere that 25% of Greeks are public employees. The discrepancy might be due to how you define their version of our Crown corporations. And/or Greek employment stats might all be bogus due to the large underground economy.

I can't find a stat on number of pensioners, but before the reforms just passed Greece had the OECD's most generous plans: 80% income replacement after 35 years. Also has the OECD's worst demographics in terms of population aging. Pensions have been consuming more than half of govt social spending.
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Re: Greece

Postby marty123 » 11 May 2010 09:15

Official statistics show that there are 4.5M employed, 460K unemployed and 4.3M inactive. Inactive includes pensioneers and those that are 15+ and still in school. So the employed population is 4.5M out of roughly 11M+, which is roughly about 40% employed. The Hellenic Statistical Authority defines "Employed" as someone who has worked at least 1 hour during a reference week, so it's quite possible that some of the 4.5M employed are not fully employed and dependent on the state. Anyway you put it, if you take the 4.5M employed, and remove 1.5-2.5M civil servants, the 66% becomes quite plausible.

http://www.statistics.gr/portal/page/po ... 1_F_EN.pdf
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Re: Greece

Postby Nemo2 » 11 May 2010 10:02

Isn't the problem ubiquitous......societies have 'evolved' from subsistence level agrarian communities necessitating numerous younger laborers, through the industrial era which also required an abundant supply of workers in order to provide items either previously non-existent, or unobtainable, for the masses......to today where huge farms require few operators, factories, mainly in Asia, are spewing out a surfeit of mostly junk that nobody really needs.

What percentage of the world's ('employed') population actually produces anything anyway, and what percentage are involved in meaningless make-work projects?

Has anyone ever done a comparison of today's university/school/college curricula vis-a-vis say, that of the 1950s-1960s.....to ascertain how the ratio of 'bird courses' versus those that prepare people to actually 'do' something, has increased, (or not)?

I suspect society, (Western society in particular), has, and continues to produce, a massive overabundance of 'counsellors', 'Your Name/Pet Project Here Studies', and the like.......'professions' taught by professors whose primary function is to create other professors to......

Something has to give.....the agrarians were exhausted by day's end, today's under/unemployed are bored & demanding and filled with feelings of resentment, deprivation and entitlement.
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Re: Greece

Postby apater » 11 May 2010 10:07

For all the talk about wasteful pensions and government employees, the Greek government is smaller as a percentage of GDP than the German government, and below average for the Europe as a whole.

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Re: Greece

Postby AltaRed » 11 May 2010 10:19

apater wrote:For all the talk about wasteful pensions and government employees, the Greek government is smaller as a percentage of GDP than the German government, and below average for the Europe as a whole.


I think the graph tells a different story, i.e. it is only the revenue side of the ledger. It is not bringing in enough revenue and therefore is the reason for its huge deficits and accumulated debt. You cannot have some of the most generous social programs in the EU without having corresponding revenue generation.
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Re: Greece

Postby Nemo2 » 11 May 2010 10:40

NY Times
Another reform high on the list is removing the state from the marketplace in crucial sectors like health care
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Re: Greece

Postby steves » 11 May 2010 10:46

Has anyone ever done a comparison of today's university/school/college curricula vis-a-vis say, that of the 1950s-1960s.....


I went to univ in the early 60s. I don't recall the number of 'easy' courses, but I do know that we had lectures from 8:30 until mid-afternoon. Monday to Friday. The harder courses were in the morning, the easier ones such as labs were in the latter part of the day. There was always someone in our carpool with a 4:30, so we stayed on campus until 5:30 every day. Mostly studied in the library. To add insult to injury, we all had Saturday (morning) lectures.

I recently overheard one young person complaining that they had "one Tuesday lecture, but none on Thursday". Arrgghh.
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Re: Greece

Postby WishingWealth » 11 May 2010 14:49

Nothing of this is news but, this time the music has stopped and few empty chairs are to be found.

@ Spiegel: http://www.spiegel.de/international/eur ... 63,00.html
(See also the graphs)

Herculean Task Ahead
Is It Already Too Late to Save Greece?
...
In that same year -- which is now over half a century ago -- the lake disappeared forever. But there are still 30 employees working at Kopais today. When employees retire or are let go, their positions are filled with new employees, who are paid monthly salaries of up to €2,500 ($3,175). They supposedly work on drainage issues, but no one knows exactly what those issues are or who benefits from their work.

Unbelievable Stories

Rakintzis has stories to tell that take place throughout Greece, and some are downright unbelievable. For example, the government agency that was created to manage a bid to make Greece's second-largest city, Thessaloniki, a European cultural capital in 1997 is still humming away. Its employees are supposedly working on winding down the major event and settling up the accounts -- 13 years later.

How many people work there? "I don't know. Not even the government knows that," says Rakintzis. He adds, in an almost threatening tone: "Not yet." Rakintzis and his staff are now in the process of investigating about 4,000 government offices and agencies in similar situations.

In addition to Rakintzis, the IMF, officials with the European statistical office Eurostat and economists from many countries are hard at work to bring order to Greece's ramshackle finances. Rakintzis and the others are painstakingly searching for the holes into which Greek government funds have been seeping.

It is a Sisyphean task for Rakintzis, who has a staff of only 30 people to assist him. There is probably no other government agency in Greece that faces such a massive task with so few employees.

Bloated Public Sector

Greece has more than five times as many civil servants per capita than the United Kingdom. The country's inflated government apparatus consumes tens of billions of euros a year. It's money the Greek state doesn't have -- and actually never did. Greece's gross domestic product is only slighter higher than that of the German state of Hesse and is just one-tenth the size of Germany's total economic output.

For this reason, the government has been borrowing fresh funds on the international capital markets for years, generously and cheerfully spreading the wealth among its citizens. The introduction of the euro made it even easier to incur debts because, by joining the common currency, Greece qualified for lower interest rates than anyone would ever have thought possible.
...


Also at The Economist:
http://www.economist.com/world/europe/d ... _commented

One thing's for sure, this being Greece, there is no lack of Gods or heroes or epics to pick a quote from.

...
“It’s all very well for Papandreou to compare himself to Odysseus making a long, heroic voyage,” read one e-mail doing the rounds between Athenian offices this week. “But Odysseus had a miserable journey and he lost all his companions. And he washed up on Ithaca without any clothes on.” At street level, sentiments are even less poetic. “We do not recognise this debt,” was the slogan of the militant trade unions, from teachers to dockers, that went on strike this week. The number of Greeks who believe in Bolshevik-style autarky may be small. But the idea of working hard for years to win an IMF/EU certificate of good behaviour holds little appeal.
...

WW
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Re: Greece

Postby apater » 11 May 2010 15:28

AltaRed wrote:
apater wrote:For all the talk about wasteful pensions and government employees, the Greek government is smaller as a percentage of GDP than the German government, and below average for the Europe as a whole.
I think the graph tells a different story, i.e. it is only the revenue side of the ledger. It is not bringing in enough revenue and therefore is the reason for its huge deficits and accumulated debt. You cannot have some of the most generous social programs in the EU without having corresponding revenue generation.
Greece is below average on expenditures as well even though their military spending is well above average.
Last edited by apater on 11 May 2010 21:49, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Greece

Postby Dennis » 11 May 2010 15:31

their military spending is well above average.


Needed to fight off those aggressive Macedonians you know!

Ya, Ya, and maybe the Turks
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