“The lamps are going out all over Europe,” although this time, unlike in 1914, it’s about bonds, not bullets. But there is still a lot of suffering and deprivation ahead for the civilian population. And this time Germany is going to win.
As in 1914, and again in 1939, the United States will not be able to remain on the sidelines.
This kind of a crisis doesn’t remain static while waiting for solutions, it’s a moving target, moving in the wrong direction. As interest rates rise on inaction or inadequate action, the national debt of countries like Greece and Italy goes up, making their situations even more intractable, without their even spending any more money.
The good news is that Italy was able to sell 5 billion euros in one-year bonds.
The bad news is that they had to pay interest of 6 percent, when they were paying 3.5 just a month ago.
I love to buy gorgeous things from Italy, but their bonds, not so much.
Markets and governments are shocked — shocked — by the Greek government’s announcement that it will hold a referendum on the euro zone bailout plan being forced on them by France and Germany.
But given that Greece lied about its financial condition to get into the euro zone when it wanted in, why is it surprising that Greece will now do what it takes when it wants out?
The Greek people would be better off returning to the drachma, they will suffer less hardship than under the bailout plan. Their interests don’t coincide with the rest of Europe, which fears the possible domino effect of a Greek default on much larger economies like Italy’s.
It’s hard to feel sorry for the other Europeans. They did nothing when they discovered Greece had lied to join them. And their response to the crisis of the last two years has consistently been too slow and too little, they’ve never gotten ahead of it with a serious, bold plan.