Thursday, June 14, 2012

Greeks withdrawing cash

If anything demonstrates how far we are all removed from free market capitalism and an economic system based entirely on private property rights, one need only look to see the power the state has on the resource most people have as a medium of exchange and storage of value - money.

With speculation rising about the next Greek government quite possibly being led by a quasi-communist who thinks he can call the bluff of Eurozone governments in demanding that they lend the Greek government more money it can't pay back (having already received bailouts worth nearly a quarter a trillion Euro), fear is that the bluff wont work and Greece will be cast adrift, with the Greek government unable to pay its bloated public sector, unable to pay interest on its debt and pushed out of the Eurozone.

With all of that goes any talk of European solidarity, as quite rightly, Germans, Austrians, Dutch, Slovaks, Estonians and the like say no to their government funding Greece's fiscal incontinence, so Greece finds a new way to pay its bills - by printing worthless banknotes likely to be called a New Drachma.

What does the average Greek citizen do then?  Well, Greek banks get all their assets and liabilities redenominated into this junk currency, so the savings of Greek people get utterly destroyed, because of the Greek government.  Greek companies with debts with foreign banks in Euros face bankruptcy as they will be unable to pay debts using the junk currency.  

Many Greeks will seek to flee to live and work in the rest of the EU.

Except the EU has other ideas.  Greeks will be cast asunder, not only having their savings plundered and destroyed by their government, but having their fellow EU partners treating them as foreigners, not worthy of being able to live and work in other Member States.   The grand political project would be over as far as Greece is concerned.  This shameful treatment of people unfortunately stuck in a country that the EU embraced, subsidised and treated fraternally for decades, shows the real limits of the openness of the EU - when the going gets tough, they turn their back on you.

So Greeks are preparing.  With 800 million Euro exiting Greek bank accounts today, this will only accelerate.  Once they have their cash, they will deposit in foreign banks, convert it to gold or silver, or simply stuff it under the mattress.

For you see when it comes down to it, a fiat currency isn't a store of any real value if those who issued it declare it to no longer be so - for it is as easy to destroy that which you printed out of thin air.

For all the SYRIZA party is offering Greece is the promise that all can be made better out of the thin air of socialist economics.

UPDATE:  A former Socialist Defence Minister of Greece is facing charges of money laundering and is facing ongoing investigation for tax dodging.   Is it any surprise that so many Greek citizens actively avoid tax when then is corruption at the highest levels by those who want to spend their money, but make sure they use the state to enrich themselves?  Shame the political choices of Greeks are largely more of the same.

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