A Greek tragedy of Dickensian proportions
Roger Kimball writes on the Greek bailout:
Mr. Micawber travels to Greece
So now the Europeans are taking a page from the Obama playbook. Greece teeters on the abyss, the bond markets swoon, and it’s panic time all around.
Who are these people we’ve elected to “lead” us?
Keep that question in the back of your mind as you accompany Mr. Micawber on his trip to Greece. Like Mr. Micawber, Angela Merkel and Prime Minister George Papandreou are hoping that “something will turn up.” Like him, they expect it hourly. But, unlike Mr. Micawber, they have thus far failed to take on board that central bit of economic wisdom he imparted to young David Copperfield:
Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery. The blossom is blighted, the leaf is withered, the God of day goes down upon the dreary scene, and—and in short you are for ever floored.
“For ever floored” — not a good thing. The Europeans scramble and put together $1 trillion dollars in loan guarantees (including $50 billion or so from Uncle Sam, i.e., from you, Dear Reader) and the markets gyrated wildly upward. For a day. Monday, Monday: can’t trust that day, as the Mamas and Papas observed. For Tuesday came and, guess what, $1 trillion wasn’t enough!
What would be enough? As my friend Bill Voegeli puts it in his new book about America’s welfare state, the answer is nothing. The maw is always open. The appetite limitless. When it comes to government subsidy, the answer is Never Enough.
Go read the rest. Stranger than fiction and much more tragic than David Copperfield.
Speaking of which, irony not included in either one of these reports:
Argentina warns Greek bail-out will fail
The Greek rescue package will fail, according to Cristina Fernández, Argentina’s president, whose country suffered the world’s biggest debt default in 2001.
Here in the US, the unsustainable debt is absolutely no problem to Obama, who’s urging Spain to take “resolute action” to confront Europe’s debt crisis.
Beware of Greeks selling bonds.