Hat tip to our buddy and fellow debt deflationist Carson for passing along this mind blowing number on Greek debt:
As Wall Street hangs on the question “Will Greece default?,” the author heads for riot-stricken Athens, and for the mysterious Vatopaidi monastery, which brought down the last government, laying bare the country’s economic insanity. But beyond a $1.2 trillion debt (roughly a quarter-million dollars for each working adult), there is a more frightening deficit. After systematically looting their own treasury, in a breathtaking binge of tax evasion, bribery, and creative accounting spurred on by Goldman Sachs, Greeks are sure of one thing: they can’t trust their fellow Greeks.
(Source: Vanity Fair)
$250K in debt per working adult – wow!
Meanwhile, Greece’s finance minister is publicly going on the record that Greek bonds currently represent a great opportunity for investors!
Greek government bonds are no longer “something to fear” and the country is on track to meet its budget goals for this year, said Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou.
“We feel confident that given where we are at the moment there won’t be any problem in hitting the target” for cutting the deficit, Papaconstantinou said in an interview in Athens yesterday. That will help secure Greece’s return to markets next year and convince investors that its bonds “are now becoming an opportunity rather than something to fear,” he said.
When a finance minister says publicly that everything is OK, you can usually bet that the country is about to default!
Greece’s bond vigilantes seem to agree with our skepticism – Greek yields are climbing daily, and are now within spitting distance of breaking out past the May highs. And that was BEFORE Europe tossed a $1 trillion “shock and awe” package at the problem!
Until we see bond yields reverse their climb, we’ll be greeting speculative musings from the Greek government with nothing but skepticism. We’ll keep the Greece default countdown running until further notice.
A trip down memory lane: Chuckling at the Greece bailout when reported on May 11, 2010.