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Spot The Odd One Out

Tyler Durden's picture


There have been a few nations in the world over the last decade or so that have garnered somewhat mind-blowingly negative attention and have been forced to restructure, take losses, or default (semantics) on their debt (or financial system). Three of the best known are Argentina, Iceland, and most recently Greece. The following chart of GDP growth may have a lesson for every investor around the world (especially those in sovereign bonds) - and maybe more importantly for the Greek (and European) leadership. Is there something different about the post-restructuring growth in Greece that did not occur in the other two nations? Perhaps taking your medicine is indeed the right way to go - and enables growth to once again re-emerge - and the constant use of the M.A.D. argument is pure bluff.

Argentina vs Iceland vs Greece - GDP Growth...


Argentina restructured in Dec2001/Jan 2002 and Iceland bit the bullet on its banks in 2009

and the GDP per capita over the long-term...


Source: Google


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Mon, 10/01/2012 - 15:27 | 2846189 Mongo
Mongo's picture

Fuck (e)U-rope

Mon, 10/01/2012 - 15:41 | 2846258 Lohn Jocke
Lohn Jocke's picture

My mother makes $82 an hour spamming discussion boards. But because I'm a utilitarian socialist, I'm going to share the secret to prosperity because resources aren't finite and we can all be EQUALLY WEALTHY by doing VIRTUALLY NO WORK!

Just follow this link:


Mon, 10/01/2012 - 15:59 | 2846301 CPL
CPL's picture

I would like to hear more of this interesting proposal, please subscribe me to your newsletter.

Mon, 10/01/2012 - 16:40 | 2846448 AldousHuxley
AldousHuxley's picture

it is called inheritance


oldest wealth building scheme in the world.


unless you outlaw capital gains from luck of timing, marriage, inheritance......capitalism does not have legitemacy to claim meritocracy.


Who the hell wants to work when others get ahead without producing anything?





Mon, 10/01/2012 - 16:52 | 2846485 BigJim
BigJim's picture

 unless you outlaw capital gains from luck of timing, marriage, inheritance......capitalism does not have legitemacy to claim meritocracy.

Capitalism can coexist with inheritance taxes. You appear not to know understand what 'capitalism' actually means.

Furthermore, no one claims inheritance is meritocratic. However, becoming unusually wealthy via voluntary transactions in a free marketplace is difficult without brains/hard work/talent. You probably think having those is down to 'luck' too, and maybe you're right, but so what? You prefer the present alternative, central planning?

Mon, 10/01/2012 - 17:14 | 2846540 MillionDollarBogus_
MillionDollarBogus_'s picture

I would pay $82 to know who my mother is...

If she surfs ZH, she will recognize me...

Mon, 10/01/2012 - 18:41 | 2846732 CalDre
CalDre's picture

"becoming unusually wealthy via voluntary transactions in a free marketplace is difficult without brains/hard work/talent"

Hard work such as:  laundering drug money?  Exploiting the talented but not intelligent (musicians, boxers, etc.)?  Competitive restraints?  Trading on inside information?  Stealing land from aboriginees (/me living in San Diego, where real estate can approach millions of dollars per acre - consider that this land was stolen from aboriginees just about 100 years ago, and all the people who are filthy rich for it)?  Corruption (mineral contracts, etc.)?

Hard work is the myth that the elite want you to believe.  Hard work will make you middle class.  To be rich requires sociopathy, or inheritance.  Yes there may be some exceptions, though I can't think of any, but they would be rare enough to prove the rule.  (Even many in the upper middle class, who earned their money through actual work rather than luck, theft or ciminal activity, did so due to regulatory barriers to entry - fields such as medicine and law, which are NOT free markets due to government regulation - which I am not saying is a bad thing in these cases, just saying it's not a free market.)

Tue, 10/02/2012 - 08:48 | 2847899 Lohn Jocke
Lohn Jocke's picture

Everything you listed still requires effort and hard work. Just because an enterprise is illegal doesn't make it easy money. A sound understanding of money (which our children aren't taught) will help one get very far. But when the vast majority of people (not exclusive to Americans) view a home as an investment rather than a liability, the problem becomes pretty clear. Perhaps making billions is limited to a crony system, but theres nothing wrong with makeing six figues via your own enterprise.

Mon, 10/01/2012 - 16:04 | 2846315 Sheeple Shepard
Sheeple Shepard's picture

+100 for you sir.  You just summed up in one sentence, why we in the "developed world, are all fucked.

Mon, 10/01/2012 - 16:08 | 2846332 machineh
machineh's picture

My mom makes $82,000 an hour flipping Treasuries back to the Fed a week after they're issued.

But then, she's a Goldman Sachs mommie ... /sarc

Mon, 10/01/2012 - 16:10 | 2846339 Lohn Jocke
Lohn Jocke's picture

I didn't know GS employees had mothers. I always assumed that they reproduced through mitosis.

Mon, 10/01/2012 - 17:14 | 2846541 GoldenDragon
GoldenDragon's picture

Either that or they delgate the gestation of their young to jackels and other such creatures.

Mon, 10/01/2012 - 17:19 | 2846557 q99x2
q99x2's picture

How old is your mother?

Mon, 10/01/2012 - 17:39 | 2846598 trebuchet
trebuchet's picture

BIG difference between greece and the other two countries: The other two had control over their own currency!

so of course Greece cant bounce back, coz it has the euro stopping the adjustment... 


oh wait,... i get it... .that is what you are trying to say... gr needs to exit the euro..... duh

Mon, 10/01/2012 - 15:27 | 2846192 ATM
ATM's picture

Argentina's numbers are all fake.

Mon, 10/01/2012 - 15:37 | 2846230 verum quod lies
verum quod lies's picture

Sure, but fake relative to which country? China? The US? Finland maybe, but my guess is not so bad as many others. The takeaway point is that in order to stop a debt induced economic comma you need to lower the debt load, not increase it; and default is often the best option. The solution to too much debt is ….. drum roll …. not more but less of it; that is, except if your are the economic equivalent of a cultural Marxist who is concerned about your banker relative who made some pretty silly sovereign bets.


Mon, 10/01/2012 - 15:56 | 2846293 jekyll island
jekyll island's picture

Right you are, Kenny.  Looks like Argentina could be heading down the path towards default yet again.  That's not surprising given the liberal socialists who have been elected over the last decade. 

Mon, 10/01/2012 - 16:12 | 2846346 machineh
machineh's picture

To be specific, Argentina's cumulative probability of default is 64%, as shown here:

Peronism makes you stupid and hungry, and crave dollars ...

Mon, 10/01/2012 - 16:01 | 2846310 CPL
CPL's picture

Think anyone has been telling the truth?

Mon, 10/01/2012 - 15:28 | 2846195 darteaus
darteaus's picture

Wow - $35K per capita GDP in Iceland, and defaulted on the banksters.

I'm moving.

Mon, 10/01/2012 - 15:33 | 2846211 N. B. Forrest
N. B. Forrest's picture

Have you ever been to Iceland?  There is a reason only 300,000 people live there. 

Mon, 10/01/2012 - 15:41 | 2846252 Bay of Pigs
Bay of Pigs's picture

Its a beautiful country. What are you talking about?

Mon, 10/01/2012 - 15:41 | 2846256 Dr. No
Dr. No's picture

Is it due to restrictive immigration?

Mon, 10/01/2012 - 15:45 | 2846266 Bay of Pigs
Bay of Pigs's picture

Yes, it is,

Mon, 10/01/2012 - 15:46 | 2846270 Dr. No
Dr. No's picture

I read that it was tuff to get in.... you either had to be a Chess world champion or a direct decendant.  I wasnt sure if it was changed post screw-the-banker vote.

Mon, 10/01/2012 - 15:55 | 2846288 jekyll island
jekyll island's picture

I thought it was because their income tax rate was 50%

Mon, 10/01/2012 - 15:45 | 2846267 seek
seek's picture

Have you ever seen icelandic women? There's a reason they have restrictive immigration policies, between income and hotties per capita they'd be overrun in months.

Mon, 10/01/2012 - 16:01 | 2846308 Phat Stax
Phat Stax's picture

Loved the "Women of Iceland" issue - loved it.

Mon, 10/01/2012 - 17:05 | 2846519 hannah
hannah's picture

you should check out the 'women of kenya' that mag has some hot babes.

Mon, 10/01/2012 - 19:13 | 2846801 BidnessMan
BidnessMan's picture

Actually yes I have.  Beautiful landscapes, clean air, great seafood, blond goddesses soaking in the Blue Lagoon, safe, northern most golf course in the world.  Have been to a lot worse places than Iceland.

Mon, 10/01/2012 - 15:29 | 2846196 Mr Lennon Hendrix
Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

Damn stocks are getting sold off big time. 

I guess King Dollar is right around the corner.


Mon, 10/01/2012 - 16:02 | 2846311 Phat Stax
Phat Stax's picture

Gaps filled today.

Mon, 10/01/2012 - 15:31 | 2846197 LMAOLORI
LMAOLORI's picture



The only difference between Greece and the U.S. is we have the World's Reserve Currency our Socialist spenders would rival them in every aspect otherwise


Americans Are Already Double and Triple Taxed

Germany told to 'come clean’ over Greece

The Banks should be like restaurants and we should get to know where the rats are


Mon, 10/01/2012 - 15:57 | 2846297 jekyll island
jekyll island's picture

Well, it is a big difference.  

Mon, 10/01/2012 - 15:32 | 2846208 apberusdisvet
apberusdisvet's picture

Easy for the criminals to let isolated Iceland escape; different matter for a Euro country.   Once a Euro domino tilts too far, then the whole NWO thingey goes kaput.

Mon, 10/01/2012 - 15:37 | 2846235 fourchan
fourchan's picture

or does it?

Mon, 10/01/2012 - 15:39 | 2846248 Thisson
Thisson's picture

This New World Order thingie is getting kind of old and played out...  Can't we get a Newer World Order or something?

Mon, 10/01/2012 - 16:07 | 2846327 Umh
Umh's picture

SOWO: Same Old World Order.

Mon, 10/01/2012 - 15:32 | 2846209 Mountainview
Mountainview's picture

The Czech and Slovak Chiefs of state already dare to tell openly: There is no shame to have your Drachma back!!!

Mon, 10/01/2012 - 15:48 | 2846276 DUNTHAT
DUNTHAT's picture

BOHEMIANS RULE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Mon, 10/01/2012 - 15:36 | 2846227 Islandcarl
Islandcarl's picture

Hmmm..possible shades of the Demyansk Pocket.

Mon, 10/01/2012 - 15:37 | 2846236 EscapeKey
EscapeKey's picture

I look forward to Krugman finding some way of distorting that graph, much like he did with those of the Baltic nations.

Mon, 10/01/2012 - 15:38 | 2846237 Jason T
Jason T's picture

There is hope I must say.


Mon, 10/01/2012 - 15:38 | 2846241 youngman
youngman's picture

I have a letter from a friend who lives in Argentina.....its bad and getting worse...and yes the public numbers are fake...he says inflation is 25%....and you can´t buy dollars...

Mon, 10/01/2012 - 15:46 | 2846271 knukles
knukles's picture

Ditto from a buddy of mine... a Tango nut... goes there once a year to dance, believe it or not...
He says it's downright next to a living hell.
Broad based impoverishment.

And yes (I beleive there were even articles here on ZH?) about the "official" manufacture of joy and delusion which nobody believes.
Dystopian reality.

I Love Kristina

Mon, 10/01/2012 - 15:55 | 2846289 EscapeKey
EscapeKey's picture

Wasn't there an article about Argentina jailing economists who reported un-official numbers?

Mon, 10/01/2012 - 16:19 | 2846376 11b40
11b40's picture

Soon coming to a city near you......

Mon, 10/01/2012 - 16:04 | 2846322 Mr Lennon Hendrix
Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

She looks like the Palin del Sur.

Mon, 10/01/2012 - 16:48 | 2846476 mccoyspace
mccoyspace's picture

article from the NYT from a few weeks ago about well-off Argentinians bidding up condos in Miami and NYC to try to protect against the really bad inflation.

(how dare they export their inflation to our markets! Who would do such a thing?)


Mon, 10/01/2012 - 15:38 | 2846245 MillionDollarBogus_
MillionDollarBogus_'s picture

Interesting how Argentina has bounced back.

Nobody will buy their sovereign debt after they crashed 12 years ago.

Maybe there is hope for Greece after all...???



Mon, 10/01/2012 - 15:39 | 2846247 moriarty
moriarty's picture

Pure chance - could happen to anyone

Mon, 10/01/2012 - 15:39 | 2846249 Conman
Conman's picture

PPT stick save coming to a chart near you.

Mon, 10/01/2012 - 15:43 | 2846260 knukles
knukles's picture

It's ever so sad.
Those wonderful people, the Greeks, festive, learned, a cradle of civilization, loving, artful, cultured, the inventors of anal sex.
What goes around comes around.


Mon, 10/01/2012 - 15:55 | 2846290 First There Is ...
First There Is A Mountain's picture

Argentina is a disaster....I own a property in Buenos Aires (Palermo Soho area FWIW) that I bought and remodeled in 2005. It has generated an outstanding return as a rental property in the interim, but now I fear I may lose the apartment altogether owing to Christina's penchant for nationalization a la Chavez, Morales et al. Our current tenant is an Argentine who complains incessenantly about the state of affairs. Dollar restrictions are bringing out the Cazerolas (protestors who beat on pots and pans) en masse. This will end in one of two ways:

1. Argentina will plunge into revolution as K is at an approximate 30% approval rating vs. 60% after election. The Guevaristas are realizing that Communism really isn't their thing now that some have accumulated a bit of wealth and actually enjoy a degree of affluence.




2. They tamely submit like the cowardly Americans and Europeans and acquiece to total state control.


Mon, 10/01/2012 - 17:53 | 2846626 AurorusBorealus
AurorusBorealus's picture

There is no broad-based support for Communism in Argentina (outside of some barrios in the capital).  The education system teaches old-school conservatism: Emile Durkheim, Auguste Comte, etc. but does present the views of the socialists and the liberals (read: libertarians).  In this, the Argentine system is more open-minded than the American system or the European, both of which never give conservatism a hearing. 

At its heart, Argentina is a conservative society, preserving many of the social and cultural traditions that Europe and America, in their race to be "progressive" and "liberal," have cast aside.  Because conservatism has been lost and is not taught in schools or universities in America and Europe, it is difficult for the modern Westerner to recognize a conservative social system.

Mon, 10/01/2012 - 15:56 | 2846291 Dre4dwolf
Dre4dwolf's picture

If America defaults, we will have prosperity.


yea, I been saying this for years.


Banker bailouts suck balls.

Mon, 10/01/2012 - 16:07 | 2846326 Nobody For President
Nobody For President's picture

Well, Greece sure proves that Austerity Works!

Mon, 10/01/2012 - 16:12 | 2846349 Quantum Nucleonics
Quantum Nucleonics's picture

What a load of cr@p!  Well, one part anyway.  Argentina never "restructured", they simply told creditors, mostly foreign investors to pound sand.  Then they unlocked the peso from the dollar, shanked all the country's savors by converting dollar deposits to devalued peso deposits, and went anchors away on inflation.  Redo Argentina's GDP numbers to account for inflation and they would look ugly.  If not for the Fed inflating ag commodities, Argentina would be a complete disaster.  Is seizing private pensions part of the "restructuring" formula?  How about stealing an oil company from shareholders?  Please.

Mon, 10/01/2012 - 17:09 | 2846525 hannah
hannah's picture

didnt the gov also steal (i mean take into protection) all the private retirement accounts...?

Mon, 10/01/2012 - 18:02 | 2846650 New_Meat
New_Meat's picture

why that would be a resounding YES!

and that qwm Ghillarducci is working her magic in NYC at the "progressive" New School.

- Ned

Mon, 10/01/2012 - 17:41 | 2846573 AurorusBorealus
AurorusBorealus's picture

I can tell you, from firsthand observation, that Argentina has grown in the past 10 years, since the default.  In fact, I am in Argentina right now.  There is much poverty in Buenos Aires, I know, but the provinces are doing much better than the capital in many ways.  Some rural areas are becoming rather wealthy, and the surge in Soy prices this year will only help.  Inflation is actually taming somewhat and has been less on basic staples in Argentina this year than in the United States (I know this to be true for a fact, because I have bought food, gas, etc... in both countries last year and this year).  The Argentines are experiencing a bit of a downturn at the moment at the margins of the economy: the higher end boutiques and so forth.  However, the tariffs have helped preserve domestic production, and the basic industries continue to produce product.  There is not much hiring at the moment, but there are not many layoffs either.

In fact, I and some Argentine friends are considering starting a business in one of the Provinces.  There is more optimism here about the economy than in the U.S.  Do not believe that the view from Buenos Aires is a portrait of the whole of Argentina.

Mon, 10/01/2012 - 17:22 | 2846566 Lefteris
Lefteris's picture

Full Greek bailout by the Artemis Sorras family. This is not a hoax or a "Nascar" comment like the previous ones.

Aparently the specific group, which is financed by the Greek-American billionaire "Artemis Sorras" has deposited 600 billion in a Canadian bank in U.S. Treasuries, the representative of which confirmed (live on video) that the deposit exists in U.S. Treasuries and is available to the Greek Government (under some terms of the custodial account such as a detailed audit of the Greek government finances just for the sake of revealing the truth).   The Canadian representative banker is heard (in English) at time 1:00:04 of this video:  

confirming that the money is available to the Greek government.

Mon, 10/01/2012 - 17:45 | 2846611 Dareconomics
Dareconomics's picture

It is important to note that not only did Argentina default, it also broke a peg to the dollar and allowed its currency to float freely devaluing quickly. Not only did Argentina's economy stop shrinking, it bounced off the bottom and has grown ever since.

Iceland made a similar choice. Rather than bailing out its banks, it allowed them to go bust. At the same time, its currency crashed depreciating rapidly against both the euro and the dollar. Iceland's economy bottomed out and began growing after both of these events.

Compare these countries to Greece. The Greek government chose to continue using the euro, has been bailing out its banks and after a write down is attempting to pay its debts. The result of these actions is a depression without end.

Unfortunately, Spain has chosen the Greek course of relying on ever increasing bailouts from its eurozone partners. These bailouts will create resentment in the countries underwriting them forcing them to insist on harsher conditions and more meddling in Spain's internal affairs. Spain will experience more social instability and civil unrest as a result of mass unemployment, just like Greece.

If Spain defaults, lets its banks go bust, and leaves the eurozone, it will have excellent growth prospects for the future. The country is still a full-fledged member of NATO and  the EU. Belonging to these two organizations is very important to attract foreign investors. Spain has many natural advantages will be able to grow itself to health quickly just like Argentina and Iceland.

The good news would be that Spain would be overrun with vacationers spending their money. The bad news would be that many of them would be Germans. Good luck, Spain.

Mon, 10/01/2012 - 19:43 | 2846860 Heyoka Bianco
Heyoka Bianco's picture

An old but goody from Brazil: the easiest way to make a fortune is to buy an Argentine for what he's worth and sell him for what he THINKS he's worth.

Argentina has a fucked-up command economy buried in protectionism that would give the ChiCom oligarchs pause.

Mon, 10/01/2012 - 19:43 | 2846861 logicalman
logicalman's picture

It's real simple.


Mon, 10/01/2012 - 20:44 | 2846996 CitizenPete
CitizenPete's picture

I'm with Kyle Bass (except for the pallet of nickles) -- Gold, Silver, food and ammo.  It's all ON SALE  right now bitchez. Everything is on sale right now because it woun't be any cheaper this time next year after QE to infinity and beyond. 

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