Greek Consumers Most Pessimistic On Earth: 40% Have No Disposable Income

Tyler Durden's picture

Chronicling the collapsing Greek socioeconomic reality would be an interesting business school case study of what a zombie monetary regime kept alive at all costs does to the "weakest link(s)" (most recently "Greek Economy Grinds To A Halt As New Construction Implodes By 66.6%" and "Person Trampled As Fight Breaks Out At Greek Free Food Handout"), if only there weren't real men and women suffering as a result of the stupidity and greed of a few entrenched individuals who will stop at nothing to see their paper wealth preserved at all costs. The latest salvo of the utter misery Greek society finds itself in comes from Nielsen research, which reports that Greeks are now the most pessimistic consumers on the planet, with the Greek consumer confidence index dropping to 35 points in the last quarter of 2012. That is the lowest level among a total of 58 countries surveyed and 11 points lower than the same period last year in Greece.

It gets worse.

As Kathimerini reports: "Four out of 10 Greeks told the same survey that they no longer have any disposable money left after covering their basic needs, which is the highest rate ever recorded in Greece and the biggest in the October-December period in Europe. A year earlier (in Q4 2011) that rate had stood at 34 percent and in Q4 of 2010 it had been at 25 percent." Obligatory spin: once nobody has any disposable income, things can only get better. Unless, as Rajoy might add, they get worse.

What little money Greek do have is spent "toward the payment of loan and credit card installments (31 percent) or savings (22 percent). Only a very small number of consumers use their disposable income for entertainment, vacations and buying clothes, which helps to explain the turnover slump in of the sectors of food catering, domestic tourism and apparel stores."

With unemployment soaring to unprecedented levels, it comes as no surprise that finding and/or keeping a job constitutes the greatest concern among Greeks, which, at a rate of 44 percent, is among the highest in the world. The state of the economy ranks second, at 38 percent, debts are third at 26 percent and the increasing level of utility bills are fourth, on 21 percent.


Shrinking disposable incomes combined with insecurity have led to a change in Greeks' shopping habits, with 77 percent stating they have curtailed spending on entertainment outside the home, 67 percent saying they choose cheaper commodities (mostly own-label supermarket products) and more than half (54 percent) say they have cut down on fuel and electricity.

No wonder nobody tries to sell Europe on forecasts of a second half improvement in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 anymore. By now virtually all of them have given up.

The same survey found that the country with the most optimistic citizens is India, with an index reading of 121 points, followed by the Philippines with 119 and Indonesia with 117. Asia generally appears to be the most optimistic continent on the planet, with Europe being the most pessimistic. In total, the global index came to 91 points in the last quarter of 2012, dropping by one point from the previous quarter.

In addition to being the most optimistic, India is the one place in the world where gold is as functional a currency, and a store of wealth, as paper money (much to its central bankers' chagrin). One wonders if there is a connection...

As for the Greek gold: one wonders just which deep underground London vault it has been "rehypothecated" to these days?

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EscapeKey's picture

I used to have disposable income.

Then I got married.

Tijuana Donkey Show's picture

MILF - Mother I've Learned to Finance

camaro68ss's picture

Being married makes it hard for me to hide my gambling addiction to the DOW and S&P

zorba THE GREEK's picture

Last week I bought a garbage disposal. The disposal disposed of all my disposable income.

Au_Ag_CuPbCu's picture

I hope you put it on credit...keep the ponzi alive!

Boris Alatovkrap's picture

Greek income is maybe not disposable, but for tax man, is seizable.

Looney's picture

To all Greeks,

You, guys, are a bunch of lazy-ass pussies! Your proud country is being raped, your citizenry is turned into slaves and you, all of you collectively and each of you individually, just quietly bend-over and take it up your ass.


What a shame! What happened to the proud People who gave birth to the Western Civilization?


Well, since I am an equal opportunity bigot… we, Americans, are just a little bit behind of you in this shameful degradation (if that makes you feel any better).


Shamefully Yours,


zorba THE GREEK's picture

Loony, Most Greeks took their money out of banks and put it into gold long ago.

The Greek government has gotten the EU to pump enough money into their

insolvent banks to allow their people to do so. What has the U.S. government

done for their people?

Freddie's picture

I bet the govt (unionized?) workers who make up about 50% of the "work" force are getting paid.  Greece should leave the euro but being a slave is easier.

steve from virginia's picture



Greece must borrow to import fuel there is no other choice for the country or Greeks: no domestic petroleum supply.


Unlike China, Greece is not an export powerhouse, it cannot arbitrage fuel imports the way the Chinese can (for the moment).


What is underway in Greece is conservation by other means: the country is being de-carred the hard way, by bankruptcy and extreme poverty.


As long as there is a car running in the country the economic situation will continue to deteriorate from its current depressed levels. Greeks are competing with every other person on Earth for fuel. The country doesn't have a knife in a gunfight, it has a begging bowl.


Cars running in Greece? The traffic is astounding:


Haus-Targaryen's picture

You've clearly never been to Greece. I have -- beautiful place -- and Athens is one of the few "European cities" with a suburban population that is substantiall as opposed to soley urban. That being said - people's ability to move thmselves from one part of town to another is key to the existence of what is left of their economy.

Cars and individual transportation the world over are what leads people to a efficient and freer market than the draconian soviet style market you have envisioned.

Cars are going to be around for many many years after you're long gone, and your Eco-fascist argument disguised as a horribly misguided And false economic argument illustrates the true depth of your insanity and macro-economic ignorance.

Btw - I'm loving that v8. I'm doing my best to talk my sister out of her 4 cylinder gas can into one as well. Anything I can do to drive people like you nuts I will. ;)

Joe A's picture

if yu have been to Greece as you say (I go every year) then you also should realize that the country has a huge potential in renewable energies such as wind, solar, tidal and geothermal energy which could be used to produce hydrogen and greenNH3 to make their cars run.

Haus-Targaryen's picture

You mean that stuff that tears up pretty much every engine on the planet? Sure you can run your car on it for 30k miles before you have to start replacing seals and hoses. 

The country also has huge potential for natrual gas and oil (discovered in the Aegean over the past 5 years.)  In fact, it is said Greece has more fossil fuels than Saudia Arabia, and these can be extracted, sold and taxed without the government or the EU having to subsidize it. 

So continue to live in fantasy land dude.  Your "Green" revolution is nothing more than absolutely excellent marketing (see the process of building solar panels or hybrids).

Dr. Richard Head's picture

Little Boy: "Dad, how much does a marriage cost?"

Dad: "I don't know, son.  I am still paying for it."

MsCreant's picture

It is that time again.

Some of us chicks are the ones who pay, not always the guys. I got divorced and got the house, but I also got all the debt because I was the only one with an income. I stopped going into debt the second I got my finances unentangled from his, even when I took all of his debt.

I am now out of debt, own my house, and have disposable income.

The guys do not always have to pay. I don't know why you accept it if you don't like it.

Hulk's picture

Will you Marry Me ??? Please! Pretty please! With sugar on top!!!

Stuntgirl's picture

Chicks who pay (like guys who pay) tend to not want to marry / remarry. Go figure.

Hulk's picture

If it Flys, Floats or Fucks, its best to rent!

Guess that applies to both sexes !!!

Stuntgirl's picture

Stuntman reads ZH.

I pray he does not stumble upon your comment and starts demanding rental payment for his services. Damn you.

Hulk's picture

Trust me on this one Stuntgirl, you shouild be the one making money on this deal !!!

TahoeBilly2012's picture

Stuntman get paid to perform tricks...that's why they are "stuntmen"...

Stuntgirl's picture

I think in relationships, we should stick to barter. ;)

Henry Hub's picture

"In sickness and in health until death do us part"

I am amazed at the number of women who leave/divorce their husbands when they loose their job. Most guys don't realize how their "solid" marriages hang by a thread. If they loose their job they're history.

Raymond Reason's picture

"...for richer or for poorer"  Maybe they were using the new-fangled vows? 

MsCreant's picture

If he does not get steady work after 14 years, and yet insists on spending like he does have steady work, smokes too much dope, and gains weight, is it okay that I don't like it and want to get out?

SemperFord's picture

I remedied that with a divorce.

Renewable Life's picture

Gesus man, where are the EU credit cards with $10,000 euro limits on them, that will get their economy going again, right Ben??

Those people look hungry and scared in that photo, I can't wait until they stop being scared and start getting pissed off, then the real change can begin!!!

847328_3527's picture

Greeks are learning the American jingle, "jobless recovery."

Freddie's picture

As horrible as things are in Greece - at least they do not have Obama.

marathonman's picture

The Greeks have an unelected former Goldman Sachs hatchet man that is keeping the EU banking elites boot on the throats of the Greeks.  In the words of Hillary Clinton, "WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES IT MAKE?"  There really isn't much difference.

RockyRacoon's picture

One of those alien cookbooks is gonna come in handy:  To Serve Man

RockyRacoon's picture

You can go to jail in Greece for telling the statistical truth.  Imagine what the REAL number might be!

Sudden Debt's picture

If I couldn't feed myself and had to sleep outside, I guess I would get myself arested.
I'd just steal untill I get cought :)

DaveyJones's picture

people are doing that in the US

kridkrid's picture

Gotta link? I certainly believe you, but would love to read something on it. Though I'm guessing the machine isn't too excited to put that into print.

MsCreant's picture

Davey is a defense attorney. I think that comment comes from experience.

Raymond Reason's picture

Don't have the link, but in the news yesterday..."man steals crispy creme doughnut truck".  I'm not kidding. 

Not Too Important's picture
'N.C. Man Allegedly Robs Bank of $1 to Get Health Care in Jail'

I'd do it in a heartbeat for something critical, like cancer care. Prisoners are well taken care of, forget what you read in the papers. And if you get care in prison, they'll treat you forever for the same thing, once you get out.

Might be one reason for the push for Obamacare so soon after the Depression hit. They know there's going to be a collapse of healthcare, and they can't all be hired by the Feds. Can you imagine millions of sick people getting arrested for stealing something cheap?

steve from virginia's picture



During the Great Depression getting arrested was a tactic by the jobless to stay warm and get a meal.


As the Depression wore on police stopped arresting petty thieves and beat them instead ... then dumped them at the city lines.

DaveyJones's picture

we had a case not long ago that sums it all up. Man in fifties loses job. Wife moved to part time. Man gets starbucks job. woman gets cancer. man starts stealing coffee to help pay for medical costs as medical benefits have vanished. Man has never broken the law in his life is sobbing and suicidal. Prosecutors are - well government drones. This isn't just street people. This place is losing it. 

another true barometer is the parent bailing out their kid or hiring the defense attorney. Most crime is doen by youth. Parents will often come to the defense attorney's office and at the very least pull out a credit card or go to a bondsman and do the same. That is becoming a diminishing phenomenon. Add to that the internet and universal access to criminal history which is now compounding any young persons inability to get a job because the cops are not pouring out beer or throwing away pot, they are citing and the system is charging everyone to get fines and other money but ultimately society is an idiot and is paying a much larger price than the lost fines in young folks who can't get jobs and either drain public systems or turn to increasing crime..... 

floydian slip's picture
Police: Elderly Niles bank robber hoped to get caught


Authorities say a 73-year-old ex-convict told investigators he became accustomed to life in prison and wanted to get caught when he robbed a Niles bank so he could live his final years behind bars.

A federal complaint says Walter Unbehaun walked into the Niles bank with a pistol and used the stickup line that he had just months to live. He wore no disguise during Saturday's heist that netted him $4,178.


tenpanhandle's picture

That won't work if you are a banker. First you'd probably never get caught and if you did you sure wouldn't get arrested.  I understand that at JP Mor-gain if you don't get caught stealing they decrease your bonus because obviously you aren't trying (stealing) enough.

Hedgetard55's picture

They need to turn to sex tourism, like in
thailand, except, well, Greek women are kinda nasty looking, so turn out the boys.

MsCreant's picture

So you like how the greek boys look, but not the women. Okay...

DaveyJones's picture

He just likes their geometry

Hey Ms. C, We doing a garden this year?  

MsCreant's picture

Yes! Thanks for asking. I have four tiers, cocentric semi-circles, in the back yard. Planted dwarf peach, all manner of berries, paw-paws, figs, and lots of herbs and wild flowers. We will put in asparagus this year. we will randomly seed following an asian botanist's ideas that we follow.

The front yard is berries, figs, the five surviving trees and rotting wood chips. We did away with the lawn. Hulk turned me on to a film on-line "Back-to-Eden." It inspired me to wood chip the whole front yard. It has been rotting there since August 2012. Plus I laced it with mycelium (fancy word for mushrooms that grow more latterally underground and break down anything!!). The whole yard is a real science experiment. I am excited. 


12ToothAssassin's picture

You mean a DHS homing beacon?

tenpanhandle's picture

I went out with a dwarf peach a few times last year but the relationship couldn't quite reach the level I was she ended it ;)