On Monday, after Greek PM Alexis Tsipras’ dramatic referendum call sparked a run on Greek ATMs, grocery stores, and gas stations, we did our part to help ameliorate the situation by sending a subtle message to Athens:
Dear Greece, if you want to apply for a loan from the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
— zerohedge (@zerohedge) June 28, 2015
Indeed, now may be an opportune time to tap Beijing for a few billion given that China officially launched the AIIB this week. As a reminder, the success of China’s AIIB membership drive was a political disaster for The White House, which expended considerable effort to discourage US allies from supporting the new China-led venture.
As such, it would be difficult to imagine a more fitting pilot program for the world’s newest supranational lender than a rescue package for the birthplace of Western democracy which has been brought to its knees by that most Western of all multilateral institutions, the IMF.
And while any funding to Greece from China would likely be channeled through the Silk Road fund (at least for now, given that the AIIB is just a few days old, officially), any aid from Xi Jinping’s deep pockets to Athens would represent a spectacular coup on both an economic and political level.
While the world is by now likely incredulous about the prospects for a Greek “Eastern” pivot (around a half dozen Russian headfakes have made us somewhat numb to the idea), Chinese assistance might be more likely than Europe cares to admit. Sputnik News has more:
China may help Greece directly through its new financial instruments, director of the Quantitative Finance Department at China's Institute of Quantitative and Technical Economics told Sputnik China.
Goldman Sachs predicted in a report published on Wednesday that in a worst-case scenaria China's exports would decline 2.2 percent as a result of Greece's economic crisis. Other than exports to Greece itself, the crisis could also hurt the economies of nearby countries, where Chinese businessmen have also made considerable investments.
"The Greek crisis has an undoubtedly seriously influence on China's trade with Greece and investment into the country. But I think that European countries together with China can help Greece overcome the problems that arose," Fan Mingtao said.
"I believe there are two ways to give Greece Chinese aid. First, within the framework of the international aid through EU countries. Second, China could aid Greece directly. Especially considering the Silk Road Economic Belt and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. China has this ability," Fan added.
And while it's impossible to overstate how hilariously ironic it is that Communist China could be the world's best hope for preventing the birthplace of Western civilization from careening into the Third World, there's a more subtle joke here as well. We'll let readers discern what that joke is with the help of the following graphic: