Europe's Cash-For-Trash LTRO-'Scam' And The Indentured Servitude Of The Citizenry
In a must-watch follow-up to his original Punk Economics Lesson, David McWilliams describes how the new bankocracy in Europe will lead to a massive injection of liquidity; blowing bubbles in financial assets while the citizenry is bled dry (ring any recent bells?). The banks again get all the money they need while the average citizen shoulders the burden. Specifically in the case of the Greeks, they are left with the uncertainty of a return to the Drachma or the certainty of decades of indentured servitude. Enter the ECB with their cash-for-trash deal. This is a scam, he proclaims correctly, insolvent banks lending to insolvent governments and we are calling it success? The banks can turn a tidy profit, but the straight-talking Irishmen asks the question every Greek citizen should be asking: "where does the profit come from?" The answer: the average tax-paying European citizen, and it is this that provides the comfort for the Germans to allow the Greeks to default without bringing down every bank in Europe in a contagious cascade of margin calls, un-hypothecation and deleveraging. Critically, the question is not if or when Greece will default but will they be allowed to default enough? The lesson for all is that to stay in the Euro, all European nations have to become more like Germany - which is very different from the community of equal nations that the Europeans signed up for 20 years ago at Maastricht. Don't be fooled that the European debt story is over, it is not. In fact, he finishes - rather ominously, the interesting bit hasn't even started yet.
While austerity is argued not to work, we think it can if countries manage to cut expenses while keeping a balance. We once again remind readers that alas, the balance is out of skew due to 30 years of runaway full-Keynesianism, which leads indeed to the problems that McWilliams so well espouses.