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Greece Runs Out Of Ink, Can't Print Tax Forms

Tyler Durden's picture


If you thought that last night's news that Greece had been consulting (and paying) the far more "stable" Irish Central Bank on how to, oh, avoid bankruptcy, this may jus top it. In an FT article describing the new set of austerity measures most of which are very loud threats that Greece will very soon (really) take austerity seriously (they promise), we stumble across the following gem: "The conservative opposition New Democracy party said a shortage of ink had prevented the computerised tax centre at the finance ministry from sending out claims to taxpayers over the last 10 days. There was no response from the finance ministry to the claim."...

So.... let's get this straight. If austerity does not force all the tax collectors to be on permanent strike which it appears it will, than the sharp ink shortage will surely destroy any attempts to generate state revenue through tax collections. And there is more bad news: when Greece goes back to its prior currency, the drachma, or the obolus, or goats, or whatever, there will be no ink to print it. And since Greece will enter hyperinflation shortly following its evolutionary transition from disorganized banana republic to organized hyperinflationary implosion, this may be a concern.

h/t Kalev


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Wed, 09/28/2011 - 07:39 | 1717824 ZeroPower
ZeroPower's picture

...or ouzo.

Wed, 09/28/2011 - 07:51 | 1717869 j0nx
j0nx's picture

Or hot hairy greek bitches. Fire sale on those? I'll take 2!

Wed, 09/28/2011 - 08:18 | 1717927 johnQpublic
johnQpublic's picture


Wed, 09/28/2011 - 08:39 | 1717967 Gully Foyle
Gully Foyle's picture


Why do Italian men grow mustaches?

To look like their Mothers.

Mrs.Carberry: Fecking Greeks!
Colm: It isn't the Greeks, it's the Chinese he's after.
Father Ted: I'm not after the Chinese!
Mrs.Carberry:I don't care who he gets as long as I can have a go at the Greeks. They invented gayness!

Wed, 09/28/2011 - 09:38 | 1718126 GRsilverking
GRsilverking's picture

Greek girls are not hairy any more & are the hottest in EU. Maybe get your head out of the sand and go visit someday. It's not 1970.

Greek gov may be thives & bastard but the Greek people are good. Since everyone including the tax collectrors were on the take they learned to no have to pay tax. Most employees are paid 30% of salary in cash in small or large business. As one teaches thier dog that's how is goint to behave.

Wed, 09/28/2011 - 10:15 | 1718257 Caveman93
Caveman93's picture

If they cannot afford ink, how on this Earth will their women afford Nair, razors and wax? Just asking. Yeah, pretty hairy indeed!

Wed, 09/28/2011 - 10:25 | 1718285 MS7
MS7's picture

What a fascinating question. Maybe you should do a study a report back to the geniuses here.

Wed, 09/28/2011 - 10:32 | 1718304 The Big Ching-aso
The Big Ching-aso's picture

"Greek girls are not hairy any more..."

Yeah he's right.    They're trying to be like Armenian chicks.


Wed, 09/28/2011 - 10:30 | 1718290 MS7
MS7's picture

Desperately seeking riot dog's mom?

Wed, 09/28/2011 - 10:49 | 1718382 covert
covert's picture

wish that would happen in America.


Wed, 09/28/2011 - 07:40 | 1717826 achmachat
achmachat's picture


Wed, 09/28/2011 - 07:43 | 1717837 GeneMarchbanks
GeneMarchbanks's picture

no... just... tears.

Wed, 09/28/2011 - 07:40 | 1717827 doomandbloom
doomandbloom's picture

Pls contact Bernanke for more ink...

Wed, 09/28/2011 - 07:41 | 1717829 papaswamp
papaswamp's picture

Damn beat me to it....

Wed, 09/28/2011 - 08:21 | 1717931 Manthong
Manthong's picture

Damn, Peak Ink..

Maybe gold and silver will be worth someting now.

Wed, 09/28/2011 - 08:35 | 1717958 Oh regional Indian
Oh regional Indian's picture

Seriously though, if what it portends wasn't sad, it'd be funny.


Wed, 09/28/2011 - 08:50 | 1717981 HoofHearted
HoofHearted's picture

You can't make this shit up...or can you? Is this the Onion back at it again? Unfortunately, life is often stranger than fiction.

Wed, 09/28/2011 - 07:43 | 1717838 turicum
turicum's picture

The Bernank is certainly able to "generate" more money from the same amount of ink than the greek tax departement.

Wed, 09/28/2011 - 07:44 | 1717840 RemiG2010
RemiG2010's picture

I am sorry to inform you, that we at the FED as well ECB, are using an electronic ink only.

Wed, 09/28/2011 - 07:58 | 1717888 YesWeKahn
YesWeKahn's picture

Bernanke didn't need any ink, that was his lip work.

Wed, 09/28/2011 - 08:16 | 1717919 fockewulf190
fockewulf190's picture

Nah, the ECB will spring another loan for the ink, as long as the Greek Parliment guarentees an ink tax is added to all greek electricity bills forthwith.

Wed, 09/28/2011 - 08:36 | 1717961 Ghordius
Ghordius's picture


won't work

what the "disappearing ink" incident really means is that the Greek Government is losing it's grip on the state burocracies

the tax-collectors are, instead of getting a lot of grief from the population, just being obstructive

the Greeks won't pay, period - and the squidwashed PM of Greece simply won't admit it

Wed, 09/28/2011 - 08:39 | 1717966 trav7777
trav7777's picture

then bye bye services

Wed, 09/28/2011 - 09:43 | 1718141 zuuuueri
zuuuueri's picture

the greek state does not provide any useful services.

rather, the proper services you'd expect from a state (defense and courts) you have to pay extra for (for defense, there is a conscription, and service is not compensated).

any of the services of, say, civil urban society (like water, lets say) you pay for separately, and the services of local government like trash collection, well, theoretically local governments collect taxes too.. in practice it all goes through the  central government, so that Athens is often months or years behind in paying the money to city governments or paying the bills at e.g. hospitals etc, even if technically the budgetary funny money is supposed to belong to a city government..

Many municipalities actually pay the bills with income from renting out publicly owned assets, or from fees (which are skyrocketing) since that money doesnt go to athens and then theoretically return to the city, but stays in local hands.

but, again, bye bye services? they can keep 'em, nobody will miss them.



Wed, 09/28/2011 - 10:47 | 1718369 The Big Ching-aso
The Big Ching-aso's picture

I think the greek state should just become a volunteer nation and be done with it.

Wed, 09/28/2011 - 08:53 | 1717988 Mentaliusanything
Mentaliusanything's picture

The Hospitals are not paying the bills for the Pharmacy goods, the only pay when they go on stop. Some bills are years behind

This was in june 2010

and  a year later its going to shit. I wonder if the Germans are happy lending them the money to pay the bills they sent them. 

Wed, 09/28/2011 - 09:41 | 1718134 GRsilverking
GRsilverking's picture

That is a bounch of shit for sure. We do & say stupid retarded things like that. Yes, they are disconecting thier electricity on their second home so they don't pay. They are subscribing to the "We will not pay" movement. Yes, this is the new movement. They do not care if the lights go off.

Wed, 09/28/2011 - 10:17 | 1718261 krispkritter
krispkritter's picture

1-800-BEN-4INK... Mr. BernINKe answers the phone 24x7...

Wed, 09/28/2011 - 07:41 | 1717830 Edward Fiatski
Edward Fiatski's picture

Oftentimes I think farce such as this is thought up on purpose by people in Power, only to laugh the peasantry in the eye.

Wed, 09/28/2011 - 07:41 | 1717831 turicum
turicum's picture

This is so, ahem, unbelievable, it can't be made up

Wed, 09/28/2011 - 07:41 | 1717832 LongSoupLine
LongSoupLine's picture

This is a direct result of Bernanke cornering the ink market...

Wed, 09/28/2011 - 07:49 | 1717850 Clint Liquor
Clint Liquor's picture

It was my understanding that the reason the USD is going up is that The FED had discovered a massive ink deposit in Alaska. If they can get through the permitting prossess the discovery will have a major impact on the supply/demand dynamics of ink. Greece should be Ok but they may need to buy some OCT.12 ink puts as a hedge.

A simple equation:


Wed, 09/28/2011 - 08:37 | 1717963 Unholy Dalliance
Unholy Dalliance's picture

Process, dear boy, process

Wed, 09/28/2011 - 08:32 | 1717950 youngman
youngman's picture

Is there an Ink ETF.....I´m in

Wed, 09/28/2011 - 07:41 | 1717833 Dick Darlington
Dick Darlington's picture


The law allows borrowers to repay their foreign currency mortgages at exchange
rates c. 25% below current market rates

Maybe the attention will soon shift to Austria and her banks with big eastern european exposures...

Wed, 09/28/2011 - 07:46 | 1717849 papaswamp
papaswamp's picture

That is the really under reported aspect isn't it. Some of those E.Euros are in serious trouble.

Wed, 09/28/2011 - 08:40 | 1717968 trav7777
trav7777's picture

why do you suppose the dollar hasn't imploded already?  75% of worldwide debt is denominated in FRNs. 

Wed, 09/28/2011 - 07:46 | 1717834 Sequitur
Sequitur's picture

I hope this EuroTalf bullshit blows up in LIESman's face. Just like a grenade, somone please pull the fucking pin, and take all of CNBC with it. Toss Santelli a bomb suit, only one worth saving.

Wed, 09/28/2011 - 07:42 | 1717835 mvsjcl
mvsjcl's picture


Wed, 09/28/2011 - 08:04 | 1717904 LeBalance
LeBalance's picture

close; we are talking PIIGS after all.

Wed, 09/28/2011 - 07:44 | 1717839 papaswamp
papaswamp's picture

The excuses are just getting better and what point does German and France realize the Greeks have completely played them? 

I can hear the Greeks now...(snicker snicker)..."shhhh I told them we will make huge the unions and ask for some strikes and demonstrations to make it look real..." (giggle)

Wed, 09/28/2011 - 07:49 | 1717863 turicum
turicum's picture

You mean, the Greek are not really sincere about the measures?

Wed, 09/28/2011 - 08:39 | 1717965 Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

they are as sincere as on the day they left a beautiful wooden statue in honor of the horse-creator Poseidon on the shores of Troy

Wed, 09/28/2011 - 10:52 | 1718394 The Big Ching-aso
The Big Ching-aso's picture

" what point does German and France realize the Greeks have completely played them?"

I think France should be especially worried that when Greece goes up in flames all those Bavarian Germans in Speedos will be headed to their shorelines.


Wed, 09/28/2011 - 07:44 | 1717841 Comay Mierda
Comay Mierda's picture

we will see the real revolt when they run out of toilet paper

Wed, 09/28/2011 - 08:01 | 1717893 disabledvet
disabledvet's picture

it's when they offer "digital toilet paper" that you'll see some "angst spillover" is what my sources in Greek intelligence have told me. "wipe your ass with your i-pad" apparently while "befitting the current Greek zeitgeist" has some "downside risk as well" according to "the planning committee."

Wed, 09/28/2011 - 08:58 | 1717997 Long-John-Silver
Long-John-Silver's picture

The real revolt will ensue when you can't use Dollars as toilet paper.

Wed, 09/28/2011 - 07:44 | 1717842 Arius
Arius's picture

thst doesnt sound good does it.... it reminds me of our FED on this side of Atlantic saving money by not publishing the M3 money supply report ... or at least that was the claim .... guilty as charged if i am mistaken ...

...the more things change the more they remain the same ...

Wed, 09/28/2011 - 07:44 | 1717843 Sequitur
Sequitur's picture

BAC on CNBC right now, claiming Treasury is "safe" investment. And inflation will be "low." If I hear "flight to safety" one more time, I'm going to destroy the big screen.

Wed, 09/28/2011 - 07:47 | 1717845 Salty Dawg
Salty Dawg's picture

Fed QInk 1 now officially part of Jobs pkg!!!

Wed, 09/28/2011 - 07:46 | 1717847 Gordon Freeman
Gordon Freeman's picture

The dog ate my homework...

Wed, 09/28/2011 - 08:53 | 1717989 37FullHedge
37FullHedge's picture

I was thinking the same thing.

10 Days!  This has to be the best BS I have ever come by.

Its made my day.

Wed, 09/28/2011 - 07:47 | 1717851 Stoploss
Stoploss's picture

Fax the forms to Mariner Eccles and print them from there. How many copies do they need, three??

Wed, 09/28/2011 - 07:47 | 1717853 Shit Bag
Shit Bag's picture

I wish Bernanke had the same problem

Wed, 09/28/2011 - 07:50 | 1717866 turicum
turicum's picture

He had the problem, and solved it digitally.

Wed, 09/28/2011 - 10:20 | 1718270 krispkritter
krispkritter's picture

I wish the IRS had the same problem!

Wed, 09/28/2011 - 07:49 | 1717857 ricksventures
ricksventures's picture

once the hyper-inflation kicks in and people would be selling their Porsche Cayennes for a tiny bit of gold plus their wife and the dougthers IT WOULD ACTUALLY BOOST THE ECONOMY OF THE INDIVIDUALS WITH REAL SAVINGS LIKE GOLD




i love the smell of banged cheap greek woman in the morning

Wed, 09/28/2011 - 07:54 | 1717862 Volaille de Bresse
Volaille de Bresse's picture

80% of the German population say "no" to a bail out of the Greeks.

20% of the German population is stupid or they don't read Zerohedge!


Seriously how can you even consider lending money to these lazy fat dickheads? Do you know how many IRS inspectors for the Athens area there are? SIX! Nuff said! Let them sink, they cannot be cured except with a giant kick in the butt. Let thm go back to where their ancestors were : no cars, no power, no TV, donkeys rides, goat cheese and 350 days of sunshine. 

Wed, 09/28/2011 - 07:54 | 1717864 j0nx
j0nx's picture

It really doesn't matter if 120% of the German people said no to the bailout. They would still do it regardless if they wanted knowing full well that Germans are even more apathetic and  docile than Americans and would do nothing against their masters.

Wed, 09/28/2011 - 07:50 | 1717865 malamasa
malamasa's picture

Tyler ...when you come out of your cave and you shave your beard we can discuss further ....

Wed, 09/28/2011 - 07:51 | 1717868 Tense INDIAN
Tense INDIAN's picture

i sometimes feel that Elites are using full opportunity of this crisis to make fun of their victims...

Wed, 09/28/2011 - 07:53 | 1717872 TheArmageddonTrader
TheArmageddonTrader's picture

Here's my just-published take on what's going on with this bailout renegotiation:

Wed, 09/28/2011 - 07:58 | 1717886 oogs66
oogs66's picture

did you see this new property tax is going to be collected by the electricity company?

Wed, 09/28/2011 - 08:01 | 1717892 BigJim
BigJim's picture

Coming soon, to a country near you.

Wed, 09/28/2011 - 07:58 | 1717889 ragamor
ragamor's picture

Looks like we don't need gold based currency after all, soon the ink on the papers will be very priced :D

Wed, 09/28/2011 - 12:09 | 1717890 BigJim
BigJim's picture

"The conservative opposition New Democracy party said a shortage of ink had prevented the computerised tax centre at the finance ministry from sending out claims to taxpayers over the last 10 days. There was no response from the finance ministry to the claim."...

Well of course there was no response. They've run out of ink.

Wed, 09/28/2011 - 15:19 | 1719355 Poetic injustice
Poetic injustice's picture

So they should have taken newspapers and made answer of clippings together with glue.
I mean, there is a lot of words "Greece default" in newspapers now so they would not even have to put parts of words together. Unless they have run out of glue... and poststamps.

Wed, 09/28/2011 - 08:02 | 1717895 beastie
beastie's picture

it gets better. We got tales of pimps , hos, pumping hos, paedophiles, welfare recipients making 90k etc etc all in just one front page

summary here



Wed, 09/28/2011 - 08:03 | 1717898 SuSpencer
SuSpencer's picture

Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn't.

-Mark Twain

Wed, 09/28/2011 - 08:09 | 1717911 beastie
beastie's picture

it gets better. We got tales of pimps , hos, pumping hos, paedophiles, welfare recipients making 90k etc etc all in just one front page

summary here



Wed, 09/28/2011 - 08:18 | 1717925 NEOSERF
NEOSERF's picture

Silly Germans, the Greeks have a hundred reasons they can't meet austerity goals and know the world won't call them on it...they are TOTALLY in the driver's seat and now the Greek tragedy moves to the Greek comedy..

Wed, 09/28/2011 - 08:18 | 1717926 the not so migh...
the not so mighty maximiza's picture

They can't even afford the ink for their tax forms...hahahahahahaha

Wed, 09/28/2011 - 08:22 | 1717933 sudzee
sudzee's picture

Not sending tax forms out means they don't have the money for refunds.

Wed, 09/28/2011 - 08:22 | 1717935 Gmpx
Gmpx's picture

Peak Ink

Wed, 09/28/2011 - 08:30 | 1717944 xbi
xbi's picture

Roland Burger's plan for greek recovery! Sto reading the propagandas and open your eyes! How a small country like Greece ( the debt of which is only the 8% of euro-zone) can do so much damage. Greece is the Trojan Horse of the monetary game we all play check this out !

Wed, 09/28/2011 - 08:34 | 1717955 sumo
sumo's picture

In entertainment news tonight, John Cleese has revealed he will resurrect Fawlty Towers and set it in Athens.

In finance news, the Greek Prime Minister was accused today of market manipulation and insider trading. Private companies linked to the Prime Minister are alleged to have initiated large short positions on The Onion, shortly before they cancelled deliveries of ink to the Tax Office.

Wed, 09/28/2011 - 08:35 | 1717957 DeadOnArrival
DeadOnArrival's picture

No problem...break out the stone tablets...time to go old school

Wed, 09/28/2011 - 08:37 | 1717962 youngman
youngman's picture

Oh.....that ink..yeah we got some of that.....

Wed, 09/28/2011 - 08:43 | 1717973 They_Live
They_Live's picture

Have they got pencils? Just employ a million people to write out fiat currency notes, before you know it your workers will be massively productive, and because you're using pencil adding extra 0s will be easy.

Wed, 09/28/2011 - 12:12 | 1718660 BigJim
BigJim's picture

How to increase employment: ban ink. And the wheel, and the shovel. Think of all the employment that would create!

Whee! This economics thing is easy!

Wed, 09/28/2011 - 08:50 | 1717982 agent default
agent default's picture

I think it is more of an act of resistance by the civil service more than anything else. 

Passive non compliance by making up fucked up excuses and not get anything done is a great way of grinding everything to halt without really doing something that will get you into outright trouble.  Anyone who has been in the military probably has a feel of what I am talking about.

Wed, 09/28/2011 - 09:22 | 1718068 GeorgeHayduke
GeorgeHayduke's picture

Have no fear, the banksters will ensure they get ink to print tax form so they can be repaid. Now,, when it come to food and other necessities of life, the Greek people will be on their own. Hey, it's just business as practiced by the bankers scum for centuries.

Wed, 09/28/2011 - 09:22 | 1718069 Byte Me
Byte Me's picture

Looks like Grease II is heading for a short "State of Emergency" followed by a coup and militart rule.

Perm any 2 from 3.

Wed, 09/28/2011 - 09:35 | 1718122 Jumbotron
Jumbotron's picture

Call Bernanke....he has plenty of ink.

Wed, 09/28/2011 - 10:06 | 1718220 Bicycle Repairman
Bicycle Repairman's picture

There is one thing that all Greeks; politicians, bureaucrats, military, police, everyone and their mamas agree on:  WE AIN'T PAYIN'!

They'll tell you anything you want to hear.  They'll agree to anything you propose/demand.  They'll make you look just as foolish as you want.

They're not paying, and nobody can make them pay.

Wed, 09/28/2011 - 10:15 | 1718258 MS7
MS7's picture

Oh, yeah, Greece will go "back" to goats as currency. Greece was using the drachma when most of your ancestors were using God knows what.

You keep repeating that Greece is only pretending to do austerity, when the austerity it has imposed is killing the country. Read the statistics about 40% (and more by now) increase in unemployment, 50% decrease in family income (I could not believe that either-- It was in the Guardian-- it must include the cuts in salaries as well as the increase in taxes). The problem is the government is corrupt and they are not taking any money from the rich, which is where the real money is.

Wed, 09/28/2011 - 11:47 | 1718578 jez
jez's picture

I suggest to the Greek gummint that they blame the shortage on "ink speculators".

Wed, 09/28/2011 - 13:55 | 1719027 Arie L Ultra
Arie L Ultra's picture

No no. They went short on ink.

Wed, 09/28/2011 - 15:09 | 1719319 johnjb32
johnjb32's picture

Not only that but Greece's tax collectors are going out on strike. How does Greece pay the bills then? -- Michael C. Ruppert

Thu, 03/01/2012 - 21:26 | 2215360 simoniddings
simoniddings's picture

What good are printers without ink? They may very well say they cannot publish any news because of the lack of ink to print newspapers. It is absurd, but not unexpected in a country facing such woes already.

Simon -

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