Guest Post: How To Explain Greece To A Complete Idiot / Politician

Tyler Durden's picture

From Simon Black of Sovereign Man

How To Explain Greece To A Complete Idiot/Politician

Let’s pretend for a moment that Greece is a human being. I’ll call him George.

George is a hairdresser and makes $40,000 per year. George has limited assets. He has zero savings, no precious metals, and is way underwater on his mortgage. His credit card debt is over $100,000, and his bare minimum living expenses are $45,000 annually, over 10% more than he makes. George’s credit is pitiful, and he cannot obtain any more new loans.

George’s neighbor Hans has a big family. All the kids work hard and contribute to the family savings. Hans sees George’s plight and decides the neighborhood has to stick together; he starts loaning George some money out of his family’s savings, and eventually begins to take on more and more of George’s personal debts.

Many of the other neighbors– Luciano, Seamus, and Juan– are in the same boat as George: drowning in debt with massive personal expenses and no hope to pay them back.

Everyone is looking to Hans for help.  He’s the responsible one in the neighborhood. Now, Hans doesn’t want them all to go bust because he knows it would be bad for the neighborhood property values… but Hans’s children are balking at the prospect of working hard on their newspaper routes just so that George can keep his plasma screen TV.

Very soon, George is going to run out of options and will have to have a difficult conversation with his credit card companies. In the real world, there is no other choice.

In the pretend world of politics, however, European leaders have been able to convince everyone that it’s all under control. Never mind that the whole situation has completely fractured capital markets; traditional valuation metrics have taken a back seat to rumors of secret meetings and loud talk of bailout plans.

Think about it: Dexia passed summer bank stress tests with flying colors. A couple of months later it’s going bust. How can markets function without confidence in balance sheet accuracy? Or whether a government will even be around tomorrow? This is kind of a problem when sovereign debt is the cornerstone of the financial system…

And yet, stock markets worldwide surged today on the news of a European ‘pledge’ to help banks.

Do yourself a favor and stop watching their lips move. These ‘plans’ are nothing more than lies and misdirection. Just like our friend George, a Greek default has to happen.  Politicians can pretend whatever they want, but in the real world where we live, financial deadbeats have no other options.

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Deadpool's picture

"in the real world where we live", I think he means us because Tin Tin goes third world trotting ain't OUR real world.

GeneMarchbanks's picture

Last I checked Athens has 111t of the Au, and unlike the Dutch, I'm pretty sure they have theirs if you know what I mean.

George is only the beginning, seeing how his family is small (population) the real clusterfuck to resume as scheduled.

boiltherich's picture

111 tonnes of gold at 1650 ish an ounce is still only worth $4.3 billion, not nearly enough to even plug this FY shortfall for Greece. 

Toe Cutter's picture

It's all an illusion, bitchez!

Cassandra Syndrome's picture

Hans has large shadow debt as well.... and his grandfather was a vicious bastard.

Leopold B. Scotch's picture

Yes. The situation would be much better if Hans kept up with the Georges.  That would solve everything.

If we're talking about past history, let's waltz over to Sir Winston's abode and discuss which great empire has coddled the war financiers for centuries?  

Or which empire invented the concentration camp to use on those less excited about the Sun never setting on the Empire.

Jolly ol' Adolf actually fancied the Empire, stupidly thought he could work with their Lilly-white assess given their brutal history of conquest and subjugation seemed to go hand in hand with his plans.

Even nutty Wilhelm just wanted to keep up with his nifty cousins, who would have none of sharing the seas, let alone the globe, leading to the War of Royal Egos we call WWI.

But just dump on the new (frankly quite generous, if not dimwittedly so with his endless war guilt), jolly old Fritz.  He's the only one in the neighborhood actually producing stuff people want.  The rest of Europe seems content to either be in the money printing & shuffling / redistribution biz (ala London), or are sitting on the foundations of their forefathers, hoping the Pantheon, Colosseum, etc. can keep the $$ flowing.

flattrader's picture

From Simon Black of Sovereign Man

How To Explain Greece To A Complete Idiot/Politician

Let’s pretend for a moment that Greece is a human being. I’ll call him George.


What crap.  Should have been titled "How an Idiot Explains Greece to Another Idiot."

I often wonder why the Tylers continue to post this kind of nonsense.  Sovereign Man is becoming almost as bad as Charles Hugh Smith.

Leopold B. Scotch's picture

Very enlightening counterpoint.  Very.

Imminent Crucible's picture

"What crap"

I didn't really have a problem with it, and I understand what a 151% yield on the GGB 1yr implies about recovery rates.

I gather that you really, really dislike Simon the globetrotter, but you didn't put too much effort into explaining the "crap" part.

defencev's picture

Agreed. If one should use this very poor metaphore, one should mention that Hans prosperity is based on selling his stuff to neighbours whom he lend the money. Hans also managed to introduce local currency among neighbours. This makes his life

much easier than Li who is doing the same thing to Sam (selling a lot of his stuff and lending money) but Sam is permanently complaining that Li dumps on him his products.

 SB reached BKK. He is just short two hour ride from his ultimate destination: Pattaya. SB sold a lot of his junk to sheeple and now is going to have a well deserved relaxation in Paradise.

Taint Boil's picture



Deleted, too much Rum and Coke


asteroids's picture

The solution is simple. Han's starts fucking George's wife until the debt is paid off.

sterling effort's picture

Have you seen George's wife? Han's has standards.

He wouldn't fuck her with your dick.

YellowShark's picture

I got $10 on a slow-motion trainwreck. They're gonna drag this shit out for at least another 18mos.

LawsofPhysics's picture

Yes, maybe longer.  The NWO must make "Georges" out of everyone before implimentation of a world currency.

boiltherich's picture

Hans also has a serial history of home invasion and mass murder.  He had to get Seamus to take his "help" by putting a gun to his head, and while Hans looks serious and stable he has a lot of problems of his own, his family is too big for his house, his employer (YOU) is going broke, his house is badly located between warring rival gangs on the east and west, a major family schism has only recently been healed at great and ongoing expense, as if that were not enough one of his boys has recently started to shave his head and yell Sieg Heil again. 

Leopold B. Scotch's picture

Yeah.. Keep dinging my yawns with negatives.  Really -- I'm just really tired of the "Germans are all Hitlers offspring" never move on cheap shots.

Don't you dimwits realize that Hitler subjugated many of his own people, and carted off lots of the entrepreneurial class that wanted nothing to do with his National Socialist Party brand of fascism?  That Hitler has his own version of "these people need to pay their fair share" that resonated with the dimwitted masses?  That the story of Hitler is a story of the dimwits following Authoritarianism because the State has all the answers to the little guys' problems?

Still don't see it?


agrotera's picture

So well said Leopold B. Scotch!!!

boiltherich's picture

I did not see where anyone but you mentioned AH, though certainly he was alluded to and that is only fair insofar as he is a part of their history and national character, but German history is longer and bloodier than just the Nazi era.  In fact at this point Germany is doing what is best for Germany, if there is any real effort to buoy the slackers in the 17 nation EZ it is only because German banks will be the eventual casualties of non payment, so as in the case of Ireland untold billions in bailouts will be forced on those who were victims of an insane one size fits all monetary policy and when that money is delivered it nary for a moment resides in the accounts of the recipients before it leaves town for the accounts of German banks.  In fact the bailouts never even really make it as far as the shores of Greece or Ireland but instead are accounting entries at Commerzbank and Landesbank and Duetsche Bank.  What is left in the nations made to take these "stabilizations" is unsustainable debt that cannot be paid down in 4 generations and which will eat a significant portion of GDP until they are defaulted upon, but by then the German banks will be whole and when those governments default it will be upon their own people since the debt is merely being shifted from German commercial interests to foreign sovereigns. 

As to the red arrows for the yawns, I am not sure about this but when posters put up such non comments that imply you are right and they are wrong, as in any statements about the subject are a tiring waste of time if YOU did not make them, well, it is understandable that people flip it a red downer.  Post something with a position and people will red or green it based upon it's content, but simply posting YAWN!!! is wasting everyone's time.

Debtless's picture

George ends up with Yusef in Hans' oven...i've seen this story before.

ABG LINE's picture

Sovereign  Black or Sovereign  Man?


stormsailor's picture

i am betting with my monies,  short 50 /es at 1184.  probably get my ass handed to me.

GeneMarchbanks's picture

Brave. I admire your courage/stupidity.

topcallingtroll's picture

I admire stupidity too. It can provide great entertainment. Anybody remember Evil Knievil?

Leopold B. Scotch's picture

I had the Evil Knievel hand-crank motor-cycle and action figure set, which came with a ramp.  

Evil never managed to land the jump down the stairs to the first floor.  He landed a few nice ones into my sister's dollhouse, though.

stormsailor's picture


Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Let's see. There are useless idiots, useful idiots, flaming idiots, stupid idiots, idiot savants and now complete idiots. I would say the plumbing is plugged up because we are overflowing with idiots.

Cassandra Syndrome's picture

Is idiot not ordinal? What was an idiot 50 years ago is considered average today? We will soon be in this scenario

dearth vader's picture

What do you mean by 'soon'? The fools have been in charge since Adam left Paradise.

Tao 4 the Show's picture

Too true, though also funny that the ancient Greek origin of the word had to do with people who were too self centered to participate in public affairs like voting. But in the larger ancient sense, ZH is an anti-idiocy school where people bother to learn what is really going on.

Deadpool's picture

George is a government apparatchik and known for beating young women to death in two bit hotel rooms and will be taken care of by his handlers....Hans is a gay libertarian social science professor and will not do well in gulag. Simon has a messiah complex and plays RISK alone in the dark.

Luciano, Seamus, and Juan are government spys.

Abitdodgie's picture

We need to be worried about whole countries not a couple of people that live in south central, I think the problem is bigger than what he makes out , this guy needs to do some traveling.

Ronaldo's picture

So, lets assume this makes a sensible presentation of the facts.  Reality still has the market is going up and people (for a week) therefore must even believe those lips more and more each day they see the positive outcome.  Maybe this is indeed how a crash does surprise everyone.  We sit here believing our perspective, but watching the unbelievable outcome as the market moves higher, until some people give in to temptation a join the rest of the people.  That is when the reality acutally happens for therest of the world.

I am going to sit on the sidelines and wait for a time to get back in, but it wont be soon, unless the crash has actually come.  This is not a market that seems to be reacting to facts that are highlighted here, but one that can overlook those facts and comes to an entirely different conclusion, thus it moves higher.




boiltherich's picture

Up up and away, nearly every stock up, nearly all commodities up, money money money, it all takes money, by the pallet load, all sidelined cash and then some which can only mean PPT's around the world are doubling down.  And the reasons are all about QE's, 3/4 in the USA, Chinese promises to buy equity to support financials/maintain dollar peg.  Euroland being flooded with dollars by the fed, or had people not noticed the ForEx move by the euro up 3 plus since COB Friday, those dollars have to be sold for euro to be injected into the Dexia black hole if they are going to avoid contagion.  Slovack Republic aside, because we all know they will get their arms twisted  and a loaded gun to their heads, same as in Dublin, German speaking technocrats roaming the halls of the various finance ministries issuing orders.  Berlusconi acting like only he can:

George Clooney’s ‘Astonishing’ Evening in Berlusconi’s Bedroom

Just another day in the "real" world.

cranky-old-geezer's picture



Did I miss the QE3 announcement this moring?

This is insanity.  There's no rational reason for markets rising like they are today.   EZ is on the edge of cascading collapse.  Nothing but lies and bullshit keeping it afloat now.


SheepDog-One's picture

Just got to add some padding before tomorrows dump...coming down from cocaine and hopium binges is a real bitch.

topcallingtroll's picture



Daddy neds ten percent average annual returns over next 15 years to retire.

boiltherich's picture

Between June 2009, when the recession officially ended, and June 2011, inflation-adjusted median household income fell 6.7 percent, to $49,909, according to a study by two former Census Bureau officials. During the recession — from December 2007 to June 2009 — household income fell 3.2 percent.

Since the above is from CNBS you know it is actually worse than this.  I tried only to get relevant census material sans CNBS spin.

The full 9.8 percent drop in income from the start of the recession to this June — the most recent month in the study — appears to be the largest in several decades, according to other Census Bureau data. Gordon W. Green Jr., who wrote the report with John F. Coder, called the decline “a significant reduction in the American standard of living.”

DUH!  Master of the obvious.

So incomes drop 10% that they will admit to, and inflation though unreported is at least 10% in the same period, =20% drop in living standards in just over three years.  And my only question is why has OWS been CIVIL disobedience so far? 

Good luck with getting that real return on your investments, good luck getting your investments returned. 

Conax's picture

The investors are like battered wives. In their minds they have no place else to go, so they are in denial, happy to keep their minds right and stay on the equities plantation.

The recent PM slaughterfest convinced them there is no future there, so they throw their concerns to the wind and beleive.

Joe Sixpack's picture

They are thinking, "I HOPE the stock market goes up, because if not , all I have is a little CHANGE in my pocket".

boiltherich's picture

Oh if only I were a better wife (investor) he would stop beating me up.  House showing major signs of disrepair and neglect, he is out getting drunk every day on grain alcohol (QE brand) because he can't find a job.  And divorce is out of the question because we are Catholic and have 14 kids (two with special needs). 

J 457's picture

Better dump it before the 1:00 sell-off begins...

zorba THE GREEK's picture

@ Geezer..  There was a QE announcement over the weekend. Europe said they are

going to bail out their banks and that means they are going to print because the masses

are not going to pay for another bank bailout, at least not directly.

DCFusor's picture

China's sov wealth fund is QE'ing their banks...hmmm.