Reporting On The Golden Fleece

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Mark Grant, author of Out Of The Box

The Greek Grand Prix

You didn’t know they had a road race in Athens? Yes, quite a famous one just a race of a different sort. Since January 13, 2010 when I first predicted the downfall of Greece the track has been busy while the IMF and the European Union populated the bleachers and the crowd roared with each new twist and turn and stared wide eyed as the Grecian chariot bounced off the walls and spun around time and time again on the track.

“Hateful to me as the gates of Hades is that man who hides one thing in his heart and speaks another.”



During the last election each and every party running promised to renegotiate the terms of their agreement with the Troika. This was the cornerstone of the political debate as the promises were poured like honeyed water on the populace in an attempt to gain power. Today all of the promises hit the wall and stopped as the IMF told Greece that there would be no new negotiations and so Greece put on the Golden Fleece and prepares for their whipping.

“Sing to me, Muse, of the wrath of Achilles, son of Peleus, which brought countless ills upon the Acheans.”


                                           -The Iliad

Over the last year Greece has raided their university funds, their pension funds, their hospital funds and it is now stone cold bankrupt. They have done everything possible including refusing to pay their suppliers and raided their banks. I am not even sure that “insolvent” is an accurate word any longer as they are now flat out of cash and perhaps out of credit. The leaders in Greece, this morning, said they will no longer try to negotiate the bailout terms and they have gone into a last-ditch posture of bowing to the gods in the final hope that more money will be handed out as they prostrate themselves on the hard earth and moan in compliance.

“Men are so quick to blame the gods: they say that we devise their misery. But they themselves- in their depravity- design grief greater than the griefs that fate assigns.”



The Troika’s report on the financial condition of Greece is going to be damning and they know it. There will be no more talk of a 120% debt to GDP ratio in a few years and promises to sell state assets and cure the rampant fraud in coming years is falling on deaf ears. This road has come to an end. Now there is only one decision left; will they get another charity hand-out knowing the loans made can never be paid back or not? The IMF is in a particularly difficult position as they can no longer contend that the situation can get fixed and they account to the nations that fund them and not to the citizens of Europe. Economically it now either has to be debt forgiveness, a subject brought up by no one, or it will be one more hand-out under no pretense of it being anything else or it will be default. Greece is either going to become the ward of the State or it is going to be cut-off and that decision is imminent. First will be the release of the Troika report and then the bang of the judge’s hammer as the Grecian road, so long in winding and unwinding has ended and ended by what had to take place which is that the financial well has run dry. The Grecian Urn was regarded and parched earth was all that was inside.

We are at that moment in time where Greece has capitulated and it is going to be hanging or life imprisonment and Greece, eyes downward cast, is waiting for the verdict. This situation may have been long in coming but it is going to be a disaster for the IMF and for the European Union however it goes. Greece (3) will be a “moment” of that you may be assured and the announcement will be coming shortly. The forthcoming decision will be a matter of credibility in the end as the next line in the sand will hit the ECB, the EU and the IMF in a place that hurts as the last free barrier, the private investors, has been breached and is it going to be the taxpayers of Europe that bear the brunt or is it to be the nation of Greece and her people. There can be no more excuses and the fantastic charades of the past have evaporated and been found wanting. The shepherd ascended Mount Olympus and finding no temples, no gods now is descending back down the mountain and trying hard to figure out just what to say to the people. We are about to face a “Moses Moment” when the worshipping of the “Golden Bull” will no longer cut it. Stand by!

“There will be killing till the score is paid.”


                                         -The Odyssey

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evolutionx's picture

German Schatz negative yield


Spain 10 y 7,03 %

German Bund 1,37%

German Schatz (2y) -,007%

means: Germany will exit the Euro...


Gief Gold Plox's picture

In Germany the Euro exist you!

CharlieSDT's picture

Why have they not hung these politicians yet?  Hurry up with pitchforks, you lazy Greeks!

BigJim's picture

Because, when you're the 'birthplace of democracy', you're obliged to believe the hype - that, somehow, the government is the people. Why, hanging the lying scumbags would be like hanging our brothers and sisters and neighbours!

No snowflake ever feels responsible for the avalanche.

Bicycle Repairman's picture

Because the Greeks know "their" politicians cannot solve their problems.

Race Car Driver's picture

"Genius, genius Greek people."

old naughty's picture

so are we...we know our .gov cannot solve the problems neither.

Ivanovich's picture

I think you mean "exits".  But I agree, Germany will get out - Finland is already wanting out!

Gief Gold Plox's picture

*blushes* So embarrassing. Thanks for the correction.

LowProfile's picture

Germany doesn't have to exit the EUR, but they may well reintroduce the DM as a parallel currency.

Peter Pan's picture

If Germany exits she will save herself and also send a message to all others that their fate is to be found in their own ands and not by latching on to the German breast.

Svendblaaskaeg's picture

Piigs:But what of all those sweet words you spoke in private? 
Merkel: Oh that's just what we call pillow talk, baby, that's all.

margaris's picture

Germany is not a she!

Gerwomany maybe, but not Germany.


So its not a breast they are latching on to.....

youngman's picture

I agree...If I was Germany I would exit....the new world markets will be where they sell thier stuff to now...not in the EU anymore..

BigJim's picture

If Germany exits, their banks collapse.

I'm not saying they shouldn't exit - but if you believe the political class in Germany is as beholden to financiers as their brethren everywhere else in the Western world, it's hard to see them finding the cohones to do such a thing.

Of course, if they don't exit, their economy will decline along with the rest of Europe's. But that's OK - it will be gradual, and happen chiefly on some other politician's watch.

Quintus's picture

Have a look at this as an example of the state Greece is in.  The courts have made judgements for €12.6bn against tax evaders, but the Government can't collect the money because their Austerity programme has forced them to fire so many of their tax collectors.

This situation is not saveable.

Paper CRUSHer's picture

Many public schools around athens are reporting an increase in the number of sudents and pupils falling unconscious in class due to being deeply malnourished.

The greek economoney has come full circle......mass malinvestment>mass malnourisment.

insanelysane's picture

Complete BS anti-austerity BS.  The Greeks tried to collect taxes via the electric company over a year ago and if people didn't pay the bills their electricity would be shut off.  The union workers refused to shut off anyone's power.  The Greeks can't collect the taxes because the citizens refuse to pay taxes and the citizens refuse to pay taxes, not because they are lazy or criminal, but because they feel the taxes are too high and pay for useless people to do useless taxes.  The US is headed there.  Government worker unions get politicians elected that promise the world on the backs of the private citizens and then when there is no money, they point to the "legal" contracts they have that if enforced, mean that private citizens have to be taxed to fulfill the contracts.  The public worker retires at 60 while the private citizen cannot retire until 70 and the 2 retirement packages. 

zuuuueri's picture

also don't forget that the majority of the taxes in question were two extraordinary 'one time' levies on property.. the second 'one time' tax levied a few months after the first. They are together many times what the typical property tax is (which people still had to pay in addition to the 'one time' taxes) and indeed even if one accepts the 'right' to compel the ordinary taxes, there was no legal foundation for these extra taxes beyond 'we want more money so all of you suckers pay up' .

Totentänzerlied's picture

"'we want more money so all of you suckers pay up' ." is the "justification" for all taxes, the "legal foundation" is merely window-dressing.

Gordon Freeman's picture

More of Mark Grant's self-congratulatory bloviations...yawn

He'd better stay away from any open flames.

THX 1178's picture

When you're right you're right. All ZHers will be doing the same in a matter of time... "I told you so, but you called me crazy..." etc.

ArkansasAngie's picture

Debt forgiveness ... isn't that the same thing as haircuts?

Hey Ben ... is this what you meant by pushing investors (school teachers, firefighters, grandmas et al) into riskier assets?

DutchDude's picture

Germany can't do much more; Constitutional court won't allow much more room. President is over the line allready. 3/4 of the German people think Germany is allready doing too much. So this is the endgame for Germany.

In the Netherlands politicians are so obviously lying it's becoming funny. Our demissionairy MP promises the exact opposite of what Herman van Rompuy so that won't last very long.

Finland won't do much more and France is kicking it by lowering pension age. Hell, it's like France tries to become a PIIGS country and let Germany pay for the wine.

No, Germany won't stick for very long and Holland will follow as usual.

recidivist's picture

Another nice analogy is boat ownership.  A boat is a hole in the water into which one pours money.  Surely the Greek ship of state is no longer going to receive cash infusions at some point in the near future and, sans maintenance, it will get ugly.  Learn to swim, O Ye Mighty Greek Warriors.

Tom Green Swedish's picture

Marxism.  Automatic $10,000 a year raise year minimum for Mr. Labor Proletariot.

Too Much Finance's picture

Germany is leaving the Euro in approximately:

A.  1 month or less

B.  6 months or less

C.  1 year or less

D.  Greater than 1 year


BigJim's picture

If you'd asked me a year ago, I'd have said B), six months or less.

And yet, here we are, still watching The Greatest Show On Earth.

Bogdog's picture

I'm buying DRR today.

Catullus's picture

But don't worry: when the individual states in the US go into arrears on Medicaid, it's totally different than Greece not paying its suppliers.  It's true.  Krugman told us California (and Illinois and Maryland) are not Greece.

Vegetius's picture


Well its goodbye to the Greeks, and Merkel looks on sharpening her knives

Quote time

Agamemnon speaking to Odysseus -

" As I lay dying, the woman with the dog's eyes would not close my eyes as I descended into Hades" --

 (from William Faulkner)

EllaDara's picture

You should keep in mind that when the Greeks defaulted for the first time, the Germans where still painting pictures in their caves.

We know what we are doing.

Peter Pan's picture

You fool. If you knew what you were doing you should have done it two years ago when your people had not yet been drained by two years of pointless austerity.

Joe A's picture

Memories of "Empire" don't count in modern days. The old Greek by the way, would beat modern Greek up for what they have done to their country and for not standing up to the international banker bullies.

zuuuueri's picture

and there are plenty of us even today who want to beat the crap out of our countrymen who have let things get to where they are now. sadly... a reality which even many inside greece acknowledge is that we, by degrees, drove the most productive and worthwhile elements of our population into emigration- greeks abroad are a fair bit different from the ones we left back home. It was a mix of unambitious, unproductive, or politically connected people who form a large part of those who had no reason to leave and progressively over the pastfew decades gained a greater rperesentation by virtue of the others leaving. A new generation is growing up who realize what's going on, but unfortunately they are so far still too blinded by the toxic cloud of the propaganda that passes for public education these days, the stories promised them when they were younger of 'progress and prosperity for everyone at no cost to anyone', and are still
struggling to figure out what to do with themselves.

Sadly this same story will be repeated in most other countries. The emigration problem is a bit different, but do pay attention to the flood of the most productive americans leaving the US the past few years...

Joe A's picture

Good post. The old guard in Greece should disappear and be replaced by young Greek that are keen to change their country for the good. The old Greek oligarchy needs to make way. Greek diaspora and returnees could contribute to that. Unfortunately, the old politicians of POSAK and ND are still there.

I love Greece and the Greek people, I go there on holiday every year and I hope that the young generation can turn things around but prospects for opportunities are low.

Svendblaaskaeg's picture

"You should keep in mind that when the Greeks defaulted for the first time, the Germans where still painting pictures in their caves."

Thank You for stating the obvious (Arbeit macht frei) Greeks are now slaves, Germany their masters


No Euros please we're British's picture

Oh No, it's the end of the road. Wait! What's that twisty track to the left we haven't been down yet?

Too Much Finance's picture

I'm not sure what the question was, but I'm pretty sure the answer is aliens.

Joe A's picture

No, actually the answer is 42.

crawldaddy's picture

Ironically according to old texts, the gods " or aliens" came to this planet for the gold. It has some very unique and tech worthy properties, and explains why humans are fascinated by it....  aliens=bullish on gold  :)

Peter K's picture

Socialism es muerte :)

Joe A's picture

Although I agree that the Greek collectively are mostly to blame for the current situation, they currently get hammered so hard that for sure people will die or be hungry because of the austerity measures. Greece is sacrificed on the execution block of international finance. They should have done the Iceland thing two years ago. Now they are on the hook for a generation.

Peter Pan's picture

I understand your sentiment but the reality is that Greece would not be in her present predicament had those German and French banks done some due diligence and realised that Greece was not a good risk. At that time however bankers were chasing profits and bonuses so they bought Greek debt with both hands knowing that when the SHTF that they and their bonuses would be out of harms way and that governments would bail them out.

Oh, and before I forget, many loans were advanced so that German and French arms manufacturers could sell more weapons to a Greece constantly threatened by Turkey. Where was Europe to put the Turks in their place? Nowhere, because business is business just as it has always been.

And along with the depised Greek people, the hard working German worker will lso be left to pay for their nation's bail out of their banks.

Joe A's picture

Good points but why would banks care about risks if they know that they will get bailed out by the taxpayers anyway? That is the whole thing: profits are privatized and losses are socialized. Taxpayer pick up the bill.

crawldaddy's picture

O ye of little faith,  The game will continue, they will simply make new words and stuff up.


Going forth, Greece will be a double secret probation,  and the markets will rejoice...   no one will know or even care what double secret probabtion is, but that matters little.  Greece is in trouble, the banks and govt put out a press release with words in it... all is now good again for a  for more weeks.

Peter Pan's picture

The moment for decisive valour was lost two years ago. At that time the Greeks should have defaulted without warning and caused the rotten financial structure across the world to sway if not topple.

For two and a half thousand years the Greeks went into every battle without ever counting the superior numbers of their enemies. This time round they herded like sheep in front of their TV's and dutifully allowed their politicians to raise the flag of surrender before the battle begn, for the first time in their history.

The fate of sheep is always sealed from the beginning. Lions at least do battle.

zuuuueri's picture

please dont make the mistake of thinking that the people and the politicians are the same thing!

Peter Pan's picture

Agreed but tyrants in ancient Greece were disposed of. This time the sheep are paying them handsomely.

Nobody For President's picture

Sausage the riooooooooooooot dog - Front and Center!