How an Economic Statistic Created a Crime

When Greek deficit totals were revised by the head of their statistical office, the Greek government said a crime had been committed.

Greece Again?

With more austerity resistance to government spending cutbacks, Greece could again be heading for a sovereign debt default and a bailout.

Why the GDP is Much More Than a Number

Seemingly just a statistic, how we calculate the GDP and how it is used can be controversial and affect the lives of millions of people.

A Bank Run (or Jog): The Cyprus Story

Like New York’s Knickerbocker Bank in 1907 or Jimmy Stewart’s 1930s bank in It’s a Wonderful Life, the ingredients of a classic run include distraught depositors and rumors of a bank’s imminent demise. Now we can add a third bank run…

Greek Privatization Progress

Will international creditors say yes again to Greece after today’s meeting in Brussels? Part of the deal involves selling or leasing whatever the Greek government owns. The proceeds reduce the debt and meanwhile, by building roads and business parks, resuscitating ports and…

A New Greek (Economic) Fuel: Olive Oil

The Greek government needs its newest bailout infusion. But in return, austerity would include (among many other requirements) cutting certain civil servants’ salaries by as much as 35%, raising the retirement age again but this time to 67, and plunging the…

Greek Austerity Facts

With a March 20 deadline approaching, new European bailout negotiations continue to emphasize austerity. Curious about what austerity specifically meant, I looked at a Greek newspaper. In the sports section, they discussed the plight of Greece and the Olympics.  Athens Olympic Park,…

Alexander Hamilton, George Washington and the Euro Zone

How to decide euro zone policy today? Just look at the U.S. between 1780 and 1840. Saturday, in his Nobel Prize lecture, economist Thomas J. Sargent compared the past U.S. to the current euro zone. He based his talk on…

Euro Deal Primer

To understand euro zone bailout plans, just think BBB. Bonds, Banks, Bailout The Bonds: If you own Greek debt, then you would be asked to accept a 50% haircut. That means you will get new Greek bonds worth half the…

Too Big To Fail

The HBO documentary, “Too Big To Fail” was excellent. But what to come away with? TBTF (Too Big To Fail) solves problems and it creates them. TBTF can reverse a confidence crisis. When the world is worried that the failure…