Some Greek Math

With a euro zone update on Greece unfolding (they might lease some islands but we’ll get to that in a moment), here is some Greek math that Michael Lewis presents in Boomerang. Referring to the deficit, during October 2009, the…

More of a Contagious Disease

From FT.com: “The Irish say they are not Greece. The Portuguese say they are not Irish. The Spanish finance minister said last week that Spain is not Portugal. There are no prizes for guessing what Italy is not.” Also, This…

The PIIG’s Progress

Almost everyone seems to be debating the same issues. Spend less, tax more, or both? Now perhaps Portugal has made some progress. Hoping to bring its budget deficit down to 4.6% of GDP in 2011, their VAT will ascend to…

A Contagious Disease

Seeing the Bloomberg Businessweek headline, “Greek Contagion Spurs Surge in Portugal, Spanish Debt Swaps,” I started thinking about diagnosing fiscal illness, treating it, and contagion. How can we diagnose the illness? The illness seems to be the Greek spending disease. Just like you…

PIIGS at the Trough

Debt can be complicated. 1.National borrowing is good. It leads to growth and recovery. In 1792, Alexander Hamilton said that a national debt could be a blessing. In 1936, John Maynard Keynes said that debt was good. Each realized that…