Friday, February 19, 2010

Greek Bond Vigilante Nonsense

Here’s the Business Week headline: “The Bond Vigilantes Who Left Greece In Ruins” (the online title is a little different).

Why do they publish fairy tales like this and pass it off as news?

… Investors and traders of the global bond market, who lure nations into tapping abundant credit at low rates when times are good. If a nation borrows too much, those open-handed investors abruptly turn into vigilantes who punish the country by making new loans scarce and expensive.

Instead, why don’t they offer this analogy:

Hey you! Take this big, easy-to-carry, bag of our cash. If you bring a little bit of it back to us tomorrow, we’ll give you another one.

I don’t see any vigilantes there. Instead I see people with too much money for their own good.

And frankly, they’re priggish too. Note the two parts of this that upset people: that the Greeks are not bringing back the little bit of the money, and that the Greeks are not that worried about the threat that they won’t get more. To me, this suggests that they’d be OK if this had a been a one-time charitable donation to Greece.

So … let me get this right: Europeans are upset because they made a one-time charitable donation to the Greeks, but those nasty Greeks didn’t make it clear up front that it was a one-time charitable donation?

Spare me.

N.B. I cross-posted this at my personal blog: voluntaryXchange.

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