Monday, February 22, 2010

Horrible Sovereign Interest Graphic

This is from The Wall Street Journal piece entitled “Debt Loads Hobble Euro Zone’s Prospects”. The online version does not contain this graphic – you’ll have to go the print version.

Anyway, terrible graphic: it’s supposed to be about how paying interest on debt is such a burden, and then it doesn’t plot payments on the graph at all, but uses virtually scale-free bubbles instead.

Anyway, find it and think about the numbers in those bubbles. Greece is “in trouble” because its interest payments are 15% of its tax revenue.

This is like saying a family is in trouble because its interest payments are 15% of its paychecks. Pretty much every young family that owns a house is in worse shape than that.

This is good evidence that the Greek government – which owes the money – just wants to steal the money.

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