Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Why the World Seems Like One Big Currency Crisis

It’s all about incentives:

In 1902, European nations responded to a Venezuelan government debt default with military force. German, Italian and British gunboats blockaded ports, seized customs houses and bombarded a Venezuelan fort. Venezuela caved, agreeing to restructure and pay its debts.

These days, when European leaders see Greece and Ireland on the brink of default, they don't send gunboats--they send money.

And that behavior encourages …

I hate to sound unenlightened, and it certainly isn’t nuanced in the 21st century way, but if defaulting countries could be invaded, and have their government officials put in jail where they can’t spend their Swiss banked money, a lot of this would go away.

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