With hindsight




Hindsight has been producing many thoughtful analyses of the dramas that litter human history – the Greek crisis being no exception.  

With hindsight, many experts now agree that the 1st Greek bail-out in 2010 should have focused more on supporting the Greeks themselves instead of bailing out the creditor-banks (but then, at the time, there was still a pervasive fear of a collapse of the banking system, so vulnerable banks were to be sheltered from further damages ). 

With hindsight, everybody now agrees that Greece was not a country ready yet to join the Euro (but, then, how could a quintessential European project exclude the country that is the cradle of European civilisation? ) 

Throughout history, historians and economists agree, with hindsight,  that the vanquished party should not be humiliated with punitive reparation demands (but then, one cannot let rogue countries get away with everything . Moreover, in the heat of the historical moment, how can one know whether it is a Sarajevo or München -situation? )

Hannah Arendt called forgiveness one of the principal political virtues (alongside courage and the willingness to make and keep promises): because no one, upon deciding and acting, can ever fully foresee the consequences.  
(But should  one also forgive those of bad faith or of proven imprudence, be it Greek superrich who benefited from the fiscal laxity - and who in the meantime have funnelled their wealth to London and Switzerland - or greedy imprudent northern banks? )  

What The Economist writes:  “Brinkmanship and crisis […] are aggravated by the euro zone’s reliance on ad hoc bail-outs, which politicise every decision. They set one side against another, breeding contempt among the creditors and resentment among the debtors. They turn wise policies into concessions that should not be given up to the other side until the last minute.”

(Nod to b: what Stiglitz writes in the Guardian ) 



2 comments:

billoo said...

fff, did you read Stiglitz's article in the Guardian on the crisis?

Swann Ffflaneur said...

yes, an interesting take.
But unsure whether his view of a malicious European conspiracy is all there is to it.
Elsewhere I read that only about 10% of the 240bln of bail out loans went to non-greek creditors (who recouped about half of their claims). Also, the years of (indeed) strenuous reform were in fact beginning to produce growth in 2014, until Syriza blocked everything, or so I read in the papers .
But then, I guess I should do some primary research instead of reading papers in order to reach a balanced opinion....

What's for sure: the stress for ordinary Greeks must be unbearable.

and, being a pessimist, I do wonder whether we're "sleepwalking" to a disaster