Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Greece: Mixed . . . and Very Serious . . . Messages . . .

Yes, George Papandreou's re-shuffled government received a vote of confidence in the Greek Parliament gaining 155 out of 300 votes.  Nothing to write to the New York Times about.  But still, it works for now.  Next Wednesday comes the big vote in the Parliament about the very austerity measures themselves.

There is still controversy (and I haven't been able to determine for sure) on the issue of whether the Greek members of Parliament have actually taken a personal financial hit themselves to lead the way.  So far, the overwhelming informal poll of people and internet sites I've checked with seems to indicate, "no, they have not".  As long as this continues, you can force people to follow the laws, but they'll continue to work to defeat the system you have set up.  (If you know of contrary evidence, please share it with us here.)

Anyway, yesterday's vote is a small move in the right direction for Greece to get its next bailout and keep it from defaulting.  Still, one just doesn't know if a) that will ever happen and b) how long it will last if it does.

Meanwhile, as you will see from the link to today's blog, some of the "smart money" and the experts are basically saying, "no way, Greece is bound to default"  and others will join them.  Those are strong predictions from some influential people.

The good news is that the same people are also saying it won't be the end of civilization as we know it if Greece defaults.  But they haven't said that won't be the case if some other countries in Europe (which they haven't named) also follow Greece's suit and default themselves.  Anyway, while Greece's impact may be minimal, we need to keep in mind the "elephant in the room" that just may cause a bigger stir if it defaults soon and that's the United States.  But hey, we have a few more weeks before that scenario is finalized by either congress lifting the debt ceiling or not.  Yes, they're working on the nitty-gritty right now and very little room for politics is left.

Keep on watching.   For those that are Christians, it's all interesting but not alarming.  Just keep on trucking in the course you've been led to follow as you read scripture and utilizing the knowledge, skills, passions, and values that God has instilled in your heart.  That's the safest non-financial advice I can give you or anyone else, including myself.

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