Noah denkt™  -
    Project for Philosophical Evaluations of the Economy
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Athens 2004 and the Greek Debt Crisis
Dialog with the Alter Ego on the present finance scare, drafted and published on Feb. 9, 2010

Question by Alter Ego of Noah denkt™ (AE): How does Noah denkt™ view the current worries regarding the
solvency of countries like Spain, Portugal, Italy, and in particular Greece?
Answer by Noah denkt™ (Nd): From our vantage point the reaction in the international markets is overdone. Or to
put it differently, it seems to us as if the Greek etc. debt crisis provides a welcome outlet for the markets to finally
be able to live the correction that they have been waiting for so long.

AE: In other words, you believe that behind this is first and foremost a psychological need to take a breather and
to recalibrate.
Nd: Exactly.

AE: What makes you so sure that there isn’t more to the worries that are currently being echoed in the markets?
Nd: We are pretty confident that all the aforementioned countries will be able to get their finances back on track,
largely because none of them wants to be shamed into defaulting on their credibility.

AE: No danger then for the solidity of the Euro currency?
Nd: No, not all. To the contrary, if all these countries manage to get their finances back on track, it is actually
because of the Euro and not despite of it. After all, it will be the Euro framework which will help all parties
concerned to maintain their discipline and not look for an easy way out.

AE: Isn’t that position a little optimistic in particular if you take into account the very left-leaning mentality that the
Greek society has?
Nd: We do not think so. In fact, we would be willing to bet that even Greece will be able to perform a financial

AE: Why?
Nd: Well, think about the preparations to the Athens 2004 Olympics. Three month ahead of the Games there was
a lot of worrying in the international community that Greece would not be able to finish the Olympic sites in time.
And in fact, it did look pretty bad for a while. But then the Greeks got their act together and managed to finalize
everything in a last-minute frenzy. It will be just like that this time. You have to bear in mind that Greece belongs to
the kind of cultures who really need to be with their back against the wall before they can truly focus on the
impeding challenge. In other words, they need an Olympic task to be able to address that.

AE: Interesting observation. Does it apply to Portugal, Spain and Italy as well?
Nd: It definitely applies to Portugal and Spain. As far as Italy, is concerned, we do not know.

AE: Any other comment?
Nd: Well, we cannot help but note that there is certainly a North-South element in the debt debate. In fact, it isn’t
clear to us, why the United Kingdom is let off the hook so easily in this matter while all Southern countries by
definition are being viewed as suspects. Surely this must have something to do with the Anglo-American
dominance in financial decision making.

AE: But this will also have something to do with the more entrepreneurial, free market spirit that is prevalent in the
Anglo-American culture. And what’s more, it hasn’t been the British government that has been found to falsify
statistics in order to avoid financial castigation.
Nd: True. But then again, do not forget that it was the British and the US government who were prepared to ever
so slightly bend the rules when it came to justifying the Iraq invasion.

AE: In other words, you cannot trust any of them?
Nd:  Let’s put it like this, just give the European Southerners a similar benefit of doubt that you would want to claim
for yourself.  
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