May 7, 2010

Banking Games

More and more I wonder about the current state of the economy globally but also in my own country. Read today on the news that Holland will loan Greece a sum of 4.7 billion. Greece is in trouble and needs a huge cash injection. What politicians over here don't talk about (these days) is the conduct of Greece officials in the not so distant past. Basically what they did was covering up the negative balance sheet, that's against the European Union treaty which states that all the members should keep their balance in check. Greece plainly lied, and here is the Dutch government happily loaning them billions. Of course the underlying motives here are keeping the European economic block intact and to make sure the Euro itself doesn't devaluate (that much).

What many people complain about over here regarding the loan to Greece, is the fact that Holland has about a 30 billion deficit. (That was more or less money loaned to 2 big banks over here - and the banks were nationalized!) What the politicians did next was raising taxes (of course), cutbacks and there's a plan to raise the pension age from 65 to 67. Many of my fellow countrymen are starting to realize that economic downfalls are always billed to the normal, hard-working citizen. Banks make a mess, governments follow and the ultimate clean up has to be done by ordinary people who had nothing to do with the mess in the first place. Awareness is growing. Reading comments on the internet it was plainly visible that not many people expect the Greek government to pay back the money any time soon, or at all! They expect more of the same. Higher taxes, less government assistance.

The IMF loans Greece a further 30 billion, other European countries forwards loans as well. Even when countries loan money, they expect a little something in return: interest! I seem to recall that Greece will get a total amount of about 100 billion. To be honest, I'm thinking, they are totally bankrupt. How are they going to pay back that money? With interest! The Greek people are screwed for decades. Loaning money costs money and it's easy to figure out who will get the 'bill' in the end. The normal hard-working people.

I'm starting to wonder what kind of banking games are being played here. Who will benefit from the current economic turmoil? Because in the end it's the banks that make the loans and who will insist they get their money back with a little something extra of course.
Another thing I noticed is that the politicians in my country don't take into account that the 2 banks they nationalized (bought) will eventually be sold again. That was the plan anyway. Yet now they are acting like if that money will never come back and therefore taxes have to be raised. It's like we immediately have to repair the damage. And maybe we get something back. Dutch people seem to notice more and more who will get screwed in the end.

No comments: