Tuesday/ Greece’s bailout

President of the European Central Bank, Mario Draghi
Italian prime minister Mario Monti
Standard & Poor's recent ratings of the debt of European nations. Source : Wikipedia, search for 'European sovereign debt crisis'

Greece’s latest bailout has been approved by the European Union members : some €123bn. (Japan’s NHK TV put President of the European Central Bank, Mario Draghi, and Italian prime minister, Mario Monti, in the outfits of the classic Nintendo video game Super Mario brothers*).  The target is to reduce Greece’s debt to 120% of GDP by 2020. (Yikes).  Count among the skeptics Germany, the Netherlands and Finland – given that derailments in Greece’s adherence to austerity measures have happened several times now.

So Greece’s finances are in terrible shape, but the whole of Eastern Europe, and the I’s : Italy, Ireland and Iceland, have have debt ratings of ‘speculative’ according to Standard & Poor’s.

*Pop quiz : what is Mario’s younger brother’s name? Answer – Luigi.


As a footnote, public debt in the USA at the end of 2011 was some $15 trillion, close to 100% of GDP.  The Congressional Budget Office is worried about it, and during June 2011, called for  ‘large and rapid policy changes to put the nation on a sustainable fiscal course’.

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