July 07, 2015

This is the icebreaker Alexis Tsipras should use with Angela Merkel

Sir, Wolfgang Münchau refers to the new discussions between Greece in Germany and that are to be held in a climate that could not be characterized as friendlier. “A stealthy route to Grexit”, July 7.

As I have argued many times, if I was Alexis Tsipras, as a potent icebreaker, I would tell Angela Merkel: 

“Please don’t just blame Greece. The Basel Committee, between June 2004 and November 2009, allowed banks to leverage their equity and the explicit and implicit support they received from taxpayers 62.5 times when lending to Greece.

That gave European banks irresistible incentives to give Greece loans that by nature are irresistible to most politicians and government bureaucrats.

Had it not been for that dear Angela… we would be sitting here discussing much more pleasant affairs.”