So I was quite interested when Mike Warner, CEO and founder of Quantum4D – a data visualisation firm – sent me this graphic (doubleclick image to see larger version):
Ouch!What this clearly demonstrates is that:Germany thought they owned Greece but they don’t – France do;The total Greek exposure is €120 billion;Germany and France have far more exposure to Spain (over €450 billion worth); andBy comparison, Britain is getting off lightly ... about the same levels of exposure as the Dutch.Who wants to be in the euro, you might ask, but the Estonians still do.Why?Why would anyone want to be in the Eurozone today?
Because tomorrow it will be better. It will be a region that is as resilient, strong and powerful as China and America ...
... or is it more to do with this lovely little news skit from our friends in Australia?
This is a comic news report from ABC News’ mirthmakers John Clarke and Bryan Dawes, and is based upon a million dollar gameshow format (in the UK, this is Mastermind).
Here’s my slightly edited transcript:
QUIZMASTER: Your name is Roger yes? CONTESTANT: Roger. QUIZMASTER: Good. And what do you do Roger? CONTESTANT: I'm a financial consultant. QUIZMASTER: Fair enough. Okay, Roger your special subject tonight is the economies of the European community. Your time starts now. Best of luck. CONTESTANT: Thank you. QUIZMASTER: How much does Greece owe, Roger? CONTESTANT: $367 billion. QUIZMASTER: Correct. And who do they owe it to? CONTESTANT: Mostly to the other European economies. QUIZMASTER: Correct. How much does Ireland owe? CONTESTANT: $865 billion. QUIZMASTER: Correct. Who do they owe it to? CONTESTANT: Other European economies mostly. QUIZMASTER: Correct. How much does Spain and Italy owe? CONTESTANT: $1 trillion each. QUIZMASTER: Correct. Who to? CONTESTANT: Mainly France, Britain and Germany. QUIZMASTER: Correct. And how are Germany, France, Britain going Roger? CONTESTANT: Well they're struggling a bit, aren't they? QUIZMASTER: Correct. Why? CONTESTANT: Well ‘cause they've lent all the vast amounts of money to other European economies that can't possibly pay them back. QUIZMASTER: Correct. So what are they going to do? CONTESTANT: They're going to have to bail them out. QUIZMASTER: Correct. Where are they getting the money to do that from, Roger? CONTESTANT: That is a good question. I don't know the answer to that one. QUIZMASTER: How much does Portugal owe? CONTESTANT: Hang on a minute, what was the answer to that earlier question? QUIZMASTER: Just keep answering the questions Roger. Where is Portugal going to get the money it owes to Germany, if Germany can't get back the money that it lent to Italy? CONTESTANT: Just a minute. What was the answer to the previous question? The question was: How can broke economies lend money to other broke economies, who haven't got any money because they can't pay back the money the broke economy lent to the other broke economy, and shouldn't have lent it to them in the first place because the broke economy can't pay back? QUIZMASTER: You are wasting valuable time Roger. How much money does Spain owe to Italy? CONTESTANT: $41 billion. But where are they going to get it? QUIZMASTER: Correct. What does Italy owe to Spain? CONTESTANT: $27 billion but they haven't got it - they're broke. QUIZMASTER: Correct. How can they pay each other if neither of them has any money? CONTESTANT: They're going to get a bailout, aren't they? QUIZMASTER: Correct. And where is the money coming from for the bailout? CONTESTANT: That is what I'm asking you! QUIZMASTER: Correct. Why are people selling the European currency and buying the US dollar? CONTESTANT: Because the US economy is so much stronger than the European economy. QUIZMASTER: Correct. Why is that Roger? CONTESTANT: Because it's owned by China. QUIZMASTER: Correct and very well done! And after that round you've lost $1 million. CONTESTANT: I've lost $1 million? I thought you said well done!
QUIZMASTER: Yes well done - you've only lost $1 million. That's an extraordinary performance Roger.
Thanks to Philip Brady from Oz for the tip-off re Clarke and Dawes.