Sunday, 25 September 2011

Not Quite The Whole Truth

This is a curious example of a story not quite telling the whole truth. We are told that "Britain's banks, moreover, are not among the most exposed to Greek debt. " That part is true. But it is not the whole truth. French and German banks hold about two thirds of the Greek sovereign debt. Any action to prop up Greece, is also action to prop up the French and German banking systems - a point missed by many French and German voters.

However, from where did the French and German banks get the money to buy Greek sovereign debt? It is the case that British banks lent the French and German banking system over €1 trn. Any pain felt by French and German banks will be quickly transmitted to the UK banking system. From this, we ought to deduce two conclusions. First, nobody can afford to be smug about the pain of others. We are all in this together. Second, any politician who claims that the cost to their constituency of a Greek failure would be minimal either knows the truth and is not telling it, or doesn't know the truth and really ought to.

© The European Futures Observatory 2011

£1.75 trillion deal to save the euro - Telegraph

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