Notes From a Native Son – How the Eurozone Crisis Threatens Barbados

Hal Austin

Introduction:
Europe is in serious crisis. Greece, a culture that has abandoned hard work and resents paying taxes, goes to the polls in the middle of next month to vote for its economic future. The decision voters in that southern European nation – the home of democracy – have to decide is if they remain in the 17-member Eurozone, or get out. Damned they do, damned if they don’t. The truth is that an economy which makes up only two per cent of the Eurozone could not, in normal times, be such a destructive threat to the single currency area, farless the global economy, but these are not normal times. Remember how a single wholesale bank, Lehman Brothers, disrupted the system? Banks in the other southern European economies – Italy, Spain, Portugal – and Ireland are also under enormous pressure, and the massive exposure of French and UK banks to the area also make them vulnerable.

But it is the German hugely successful economy that is in real danger, since, like the history of capitalism, German prosperity is build on exports – mainly to southern Europe. While this drama is being played out in Brussels and Frankfurt, most Barbadians would rightly ask what has all this to do with them. Well, the answer is far more than at first meets the eye. First, while global leaders, from China to the US, hold their breath, it should be remembered that the Greek tentacles stretch throughout Europe and across the Atlantic to the US, through the hidden workings of the global banking system. Also, unlike 2007/8, when China rescued the world, the world’s second strongest economy is also itself in trouble.

More important, Britain, our main tourism market, although it is outside the Eurozone, the 17-member economic union is its main trading bloc, with massive banking exposure to the markets. Already there is enormous capital flight from Athens, first corporates and the wealthy moved lots of cash out of the jurisdiction, corporates to bank elsewhere and rich individuals to buy property in Britain and other ‘safe’ havens.

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Financial Meltdown, How Would It Effect Our Fragile Investment In Four Seasons?

Submitted by Old Onion Bags

Greece’s political leaders struck a historic deal Thursday to make deep cuts in government jobs and spending to help save the country from a default that could shock the world financial system.

Greece needs the bailout by March 20 so it will have enough money to redeem €14.5 billion worth of bonds coming due. If it doesn’t make that payment, it will be in default. Financial analysts fear that could set off a chain reaction similar to the financial meltdown triggered by the collapse of investment bank Lehman Brothers in the fall of 2008.

What would be the implications should the worse happens? What about our already fragile investments in Four Seasons? Shouldn’t we be more prudent and at least wait for the March 20th deadline before swinging another cent . Make “cents” to me, what do you think?

The Plight Of Greece And What it Portends For The World

Submitted by the People Democratic Congress (PDC)

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The very dire financial economic debt situation facing Greece at this stage is one that warrants significant study by many people in Barbados and beyond. Greece, which has been described on Wikipedia.com, as the cradle of Western civilization, the birthplace of Western democracy,  the founder  of  classical Western political philosophy, the originator of European art and literature and mythology, and the Olympic games, among other things, has since 2009 been experiencing muchly severe economic and financial crises of prodigious proportions enough to shake the historical foundations of that society.
So, as it verily stands now, this vastly under populated Hellenic country – much of which lies scattered in the Aegean, Ionian and Mediterranean Seas, has been forced to undertake a draconian hell-like IMF/EU bail out, since May 2010.

Such a gargantuan political financial catastrophe will surely make it seems that much of the social development that Greece has recently achieved and that has led many others to describe it  as a developed country, one with a consistently high quality of life rankings ( 22nd on the United Nations Human  Development Index),  and with a  high income economy, would be in the process of being reversed most disgracefully by such turn of events.

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