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The Real Reason Greece Folded (Audio)

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Peter Schiff shares his thoughts Greece’s capitulation and acceptance of a third bailout deal from Europe. He reviews some of the other options Greece might have had if it wasn’t run by a socialist government.

Highlights from the podcast:

“Greece is going to stay a part of euro, at least for now, because it is the only way they can get the bailout money they need to continue with Greek socialism. Of course, it will be mitigated to some extent, because they are going to have to comply with the demands to cut government spending. Of course, what they really need are larger cuts of government spending. What they don’t need are higher taxes…

“Germany basically showed that it’s willing to kick someone out, and just because you’re in the euro, doesn’t mean you’re in for life. They basically floated a plan over the weekend that said, ‘Look, we’re going to give them 5 year time out. We’re going to kick them out of the euro, and we’ll let them reapply in 5 years.’ By doing that, by showing other countries that just because you’re in doesn’t mean you’re going to stay in… It’s going to force some of these other countries to get their house in order…

“The best thing for Europe would have probably been to kick Greece out and not lend them anymore money. That probably would have been the best thing for the eurozone…

“I still think that any resolution of this crisis will be a positive for the euro relative to the dollar. I also think it will show people that the euro is here to stay… I think they have pretty much extinguished the risk [of a domino effect] for now. I think the message will be heard by other countries that they need to get their act together now, so they don’t end up in the predicament Greece is in…

“[Greece should have defaulted on their debts.] But if they did that, they wouldn’t have gotten another bailout package. Even if they got kicked out of the euro, that doesn’t mean Greece would have to abandon the euro. They have two things they could have done. One is they could have refused another bailout, defaulted on their loans, been kicked out of the euro – but still used the euro as their currency. Anybody can decide to use the euro as their currency… Greece could have continued to use the euro as its currency. It just would have had no access to the ECB for bailouts… Banks would fail… The government would have to lay off a lot of government workers, because it can’t afford to pay them… They would have to have substantial cuts to the pensions promised to retired Greek workers… The only euros the government would have access to were the ones Greek citizens paid in taxes…

“Another thing they could do if they did want to re-establish their currency… would be to have a sound drachma. If it were me, I would back it by gold. I would make the drachma a gold-backed currency. Where would I get the gold to back up the drachma? In these asset sales. I would do the same privatization that Europe wants, only more. Instead of just giving the money to creditors, I would use the money to buy the gold necessary to back the currency…

“If Greece abandoned socialism and became the tax haven, the privatization sales would yield a lot more revenue to the Greek government. All of those assets are worth a lot more in a tax haven… They need the Singapore or Hong Kong-type government in Greece… The problem is the country is run by a socialist, and he’s not going to take a chance…

“What Americans need to do is recognize that Greece’s problem is out problem. It all boils down to living beyond your means and borrowing too much money and refusing to deal with the consequences. Greece has no choice now but to deal with the consequences… Eventually we are going to be in the same predicament…”

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