Here’s my take on my favorite comment of this morning:

“Coming soon from the author of Bailout Nation, a new look at the PIIGs crisis:

Bailout Union: How Greek Profligacy and Easy Money Corrupted Europe and Shook the Continent’s Economy

I’ll contact my publisher right away . . .

Category: Bailout Nation, Bailouts

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

35 Responses to “Bailout Union . . .”

  1. flipspiceland says:

    It’s ass backwards:

    Corruption PRECEDES, does not cause follow, profligacy and easy money.

    The character must be flawed a priori.

  2. Marcus says:

    The EU bailout is equal to TARP and Obama waste combined.

    TARP monies, loans, are essentially paid back, and the U.S. government will make a profit on the deal.

    EU and Obama pump priming is borrowing from grandchildren to prop up a failed system, socialism. There is a very big difference here, loans vs. waste.

    We need governmental reform instead, or in addition to, financial reform.

  3. franklin411 says:

    Or maybe just collect all the goofy and ridiculous conspiracy theories embraced in the comment section. Start with “the green shoots will soon turn brown (March 09).”

  4. perra says:

    What corrupted (is corrupting) Europe is the same thing corrupting the US: people not contributing a lot of value to society expecting the “government” to provide them with an ever increasing standard of living. This “corruption” is actually worse in the US than in many European countries (Greece not included.)

  5. Paul Vigna says:

    Looks like you’ll have to rename your book for the second edition. Bailout Planet, or maybe Planet Bailout.

  6. heh heh

    That is the 3rd in the series

    1. Bailout Nation
    2. Bailout Union
    3. *Bailout Planet

    Then we get Bailout Solar System, Bailout Galaxy and Bailout Universe.

    But like the Star Wars saga, the original 3 are the only ones you really HAVE to read . . .

  7. rktbrkr says:

    LIBOR says…still dicey

    May 10 (Bloomberg) — The rate banks say they pay for three-month loans in dollars stayed near the highest level in about nine months on concern an almost $1 trillion European loan plan may not be enough to restore confidence in markets.

    The London interbank offered rate, or Libor, for such loans slipped to 0.421 percent today, from 0.428 percent on May 7, the highest since Aug. 17, according to the British Bankers’ Association. The Libor-OIS spread, a gauge of banks’ reluctance to lend, widened more than 1 basis point to 19.2 basis points.

    Euro-region nations agreed overnight to offer as much as 750 billion euros ($962 billion), including International Monetary Fund backing, to contain the fallout from the Greek fiscal crisis. The three-month dollar Libor jumped last week to the highest level since August on concern banks are holding too many assets of Europe’s most indebted nations.

    “The package has only partly given the all-clear to money markets,” said Marc Ostwald, a fixed-income strategist at Monument Securities Ltd. in London. “There’s still a little bit of wariness over counterparty risk. In many ways, the problems that already exist in terms of exposure haven’t been expunged. The financial sector is still in a pretty dicey situation.”

  8. ZackAttack says:

    Barry, you gonna revise the amount the US is on the hook for via the IMF?


    BR: Don’t know what the final number is, but it sure looks to be a lot higher now . . .

  9. JPorter says:

    I’m a bit confused on this one, and slightly tired of some of the rhetoric I’m hearing in the media about Greece.

    “Profligacy”? Having been to Greece myself, that’s not a term that I would ever have considered applicable to the Greek people or their general lifestyle.

    Where does this attitude about Greece come from? Is it only a parrot-repeat of sensationalized (and subtly racist) attitudes currently being fomented by the European (and particularly, the German) press?

    More to the point… have you ever been to Greece, Barry?

  10. Greece has a capitalist economy with the public sector accounting for about 40% of GDP (versus ~24% in the US) and with per capita GDP about two-thirds that of the leading euro-zone economies. Tourism provides 15% of GDP (CIA)

    Why Profiligacy ?

    54 year retirement age
    30 hour workweek
    3 months vacation
    Huge unemployment benefits
    generous health care

    Massive tax avoidance/fraud — the wealthy Greeks simply do not pay their share of taxes.

    Now, I have no problem with any of these – if you can afford it!


    PS: Most of the world — including the Brits, the US, California, etc. are profligate

  11. ashpelham2 says:

    I can’t wait to see the starcruiser that Goldman is jetting around in. That thing will probably have gold toilet seat lids. Oh wait, that’s the Merrill Intergalactic Destroyer, sponsored by Bank of America.

  12. rktbrkr says:

    The 5 Little PIIGS

    This little pig went back to the bond market.
    This little pig stayed in a foreclosed home.
    This little pig got roast beef with food stamps.
    This little pig would have none til it was well done.
    This little pig cried “weee, kill the banksters!”
    All the way home from the riot.

  13. peter north says:

    I’m still trying to figure out how all this gasoline will put out the fires… Whatever. Embrace living/trading in “the Matrix.”

    BTW, love the Bailout Planet trilogy idea, BR. :-)

  14. Kort says:

    “Fannie Mae, the largest U.S. residential mortgage provider, on Monday reported a net loss of $13.1 billion in the first quarter and said it tapped the Treasury for additional aid of $15.3 billion.”

  15. Transor Z says:

    Barry, I have some MAJOR concerns about the Bailout Planet trilogy idea.

    1. George Lucas should not be allowed to go back and revise the original Bailout Nation to make it fit #2 and #3.

    2. If Hayden Christensen has any involvement I’m boycotting the whole damn franchise.

  16. Transor Z says:

    Oh yeah — and no f*ckin Jar Jar. Enough said.

  17. Michael M says:

    Outbail! – the game.

  18. RW says:

    Keeping the bond-holders whole probably has some more wrinkles now that governments are holding so many of them too (and will hold more) but the buck stops there …unless you make the buck worth less so you owe less.

    US seems willing but, given their anti-inflation mandate and bias, ‘defense of the Euro’ will be primary and a relatively stronger Euro going forward seems likely which means export disadvantage. This will help exports of other countries including us but it will really help countries like China to have another currency to ride.

    I expect significant changes in the ratio between US debt and Euro debt in various SWF’s.

    I also expect talk of a new Bretton Woods will grow louder.

  19. RW says:

    Hmm, really wish there was an edit button: By “their anti-inflation mandate” I meant the ECB.

  20. ACS says:

    Transor Z

    But Jar Jar was going to be played by Alan Greenspan.

  21. Robespierre says:

    And while all were distracted in EU:
    “May 10 (Bloomberg) — Fannie Mae, the mortgage-finance company operating under federal conservatorship, said it will seek $8.4 billion in aid from the U.S.”

    The company that keeps on taking…

  22. The Curmudgeon says:

    Bailout Nation, Bailout Union–we’re feeding our seed corn to the PIIGS.

  23. Transor Z says:

    But Jar Jar was going to be played by Alan Greenspan.


    “Why meesa fix bubble when maxi good innovations is inside? Oopsy — meesa cause one, two-y little bitty axadentes, huh?”

  24. Boots or Hearts says:

    The star wars /Goldman mental picture is funny.

    So long as you realize where most of you would be (on Tatooine farming, complaining about Darth Blankfein)

  25. Boots or Hearts says:

    The above was meant to be humorus only, should have preempted…..

  26. Robespierre says:

    1 Trillion:

    FXE: up %15

    Bail out who exactly?

  27. Robespierre says:

    1 Trillion:

    FXE: up about %1
    FAS: up about %15

    Bail out who exactly?

  28. crunched says:

    1. Open the markets 500 points higher – check.
    2. Next, spend the next few days as we ‘consolidate’ cajoling various media outlets to report ‘market favorable’ news discussing how this is actually a GREAT TIME TO BUY, VALUATIONS ARE REALLY LOW, BLAH, BLAH, BLAH… Just forget about all that silly Euro nonsense – BUFFET LOVES GOLDMAN!!

  29. DL says:

    I’m sure that Hank Paulson is quite thrilled by the prospect of a “bailout planet”.

  30. call me ahab says:

    it’s amazing how bailouts have become the solution du jour- the markets love it- all reward and no risk-

    what’s not to love?

    I wonder if we will look back on these times and ask ourselves- “what the hell were we thinking?”

    planet bailout indeed

  31. pojocinco says:

    Does every episode of the triolgy need its own theme song?

    1. Bailout Nation – “There’s a whole in the bucket dear Liza…Then fix it dear Henry (Paulsin)”
    2. Bailout Union – White Snake, “Here we go again”
    3. Bailout Planet – Old Hymn, “When the role is called up yonder, I’ll be there”

  32. @The Curmudgeon Says: May 10th, 2010 at 11:30 am

    Bailout Nation, Bailout Union–we’re feeding our seed corn to the PIIGS.

    Well, technically it’s China and the grandkid’s seed corn that’s being fed to them but at this point who’s counting?

    BTW Barry, you might want to keep a few rough drafts ready for bailout: extra dimensions and bailout heaven (hell doesn’t get a bailout, that’s why it is hell. We won’t even get into the layaway plans that seem like forever). The thing is, if God phones uncle Ben, Time’s person of the year for 2009 I’ll remind you, for help, then I’m definitely jumping

  33. The Curmudgeon says:

    @How the Common Man Sees It:

    Agreed that most of it is going to China, but it didn’t make as good a pun as “PIIGS”.

  34. mgnagy says:


    The Bailout Trilogy is a great idea. If for no other reason than being able to say, “Trust the Fed, Luke.”

    However, wouldn’t the Alien franchise be a bit more appropriate (ie Conrad, Nostromo, etc.)?

    Then we could have this terrific bit of dialog…

    Greenspan: Hey, Bernanke. Have you ever been mistaken for a banker?

    Bernanke: No. Have you?