Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Greece Wavers

News reports are coming in today indicating that the Greeks are not so tickled with the urgently proposed bailout/restructuring program offered to them by the other European Union countries and the European banks.  Greece's prime minister has scheduled a national referendum (in January !!!) for the Greeks themselves to vote on whether to accept the very austere proposals.  Reportedly, 60% of Greeks are against it (most likely because they won't accept fewer entitlements and higher taxes).

This news is causing shudders in the world's markets (Dow Jones is down 600 points between today and yesterday).  Many U.S. investment firms are deeply invested in struggling European nations (Greece, Ireland, Italy, Spain, Belgium, etc.).  A total default by Greece would have a ripple effect not only in Europe, but also in the U.S.  Our stock market is biting its nails moment-by-moment as news of Greece's indecision flows in.

If Greece utterly rejects the restructuring plan, the options are mostly grim - it could separate from the Eurozone and revert to its former currency.  The prospect of a bankruptcy filing is already being discussed.  Who would be the receiver/trustee?

The point here is that the reason why this is sending jitters worldwide is because other European nations have economies nearly as shaky as Greece's, and there is a huge fear that, should Greece default, the enormous international banking (paper) losses will cause a domino effect and trigger the failure of those other nations.

My question is this - if the precariousness of Greece's situation is sufficient to rattle the whole world, are we not dangerously close to some sort of meltdown anyway?  I have said this before - virtually all the Western nations are far deeper in debt than they should be.  If any one of them were to default, bankruptcy, receivership and repossession are inevitable.  If you survey the current European economic landscape, it is apparent that without massive monetary infusions from Germany or the U.S., many of these foundering nations will fail anyway, sooner or later.  There is discussion of China stepping in to help the situation - but didn't China recently turn to Europe for financial assistance?

In Bible times the Jubilee was required every fifty years.  It mandated the forgiveness of all debts and the dissolution of all "corporations".  The big problem with debt is found in:

1. Incessant carrying costs (interest)
2. Daily compounding interest
3. Rule of 78's (front-end weighted amortization) formula

Debt is just plain expensive.  Its voracious thirst for the payment of the 11th dollar on every 10 dollars borrowed encourages the inflationary scheme of printing all those 11th dollars.  Debt also frequently results in default and liquidation - the loss of wealth.  What we are observing is the massive transfer of wealth on a global scale.  If the banks won't obey the law of the jubilee, the people's only option is to rise up and repudiate the banks and their debt tyranny.  This is why the banks finance the government and the military - then they can use the power of government to prevent the people from rising up and resisting them.  The "Occupy Wall Street" protesters are not wrong about tyranny in the financial sector, but their efforts are too insignificant to make a dent, and they have not successfully identified the real culprits.

Jesus owns this world.  It is His footstool.  We are only stewards (not owners).  We are unworthy stewards who have broken some of the fundamental biblical guidelines.  We were incapable of effecting our own spiritual salvation, and are now incapable of securing our own temporal salvation.  When the tyranny and oppression reach a critical peak, Jesus must intervene with His own brand of oppression - a "Marvellous Work and a Wonder" (- catastrophic global tribulations) to punish the wicked (plunderers, supplanters, deceivers, usurers,) and discipline His people (Ephraim and the other Israelites).

Watching Greece fail is like watching the death of the canary in the mineshaft - it is an unmistakable omen.


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