Sunday 20 May 2012

Greek Default and Hyperbole.

Including heading, it took 1,209 words to write this ABC News story on the possibility of a Greek default and exit from the Eurozone.

Two economists, Satyajit Das and Oliver Hartwich, were asked to formulate scenarios about how one such event would develop.

This is a 96-word non-random selection (8% of the text) of what these experts said:
"Financial holocaust", "chaotic abyss", "tsunami", "nightmare", "destruction of wealth", "basically you're talking about people's life savings, their wealth, their incomes being completely wiped out", "it would be the cost of the absolute total destruction of wealth and purchasing power of the Greeks"; "cost anything from 350 billion euros to a trillion euros", "financial equivalent of the holocaust", "atomic bomb", "Hiroshima", "ground zero", "chaos and violence", "violence and chaos will reign", "it could be quite chaotic", "it could be violent", "there could be people storming banks to try and get their money out", "it could become ugly".
My God, readers may say, this is the end of the world. Perhaps we should confess our sins, take the communion, and ask for the last rites.

Perhaps, but read this before calling the priest:
"Take this analogy, he [Das] says: 'If you want to be at Hiroshima to watch what an atomic bomb does, stand at ground zero and look up, this is what you're doing when you're exiting from the euro, because none of us know how this will work.
'We know what the mechanics are, but we don't know what the full effects will be'."
(Emphasis added)
So, no one knows what the full effects will be, but these two experts do know that it will be the Apocalypse of John, without the Beast (at least this time they did not mention it).

Come on, people, let's leave the hysteria for a moment.

No one is saying the transition, if it indeed comes, will be easy. But what the Greeks are already going through is not easy either.

This is how things happened in Argentina. Over there they are still awaiting for the nuclear explosion.


Some other day, I promise, I will address the associated hysteria related to Alexis Tsipras and Syriza, the so-called extremist movement.


  1. I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with Das. He can be an effective communicator, with a very effective style, which I admire. But at other times I start thinking he's a shameless self-promotor and these kinds of hyperbolic statements strike me as simply calculated to garner more media exposure.

  2. Frankly, I have always been a bit skeptical of the things he says.

    But, beyond what was said, what annoys me is that ABC News is supposed to be among our serious sources of information.

    I should have emphasized their own responsibility.