Traditionally, a bank is a means by which old people with capital lend to young people with ideas. But the advanced democracies with their mountains of sovereign debt are in effect old people who’ve blown through their capital and are all out of ideas looking for young people flush enough to bail them out.
And the idea that it might be time for the spendthrift geezers to change their ways butts up against their indestructible moral vanity. Last year, President Sarkozy said that the G20 summit provided “a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to give capitalism a conscience.”
European capitalism may have a conscience. It’s not clear it has a pulse. And, actually, when you’re burning Greek bank clerks to death in defence of your benefits, your “conscience” isn’t much in evidence, either.
Friday, May 21, 2010
Steyn on Greece, Why It Had To Fail
Mark Steyn sums up the crisis in Greece (and the problem with welfare states in general).