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There's no respite for Greece as retail sales fell 16.4% Y/Y in January, double the pace from...

There's no respite for Greece as retail sales fell 16.4% Y/Y in January, double the pace from the previous month. The grand total for retail sales contraction in Greece over the last four years: 34%. 
Comments (32)
  • Macro Investor
    , contributor
    Comments (9049) | Send Message
     
    Greece clearly needs more austerity. The current level of austerity is not working.

     

    I wonder how German exports to Greece are doing.
    29 Mar 2013, 11:02 AM Reply Like
  • papayamon
    , contributor
    Comments (1185) | Send Message
     
    they're going to have to find the bottom that they can sustain themselves without having other economies pump in enough to keep them afloat with loans they will never pay back.

     

    i'd say it's a lot better for germany to export nothing to greece than to loan greece the money to buy their exports, but never get paid.

     

    the greek people need to rediscover their work ethic. they aren't going to be able to retire at 50 and have other countries support them. they aren't going to be able to have a disability system so rife with fraud. they aren't going to be able to support pedophiles because their disease is a disability. their liberal government has ruined the country.

     

    i honestly feel very sorry for hard working, honest greek people. they have a mountain of misery heaped on their shoulders.

     

    greece needs continued austerity and a government which encourages work and capitalism. they are going to be in for a long and painful process, but will emerge a much stronger society - if they stay the course. the alternative? collapse and chaos.
    29 Mar 2013, 11:12 AM Reply Like
  • wyostocks
    , contributor
    Comments (8087) | Send Message
     
    papa......
    You just described America as well.
    29 Mar 2013, 11:16 AM Reply Like
  • Macro Investor
    , contributor
    Comments (9049) | Send Message
     
    "i'd say it's a lot better for germany to export nothing to greece than to loan greece the money to buy their exports, but never get paid."

     

    That will happen soon enough, and then you will see the German economy tank really bad. It has started already. Then we will hopefully get some austerity in Germany too. With enough pain, even the Germans will learn to forget about austerity and go for money printing.

     

    Then of course the whole of EU economy will start growing again with an European QE.
    29 Mar 2013, 11:19 AM Reply Like
  • papayamon
    , contributor
    Comments (1185) | Send Message
     
    no doubt, wyo... the u.s. economy is under assault from within. if it were up to me, there would be huge reform in medicaid, food stamps and welfare and ssi disability.

     

    it burns me up that we give people food stamp debit cards they can take to the 7-11 and buy junk food.

     

    but as bad as it is here, it was far worse in greece. i say let greece show us what will happen if we continue down this path.

     

    at SOME point, SOMEBODY has got to work and ACTUALLY PRODUCE SOMETHING.
    29 Mar 2013, 11:33 AM Reply Like
  • Macro Investor
    , contributor
    Comments (9049) | Send Message
     
    Do you realize the reason Greece has a problem is because they have an artificially strong currency, no more or less?
    29 Mar 2013, 11:35 AM Reply Like
  • Mike Maher
    , contributor
    Comments (2580) | Send Message
     
    Exactly Macro, the normal means of adjusting for discrepancies in labor productivity (exchange rate fluctuations) are gone, so the only way Greece's labor can become competitive are to somehow instantly become more efficient, or to see wages decline until they become competitive. Its called deflation, and its not fun.
    29 Mar 2013, 12:07 PM Reply Like
  • Macro Investor
    , contributor
    Comments (9049) | Send Message
     
    It may not be fun for Greeks, but it is a lot of fun for Germans to impose deflation on Greeks. That's how Germany can control all of the EU.

     

    Hence austerity.
    29 Mar 2013, 12:57 PM Reply Like
  • enigmaman
    , contributor
    Comments (2686) | Send Message
     
    You said " they're going to have to find the bottom that they can sustain themselves without having other economies pump in enough to keep them afloat with loans they will never pay back."

     

    Is that possible as a member of the EU, any bottom that they find will be one imposed on them by other members in one way or another
    29 Mar 2013, 01:09 PM Reply Like
  • enigmaman
    , contributor
    Comments (2686) | Send Message
     
    dream on :)
    29 Mar 2013, 01:13 PM Reply Like
  • Transcend Asset
    , contributor
    Comments (1620) | Send Message
     
    You guys must of missed out on the news: Goldman Sachs was the cause of the Greek problem.

     

    http://bit.ly/110b5C2

     

    Why is GS still allowed to survive?! If it is, then Greece should too. Feeding hungry people is better than feeding a few scums at GS. The fact that GS can get by just paying a few bucks to the US government as fines is a joke!

     

    Warren Buffett lost my respect years ago. His recent support of GS shows me he's all about money making. Forget ethics. What's this about supporting higher personal tax? Someone should note that he doesn't say he supports more tax on businesses. What a joke.
    29 Mar 2013, 02:19 PM Reply Like
  • Mike Maher
    , contributor
    Comments (2580) | Send Message
     
    OMG!!! Greece was cooking the books? And hired an investment bank to help them circumvent EU treaties??? Hey did you know that all the other EU countries also fudged the numbers to get into the EU?

     

    That article is a year old, and only reports "news" that had been known for years. Warren Buffet has fiduciary duties to the shareholders of Bershire to make the most money as possible, as long as its legal. That is his job, and thats what he does. The Goldman deal made him a quick couple billion dollars, so why wouldnt he do the deal?
    29 Mar 2013, 03:13 PM Reply Like
  • SoldHigh
    , contributor
    Comments (1013) | Send Message
     
    Germany will be fine
    29 Mar 2013, 07:55 PM Reply Like
  • justaminute
    , contributor
    Comments (581) | Send Message
     
    The German economy is not going to tank.
    30 Mar 2013, 12:44 AM Reply Like
  • Macro Investor
    , contributor
    Comments (9049) | Send Message
     
    In that case Germany should not stop till the economies of all the other Eurozone countries have completely collapsed from austerity. It is time to show those other countries who is the boss.
    30 Mar 2013, 12:51 AM Reply Like
  • Ray Lopez
    , contributor
    Comments (1526) | Send Message
     
    So papa, you are for greater immigration to the USA from Greece and other countries, no? Because the fantasy you describe will never happen in a country of 10M mostly old people. More probable the good Greek workers simply immigrate to the USA. You have no problem with a hard working Greek (and in terms of hours they do put in more time than the average German, statistically, though not as productive) taking a job from an American, right? Or is your sermonizing just pious, self-righteous nonsense, as I suspect? And like wyostocks says, as goes Greece so goes America as well.
    30 Mar 2013, 05:31 AM Reply Like
  • papayamon
    , contributor
    Comments (1185) | Send Message
     
    wow ray. what does this have to do with immigration to america? that you've apparently got no life outside of this board such that you need to follow me around to other threads says a lot more than your comments.

     

    that i don't believe a socialistic government can effectively allocate scarce resources (greece being a prime example) is my opinion, which i'm free to state on this board.

     

    i don't want to get in trouble with the board by calling you a no life loser dumbass, so i won't ).
    30 Mar 2013, 10:29 AM Reply Like
  • wyostocks
    , contributor
    Comments (8087) | Send Message
     
    Well duh. Check the UE rate lately? Good news is that somehow this will get a positive spin on Monday.
    29 Mar 2013, 11:06 AM Reply Like
  • Macro Investor
    , contributor
    Comments (9049) | Send Message
     
    It is really disappointing that despite Germany's best attempt to kill off the EU economy, the market is not paying any heed whatsoever.

     

    We need more austerity.
    29 Mar 2013, 11:09 AM Reply Like
  • wyostocks
    , contributor
    Comments (8087) | Send Message
     
    MI
    One day, not saying when, the markets and the economies around the world will get back in synch. Till then, QU forever and the markets march to a separate drummer.
    29 Mar 2013, 11:13 AM Reply Like
  • Macro Investor
    , contributor
    Comments (9049) | Send Message
     
    It is very wise that you are not saying when. That way you can never be wrong, as it is always like "Free beer tomorrow".
    29 Mar 2013, 11:19 AM Reply Like
  • jondoo
    , contributor
    Comments (38) | Send Message
     
    Here's a tip regarding Greece or any country for that matter - rarely is the 'truth' written about. The 'reported' Greek economy has definitely shrunk to ridiculously (sad) levels but the black or underground economy is flourishing just fine. For those who rave about the benefits of austerity, the simple truth is that it fails to do anything to 'make an economy more competitive'. On the contrary, the majority of people - including the hard working ones - have less money so in order to survive (eat, pay their rent or mortgages, electricity, car insurance, etc.) they simply give in to tax evasion like their elected officials and the uber rich shipowners. Austerity has been a disaster for Greece and soon we will see the destruction of Cyprus. A better solution would be to punish the guilty. We all know who they are. Why isn't the troika asking for their heads on a platter (a rhetorical question if ever there was one)?
    29 Mar 2013, 11:41 AM Reply Like
  • papayamon
    , contributor
    Comments (1185) | Send Message
     
    the biggest advantage of the underground economy is that there is no underground welfare system. so it's an injection of even purer capitalism. good. the correlation between working and eating is never more direct.
    29 Mar 2013, 11:46 AM Reply Like
  • kmi
    , contributor
    Comments (4030) | Send Message
     
    jondoo -

     

    I have exposure to Greece. I have extended family in heavy industry there as well as direct exposure.

     

    And I call BS on your comment that "the black or underground economy is flourishing just fine."

     

    Further, the calibre and quality of people I am meeting stateside abandoning Greece for what they think will be greener pastures here is astounding. Even though I see nascent efforts and government programs to support and promote business development there, the bureaucracy is still insanely restrictive and many who have the means and capital to relocate are doing so, further undermining Greece's ability to exit the current downward spiral.

     

    As for not punishing the guilty, the 'guilty' have the government captured, and are members of it, so good luck with that.
    29 Mar 2013, 12:24 PM Reply Like
  • Macro Investor
    , contributor
    Comments (9049) | Send Message
     
    You want pure capitalism? Try Somalia.
    29 Mar 2013, 12:57 PM Reply Like
  • vvvv1.
    , contributor
    Comments (4) | Send Message
     
    this is pure capitalism..
    29 Mar 2013, 04:24 PM Reply Like
  • jondoo
    , contributor
    Comments (38) | Send Message
     
    kmi - since you do not live or work here I suppose I could say "Right back at you" but I prefer to give people the benefit of the doubt. And while it is true that many well educated and hard working people have left in search of 'greener pastures' many more have stayed for their own reasons. Many of these are the very same entrepreneurs who are opening new businesses every day despite the 'insanely restrictive bureaucracy'. Most will fail yet many of those will try again and again. Many operate in the under or black economy which has always thrived in Greece (and other countries like the US where I once lived and met many self-made millionaires who sold their wares in the thriving 'flea market' industry) and will continue to do so long after the troika is through trying to destroy what's left of the legitimate economy. As to luck and the government, as Hunter Thompson once said, "In a democracy, people usually get the government they deserve, and they deserve what they get."
    29 Mar 2013, 05:18 PM Reply Like
  • Ray Lopez
    , contributor
    Comments (1526) | Send Message
     
    Somalia, and least the Puntland (north) *before* violence started a few years ago, was indeed a Ayn Rand paradise. Quite nice in fact. But when ideology, religion, crime (pirates) entered the fray around 2007 or so, the Puntland went south, like south Somalia.
    30 Mar 2013, 05:37 AM Reply Like
  • kmi
    , contributor
    Comments (4030) | Send Message
     
    jondoo -

     

    Perhaps you misunderstood my comment. I have productive assets in Greece and visit quite frequently. Your perspective is full of the "hopium" about how the "spirit" of the Greek people will never be defeated that I hear from many there. But you cannot eat "hopium."

     

    I have an extended family member right now attempting to initiate a new business there, and am quite well informed when I talk about "restrictive bureaucracy."

     

    In fact, I recently was involved in initiating a business in Peru, which many Greeks will quickly dismiss as a '3rd world country' in particular as its "developed" status is quite recent. The difference in efficiency of the bureaucracies in the respective countries was appalling.

     

    Many Greeks still don't get it: Greeks now have to compete on price and productivity in the EU as a whole and this is a whole different ballgame from the way things used to be, when you could secure "exclusive representative" rights for a strong international product/company and rely entirely on merchandising.

     

    As for your notion of the black economy... good luck with that. What's left of the 'cash' economy is being siphoned out and what generated it - the cash-carrying and spending tourism industry - is not what it used to be.
    30 Mar 2013, 09:10 AM Reply Like
  • Macro Investor
    , contributor
    Comments (9049) | Send Message
     
    "Somalia, and least the Puntland (north) *before* violence started a few years ago, was indeed a Ayn Rand paradise. Quite nice in fact. But when ideology, religion, crime (pirates) entered the fray around 2007 or so, the Puntland went south, like south Somalia."

     

    I remember that. People were flocking to Somalia at that time. Scores of right wing Americans said no to the horrible existence that is the USA with its social safety net and sky high taxes and immigrated to the Randian paradise that is Somalia. Ron Paul went with his son Rand and never came back. I hear he is loving it there.
    30 Mar 2013, 11:22 AM Reply Like
  • jondoo
    , contributor
    Comments (38) | Send Message
     
    kmi – there is nothing wrong with ‘hopium’ and luck provided you don’t entirely rely on them for your success. Unlike yours my business interests are local. Consequently I too often encounter and smile at the indefatigable attitude of Greeks. I know many who long for the days of the consumer credit boom that is in part due to the current crisis as well as those who believed ‘exclusive representation’ would be their ticket to wealth. My wife’s sister and her husband are involved in the tourism industry and while it is not what it used to be there are niche opportunities that they have pursued to keep food on their table. Bottom line – I welcome the new ‘ballgame’ and the potential future it represents to Greece.
    30 Mar 2013, 01:19 PM Reply Like
  • kmi
    , contributor
    Comments (4030) | Send Message
     
    Jondoo -

     

    I too welcome the new ballgame and the changes occurring. I particularly am impressed with the growth in renewable energy over the last few years, which I think is a critical component of Greece's future.

     

    I am also certain many are changing and adapting to the new paradigm, which is as it should be. My point was primarily that I disagree with your opinion that the "cash economy" is functioning fine and that Greeks are doing well: they aren't; they are just getting by. And that won't change until the bureaucratic regulatory regime changes to facilitate the development of a modern economy, which Greece arguably no longer has.
    31 Mar 2013, 09:17 AM Reply Like
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