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Friday, 30 July 2010

WE ARE NOT [NAME OF DISTRESSED COUNTRY] FAIL

Many readers will know that Hungary, one of the first European countries to take the IMF's cursed silver in the recent crisis, has recently experimented with the time-honoured genre of Sticking It to the Man and broken off their relationship with the IMF, forfeiting a sizeable tranche of money.

In light of this, I feel compelled to state in no uncertain terms that we are not Hungary - and even if they manage to pull off this latest piece of brinksmanship, we will never be able to emulate them.

The reason is made clear in a very enlightening paper written by - who else? - IMF staff (who may themselves be starting to suspect that Hungary may just get away with its two-fingered salute and are probably keen to warn the flock against straying too far).

In this massive collection of statporn, the killer graph is the one reproduced below:



What does it say? It says that while Hungary may have some liquidity problems (which can be fixed), Greece is simply insolvent (and in that respect we are in good company, with the UK and Ireland just ahead of us in fact).

Picture the situation like this: If a monstrous, futuristic corporate from a cyberpunk graphic novel were given the right by the IMF to bid for and buy the Greek state (along with our debt), there would be no takers.

Which is good in a way, because at least it means we can have it. That should put the conspiracy theories to rest.

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