Greece’s Dark Matter

Judging from the title of my new blog publication you will probably assume that you will further read about the universe’s mysteries, black holes, dark matter, etc. Far from that…the universe obeys to discovered and yet undiscovered laws of physics and the cosmos. Economies too are driven by the laws of economics which politicians do not consider as having the same weight and impact upon the markets and the lives of the people they govern.

Won’t keep you in anxiety more. The inspiration of this new blog entry title comes from recently reading an interesting interview by Ricardo Hausmann who has spent many years of his life researching & consulting on what went wrong with the economy of Venezuela.

Every country is different although the factors that help an economy grow or fade into recession follow similar patterns. Think for a moment about the current situation in Greece. I believe there is dark matter which works against all hopes of revival. First of all, Greece has not solidified a concrete and long term business plan on a national level that will drag its economy out of the recession and bring it back to normality. Current fiscal policies and overtaxation do not work in favor of accelerating the economy. They actually keep on destabilizing it while creating uncertainty for investments. Take the example of the following foreign companies that tried to do business in Greece and left because of bureaucratic struggles: China New Era, LKS Partners & Lockheed Martin, Las Vegas Sands, Vopak, Tesla, and many others (let’s see the outcome with Eldorado Gold).

Even if some parts of the government budget look positive for the markets, the ”dark matter” is there if you look more closely to the bitter economic indexes and statistical numbers.

Ricardo Hausmann observed that fiscal policies in Venezuela spurred contractions in the economy. Rings a bell? Yes, Greece’s governments have managed over time (lost) to adjust fiscal policies without realizing the policies were working against the economy’s real growth. Even the access for Greece to borrow money from the international markets took a long time and still investors are not feeling confident. Thus Greece is not reflecting confidence to borrow money at bad times.

Greece is also in a position that cannot handle its public debt which the IMF is repeatedly positioning as non-sustainable. According to Hausmann, emerging economies are not able to handle their surmounting debt and often lead their economy to fails. Greece is not an emerging economy (maybe pragmatically returning slowly to this phase) but is going through a state at which the country is not able to monitor its public debt and hopes the IMF will align their policy with EU’s bureaucrats and offer debt forgiveness by cutting it down.

Greece needs a collective effort to attract scientists, entrepreneurs, or people that can offer productive knowledge which can bring added value to new products & services. Otherwise, the dark matter lurking will be driving the economy to repeated failures while politicians will be looking to outside factors to explain the economic hurdles, same as the notorious dark matter in the universe is observed by its effect on its surrounding stars.

Stathis Kassios
Web Entrepreneur & Business Consultant

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