Debt as a weapon


Not much going on today. I should be traveling to Italy, but after the chaos last year I thought that wise men might stay at home. Given that it’s just started to snow this may yet prove to be a good move.

Two things in the newspapers caught my eye today. First is a comment from Pedro Nuno Santos, VP of the Socialist Party in Portugal. He says that Portuguese debt could be used as a weapon against the rest of Europe, Germany and France in particular. Portugal could simply refuse to pay, thereby created a ‘nuclear’ default and financial meltdown.

As someone once said, I forget who, if I owe someone $100 I have a problem. If I owe someone $1 billion, they have a problem. So the large amount of US debt held by China is China’s problem?

Not quite sure how this links, but I would not be at all surprised if we have a military government in at least one European country (Greece?) by the end of next year. Actually, I think the link is debt to austerity to rage to physical actions to crackdowns to supposed stability.

The second thing was much milder. An obituary for George Whitman, who ran Shakespeare and Co, the Parisian bookshop. I loved the comment about his bookshop from Sylia Beach that the shop was a : “Rag -and-bone- shop of the heart.”

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