To the man on the street in most places in the world, the conundrums being pondered at the IMF meeting in Washington are baffling.
What is clear, however, is that there is a plan to present a package which will appear to rescue the debt problems in Europe involving leveraging, reconfiguration, recapitalisation and another restructuring of the Greek debt. Not being an economist I find the concepts hard to grasp, and it may be that is what is intended in all this complexity.
In the midst of all this smoke and mirrors activity, a stark truth is that the devices under consideration by political and monetary leaders would force European taxpayers as well as lenders and investors to take on much more risk. There is no doubt that there would be considerable opposition within individual member states if there was an attempt to force the scheme through without a vote, but this may be what will happen in order to achieve a “Band Aid” solution – the man on the street, being expected to pay for the debts of others (as well as his own) without the chance to express an opinion. Is this democracy? And what about the American debt?
The likelihood, in fact, is that the difficulties involved in implementing the package would be so great it would founder. Meanwhile, the world moves on while the leaders talk, and it may be that the decision is made for them and they find themselves forced to react rather than be able to do something to resolve the huge economic problems that confront us all.
This could all have been so much easier, and how the Gods must sigh.