Before reading the article “Trickle-down Debt” I did not know the extent to which the Greek Financial Crisis was related not only to public debt but also to private debt. The story that has mostly been told in the popular media mostly focuses on the debt owed by the Greek government due to the extent of Greece’s welfare system and their lack of strict taxes. After reading “Trickle-down Debt” it seems clear that their are also serious problems with personal debt too and it is interesting how this debt further relates back to government debt due to the fact that a third of debtors hoping to restructure their debt, are public workers.
The crash bares resemblance to other financial crashes, such as the Great Depression and the current Chinese stock crisis, in that over optimism led to over spending, which then led to the crash once the optimism dissipated. It is interesting that the Greek situation seems to be primarily concerned with public and private credit borrowing rather than over investment in stocks.
I enjoyed the articles that provided more cultural and historical background because they bring to light not only past economic and social problems, but also help explain some of the current political, legal, and social sentiment. In “Eat That!”, the author writes about how the home became the “most reliable form of capital accumulation” in the post-WW2 period due to instabilities in industrial and stock investment. This is reflected in the credit restructuring legislation mentioned in “Trickle-down Debt”, where debtors homes are protected from seizure from creditors. This is an interesting intersection of economic, social, and legal values.