Slope of Hope Blog Posts
Slope initially began as a blog, so this is where most of the website’s content resides. Here we have tens of thousands of posts dating back over a decade. These are listed in reverse chronological order. Click on any category icon below to see posts tagged with that particular subject, or click on a word in the category cloud on the right side of the screen for more specific choices.
What do the dates 1826, 1843, 1860, 1894 and 1932 have in common? They're all years when the Greeks defaulted on their debts in the last two centuries. Greece has been in default for approximately 50% of the time since it gained independence. The Greeks aren't even particularly remarkable with this track record. Over the same period Venezuela and Ecuador have each defaulted ten times.
Governments defaulting on their debts used to be a common occurrence and it's a useful safety valve for profligate governments that won't balance budgets, and don't mind wiping out a large proportion of the nation's savings regularly. Spendthrift small countries used to default regularly and still do in South America particularly. Sometimes they make a fresh start and behave better thereafter, and sometimes they just do it all over again.