For whom might it make sense to help Greece, as impasse with Germany hardens and Greece approaches default? And what sort of offer of help would make sense for Greece?
Europe and in particular the Germans have painted themselves into a Teutonic corner. It will make no more nor less sense for Germany to blink in two or three weeks time than now. Of course as the reality nears, of their own banks and those in France having to come clean before their own populace about the bad loans they made to Greece, they may lose their nerve. I strongly recommend Mr Tsipras reiterate his determination to set up a Debt Commission. The prospect of Europe’s and America’s banks having all their grubby and quite possibly fraudulent dealings with Greece’s oligarch families when they were in government, paraded in public will leave many powerful people wondering if an unfortunate helicopter accident couldn’t be arranged by some friendly…. no, no no. What am I saying! Or perhaps a fire inside a sealed room? Only joking.
I think it would make perfect political sense for Russia, China, India and Iran as a loose group to offer to help Greece in its hour of need. Why them? Well they have already formed a loose, though not so very loose, group who will accept each other’s currencies in international deals, who already use the Yuan as a Settlement Currency (a currency considered safe and stable enough for major deals, like oil and gas, to be conducted in it) and have been accumulating gold so that they could, in the event of a major currency incident, mention that their currency has large gold reserves behind it.
Russia or China as the lead country, could tell the Greeks that whatever their new currency might be, it could become part of a rival currency group. The Euro nations are, I think, assuming Greece will run its currency in parallel with the Euro perhaps still using the euro for all its international dealings.
The Russia/China group would score a major coup if Greece even appeared to consider such an offer. For them to be able to reach inside the EU’s back garden and offer the hand of help to Greece and the Greek people, when Greece’s neighbors ‘refused’ would be a major psychological and diplomatic event.
The offer would not entail China taking on any of Greece’s debts. It would leave them untouched as business between Greece and its ‘old’ friends. So the offer would cost China et all nothing.
I think Greece could potentially get a lot from such an offer. They, if they were bold, would serve notice to Europe that they were not Europe’s cur. They would not be tied to the Euro as its poorest and most powerless relation. Instead they would be poor but not powerless. They would have new diplomatic friends. Instead of being ‘outside’ the Euro they’d be inside something else.
Would this alienate them from Europe? No I don’t think it would. No more than they will be anyway. Diplomatically it could actually cast Europe and Germany in particular as the ‘false friends’ in contrast to Greece’s ‘new friends’.
Greece would also be wise, in my opinion, to make sure their new friends offered them the chance to not only use the yuan as its Settlement Currency, but also allow it to use Hong Kong to do all its sovereign business. This would be very attractive to the Chinese as I think they would like to see Hong Kong start to rival NY as the centre for sovereign settlement. HSBC would be the obvious bank to handle it. But one of the large Swiss banks could also. In partnership with a mainland bank of course.
One massive advantage this would give the Greeks is the ability to thwart the Vulture funds who operate in the Southern District Court in Manhattan. The vulture funds use that court as their private bully pit for suing nations. If Greece could do its business in Hong Kong instead, the vulture funds and even vulture nations would be.. to use the technical term, stuffed.
I realize this is scurrilous fantasy but it has, I think, enough of a ring of plausibility about it that I wonder if both sides, Greece and China/Russia/Iran/India haven’t wondered themselves.
Both sides could potentially gain major advantages. The debt commission would still run, the fraudulent debts would still be defaulted, the banks would still run crying to their countries to force the tax -payers to bail them out AGAIN – nothing there would be changed, but politically it would be a whole new world.