The Ben & Jerry of Europe

At least according to urban legend, the friendship of Ben and Jerry (yes, the ice cream Ben and Jerry) dates backs to an elementary school phy ed class they shared.

In announcing that day’s activity — the one mile run — the gym teacher supposedly threatened, ” . . . and anyone who can’t run the mile in under 12 minutes will have to keep running it until they do!”

Which prompted Ben and Jerry, who were born chubby, to look at each other, shrug, and ask the obvious question, “if we can’t run a mile in 12 minutes the first time, what makes him think we can do it the second time, or third, or  . . . ??”

Cue Greece

Last Fall, when Greece’s per capita debt was merely crushing, I calculated how much each citizen owed and posed the obvious question, “THESE Guys are Good for $250k Apiece? C’mon.”

Although not quite as desperate as Greece’s fiscal situation, Portugal is essentially facing the same predicament.

Now that successive bailout efforts have swelled both countries’ debt by billions more, the question (observation, really) looms even larger.

As today’s Wall Street Journal puts it:

Whether you call it default, restructuring or reprofiling, somebody isn’t going to get paid back everything they expected when they expected it unless Greece gets a lot more bailout money.

The Wall Street Journal (5/10/2011)

Here’s hoping they don’t . ..  

P.S.:  And what the Hell is “reprofiling??” 

I can’t answer that question, but I’m pretty certain who coined the term:  the same guys who brought us “credit default swaps,” “collateralized debt obligations,” etc.

Isn’t there a prison cell somewhere — or a bloc of them — for these guys?


About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

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