It’s still amazing to me that Greece’s finance minister, George Papaconstantinou, referred to his country’s economy as the Titanic. Was it a Freudian slip? Who would consciously invoke such a horrible metaphor? I mean, for God’s sake, even in the Hollywood version the ship sinks and Leonardo DiCaprio freezes to death.
“We are trying to change the course of the Titanic, it cannot be done in a day,” he said the other day. “We are beginning to show that step by step, we are following words with action. If additional fiscal measures are needed, we will take them.”
Did anybody else do a spit take when they heard that? Ben Bernanke, Alan Greenspan and the rest of this nation’s “finance ministers” are so careful about their words that they often end up delivering a lukewarm stew of boiled platitudes, leaving everybody wondering just what in the hell they’re really thinking. You think Ben Bernanke would ever refer to the U.S. economy as the Titanic?
But, hey, maybe old Georgie was onto something. Newswires publishes economic and political calenders for most nations. I looked at Greece’s this morning, and the first item on it was this:
Wednesday, February 24, 2010: National strike in Greece over public debt dispute.
When the top item on your economic calendar is a national strike, well, maybe you are riding on the Titanic.