January 21, 2012

Italian Cruise Ship Looks Like Some Euro Economies

I haven't had a lot of opportunity lately to surf the Internet to look at blogs and opinion pieces of late, but I'm still left wondering if anyone else doesn't see the images of the Italian cruise ship run aground and half sunk, as more than just a little symbolic of the debt crises in the Euro zone economies.  Clearly the worst case is Greece, but with Italy having a debt -to-GDP ratio of over 1.1 isn't all that stable either.

According to Wikipedia,
According to the EU's statistics body Eurostat, Italian public debt stood at 116% of GDP in 2010, ranking as the second biggest debt ratio after Greece (with 126.8%). However, the biggest chunk of Italian public debt is owned by national subjects, and relatively high levels of private savings and low levels of private indebtedness are seen as making it the safest among Europe's struggling economies...
Nevertheless, debt is debt and it ultimately doesn't matter who holds that debt if it goes to high and a reckoning happens. The symbolic irony is a warning sign for Europe.  If you don't want to run aground you have to steer your ship out of the dangerous waters.  The problem is that for many passengers aboard the Cruise Ship Euro, the ride and the view are just too sweet to bother changing course.

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