The Best Explanation of the Greece Bailout in 90 Seconds

Garett Jones,

Release Date
July 17, 2015


Gov't Debt & Spending

Things are so complicated in Europe; you would think you need a PhD in economics to keep track of what’s going on. But at least with this video, you don’t. I’m Garret Jones I’m an Associate Professor of Economics at George Mason University. I’m going to try and boil it down to a ridiculously simple but accurate story.
Imagine a frat boy; he’s going to college, he needs to borrow money to keep going. So he goes to his rich uncle and says, “Can I borrow some money for college?” And the uncle says, “If I’m going to lend you money, you have to keep your act together and I want to see that you’re making good grades. I’m going to make you sign a document.” Frat boy says, “I’ll sign on the dotted line, I’ll take the money. I’ll get it back to you in a couple of years”
He goes to college. Instead of getting the ‘B’s he promised, he’s getting C-plus and the occasional B-minus his grades are below what he promised and he still needs more money and the uncle says, “Well you didn’t keep your promise last time should I believe that you’re going to be able to keep your promise in the future? I’m gonna have somebody check up on you every month in college and check on your grades.”
Now that’s totally humiliating to the college student, right? The frat boy says, “Hey, not only did I get okay grades, I majored in something really hard.”
You can see that’s kind of the Greeks feel, they were asked to do something incredibly difficult and even if they did only half of it, to them, they feel like ‘hey we passed a pretty tough test.’
The uncle, like the Europeans are saying, I ask you to do something, you sign on the dotted line and you didn’t keep your promise. The Greeks are humiliated by having to change their ways; the Europeans don’t want to lender someone who keeps maybe half their promises.