Despite some appearances to the contrary, I remain hopeful that Syriza will hold firm in its resistance to austerity. It may be that the Greek government is positioning itself so that, in the event of exit, it is seen to have been forced off the euro rather than to have willingly opted out. In the event of exit, it could make a significant difference to the response of others (such as the US, the IMF, not to mention the Greek people themselves) that Syriza is seen to have been pushed into a corner, left with no choice, rather than to have been enthusiastic in any break away from the common currency.
A notable quote (h/t Tom Hickey at Mike Norman Economics):
Germany’s Mr Gabriel said any debt relief for Greece is out of the question at this stage since it would cause a collapse of discipline across the eurozone, triggering copycat demands from other countries in distress. “It would blow up the euro,” he said.
I am no game theorist, but to me Mr Gabriel’s statement underscores that if Syriza holds firm, Greece will ultimately win one way or the other …
Let me start, in reference to the title of this post, by apologizing to anyone who does not celebrate Christmas. If it’s any consolation, Christmas enthusiasts are just as likely to be offended by the post as anyone else. Being someone who considers himself neither atheist nor theist, agnostic nor Gnostic, human nor inhuman, even I am quite offended. If this is difficult to believe, it will be easier to swallow by the post’s end.
Male primates exhibited a wide range of mating behaviors during the eighties. Freewheeling, intimidation tactics, overconfidence, guilt trips, and wailing and gnashing of teeth all played their parts. The collective response to these advances was somewhat mixed. All this is evident in the pop music of the day.
Okay, I’m in holiday mode now, even though every hard-working blogger knows that there are no holidays for a blogger. If I think of something serious to post between now and the New Year, I will certainly do so, but sprinkled throughout will probably be a couple of posts fit for the silly season. Hopefully there will be some music, although I’m struggling to find anything sufficiently “on point”. Or maybe there will be a bit of film, or comedy. In the meantime, we will have to satisfy ourselves with a smattering of numerology. Actually, that might not be accurate. Whatever it is will soon become clear.
Time for a music break. Proceed with caution if in the office or too seriously into economics to countenance such an outrageous waste of cyberspace. The economic content of what follows is arguably minimal. Arguably, it is not even arguable. As always with music breaks, your mileage may vary. It’s unavoidable. I’m sorry. And I feel your pain. Heteconomist has its own core set of musical influences, and it is virtually inevitable that these expose themselves from time to time. The good news is that it’s always possible to infuse the blog with new influences via the comments section. And, of course, if you choose not to click on the videos, no one will ever be the wiser. Perfect.
Yes, you read that correctly. Resolution, singular. The truth is it’s very difficult to get much work done when the rest of you are on holiday. It’s lazy of me, admittedly, but your leisurely high spirits permeate the atmosphere, afflicting even the most industrious of economics bloggers. So, be warned, if it wasn’t already obvious, that the economic content of this post will be near zero. Step off now if frivolity is not your thing.
Casting a wary eye over old posts, it became clear that this time last year a tradition in the form of an annual holiday message was launched. For bloggers especially taken with the Christmas/New Year spirit, a launch of this kind might make sense. Otherwise, it is surely unwise. It requires coming up with a message that is more or less the same as last year yet different enough to justify its existence.
It’s been about three years since the blog started. Out of curiosity I decided to trundle through the record books to see which posts had fared best in the popularity stakes and how this list compared with my personal favorites. It is not an exact science, as any blogger will be aware. The list is not definitive, although the identity of the top post is obvious. The make-up of the rest of the list is also fairly clear, but not its ordering. Early posts are disadvantaged, because the blog has obviously grown over time. By the same token, early posts listed on the Posts To Read First page receive a boost. They tend to get a steady but modest flow of readers over time. Anyway, without further ado …