Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Broadcast: 14/07/2011
Jul 13, 2011 | 423 views
Reporter: John Clarke and Bryan Dawe
Hat tip Steve L
Transcript after the jump
LEIGH SALES, PRESENTER: Here is John Clarke and Bryan Dawe.
BRYAN DAWE: Thanks for your time tonight.
JOHN CLARKE: It’s very good to be with you. My pleasure. Good evening.
BRYAN DAWE: I understand you’re an economist?
JOHN CLARKE: I am an economist. Yes, indeed.
BRYAN DAWE: Right. Do you understand the euro?
JOHN CLARKE: No, I’m an economist. No, you want religious questions, Bryan, you’ve gotta go and get somebody appropriately qualified. I’m an economist.
BRYAN DAWE: Can you explain to us then the Greek economy?
JOHN CLARKE: Oh, look, Bryan, better value elsewhere, I think. I mean, I wouldn’t …
BRYAN DAWE: Better value elsewhere? What do you mean?
JOHN CLARKE: No, I wouldn’t touch it with a pole, Bryan. Don’t put your money in there.
BRYAN DAWE: No, no, no; I don’t want to invest in it. I’m just asking you to describe it.
JOHN CLARKE: Oh, you’re seeking information about it?
BRYAN DAWE: Yeah, information about it. Yeah. ‘Cause there’s a great amount of nervousness, isn’t there … ?
JOHN CLARKE: Oh, there certainly is, Bryan, and they have, let’s face it, very serious structural problems with the Greek economy.
BRYAN DAWE: They’re broke.
JOHN CLARKE: They would be if things improved out of sight, Bryan. I think the problem’s actually worse than that at the moment.
BRYAN DAWE: And they’ve received a bailout from the other European economies.
JOHN CLARKE: Yes, mainly France and Germany.
BRYAN DAWE: Yes, why France and Germany exactly?
JOHN CLARKE: Well they work. They’re successful economies, Bryan.
BRYAN DAWE: ‘Cause the first bailout didn’t touch the sides, did it, really?
JOHN CLARKE: Well they do have some serious structural problems and that needs to be addressed.
BRYAN DAWE: And what are they?
JOHN CLARKE: Well, they can’t pay their debts, Bryan. I mean, Greece owes 160 per cent of what it produces. I mean, the task is a Sisyphean task. It’s rolling a rock up a mountain.
BRYAN DAWE: So Greek is insolvent?
JOHN CLARKE: Bryan, put it this way: if it were a private company, there’d be a fire there on Saturday at about four o’clock in the morning.
BRYAN DAWE: Right. So how big was the bailout?
JOHN CLARKE: First bailout was $100 billion.
BRYAN DAWE: Second bailout?
JOHN CLARKE: $100 billion again, Bryan.
BRYAN DAWE: And how long will that last them?
JOHN CLARKE: I think there’s some confidence that’ll get them to Tuesday, Wednesday.
BRYAN DAWE: Mmm, mmm. So what is the alternative to bailing them out?
JOHN CLARKE: Well not bailing them out would probably force them out the bottom of the EU and of course the strength of the EU is precisely the unity provided, the capacity those countries have to help one another.
BRYAN DAWE: But don’t they weaken themselves by doing that?
JOHN CLARKE: They do. That’s a very good point. And the novelty of giving Greece $100 billion every fortnight’s gonna wear off at some time.
BRYAN DAWE: Yeah, well, the Greeks don’t want austerity measures, obviously.
JOHN CLARKE: They don’t, no, and of course they would need to be complicit in a solution. They’d need to make it work.
BRYAN DAWE: But why would anyone wanna invest in an economy that can’t pay its debts?
JOHN CLARKE: Good question, but people have been doing it for 20 years; that’s why the problem exists, Bryan.
BRYAN DAWE: And whatever else they sort out, that might have apply to some of the other European economies.
JOHN CLARKE: (Sound of an incoming mobile phone text message is heard). That’s right! That’s right. Sorry, Bryan. Just getting a text, sorry.
BRYAN DAWE: What’s that?
JOHN CLARKE: Would we like to buy Portugal?
BRYAN DAWE: Buy Portugal?
JOHN CLARKE: Anybody wanna buy a Portugal? Yeah, Portugal’s for sale?
BRYAN DAWE: How much?
JOHN CLARKE: Oh, they won’t need money, we’d just need to guarantee the debt. Oh, hello! They’re having a special, red spot special – if we do it today, we can have Ireland as well.
BRYAN DAWE: Oh, really, how much for both?
JOHN CLARKE: How much have you got? Has anyone got a hat? We might have a crack at this. Ireland’s nice.
BRYAN DAWE: It is good, isn’t it?
JOHN CLARKE: Yeah. Summer. (Makes sound with mouth indicating desirability of Ireland in summer).