Thursday, June 30, 2011

Memo To Lagarde: Lay The Smackdown On Greece

From: Anthony Alfidi, CEO, Alfidi Capital
To: Mme. Christine Lagarde, Managing Director, IMF
Subject: Greece Talking Points

Congratulations upon your selection as Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund. Please do your best to stay out of trouble. We don't want any surprises like the one we all recently got from your predecessor.

Your first order of business is to address this whole unpleasant Greek situation. Maintaining order in the international financial markets is a precondition for the United States' continued debt financing of its unsustainable lifestyle. A Greek default would set a dangerous precedent for larger, nuclear-armed nations to start living within their internally financed means. Here are some suggested talking points you should emphasize when scolding those unruly folks in Athens (written in your voice).

- No one is allowed to leave the eurozone. It is an inviolable, nonnegotiable compact of infinite duration, just like Jehovah's covenant with the Israelites but with more money.

- Banks in my home country of France hold much of your debt. I cannot allow you to rob their CEOs of their annual bonuses by threatening to default.

- German government officials have informed me that they are willing to fund your bailout if I arrange for France to give back Alsace-Lorraine. I told them they can just walk right in and make themselves at home. Done deal! Plus cha change!

- I need you to play ball because I really like my new job at the IMF. The views from my office are great and I don't want to go back to my old job at Baker & McKenzie. Those guys were always cracking jokes about my French accent and whether I was related to Pepe Le Pew and Inspector Clouseau.

- You really must stop all of these ugly protests and riots. You did not seek proper approval for this street theatre at the last Bilderberg conference and you did not recruit the agitators from our pre-approved lists of agent provocateurs / retired intelligence operatives.

- I expect your Parliament to pass its austerity measures forthwith, like sometime this week. Do not stop at the gyro stand on the way in to work. Do not pass GO. Do not collect $200.

- In the unlikely event that you are unable to pass your austerity package, I expect you to surrender unencumbered ownership of the Acropolis to the People's Bank of China. Please ensure the title deed is legible in both Greek and Chinese, and that it is delivered to the Chinese embassy in Washington, D.C. If you can't find the embassy right away, rest assured that it will relocate to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. soon after the effects of your default are felt across the Atlantic.

- Whatever you do, don't you dare call me a cheese-eating surrender monkey. I do not eat nearly as much cheese as the typical Francophone.

Nota bene: The above "memo" is a satire of all the key players in the Greek debt drama. It has about as much chance of being taken seriously as any Fed pronouncement that economic recovery is underway in the U.S.