The Ticker Quick Views on Politics, Economics and Finance
A Few Ears of Corn Seal Greece's Fate: The Ticker
I stopped at a farm stand earlier this week to buy some locally grown corn for dinner. "You write for Bloomberg, right?" the proprietor asked, no doubt remembering an interchange months ago (over beets, not corn) when I tried to interject some sound economics into a conversation he was having with another customer.
"Yes," I said, trying to guess where this was going. "OK, let me ask you something," he said. "What are the chances Greece defaults in the next 90 days."
"About 50 percent," I said.
He looked surprised at my quick and assured response. I explained that I wasn't really giving him odds based on inside information on the euro area's next step. Instead, I was using the past to project the future.
According to economists Carmen Reinhart and Ken Rogoff, authors of "This Time is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Crises," Greece has spent more than half -- 50.6 percent, to be exact -- of the years since 1800 in default or rescheduling its debt.
Why would anyone be surprised to find Greece at this juncture again?
(Caroline Baum is a Bloomberg View columnist.)
Bloomberg moderates all comments. Comments that are abusive or off-topic will not be posted to the site. Excessively long comments may be moderated as well. Bloomberg cannot facilitate requests to remove comments or explain individual moderation decisions.