Greece and Europe are at a turning point. Many seasoned commentators already believe that the next and greatest worldwide economic crash has already begun. Over the next few days decisions and events are going to unfold that will literally affect the economic course of Europe, and arguably the entire world.
We are looking at the potential beginnings of a full-blown worldwide economic collapse.
What is happening now in Greece really is a tragedy. The place which witnessed the birth of democracy is on the edge of a precipice, and it looks very much like they may go over into the abyss. If Greece defaults on its debts to the International Monetary Fund, which at this point looks certain, it will bring forth a chain of events very difficult to control with repercussions very difficult to predict.
What is certain is the real effects and damage this will cause for Greece internally and that the contagion of this crisis will certainly move to other European countries, and very quickly at that.
The economy of Greece has been reeling since 2008 when the US financial crisis fully spilled into Europe, swamping unstable economies like Greece. Eurozone countries within a matter of just a year became so severely damaged that five had to seek official and massive financial help.
Greece, Ireland, Portugal, and Cyprus formally applied for bailout programs. Each country received huge bailout loans from a combination of the European Union, the European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund in exchange for the implementation of harsh domestic austerity measures.
As the crisis developed domestic economic activity in these five countries were severely affected; meaning that governments were only able to collect dwindling tax receipts leaving them with significantly decreased revenues. This in turn has led to even greater and harsher austerity and the further slashing of government spending.
The effect of this on these countries has been crippling, with massively increased unemployment, increased social disorder and discontent, limited and stifled new business growth and worryingly a large percentage drop in each nation’s annual GDP.
During this same period because each of these nations borrowed a lot of money, each has seen a huge increase in sovereign debt since 2008. Spain and Ireland’s sovereign debt has ballooned by as much as two-thirds since 2008 alone. At the same time the private debt of households and businesses has also risen — meaning that combined public and private debt in these countries is simply staggering.
Greece and Portugal’s public and national debt is three times the size of its annual economic output. Ireland’s is four times bigger. Since 2008, the jobless rates have doubled in Ireland and quadrupled in Greece, especially amongst those over the age of 25.
These factors combined have led to the rise of political parties like Alexis Tsipras’s Syriza party, elected on a specific mandate to challenge and end austerity. And challenge austerity is exactly what he is doing, and in doing so he may bring down the European financial system.
If Greece defaults on their obligations to the IMF it will likely try to return to the drachma system it had before, albeit a drastically deflated drachma. This would be great for tourists on Greek beaches but horrendous for anybody with a Euro investment in Greece. Anyone with any Euros held in Greek banks would look to withdraw their investments, meaning that the entire Greek banking system would likely implode.
This would mean there would be no Euros to convert into Drachma’s therefore there would be no money for the Greek government to cover essentials like paying for the police force, the Army, so on and so forth. This could lead to internal anarchy in Greece.
This situation would lead to the second major issue Europe would face from this crisis: contagion. To prevent a Greek collapse the European Union may simply eliminate a significant portion of Greece’s debt in return for further integration and promises of financial compliance from Greece.
This sounds great in theory but watching all this closely from the sidelines are Spain, Italy and Portugal who would see an immediate spike in support for their own domestic versions of the hardline Syriza party, who would look to make a similar deal to Greece.
This would be a much different situation because the debt owed by these countries on a whole is on a different level to that owed by Greece. Much of the debt held by Spain, Italy and Portugal is held by commercial banks. This means that if these countries were to default the entire European banking system would collapse as these banks would become insolvent. This would almost certainly drag many other worldwide financial institutions and banks over the edge with them.
To prevent this the Eurozone would only have perhaps one option; to waive a significant portion of their debts too, which would mean creating trillions of Euros from nowhere instantaneously to service and facilitate this debt. This would almost certainly lead to a currency crisis the likes of which we have not yet seen. It would be epic. This in turn would almost certainly cause a worldwide currency crisis.
I write often about the convergence of biblical prophecy. The more I look at the worldwide financial markets the more I find it hard to comprehend how they have not completely collapsed already. I am convinced it is the staying hand of God that has sustained them thus far. However, I believe that hand is being removed, along with the obvious removal of restraint more generally that we are witnessing in the world today.
At some point in the near future the markets will collapse and the worldwide banking and financial system that we know today will come crashing down. When this happens unprecedented chaos will follow in its wake. It is simply a matter of time.
There is real possibility this ultimate crash could be triggered by events similar to those we are witnessing in Greece today. Only time will tell. When the crash does come it will result in and require the complete rebuilding of the worldwide financial system.
One thing that is clear is that there has never been a time in human history where the forthcoming mark of the beast financial system has ever seemed such a viable and realistic possibility.
“He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads,and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666” (Revelation 13:16-18).