Crisis in Greece: Would you lend money to a person who can’t pay?

Lots of debate around who is the victim and who is the bad guy in Europe nowadays thanks to the financial crisis gripping Greece and, as a consequence, the rest of the European Union. It seems to point to the underlying fundamental difference between the way creditors and debtors think which is not too different to the difference between the way capitalists and labourers think.


Hold that thought for a moment while we examine what’s really at work here on the surface. It comes down to the simple question even ordinary people with a bit of cash on hand face every now and then:

Would I lend money to this person?

The key to answering this simple question is in the result of an assessment as to whether or not said person is capable of paying you back.

In short, do you see in that person an inherent ability to honour commitments he enters into?

Obviously, Greece’s creditors saw that in Greeks — twice already as far as risky national bailouts go; and a third time perhaps if things go well in the on-going negotiations this week. See the irony in all this? Considering Greeks today are whining about the powers that be not giving them a break, it seems it is Big Bad Germany that actually finds within itself an ability to feel optimistic about Greece — a lot more than Greeks are willing to grant themselves!

In short, Germany is saying: You can pay us back if you do this and that. But the Greeks tell themselves: We can’t do those things. We are not capable of it!

Sounds familiar? It’s likely because you’ve probably heard a similar conversation between a rehab therapist and her alcoholic patient. Says the rehab therapist to the wino: You’re in this rehab program but the cure to your alcoholism ultimately depends on your ability to commit to certain measures. Alcoholics will always say they’ll comply — after their next drink, that is.

So let’s come back to the earlier train of thought — the idea that creditors and debtors think differently in the same way that sets apart the capitalists from the labourers. The fact is, creditors and capitalists see possibilities in the risks they take. But for the most part, chronic debtors and lifetime labourers are driven primarily by need and can’t see beyond that, much like the avarage wino can’t see a future beyond his next drink.

Is the cure to alcoholism more alcohol? Not a chance. Most addicts who successfully come out of rehab completely free of their demon substances are, in a lot of cases, dirt poor after they’ve lost everything to servicing their addiction. But the key word here is free — which means they are free to start over.

The only way Greece will get out of its predicament is if it is willing to start over. The alternative, of course, is to play ball subject to the rules. It needs to decide which path to take. Suffice to say, the biggest humiliation in being a debtor is to be in constant need of the resources of a person or an entity who you’ve come to regard as your biggest tormentor. As such, the challenge lies in imagining a different path. If you are in the midst of a baseball game and you suddenly want to play football, you need to get out of the field.


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32 Comments on "Crisis in Greece: Would you lend money to a person who can’t pay?"

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Would never lend money to anybody from the Philippines as you will never get it back. You will get the whole host of sob storiea like my mother died again, I need to pay for my Caesarian, I need to pay for my ofw medical etc etc. heard it all

walter p komarnicki

I’m not a moneylender, and I never lend money to friends, because it would be an insult to our friendship.
Friends give without counting the cost. I have a sister-in-law who’s a lawyer, who could have gone overseas but chose to stay here. She’s been cadged by heaps of her relatives, but never complains, because, as the saying goes, ‘what goes around comes around.’
But I’m terribly proud of her, and cherish her.


Money, so they say, is the root of all evil to-day.

I’d be happy if to just have money to lend, and decided not to.


Greece should have not joined the EU in the first place if it’s unable to compete economically with other EU countries. The mere fact that Greece government presented inaccurate assessment of their viability to join EU shows something shady.

Gibson The German

All that remains is the misery of the people of Greece. The thieves are long gone.

Protect yourself at all times, evil is afoot and rarely travels alone.


Don’t think money does everything or you are going to end up doing everything for money.


It is easy to lend money…however, it is hard to collect from the borrower; especially , if the borrower cannot pay.

Ask those Government Banks in our country…how many foreclosures do they have.

Greece will survive like other bankrupt countries…

Robert Haighton

Latest news is that there is an agree(k)ment.

Next important moment is this coming wednesday when the Greek government must approve all the measurements.

ice cube
Yes, if i knew someone would guarantee the debt and if i knew i was too big to be allowed to fail. — US banks circa 2004. There is more at stake for the EU, a most imperfect union. Letting Greece go [resulting in destab (hehe Filipino english word)] could result in more “terrorist” aka middle eastern islamofacist influences flooding into Greece. Also even if the Grexit does well it will provide a template for other debtors like Spain, Portugal, and Italy to pressure creditor EU countries for better loan terms. Greece is an existential question for the EU. Was… Read more »
Again, to be repeated for the nth time, again, for the nth time, money is NOT the root of evil. Money is a thing; so, it is amoral. Good and evil can only refer to someone with intelligence; a thing has no intelligence. The correct cliché is: LOVE of money is the root of evil. In other words, greediness is what is evil. Anything in excess is what is not good. Eating too much is not good, drinking too much is not good, etc. But, it is a horrible situation not to have money. So the lessons from Greece for… Read more »
It is the expressed intent of international bankers to imposed upon developing nations such as Greece and even PH in mountains of debt. Loans are granted for such farcical projects like highways, which encourages the proliferation of cars, benefiting the oil companies. Turning no profit whatsoever, these projects ensure that the status quo of “industrialized” and “first-world” nations are protected. Money and national resources which would have been used for the economic and social development of our nations are instead transferred to external creditors. To make sure that there’ll be a continuous flow of money for the financial oligarchs, policies… Read more »

There seems to be debate on whether the one who’s responsible is the Greek government or the Greek people. Some say one shouldn’t bundle the Greek people with the bankers and politicians.


Ppl, have you seen this >>>

This is really getting to be too much. Noynoy and Abad, I think we will really see to it now that you both get locked up in jail after 2016 irrespective of who gets into power, you bastards.

Herman THE German
The attention should NOT be on Greece, it should be on ‘Deutshebanke’ of Germany. They are the ones on the hook for the ‘bad loans’ that have been made to the Greeks. The confiscation of Greek state assets is really a theft the Greek people should reject and never agree to. If they do not accept the new ‘austerity’ terms advanced by the E.U. Groupen, as they should not, then the German bank will implode and set off a far more gigantic systemic collapse than what is currently being experienced in Greece. THAT IS THE REAL STORY HERE. How ‘Deutschebanke’… Read more »
Not Tony B
My principle is easy: I don’t LEND money! I’ll either GIVE it to you, not expecting a payback – as a gift or… I’ll expect you to EARN the money you get from me. Why? Simple, very simple: Collecting on the debt. If I lend someone money, what really scares me is how will that person react when the time comes to repay the debt? Remember, there are no sure things in life other than the obvious sunrise, sunset, death and taxes so paying a debt scares me witless! The person may be honest and willing but is he able?… Read more »
If you lend a close Pinoy friend a book or a DVD, chances are you won’t get it back – UNLESS you come up with some desperate sounding reason to “borrow” it back. Pinoy’s generally don’t understand the word borrow. The mere fact that you have to ask the borrower to return the item is insulting enough. Money is a bigger deal. If a Pinoy asks to borrow from you some money – be armed with a contract with penalties for delayed payments – like confiscation of appliances. All the lending disasters in the Phil have ruined a lot if… Read more »

The logic is this: the one wants to lend the money has the gall to be angry once the lender wanted the money back. Even if there is an agreement.

not sure

Might be an option if I have goals to manipulate someone. Its a risk though and too many factors to think about.