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Goldman Sachs: I should have checked rather than relying on memory; indeed the main deal with Goldman Sachs was in the years 2001-2005 and a heritage of the Simitis government. I conflated it with GS's 2009 attempt to advise the Greek government again, this time the freshly elected Papandreu government, but they didn't listen. (I find though in the article that in 2008, GS advised the Karamanlis government in another legal trickery regarding the swaps from 2001.)

If they were lying, then the published Eurostat figures showing 100-105% through the decade were wrong, correct?

Have you checked the link again? Yes, the debt figures were wrong and they were revised.

how does the Greek debt rise to ONLY 115% with a 15% yearly deficit in 2009?

You are confusing 2008 and 2009, and your data seems not up to date. In Eurostat's current data, the lowest debt to GDP ratio was in 2003 (when GDP grew 5.9%) at 97.4%, which grew to 113.0% in 2008 (GDP: -0.2%, start of recession). Then in 2009 (GDP: -3.3%), it jumped to 129.3%.

As I indicated, it seems true however that total debt and deficit are derived from different estimates (thus the deficit-hiding doesn't directly appear in the debt and the debt-hiding doesn't directly appear in the deficit). It's hard to check up on this, because change in debt should also be affected by exchange rate effects and other financial niceties (and possibly a host of other factors I'm ignorant about), but here is another series I derived from Eurostat data -- deficit vs. change in debt, both in million Euros:

Year20002001200220032004200520062007200820092010
Change in debt18636108987345881115132122642878315096238313640629814
Deficit509365427465973813940100681210914475228223662424125

Some years the deficit exceeds the debt increase, but you see that overall, in the past decade, debt was actually growing by more than the cumulative deficit. The "interesting" years are 2000, 2001, 2006, and 2010.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sun Nov 27th, 2011 at 03:26:16 AM EST
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