The game of ‘shoot the messenger’ is going to be very popular over the next few years, as politicians and bankers seek to cover their own litany of failures and criminality. The expansion phase has been a period when no one cared about the increasingly endemic lies and fraud, because enough people were making money. Almost no one asks the hard questions when things are going well.
Greece has won strong endorsements in the past year for shoring up its economic statistics after years of fudging data to conceal its deficits and financial mismanagement, but the man who’s responsible for restoring the country’s reputation is now the target of possible prosecution.
He’s been accused of exaggerating Greece’s deficits in a conspiracy to strengthen the hand of the European Union and the International Monetary Fund.
The ponzi scheme must keep growing or it will collapse, so one must do more of the same or the jig is up. Looking too hard at the actual state of affairs risks destroying the illusion that is all that is left once the system has been almost entirely hollowed out. Mr Georgiou was interested in re-establishing a sound basis for decision-making, but in doing so he was essentially saying that the emperor has no clothes.
When contraction begins and losses must be shared out, a blame game develops. A major feature is to push both losses and blame into the laps of others wherever possible. Messengers are a prime target. It is as if they created the very situation they warned of, or as if the illusion could have continued forever had they not shed light in dark places.
That fact that these assertions are not true is irrelevant. What matters is what people believe, and people are all too prepared to believe messages that relieve them of any responsibility. The alternative would be to acknowledge their own gullibility in having fallen for, and helped to maintain, the illusion.