T/S has learned that Greece has struck a secret deal with the European Union to bail out the cash-strapped country. The agreement taps the cultural resources of the tiny Mediterranean nation and plugs them into the modern-making money machines of the West.
“In the ruins of Greece and the ruins of Wall Street, we have found a solution to the Greek sovereign debt crisis, ” beamed European Council President Van Rompuy who was thrilled to be pictured on the front page of the Wall Street Journal. “At last, my friends will know that the European Council is not just another bureaucratic boondoggle and that Belgium is not just a pit stop for tourists and armies heading elsewhere.”
Under the terms of the deal, Wall Street titans will create a series of derivatives securities backed by the Acropolis and its contents. The deal is said to be valued at $100 billion. Insiders say that PIMCO chief Bill Gross has already signed up for $10 billion of securities, which he says are pegged specifically to the Caryatids (pictured,above). “This is a win-win situation,” Gross allegedly wrote to his board about the bond fund’s single biggest bet in the credit markets ever. “We’re getting well compensated for investing in a third-rate economy with first-rate assets. If Greece defaults, we get the marble babes for a song. And wouldn’t they look swell in Newport Beach?”
Greece’s fiscal problems have roiled the 16-member European Union, sending the Euro into a tailspin. The hell-raising Hellenes had been hoping Germany and France would bail them out — after all, so many of their countrymen had already raped the country of its cultural heritage. But the tightwad Germans and the fussy French weren’t opening their purse strings so readily; the past is the past, they said. Word is they hired Goldman Sachs to come up with a solution instead.
Greek officials were worried that their countrymen would accuse them of selling out their cultural heritage. “But that is not true,” said one finance minister who asked not to be named because no one ever spells his name correctly. “The Acropolis is part of the past. This arrangement allows us to mortgage the past so we can maintain a way of life appropriate to a nation that has supplied the world with the best collection of gods and art ever,” he said, adding: “Do you expect us to mortgage the future?”
Also under consideration as part of a Grecian bailout:
–In exchange for giving up its claims on the Elgin Marbles, the Greek government will accept 7% of revenue from the British Museum. “Most of those pieces are broken,” explained one Greek official. “We don’t really want them.”
–A New York Cares program: Greece is asking officials at the Metropolitan Museum of Art to attach coin boxes to the display cases of black and red ceramic art. “Surely, tourists from around the world as well as New York culture vultures will be moved to contribute to Greece and all that it stands for. A few penny a days can subsidize a Greek farmer for a week.”
–Haiti Cares too: Save your drachmas for Greece, not Haiti. Sure, if you have an old pair of shoes, send it to the devastated Caribbean island. But, face it, what good will money do for Haiti? What did the Europeans leave behind that is worth preserving?