Is the Greek public [sic] debt actually “unpayable?”

Source: EconLog
by Scott Sumner

“When it comes to public debt and deficits, I sometimes feel like people go to one extreme or the other. Japan has a public debt equal to about 250% of GDP, but many people wave it away as a minor inconvenience, even calling for more fiscal stimulus, despite the failure of previous efforts. In contrast, the Greek debt is often assumed to be obviously unpayable, despite being a far lower percentage of GDP. And maybe it is, but I’m not entirely convinced. Of course my opinion does not matter—what does matter is the view of bond market participants. And they are becoming increasingly optimistic about Greek debt.” [editor’s note: “Public debt” is a propagandistic term intended to imply that “the public” borrowed the money. In fact, “the politicians” borrowed it and want to stick “the public” with the check – TLK] (05/10/17)