Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The Pathetic Crowdfunding Effort to Save Greece

Indiegogo was offline for a while today, having crashed after so many people flocked to the crowdfunding campaign for Greece.

The sad part of this"joke campaign" is that some people will truly think the campaign (which would benefit IMF, not Greece) is a good idea in the first place. A humanitarian effort to help the Greek people directly would be highly appropriate. But an effort to raise money to pay the International Monetary Fund? That's insane. The satirical intent is actually quite sad, and the campaign distracts people from the true upcoming need for humanitarian relief.

The other sad thing is that people apparently can't do basic math any more. For anyone who's lulled into thinking this campaign is serious: It should be obvious that you can't possibly reach a goal of €1.6 billion. When the Indiegogo site went down, it had been taking pledges at a rate of over a thousand Euros a minute (which is not terribly high, as these things go). To reach its goal in the time allotted (7 more days), the campaign would have to take in €158000 a minute.

At €1000 a minute, the Save Greece campaign would need more than three years to reach its goal!

As I write this (2:15 pm Eastern US, Tuesday 30 June), the Greece Bailout crowdfunding campaign has reached €251,121 in pledges. Which means the campaign is 0.016% of the way to its goal. Not 1.6%, but 0.016%.

To reach a €1.6 billion goal (the current campaign's goal), you'd need 16 million contributors of €100 each. That's not going to happen.

Nor should it happen. Paying the extortion demands of IMF is not the same as helping Greece. Ordinary citizens around the Eurozone will be helping bail out Greece soon enough, through normal default mechanisms, when Germany, France, Spain, Italy, and other holders of Greek bonds find those bonds worthless.

So as an exercise in showing how big the debt numbers are, yes, this is a pretty good way of showing it. Insert polite golf clap here for the inventor of the campaign.

A deal could still be (and likely will be) reached to avert all-out default in the days ahead, but for now, the best thing you can do for Greece is pray; and if a catastrophe happens, donate to international relief agencies.