Anxious Greeks buy Apple Macs while they still can

“As the going gets tough in Greece, the Greeks are going shopping,” Marco Bertacche, Constantine Courcoulas, and Sam Chambers report for Bloomberg.

“The government was forced to extend capital controls and keep banks closed until at least Thursday as money runs out with no new bailout imminent,” Bertacche, Courcoulas, and Chambers report. “While some people are using their remaining available euros to buy staples to cover daily needs, others are hitting electronics and appliance stores for Apple Inc. computers and Sony PlayStations to max out their credit and debit cards where vendors still accept them. ‘People are spending the money they have in the bank because otherwise they’re afraid they won’t get it out,’ said Natasa, 33, a shop assistant at electronics retailer Plaisio Computer SA in central Athens. She asked not to be identified by her full name. ‘A Mac is something that keeps its value,’ she added, pointing to a gleaming 27-inch screen.”

“The economy already shrank by about 25 percent in six years of near-total recession, while unemployment is stuck at the highest level in Europe, or more than 50 percent for youth,” Bertacche, Courcoulas, and Chambers report. “With pharmaceuticals shortages reported and the prospect of a longer period of bank holiday and restrictions on imports, people are also stuck in limbo, afraid to leave their homes if they happen to have emergency cash under their mattresses.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: “A Mac is something that keeps its value.” That much is sure.


    1. Exactly. That iMac will be worth more and more drachma for many moons if a return to the drachma’s the way this goes…

      …in periods of high inflation, buying real things of enduring value ASAP – e.g., cases of tuna fish (or whatever desirable staple goods) kept under the bed is generally the best investment the average person embedded in that economy can make.

      That, said, unless you’re going to be using it, over the longer haul stuff with a long shelf life (longer than two of Apple’s refresh cycles, e.g.) is the way to play fears of hyperinflation.

  1. Everybody knows a Dell is pretty much junk value as soon as you leave the store with it. And you would then have to pay the garbage guys to take it away.

    1. I did, in fact, have to pay to junk my last corporate Dell. I’ve donated ALL my other computers to someone who appreciated them.

      One of my corporate clients, a fortune 500 company, paid 4 of us contract engineers to load a tractor trailer full of old Dells from a storeroom to go to the salvage yard. This took most of one day. Why didn’t the IT staff load the truck on that day? They were getting hit with a desktop virus. We were glad our personal machines could be disconnected from the network that day while we loaded the truck. This was about 700, 2 to 3 year old Dells with about 400 old CRT monitors. PS: the reason for the switch was the changeover from Windows XP (the old dells) to Windows 7 (new lenovos). The client went back to XP two weeks later.

      In contrast to all this? my iMac is now 2 years and 6 months old and it still runs like the day it came out of the box. If it doesn’t last in front line use for 3 MORE years, I’ll be very surprised. Most I got ever out of a Dell was about 18 months without either junking it or a complete reformat, and reinstalled OS and software and licenses. What a pain.

      1. Have you looked at the debt the USA has? Would you call US a socialist country?

        Oh by the way, what is the reason for the disappearing mountain of gold from Fort Knox? Germany was refused the gold that was being held in FK and the Chinese were shipped Tungstan…….apparently.

    1. Unbridled capitalism is at the brink of a collapse that will make the Great Depression look like a Saturday afternoon in the park. We need sustainable capitalism, and that will require bringing sanity back to the financial sector, and a shift in the understanding of what makes a company valuable – it can’t be profit only (the mafia is profitable) – it has to also contribute to a healthy society and not destroy the environment our lives depend on, literally.

      After 2008 how could we allow Wall Street to do the same thing, but worse (well, I know how – bought and paid for politicians, quietly undoing the Dodd-Frank bill piece by piece)? One among many facts that point to the level of instability in the financial markets: the 6 too big to fail banks have 278 trillion dollars invested in risky derivatives, and only 14 trillion in assets!. The whole system is so out of balance and fragile now that that famous proverbial butterfly somewhere in the world could beat its wings and bring the whole thing down.

      Shame on those who value money over people (and have brought the world to the brink of economic disaster, again – and this time a bail-out won’t fix it, and there is no room to lower interest rates any further to stimulate the economy – they have been too low for too long).

      No “ism” that man comes up with can completely overcome the voraciously greedy heart of some, who will gladly trample on others for power and money. The founding fathers tried to create the checks and balances to do it, but did not see that their work would be undone by campaign finance stupidity – our politicians serve those who have the money to fund their campaigns – period. If the world economy does indeed collapse, every senator and congressman who made backroom deals to take the teeth out of financial regulation should be lined up in jail cells next to the lobbyists who bought them, and the CEOs and other financial executives who bet not just their farms but all our farms on high-risk long-shots.

      We need a capitalism that functions sustainably and does what it is supposed to do – fund growth, not chase the quick buck without adding any value whatsoever to the macro-economic equation. This is not socialism, not marxism (didn’t work), but common-sense capitalism that puts bridles in place to rein in greed’s short-sightedness and destructiveness.

    2. Funny. The previous bailouts failed because the EURO is strangling them. Greece will never get out of debt as set up by the IMF, which is just fine with the IMF. It’s just this time it’s a developed country, and not a third world nation. Usually they bully the poor undeveloped nations and keep them destitute with their capitalist ways. Good for Greece. Now, it’s up to the EU to keep it together.

      1. I recently read an article by a fellow who was pointing out that Germany should not be preaching austerity to Greece as the way out of the mess their leaders have made – why: because the reason Germany got out of the debt load it had was that in the 1950’s the other nations decided to FORGIVE their debt. The author was suggesting that a similar course should be taken with Greece – keep them in the Eurozone, forgive the debt and put in place regulations that will keep leaders from overspending. I agree that the IMF and the World Bank have pursued predatory policies, especially in the third world – John Perkins just wrote a book, I believe, Confessions of an Economic Hit Man about this very practice.

        1. Completely different situation.

          First off, lets look at some facts:

          Greece joined the Euro by massively lying about its finances. GREEK people not paying taxes but MANY have jobs from “the state” – how do you think those were paid for!

          Greece received 18 Billion in development grants EVERY year from the EU.

          GDP increased by over 300% since Greece joined the Euro, while the 27% reduction touted by the No campaign includes the financial crisis that hit all of us. Maybe the Greeks are stupid enough to fall for Tsipras rhetoric, but we aren’t.

          In 2010 Greece was bancrupt. The EU saved Greece by pouring in over 505 BILLION which gave Greece time to tackle reforms and reduce their overbloated and unpayable public sector.

          Which Greece DID NOT DO.

          In 2012 there was a haircut which saw 70% of the Greek debt written off and a restructuring of the remaining debt which accounted to another 50% off, so the total was 85% off!

          There are other countries in the EU that are worse off than Greece. The average Greek is better off than the average German if you include property owned.

          Do you really expect us all to keep subsidizing Greece? You really think they can just forget about all the sacrifices OTHERS have made for Greece, insult them, and ask for more money?

          I’m told the Greeks have pride. The more important question: do they have SHAME?

          Tsipras once said he doesn’t want more money from the Germans, that they already paid enough. I agree with him.

          So the Greek should follow their leader and STOP ASKING FOR MORE MONEY AND “SOLIDARITY” when it is the Greek people who show solidarity to neither the other nations nor their own people. Not paying taxes is immoral as it means not carrying your share of the burden for hospitals, schools, roads, etc

          Greeks: STOP BLAMING OTHERS for your own shortcomings and learn to TAKE RESPOSIBILITY.

          And those in Greece too poor to buy food or medicines? Easy: START collecting the tax from the known tax evaders – the Greek government had the CD from Switzerland for THREE YEARS now. Why has it not acted??? The Swiss even offered to collect it for them, all it needs is a request from Tsipras!

  2. Greeks – a people who’s ancestors were the intellectual giants of their day and who became the founders of the idea of democracy, a people who were sold a utopian dream by communists and idealists who then became complacent, a people who look the other way when corruption, graft and nepotism come to govern a way of life. What happened?

    Look for iMacs, iPhones and Apple watches to be sold in the grey market. Drachmas only please.

    1. Yah, me too. I read the title as starting with “Ancient Geeks”, and though it was a nonsense article about Apple discontinuing the production of Macs because they are now only a consumer accessory and appliance business, and that somehow geeks were a dying breed of people.

  3. I just ordered a new 15″ retina MacBook Pro from Apple. Originally, it said “two weeks” to deliver.” Now, I got an email saying “We’re experiencing a delivery delay. Your package may arrive later than expected.” I hope this delay is to put in the new Intel Broadwell processor.

  4. Back in the day, I was riding my bike thru Greece, post-college. I stopped at a temple at the foot of the Acropolis. The entry ticket cost 300 drachma, which back then was 30cents. I laughed at how cheap it was and then as a joke, mentioned I was a student. They subsequently flipped over their ticket book and sold me a student ticket for 200 drachma, or 20cents. Based upon that experience I can understand how Greece got into its current predicament.

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