Making Sense of the Greek Agreement
Last thursday we had a relief for the financial markets when the European leaders announced that an agreement was reached to handle financial crisis. Rapidly, markets rallied on the news; not just the stocks but commodities and other financial assets as well. Of course, those were the words the markets were waiting to hear, but the story has just begun.
Re-capitalisation of European banks for about $ 147 billion was one of the measures taken. The other one implies to boost the rescue fund's capacity to 1 trillon euros. Perhaps, the most controversial measure was to set 50% writedown for Greek debt.
European leaders told that they "consensuated" the write-down within Greek debt holders. Nevertheless, situation appears to be different.
The rating agency Fitch said in a statement that 50% of haircut in greek debt may equal a default and that the Greek economy may face a challenged period even in the best case scenario. That warning should be taken seriously by greek authorities if they want to have any progress in their debt rating. Nowadays greek debt is rated as "junk" debt by the agency.
In my opinion, Greece is in a challenging situation despite the agreement. Social environment is becoming harder as protests intensify. Fiscal deficit is larger than they expected six months ago and economic recession may worsen the scenario. Who will pay the costs of the latest party?
From my point of view, European leaders are kicking the ball beyond the limits and are trying to gain more time. French president, Nicholas Sarkozy, said that the entrance of Greece in the European Union was not the best decision as the country wasn't prepared enough to join other countries. Is it prepared now?
I don't think so. For instance, the greek economy is bleeding and another kind of measures are needed. Returning to its own domestic currency, becoming more competitive and reestructuring its debt are the steps that government should take to find some favorable response.
As the time goes by, situation could become more out of control and damages could be greater. It's not only about announcements; actions will avoid the collapse.
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