Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Will Greece default and when?

Probably one of the greatest concerns of the Greek man on the street currently is the question if Greece will manage to cut its debt over the coming four years or if, as an alternative, it will be forced to default on its debt. 

I believe there is a substantial risk that the $110 billion loan from the IMF and the EU will only delay the inevitable. The Greek economy, it is clear, will not grow for the coming two years. Possibly 2013 will be the first year when the economy will show signs of growth. Inspite of all austerity measures which have been introduced, it looks to me as if Greece will have continued difficulties in servicing its debt. For the coming years the IMF loan - and do not forget it is a loan which also has to be repaid - will give Greece a certain security but it will not replace the need of the country to borrow on the capital markets. 

Part of the recent problem and ultimately the reason why the country had to take the $110 billion loan is the fact that it was too expensive to borrow on the free markets. There were high fears on the financial markets that Greece could default and thus the rates for lending to the country were prohibitively high. If a time does not come when there is enough international confidence in the future of the Greek economy then Greece would be forced to borrow at rates it could not afford to pay. In this scenario the only alternative would be for Greece to "restructure" its debt, i.e. default on at least part of it and let the financial markets take what is called a "haircut", i.e. the country could offer to repay 60% or 70% and default on the rest.

1 comment:

  1. Greece default on its debt. The default value is largely due to his membership in the European Monetary Union. If it was not part of the Euro, Greece may not have been in his current situation, even if it had been in his current situation, he could have avoided the need to default.
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