Friday, March 26, 2010

The Greece Bailout, Part 2; It's Intermission at the Crisis

According to Ambrose Evans-Pritchard:
The accord was vague on figures and aid can be invoked only as a "last resort" if Greece is shut out of the capital markets. Since Greece is already paying an untenable debt premium, the wording once again leaves it unclear what exactly has been settled....The package is to be about €22bn (£20bn) with a "substantial " share from the IMF and a "majority" from Eurogroup states, at stiff interest rates. This barely tides Greece through to the end of the May. It cannot be triggered until Greece faces default.
Clearly, this is a patch job put together by a blind tailor, who has thread, but no needle. And as far as the PIIGS go, Greece is just the baby among the PIIGS.

As Zhu Min, the vice-governor of China's central bank, put it:

Greece is only one case, but it's only a tip of the iceberg. The main concern today obviously is Spain and Italy.
The hazy, short-term nature of this "bailout agreement" points out just how difficult it is to reach a true solution. The obvious road block is that no one believes it is their duty to bailout the big spending PIIGS. Further, there is nothing in this "agreement" that would force Greece to manage its future budgets with more responsibility.

This "agreement" is nothing more than, at most, an intermission in an on going multi-act play, with other desperate characters who are still to take the stage.

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