A third Greek bailout involving loans from the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), the eurozone’s bailout scheme, is now being negotiated. The start was quite rocky, with haggling over the precise location in Athens where negotiations need to take place and Greek officials once again withholding information to creditors. Therefore, few still believe that it will be possible to conclude a deal in time for Greece to repay 3.2 billion euro to the ECB on 20 August. Several national Parliaments in the Eurozone would need to approve a final deal, which would necessitate calling their members back from recess around two weeks before the 20th, so it’s weird that French EU Commissioner Pierre Moscovici still seems so confident that the deadline can be met.
There will always be some "crisis" or excuse to do nothing. But the fact remains that the U.S. economy is not at zero interest rate health. Monetary policy is broken with the status quo. Unlimited and constant central bank participation in the markets is ultimately destructive, encourages dangerous risk taking (just buy every dip, nothing can go wrong,) and has become too much of an aphrodisiac for policy makers. Savers are being told you are the patsies for share buybacks.
"Greece is playing it correctly. Agree to everything. Give Germany no excuse to do what they want. Get the money. This is why France, among others, want this all agreed as quickly as possible, because they know this deal is not how it will end, but an end that keeps the EUR together must be found. The Germans know it too. They also know that they have been had and it is their own fault."
With all eyes currently transfixed on Iran’s nuclear future, there is seemingly little attention being paid to another landmark Middle Eastern nuclear trend, spearheaded by Russia.
All eyes may be on Greece right now, but in reality, the economic malaise is widespread across the continent. It’s clear that Greece is not the problem. It’s a symptom of the problem. The real problem is that every one of these nations has violated the universal law of prosperity: produce more than you consume. This is the way it works in nature, and for individuals.
French President Francois Hollande said that the 19 countries using the euro need their own government complete with a budget and parliament to cooperate better and overcome the Greek crisis. “Circumstances are leading us to accelerate,” Hollande said in an opinion piece published by the Journal du Dimanche on Sunday. “What threatens us is not too much Europe, but a lack of it.”... Countries in favor of more integration should move ahead, forming an “avant-garde,” Hollande said.
There’s one side of the story which hasn’t been highlighted at all by the mainstream media...
Now that even the IMF has admitted Greece has an unsustainable debt problem with a debt-to-GDP ratio which will soon cross 200% after its third bailout (even if it leaves open the question what the IMF thinks about Japan's debt "sustainability") we wonder what the IMF thinks when looking at Greece's net government liabilities, which as SocGen's Albert Edwards reminds us are rapidly approaching 1000%. Which incidentally means that Greece is only marginally better than the USA, whose comparable net liability is a little over 500%, while its other nearest comparable is none other than France, whose next president may will be "Madame Frexit" and whose biggest headache will be how to resolve government promises to creditors and retirees that are five times greater than the country's GDP.
In her euro-hegemonic role Germany failed to properly handle the Greek Crisis. What economics have been whispering among themselves after the scandalous Brussels Agreement of July 13th is now on the public discussion. One of IMF’s former European bailouts official, Ashoka Mody made it very clear in his article on Bloomberg on Friday morning: It’s Germany not Greece that has to leave the eurozone.
Last Sunday, Eurozone countries submitted yet another ultimatum to Greece: implement a whole round of reforms, from eliminating early retirement over scrapping exemptions from sales tax to opening shops on Sunday, and we’ll start negotiations on providing a new bailout of possibly €86bn from the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), the Eurozone’s bailout scheme, which will carry yet another series of strings attached. As Finland’s Foreign Minister Timo Soini said this week about the idea of a third Greek bailout round: “the Finnish public can’t understand that this is allowed to continue”. Can anyone else?
Remember, at the end of the day, it’s all about the big banks’ derivative exposure, NOTHING else. This is what has driven every Central Bank action since 2008. And it’s what will drive Europe’s future negotiations for a 3rd Greek Bailout.
And so the 2015 season of the Greek drama is coming to a close following last night's vote in Greek parliament to vote the country into even more austerity than was the case before Syriza was voted into power with promises of removing all austerity, even with Europe - which formally admits Greece is unsustainable in its current debt configuration - now terminally split on how to proceed, with Germany's finmin still calling for a "temporary Grexit", the IMF demanding massive debt haircuts, while the rest of Europe (and not so happy if one is Finnish or Dutch) just happy to kick the can for the third time.
Back in February, when the ill-fated Greek attempt to renegotiate its existing bailout (instead culminating with a new, €86 billion bailout program 5 months later) was launched, Eurogroup chief Jeroen Dijsselbloem rejected a request for a short-term financing agreement to keep the country afloat while it renegotiates the terms of its bailout program. "We don’t do bridge loans, Dijsselbloem told reporters in The Hague", when asked about Greece’s request. Turns out "we do" after all.
"The dramatic deterioration in debt sustainability points to the need for debt relief on a scale that would need to go well beyond what has been under consideration to date - and what has been proposed by the ESM. European countries would have to give Greece a 30-year grace period on servicing all its European debt, including new loans, and a very dramatic maturity extension, or else make explicit annual fiscal transfers to the Greek budget or accept 'deep upfront haircuts'."
Or, more simply: "Mark it zero."
In the final act of what has become a modern Greek tragedy, lawmakers will now be forced to choose between "approving" what is effectively a German overthrow of the Greek government, or face the collapse of the banking system and an economic depression of unimaginable propotions.