Update: it appears there isn't really a deal, but merely a can kicking. As the WSJ adds, the Greek "agreement" merely unlocks a key disbursement of bailout fund but puts a decision on debt relief off until next year. Specifically, the agreement reached in Luxembourg among the finance ministers of the eurozone unlocks €8.5 billion for Greece and puts off a final decision on debt relief until August of next year.
In other words, Europe agrees to pay Greece so Greece can then turn around and repay Europe the July €7 billion debt payment; meanwhile no firm, long-term deal has been reached.
As the WSJ put its, "the creditors’ refusal to lighten the burden of Greece’s crushing debt reflects a mix of mistrust and indifference that leaves the depleted country with bleak prospects for the future and at risk of needing yet another bailout."
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As expected by most (if not all, judging by the 8 year lows in Greek bond yields), European finance ministers have reportedly reached an agreement to bail out Greece once again (provide them with yet another EUR8.5 billion loan), and agreed to discuss the possibility of debt extensions.
Blomberg reports that Euro area finance ministers reached an agreement paving the way for the disbursement of the next tranche of emergency loans, setting out terms of potential debt relief measures, two people familiar with the matter say.
Euro-area finance ministers approved a payout of 8.5 billion euros for Greece, according Luxembourg Finance Minister Pierre Gramegna.
Euro-area finance ministers are mulling a possible extension of the maturities on some Greek loans by 0 to 15 years, according to a draft statement seen by Bloomberg, even though it was not immediately clear what a 0 year maturity extension represents. The preliminary draft includes a proposal to defer the interest and amortization on Greece’s EFSF loans by the same duration
And yes, holdout IMF which threatened for two years it would not participate in a Greek deal absent a debt reduction is now in: as Christine Lagarde said: “I'd like to announce my intention to propose to the IMF’s Board the approval in principle of a new IMF Stand-By Arrangement for Greece."
The only potential risk factor: Greece commits to keeping a primary surplus of 3.5% until 2022 and that Greek Gross financing needs should be below 15% of GDP in the medium term, and below 20% afterwards to ensure debt stays on a downward path.
- DEBT RELIEF GREEK FOR GREECE WOULD BE GRANTED AFTER BAILOUT ENDS WITH SUCCESS IN 2018 - STATEMENT
- DIJSSELBLOEM: GREEK DEBT MEASURES TO BE IMPLEMENTED AFTER 2018
In other words, if Greece does not reneg for the next 18 months, it may get another debt maturity extension, resetting the clock all over again.
Priced In? Was the deal ever in doubt.
This deal puts an end any uncertainty about the possibility of Greece defaulting on over EUR7 billion in debt repayments due next month.
So the question is - who exactly are the EU finmins bailing out?
And another question: will Greek debt finally be eligible for ECB QE? With Mario Draghi running out of German debt to buy, this could provide with the central banks with a loophole to extend QE by at least a few months.