Saturday, May 1, 2010

Greece is Coming to America Sooner Than You Think

One of the main focal points in the financial markets has been the problem being experienced by the government of Greece, namely, that it cannot pay its bills unless a bailout is extended. Most of the potential credit exposure is ensconced in Europe; yet a wider effect can occur if other nations that have fiscal concerns (i.e. Portugal, Spain, Italy, et. al.) are pulled into this vortex. The Financial Times recently reported:
"With Standard & Poor's estimating a recovery rate on [Greek] government debt of between 30 to 50 per cent, investors could lose vast amounts in what would likely prove to be a long and drawn-out battle to retrieve their money. Significantly, one of the biggest losers in a default would be German and French investors as they hold an estimated €78bn of the total of €295bn in outstanding Greek bonds, according to Barclays Capital.""If recovery rates were only 30 per cent, these French and German investors, mainly made up of commercial banks and insurance funds, would lose €55bn, more than the original international rescue proposal of €45bn.""Other big holders of Greek debt include Italy (€20bn), Belgium (€17bn) and the Netherlands and Luxembourg (both €15bn). Eurozone countries hold in total €164bn."

But the problems extend beyond economics. We are witnessing the capitulation of promises made by politicians. These promises were impossible to keep, yet many conjured up expectations that they would. In America, the roots of the same problems presently being experienced by Greece exist. Yet, the pride of this nation accepts the haughty proposition that “it won’t happen to us.” History, however, dictates otherwise.

No comments: