July 21, 2011

Greece default: shutdown when needed

The grandiose plan to save Europe has been unveiled today and it is the same "kick-the-can-down-the-road" stuff this time designed to give Europe a little bit more time by allowing  Greece to default but just temporarily and selectively.
Even the ECB and Bank of Greece officers need an holiday in August so they decided to freeze the issue and the country just temporarily or selectively as they say.
So Greece is being allowed to selectively default, but this won’t harm Greek banks (nor their French owners) because the greek bonds will be guaranteed by an enhanced European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) that can intervene in secondary markets amongst other new powers. Other debt-laden member states, including Ireland, will have access to cheaper funds from the uber-EFSF at longer maturities.
As for how to do it and what does it mean exactly well the cryptic EU bureaucracy managed again to be vague enough to allow lots of leeway should policy makers require it.
This is, after all, the tenth time EU leaders have met to sort the problems in Europe out once and for all.The composition of the new beefed up EFSF isn’t reported.
Is Italy, in its current fragile state, expected to keep its share of the EFSF up? If we look at the table on page 1 of this document from the EFSF showing the contributions of member states; Italy is expected to contribute up to 78 billion euros if required.
Italy just passed an 80 billion euros austerity package to cut its debt and stabilize its budget.
A useless austerity package then since the amount will not help the Italian economy at all but most probably will go straight to Greece in the following months.

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