Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Greece's Progress

Many are always accusing the Greeks for the situation their country currently faces and their lack of action for the persistence of financial problems. However, a recent IMF study begs to differ:
As you many see from the above table (it is also in page 93 of the IMF study) Greece's primary deficit is expected to be 1% of GDP this year (i.e. 2012), move to an 1.8% surplus in 2013 and having surpluses until 2030. This would mean that over the next years, Greece will essentially be paying its existing debts, without having any deficits other than the repayments! Gross refinancing needs will drop from 34 billion to 14 billion over the next year meaning that it will essentially take much less money to refinance debt. 

However, the need for debt restructuring may occur, as it is expected to reach 167% of GDP this year. At least this time, I hope that the troika decides better than hair-cutting the debt again! (for an alternative solution to the Greek haircut read this). The Greeks have suffered through severe austerity measures too rapidly, which forced the country's GDP to contract vastly and that is why the debt burden as a percentage of GDP has increased so rapidly (allow me to explain. If debt is 100 and GDP is 100 then debt is 100% of GDP. If the GDP contracts - as is the case with Greece - to 80 then the debt would be 125% of GDP)

The 2.5 billion they are currently requesting is nothing compared to another haircut (or worse a default) which would make financial markets (and especially banking institutions) even more chaotic. European leaders seem like impatient children, who want to see debt reduction and positive growth from one moment to the next instead of thinking that such a procedure requires much more time.

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