Monday, July 25, 2011
Contagion uncontained in eurozone
July 25, 2011
Meanwhile, last Thursday's solution to the eurozone's woes looks weaker by the day. In the fight against contagion, nothing has been achieved. The yield on 10-year Spanish bonds popped back above 6% yesterday and Italian 10-year yields stand at 5.66%. Such rates, if sustained for long periods, are simply unaffordable. Unsurprisingly, bank shares across Europe were also whacked yesterday.
The problem is twofold. First, the politicians didn't get to grips with the size of Greece's debt problems. After a round of modest haircuts for private-sector creditors and a reduction in the rate on the interest rate charged on the bail-out loans, the country's debt-to-GDP ratio should no longer hit 170% soon. But the revised figure – maybe 130% – still looks too high to allow Greece to recover. Its economy is still too uncompetitive and you have to be an extreme optimist to believe tax receipts will arrive when they are due.
So a third Greek bailout looks like only a matter of time. Get ready for more bitter rows over how the pain should be distributed between holders of Greek bonds and the taxpayers of other eurozone countries. That is no way to encourage companies to invest or consumers to spend – but it is the way to try the patience of German taxpayers.
Posted by Yulie Foka-Kavalieraki at 11:01 PM