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Mad as Hellas

Krugman, P. (2014) “Mad as Hellas“, The New York Times Opinion Pages, 11 December.   The Greek fiscal crisis erupted five years ago, and its side effects continue to inflict immense damage on Europe and the world. But I’m not talking about the side effects you may have in mind — spillovers from Greece’s Great Depression-level slump, or financial contagion to other debtors. No, the truly disastrous effect of the …Read More

Is the Greek economy improving?

Walsh, J. (2014) “Is the Greek economy improving?“, The Guardian, 27 November.   The Greek government is keen to trumpet the country’s improved economic outlook, as the country exits recession for the first time in six years. But is any improvement being felt by people on the ground? After a six year slump, Greece finally came out of recession earlier this month. But are there any signs of an improving …Read More

Economic and financial changes since the onset of the global and euro area crises

Louri-Dendrinou, Ε. (2014) “Economic and financial changes since the onset of the global and euro area crises“, LSE EUROPP Blog, Greece: Taking Stock, 06 November.   With the introduction of the euro and the mispricing of sovereign (Greek) risk, a flux of funding inundated Greece and helped fuel an impressive growth rate (averaging 4%) in 2000-2008. Growth, combined with low inflation since monetary policy was managed by the European Central …Read More

David Einhorn on Pireus Bank: now I know what He thinks

David Einhorn on Pireus Bank: now I know what He thinks, ViennaCapitalist Blog, 05 November.   I am grateful to reader IAthinker who commented on my recent Pireus bank post providing a link to David Einhorn’s presentation he gave at the recent Robin Hood conference, an annual gathering of Hedge Fund managers. At the conference, Einhorn reiterated his bullish stance on Pireus and Alpha bank, two of the biggest banks in Greece. As regular readers know, …Read More

Greece’s Economic and Political Traps

Konstandaras, N. (2014) “Greece’s Economic and Political Traps“, The New York Times Opinion Pages, 26 October.   Five years into the Greek crisis, it is becoming increasingly difficult to hope that it will end anytime soon. Perhaps we expected too much: that the largest international bailout in history would help set the economy back on its feet within a couple of years; that we could put the problems that had …Read More

Greece’s shadow economy: The treasures of darkness

“Greece’s shadow economy: The treasures of darkness“, The Economist, 10 October.   Getting Greeks to pay more tax is not just hard, but risky TWO out of three Greek workers either understate their earnings or fail to disclose them to the taxman altogether, according to Stephen Hall, an adviser to the Bank of Greece. Last year an estimated 24% of all economic activity in Greece went undeclared to evade tax …Read More

Private Bad Debt Buildup Casts Shadow on Greek Rebound

Chrepa, E. & Chrysoloras, N. (2014) “Private Bad Debt Buildup Casts Shadow on Greek Rebound“, Bloomberg News, 29 September.   To Aristides Belles, it’s clear what’s blocking Greece’s recovery: a quiet build-up of about 164 billion euros ($208 billion) in bad loans. “The inability of Greek companies to repay their loans to banks and their dues to the state is clearly holding back Greece’s return to growth,” said the chief …Read More

The IMF and Sovereign Debt

Joyce, P. J. (2014) “The IMF and Sovereign Debt“, Economonitor–A Roubini Global Economics Project, 09 September.   The continuing inability of the Eurozone economies to break out of their current impasse means that any optimistic projections of declining debt to GDP ratios are unlikely to be achieved. As long as European governments continue to raise funds in the financial markets on favorable terms, the current situation remains sustainable.  But the …Read More

Portugal and Greece: the odd return to markets

Steinbock, D. (2014) “Portugal and Greece: the odd return to markets“, Opinion Article, EU Observer, 05 May.   BRUSSELS – In the past few weeks, Portugal and Greece have returned to the markets in moves seen in Brussels as heralding a rebound in Southern Europe. In reality, a fragile recovery has barely begun and will take years. On Sunday (4 May), Portugal’s Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho announced that his …Read More

This could be the moment for Greece to default

Münchau, W. (2014) “This could be the moment for Greece to default”, Financial Times, 13 April.   While the financial world is celebrating the Greek return to the bond markets, I am asking myself this question: is this a good time for Greece to default on its foreign debt? It is not a subject of polite conversion in Brussels or Athens. Nor does it appear to be a popular subject …Read More