Greece

Another week, another Euro deal. This time, Spain has secured a $125 billion bailout of its essentially bankrupt banking system, saving it from the consequences of the construction bust – for the time being. But the cost will essentially be passed on to the country’s sovereign debt, exacerbating Spain’s other problem: how to stabilise the […]

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Presentations at the Harbor Aluminum Outlook conference tend to lean towards technical forecasts for aluminum price, inventory levels, and production costs for aluminum. However, equally important are glances at the bigger macroeconomic picture. And this year, the European debt crisis takes center stage, just over China’s growth declines, and Ed Meir of INTL FCStone, a […]

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Continued from Part One.  The euro is the second most liquid currency in the world after the US dollar, accounting for nearly 40 percent of all daily trades. After that, liquidity in alternative currencies drops sharply, with the yen present in 19 percent of trades, pounds sterling in 13 percent and, the recently popular commodity currency, […]

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Markets have been driven down this year on fears of a Greek exit from the Euro, but two quick questions: would it really be so bad?   And what would the likely outcome be of a Greek reversion to the drachma? The euro has not suffered as badly from the debt crisis as the landslide of media coverage […]

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Investors are a funny lot. The phrase “herd mentality” may have been created to describe the behavior of our four-footed friends, but it applies equally well to the investor fraternity. For months, the prospect of a slowing China and the departure of Greece from the euro have been on the cards, prompting some no doubt […]

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Continued from Part One. Although its government finances don’t look so bad relative to Italy’s, Spain has the potential to go the way of Ireland, where relatively low government debt ballooned as the state was forced to bailout banks. As with Ireland, the problem will be the property market; in Spain’s case, it is the […]

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Continued from Part One. Across Europe, figures understandably vary. Whereas Germany and France’s jobless rates held steady at 5.7 percent and 10 percent, respectively, Spain’s hit 23.6 percent in February, up from 23.3 percent in January and Greece’s was at 21 percent in December — since then, the authorities have been unable or unwilling to […]

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Continued from Part One. In the autumn of 2010, the International Monetary Fund thought Greece would shrink by a rather modest 2.6 percent in 2011. We now know the economy last year fell about 7 percent. The Greek fiscal position was bad not only because of a lack of effort, but also because the economic […]

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Just when we thought the European debt crisis was behind us, at least for a while, it is back center-stage and frightening the markets. Not yet frightening them as much as it should…but give it time. As Greece slips from the front pages, the much larger problem of Spain takes the limelight. Spain Prime Minister Mariano […]

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Continued from Part One. It is widely believed by many, and even openly discussed in Brussels, that Greece could be the first to go. If it does, Portugal may well follow. It seems untenable that Italy could fail, but without collective support, it’s just as hard to see how it can stay. Italy has €33 […]

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