Greece Opens Talks With the IMF
Maybe I spoke too soon about Greece:
One official said Athens now hopes to raise between $1 billion and $4 billion from U.S. investors, and could cancel the sale if demand continued to sink. Greece had previously hoped to sell up to $10 billion of bonds.
Euro-zone countries on Sunday made an effort to persuade investors that the pledge was for real, saying they could make up to €30 billion ($40.1 billion) in loans this year and going so far as to detail the formula for the interest rate charged. That relieved markets--but only for a few days. As investors fretted about the procedural difficulties of putting the bailout in place and about Greece's longer-term prospects, Greek borrowing costs climbed back up.Midday Thursday, investors were demanding 4.20 percentage points more in interest than ultra-safe Germany pays for a 10-year loan. That spread was practically as high as levels seen last week, before the unveiling of the €30 billion package, all but dashing the hopes of those who thought Greece could skate through a spring of heavy debt repayments without a bailout
When it comes down to it, investors are right to anticipate a bailout, and probably right to anticipate some form of eventual default. Maintaining these sorts of structural adjustments while lashed to the monetary policy of less indebted, and more prosperous nations, is going to be very tough. No surprise that Greece is opening up talks with the IMF--though it's not clear how much that will do to get down the outsized bond yields. Ultimately, borrowing more money, even on good terms, will not do much besides papering over the nation's problems. Unless Greece can find the political will to make horrendous cuts in salaries and services, they'll just find themselves in the same spot in short order.