U.S. and European stocks are soaring following an agreement by European leaders to bolster Europe's bailout fund and accept big losses on Greek bonds but analysts are worried that the deal just leaves a time bomb ticking. Here's what problems financial experts say are left to fester:
This is just kicking the can down the road The new deal has Greece borrowing money from Europe's bailout fund in order to pay its bondholders, which will increase its total debt to 286 billion Euros (130 percent of GDP). That changes the type of debt Greece has but it's still debt, as Felx Salmon at Reuters points out. "Greek bonds won’t be pure Greek debt: there will be a bunch of risk-free pan-European debt in there, too. And Greece will ultimately be on the hook for that new debt. This deal, then, is the toughest kick that the can has yet been dealt in its bumpy journey down the road."
The plans for bank recapitalization are on shaky ground The package agreed upon requires 70 banks to recapitalize, as demanded by the European Banking Authority. But as The Economist's Free Exchange blog points out, it's not clear how banks will raise the money privately or publicly. "If the banks are unable to raise sufficient money on their own, then governments will need to get involved. Governments are sure to prove reluctant while markets seem chipper, and so it's likely that recapitalisation will proceed too slowly until markets begin attacking one point or another, at which point either the sovereign or the [European Financial Stability Facility] will be called upon to fill holes and save the day."
There's no way Greece will be able to pay this off, writes Megan McArdle at The Atlantic: "Greece remains shackled to a huge currency zone that will not be setting monetary policy according to the needs of one small nation on its periphery. Labor mobility, which could ease the burden, will be limited by close family ties, and the fact that no one else speaks Greek. The political consensus in favor of the necessary austerity remains weak. And the euro makes their main industries--tourism and agricultural exports--more expensive than they used to be, which is going to be a drag on growth. Without growth, attaining, maintaining, and ultimately shrinking that debt-to-GDP ratio is going to be very, very tough."
There's still no way any of these European governments are going to grow, writes Joe Weisenthal at Business Insider: "Where's the growth going to come from? It's still all austerity-austerity-austerity, which is not only the opposite of growth, it's the opposite of budget sustainability ... The fact that the Germans remain to tightfisted and the [European Central Bank] is so slow on the easing front (unbelievably slow, really) should make you pessimistic that some big growth spurt is going to happen, and without that spurt, it's hard to see an end to civil unrest and concerns over budget deficits."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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