Bloomberg reports: In an 11th-hour bid to stay in the euro, the government of Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras offered to meet most of the demands made by creditors in exchange for a bailout of 53.5 billion euros ($59.4 billion).
European and U.S. equity-index futures jumped on Friday after the proposal was submitted to creditor institutions late on Thursday. The package of spending cuts, pension savings and tax increases almost mirrored that from creditors on June 26, which was rejected by Greek voters in a July 5 referendum. It will face its first hurdle in the Greek Parliament on Friday.
Though Tsipras ceded ground, he insists long-term debt needs to be made more manageable to allow Greece to recover from a crisis that has erased a quarter of its economy. He has a growing support base that includes the U.S., European Union President Donald Tusk and the International Monetary Fund. [Continue reading…]
Alex Andreou writes: This is my initial reaction to the deal proposal by Greece: it is more austerity -harsh austerity at that – and many of the measures are recessionary. Distribution of the burden seems to me fairer than before. If the upside is access to a significant stimulus package (front-loaded), a smoothing of the measures (back-loaded) and substantial restructuring of debt, to make it definitively viable, it will probably be seen as worth it. It is certainly capable of being sold as worth it.
Essentially, everyone managing to keep their position/perks/income in the context of an economy which is in the middle of a death spiral, is meaningless. If the economy begins to recover, then things which were unbearable, become bearable. Austerity becomes a background noise, rather than a preoccupation and a progressive government will be able to offset the damage. It is a delicate balance.
Market confidence is a strange creature. There is a lot of money sloshing around at the moment, taken out of China which is in free-fall. Money which is bulging to be invested. All it takes is an intangible notion that Greece has hit the low point, for investment to return. Whether this package achieves that balance or not, will have to be assessed over time, as the detail of each measure becomes known and away from the adrenaline and hysteria of negotiation fever. [Continue reading…]