Category Archives: Credit markets

Do Greece, the Troika, and the Eurogroup Actually Have a Deal?

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard has a new article on Greece’s scramble to find the funds to meet it March IMF payments, which are €1.5b in total, with €300 due on Friday. Note that IMF payment dates aren’t as hard and fast as credit card due dates; the agency allows borrowers some leeway if they have a clear intent to pay.

Nevertheless, Evans-Pritchard’s most important observation may be the one at the close of his article:

Whatever piece of paper they signed in Brussels 10 days ago, the two sides are still talking past each other.

In other words, the two sides disagree profoundly as to what the memo means. And that may mean that in reality, there is no deal at all.

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Eurogroup to Review Greek Reform Proposals; Meeting Set for Tuesday (Updated)

As we indicated earlier today, the Eurogroup appears to still have its hand in the mix of determining whether the reform list submitted by Greece is adequate. A meeting is set to review the proposed Greek reforms tomorrow. The journalists who are in the mix are sending tweets that suggest that they are not yet clear on some key issues in the state of play. As of this posting, only some high level details of the reform list have leaked out.

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Troika Not Happy with Initial Draft of Greek Reforms; Eurogroup Reported Still in the Mix (Updated)

As most readers may know, Greece and the Eurogroup ministers agreed to a memorandum last week that would replace the bailout that expires on February 28 with a four-month deal that the memo stresses is in the same framework.

But as much as the memo language was agreed by the ministers, it is not yet a done deal. And it is already looking like we might have a wild ride among the negotiators today.

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Pepe Escobar: New Silk Roads and the Chinese Vision of a Brave New (Trade) World

As much as sightings from on the ground are critical to countering perceptions of China from afar, my experience with Japan leads me to take them with a grain of salt. Japan was seen as similarly insurmountable in the 1980s and it looked as impressive close up as it did from a distance.

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Benchmarking the Greece/Eurogroup Bailout Memo and Process

Greece and the Eurozone have entered into what amounts to a letter of intent in the form of a memo released yesterday. It’s important to understand, even as a basis for further negotiations, what this document is and is not. Because this is not a definitive agreement, as in it explicitly states that Greece’s detailed structural reform proposals must be reviewed and approved by “the institutions,” the new name for the Troika, as well as approval by the Eurogroup finance ministers before any funds are released, there is still uncertainty as to how its deliberate ambiguity will be resolved.

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Greece’s Fate in ECB’s Hands if Eurogroup Talks Fail

As most readers know well, Greece made concessions yesterday to the Eurogroup that, although contested as to how far they went, were seen as big enough concessions to win the support of Eurogroup head Jeroen Dijsselbloem and Italy. But Germany’s Wolfgang Schauble almost immediately rejected them, setting the stage for a showdown today. As we’ve discussed from the outset, the biggest bone of contention continues to be “conditionality,” otherwise known as structural reforms. Greece wants to be able to revise some measures as long as it can still meet its primary surplus target. Germany insists a deal is a deal and Greece must reaffirm all the terms of its existing agreement.

The meeting is set to start in Brussels at 3 PM local time, so we’ll know soon enough how things turn out. The two sides are making friendlier noises as of this morning, but we’ve seen these public displays of collegiality before, only to be followed by negotiation ruptures.

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Greece, Its International Creditors and the Euro

his is an excellent background piece on how Greece got where it is and how its various bailouts were structured. It also helps explain the past and current roles the various members of the Troika play and discusses the prospects for Greece achieving its aims.

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