Category Archives: Doomsday scenarios

Austerity Kills: Economic Distress Seen as Culprit in Sharp Rise in Suicide Rate Among Middle Aged

I’m surprised, but perhaps I shouldn’t be, that a recent study hasn’t gotten the attention it warrants. It points to a direct connection between the impact of the crisis and a marked increase in suicide rates among the middle aged.

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ECB and IMF to Greece: No Escaping the Austerity Hairshirt

We warned readers who are still keen to take the Syriza “Hope is coming” slogan as something more promising that a subconscious echo of the Obama 2008 “Hope and change” campaign, that the memo that Greece signed with the Eurogroup last week did not represent a victory or a lessening of austerity. The comments by the ECB and the IMF on the reform list from Greece submitted Monday confirmed our earlier readings, that austerity is still very much on in Greece.

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Mathew D. Rose: Greece – Dead Man Walking

Rose focuses on an issue that reader Swedish Lex and other have pointed out: the heavy-handed actions of Germany in the tempestuous negotiations between the Eurozone and Greece have wound up being a major own goal.

But the bigger issue that Rose raises is that last week’s ugly negotiations, in combination with the fiasco in Ukraine, is exposing Germany as a lousy hegemon, which he argues is producing a political crisis in Germany and fracture lines in Europe.

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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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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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The Logic of Greece’s Request for a Loan Agreement Extension

Yves here. There’s been a heated debate among members of the commentariat as to whether the latest proposal by the Greek government to the Eurogroup ministers was a significant concession or a carefully worded formulation that did not give much ground. This interview with Dimitri Lascaris, a top securities lawyer in Canada, gives a nuanced discussion of that issue, including the politics on the Greek and German sides.

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