Monday, January 26, 2015

"Greek austerity after Syriza" What Next?

From FT Alphaville:
A brief collection of reaction to Sunday’s election in Greece follows. Before we hear from the professional financial crowd, however, a word from Eric LeCompte, executive director of Jubilee USA…
This election was a referendum on austerity and debt policies. The people of Greece voted and said no to austerity and yes to renegotiating Greece’s debt.
Austerity programs can be likened to trying to help a patient on life support by punching them.
So, this could get interesting. Greece’s pile of sovereign debt is almost twice the size of annual economic output, the International Monetary Fund, European Central Bank and European Union have helped to fund the country since 2010, imposing vicious/essential (delete as appropriate) cutbacks and reforms on the state to fix the problems/keep the euro intact. There are more young people out of work than in it, while Greece is supposed to dedicate almost 5 per cent of its economy to repaying debt in 2016.

First there are the assessments of Alexis Tsipras, leader of the radical Syriza party, which won Sunday’s election in Greece. The FT’s Tony Barber wonders whether the radical will in fact govern like a pragmatist, a Brazilian Lula rather than a Venezuelan Chávez.

David Mackie and co at JP Morgan set out some of the areas where the so-called Troika of multinational institutions and a new Greek coalition will have to work things out.
Assuming a coalition is formed, which seems very likely at this stage, the new government will need to decide relatively quickly how it will approach the Troika. A proposal from the new government will be needed to start discussions with the Troika on a further extension of the [European Financial Stability Facility] program—which is due to expire at the end of February. The Troika may only agree on a further extension of the EFSF program if the new government makes certain commitments. The new Greek government will also need to make proposals to the Troika in order to start discussions on how to successfully conclude the EFSF program (and receive the delayed €7bn of disbursements) and on how to structure further financing arrangements (most likely an ESM Enhanced Conditions Credit Line)....