Realists watching the events in Europe over the last few years accepts that there is at least a small risk of the whole thing falling apart. (Some will say “I told you so,” but it remains a most distressing turn of events.)
Yet instead of the usual talk of entire countries withdrawing from the euro, we are increasingly faced with the prospect of individual countries splintering along regional lines. Continue Reading
A few weeks ago Mario Draghi, president of the European Central Bank, unleashed the bazooka. Continue Reading
J. Paul Getty is thought to have said, “If you owe the bank $100 that’s your problem. If you owe the bank $100 million, that’s the bank’s problem.” The little nation of Belize (population 356,600) appears to have taken this saying to heart. The Wall Street Journal reports:
Belize is insisting that creditors forgive 45% of what they are owed, or allow it to delay any debt payments for 15 years. Otherwise, it says it won’t make its next payment of $23.1 million due on Monday. And if Belize and its bondholders don’t reach a deal by Sept. 19, the country will default on its $543.8 million in outstanding debt—making it the first sovereign default since Greece forced creditors to take a 53.5% loss in March.
Like a callous teenager, Belize didn’t even bother to call. The bondholders’ butthurt is palpable. Continue Reading
Weeks ago Angela Merkel said that she might not attend the Euro Cup soccer championship. While she’s a big football fan and knows that the German team might do quite well, she didn’t want to endorse the Ukraine’s treatment of Yuliya Tymoshenko. Quite right she was, too.
But now it turns out that Germany will play Greece on Friday in the Euro Cup tournament’s semi-final. So Merkel should now reverse her decision. She should go and take the opportunity to reset Germany’s dialogue with Greece. Continue Reading
The most interesting news out of Greece this weekend was not the result of the parliamentary elections. No, much more interesting is the news that Greece will play Germany in the quarterfinals of the Euro Cup soccer tournament on Friday. This will be one to watch.
But why were the Greek elections such a letdown? Well, after weeks of build-up we now have a parliamentary situation in Greece that looks…exactly like the situation that led to this latest round of voting in the first place. It’s called gridlock. Continue Reading