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Monday, April 19, 2010

Greece: Bond spreads widen as Bundesbank President says Greece may need more aid

by Calculated Risk on 4/19/2010 07:21:00 PM

An update on Greece: The IMF team was delayed arriving in Greece because of the ash from the Iceland volcano, meanwhile the Bundesbank president was quoted as saying Greece may need more aid.

Also the German Finance Minister was quoted in Der Spiegel: "We cannot allow the bankruptcy of a euro member state like Greece to turn into a second Lehman Brothers."

From the NY Times: Greek Debt Unsettles Bond Market

Yields on Greek bonds pushed to fresh highs on Monday ... as investors continued to worry about the country’s near-term ability to finance its debt. ... The yield on benchmark 10-year Greek government bonds closed in Europe at 7.63 percent — the highest since Greece joined the euro. That widened the spread, or difference, with equivalent German bonds to 4.55 percentage points.
From Bloomberg: Weber Said to Tell German Lawmakers Greece May Need More Aid
Bundesbank President Axel Weber told German lawmakers that Greece may need more aid than the 30 billion euros ($40 billion) promised by the European Union as the government in Athens struggles to push through planned spending cuts, two people present at the briefing said.
An interview with German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble in Der Speigel: 'We Cannot Allow Greece to Turn into a Second Lehman Brothers'
Schäuble: [W]e have experienced a financial crisis from which we in Europe must draw a clear lesson: We cannot allow the bankruptcy of a euro member state like Greece to turn into a second Lehman Brothers.

SPIEGEL: You are exaggerating. In past years, it's happened again and again that a country couldn't pay its debts, and yet that hasn't led to a collapse of the global financial system. Why should this be different in Greece's case?

Schäuble: Because Greece is a member of the European monetary union. Greece's debts are all denominated in euros, but it isn't clear who holds how much of those debts. For that reason, the consequences of a national bankruptcy would be incalculable. Greece is just as systemically important as a major bank.