Sunday, September 25, 2011

Europe Update: Merkel says "Barrier" around Greece Needed

by Calculated Risk on 9/25/2011 08:36:00 PM

The clock is ticking ...

From Bloomberg: ‘Barrier’ Around Greece Needed: Merkel

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said euro-region leaders must erect a firewall around Greece to avert a cascade of market attacks on other European states ...

“We have to be in a position to react,” Merkel said. “We have to be able to put up a barrier.” Even so, “I don’t rule out at all that at some point we will have the question whether one can do an insolvency of states just like with banks.”

Merkel rejected Greece leaving the euro area, saying that “we can’t force it, but I don’t believe in that in any case” ... “Maybe Greece leaves, the next country leaves and then the next country after that,” she said. “They would speculate against all the countries.” ...

Merkel suggested that Greece may be able to get the next tranche of bailout aid, after a team of officials from the IMF, the ECB and the European Commission assess the Greek government’s progress ... Merkel is due to host Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou for talks in Berlin on Sept. 27, two days before German lawmakers vote on the enhanced rescue fund...
From the NY Times: Investors Ask if Anything Can Save Greece From Default
Under intense pressure from the United States, euro zone leaders spent the weekend in Washington working to craft a rescue plan to bolster sickly banks and buy the bonds of weak countries like Italy. But past efforts to bring an end to the debt crisis in Europe — including a second, €109 billion rescue plan for Greece forged by Europe and the International Monetary Fund in July — have failed to stand up. Investors remain skeptical that another plan will be any different.
...
With Greek government debt trading on the open market below 40 cents on the dollar, it is quickly approaching what debt experts call the recovery rate — the price investors would get for their bonds if the country officially defaulted.

In effect, that means investors have given up.
I'm not sure what the barrier will be, but just about everyone is now accepting that Greece will default (except a few Greek politicians). The question remains when - and what happens after they default.