10 Billion Euros by the End of the Month

Macroeconomics, 10 billion, euros, end of the month, Greece , ECB, fx trader, Germany , forex

17 Feb 2015

Greece needs about 10 bln euros by the end of the month.  The negotiations are fierce.  Although the ECB and Germany are clashed over the conduct of monetary policy, they seem to be in agreement, not to concede to Greek requests for debt forgiveness or a debt swap.  At least until the end of the month, German media is unlikely to repeat the slur, referring to the ECB as the Banca d'Italia's Frankfurt branch.

In his critique of the Versailles Treaty that ended WWI, Keynes cautioned that the bleeding of Germany can only lead to ruin.  He urged the creditors of the day not to be shackled by paper--contracts.  The current generation of European creditors appear so antithetical to what has become Keynesian economics that they are willing to ignore the important insight that there is a limit to people's willingness to turn their output to service foreign debt.

Ironically, it appears that others have understood Keynes' insight.  Egypt has roughly the same rating as Greece.  Fitch and Moody's rate them identical (B and Caa1 respectively).  S&P rates Egypt B- and Greece B.  Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and UAE have given Egypt more than $12 bln in aid, deposits for the central bank and petrol since 2013. News reports indicate that they will deposit another $10 bln in Egypt ahead of the large investment conference next month.

Egypt, like Greece, is trying to repair its economy with structural reforms, and appealing to foreign investors.  It faces domestic strife between President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi and former Islamist President Mursi and the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood.  The new government in Greece faces powerful resistance by its official creditors and the domestic oligarchs and chronic tax evasion.