Breakingviews

Hugo Dixon: Greece may not need debt haircut

By Hugo Dixon
August 17, 2015

No single measure, such as debt to GDP, adequately captures how unsustainable Athens’ balance sheet is. Most other yardsticks show Greece needs debt relief. But cutting the face value of its borrowings is probably not required.

Greece deal leaves euro intact but fragile

August 11, 2015

Athens may get its bailout after Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras gave in to reform demands. Quitting the euro is much less likely. It suggests currency union can bear the near-exit of a peripheral state. Economic rifts between core members, though, remain the big future risk.

Hugo Dixon: How to fix Greece’s banks

By Hugo Dixon
August 10, 2015

The banks are the weakest point in the country’s economic system. They need to be repaired in order to lift capital controls, restore depositor confidence and finance a future recovery. There are some good ways of doing this, even if the best options aren’t making much headway.

Hugo Dixon: Euro zone doesn’t need political union

By Hugo Dixon
August 3, 2015

The Greek crisis has triggered renewed calls for a euro zone government, budget and parliament. But such a political union isn’t needed, desirable or achievable. Instead, the euro zone needs more market-based solutions to thrive.

Varoufakis gives Greece the gift of a scapegoat

July 29, 2015

The former finance chief’s alarming tales of trying to hack state computer systems might be just what the debt-stricken country needs. Ask China, which has long recognised the value of a strategic purge. Rogue elements breed discord, but once expelled, they can create more unity.

Hugo Dixon: The optimist’s guide to Greece

By Hugo Dixon
July 27, 2015

There are so many ways things could go wrong in Greece that it’s easy to miss how things could also go right. The good scenario involves the ECB buying up Greek bonds, the lifting of capital controls and a deal on debt relief – all by year-end.

Hugo Dixon: Mario Draghi is having a good war

July 20, 2015

The ECB president has done almost everything he can to keep Greece in the euro without breaking the central bank’s rules. Although Draghi has been attacked by Athens for asphyxiating the country and hardliners for showing excessive leniency, he has got the balance about right.

Schaeuble looks immune to Varoufakis-style exit

July 16, 2015

Like his former Greek colleague, Germany’s finance minister has become a liability. After openly calling for Grexit and then questioning an agreed deal, he is not the man to lead future negotiations. The catch is German political realities mean Angela Merkel needs him.

Edward Hadas: Greece, China and financial failure

By Edward Hadas
July 15, 2015

Not noticing how loans were distorting the Greek economy led to a crisis. In China, the financial system’s ability to create illusory wealth is causing bother. The authorities are lost everywhere. They would do better if they treated finance as an unruly servant of the economy.

Greek bank salvation may still have sting in tail

July 13, 2015

Greece’s lenders are getting another 25 billion euros in bailout recap money. With a deal in place, more ECB crisis loans should also materialise. But the central bank may not provide them today, and a new Greek bail-in regime raises uncertainty for depositors.