Greek gloom dominates the start of the week as new elections there look inevitable and talk of Greek euro exit, or a Grexit” as common market parlance now has it, mounts. All risk assets and securities hinged on global growth have been hit, with China’s weekend reserve ratio easing doing little to offset gloomy data from world’s second biggest economy at the end of last week. World stocks are down heavily and emerging markets are underperforming; the euro has fallen to near 4-month lows below $1.29; safe haven core government debt is bid as euro peripheral debt yields in Italy and Spain push higher; and global growth bellwethers such as crude oil and the Australian dollar are down – the latter below parity against the US dollar for the first time in 5 months.
Financial research reports on Monday and over the weekend were just as gloomy, but plenty of interesting takes:
Bank of New York Mellon’s Simon Derrick’s view of the Greek political impasse concluded “there is at least an evens chance that the latter part of this summer will see what had officially been seen up until last November as an impossibility: a nation leaving the EUR.”
RBS’s Sanjay Mathur reckons that if there is another hung parliament after new Greek elections, implying no significant voter return to the pro-bailout parties, then euro risk soars. “This means, on another hung parliament, that Greek government IOUs could trade as proxy currency as early as July.” If that does not galvanize sufficient parties into accepting Trioka bailout demands at that point, he said that then exit looms. “Opening up the Pandora’s box of exit means deposit risk across the periphery. The future of the euro would then be dictated by the subsequent policy response.”
Barclays Sree Kochugovindan talks of a three phase possible deterioration of the euro crisis — one, where solvency concerns and asset market fright are contained to Europe and mostly the fixed income markets of the periphery countries concerned; two, solvency concerns hit the core such as France and Belgium with asset market contagion widening before a series of major policy responses; and three, no major policy response or ECB SMP/LTRO, which leads to Greek default and even exit and global market shock akin to September 2008. “Given the immense cost of a crisis triggered by a Greek exit, we are not expecting the current situation to deteriorate into Phase 2. However, the risks are elevated and with the prospect of second round Greek elections in a few weeks, market jitters are likely to continue.”