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Old 06-28-2015, 12:01 AM   #41
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It does affect US markets. If the Euro declines vs. the dollar, it makes US companies less competitive and could cause the markets to sell off.

So you wonder if the EU really cares about keeping Greece in the Euro. They can't say it would be better for the rest of the EU but they may actually believe it.

Greece's complaint was that the troika imposed austerity on them back in 2010, stringing things along. Greece is now in depression, high unemployment and so on.

Germany seems to be high on moral hazard and schadenfreude at the moment.

Some of the terms they couldn't agree to include raising VAT on hotels and restaurants to 23%. Tourism is the biggest industry in Greece so make it more expensive and more difficult to generate revenues is a good idea?

Syriza proposed raising taxes on the high earners and businesses but the creditors shut that idea down. Seems like they wanted to impose more of the pain on the people without the money.
The big issue with Greece is they are structurally broken in terms of finances. Many of the populace rich and poor fail to pay their taxes and its easy to cheat and not enforced well.
So the gov't fails to collect a huge portion of taxes.

Nothing will change, and they will default, and all Greeks will empty their bank accounts if they are smart on Monday.
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Old 06-28-2015, 01:27 AM   #42
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I think you keep confusing the EU with the Eurozone. Fewer than half of EU countries are in the Eurozone.

To join the Eurozone then financial requirements were set in the late 90's, and I don't know if Greece met the criteria or not but they weren't the only country to fudge the numbers to meet the Eurozone requirements. (Italy was another IIRC)

Criteria for Joining the Euro Zone: Year In Review 2004 | euro zone | Britannica.com

Yes, I am confusing the two... but not as completely as you might think.... If Greece goes back to the dracma, they will be out of the Eurozone...

However, I have read where they are also at risk of being kicked out of the EU... and I know that the UK is looking to get out of the EU since they are not in the Eurozone... if you are in the EU, you still have to abide by the laws etc. that are passed by the EU...
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Old 06-28-2015, 04:14 AM   #43
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Greece

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However, I have read where they are also at risk of being kicked out of the EU... and I know that the UK is looking to get out of the EU since they are not in the Eurozone... if you are in the EU, you still have to abide by the laws etc. that are passed by the EU...

I haven't heard this about Greece. I'd be curious to know where you read this if you remember?
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Old 06-28-2015, 06:32 AM   #44
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I too have little understanding about the situation and zero understanding of what the solution is. It's really amazing though how the US markets go up and down almost daily much in part on the optimism or pessimism of what's going on in Greece, at least according to the talking heads, if there's no other economic news. And how many months this has been going on. Poor Greece.
Greece is not that poor.

Even though its GNP and personal incomes have declined, most high incomes are not declared (tax evasion) so they’re not part of the grim statistics. Worldwide, Greece has the largest commercial fleet than any country (including US & China), and that income is untaxed by international treaties. The country has great symbolic value to all western countries’ cultural origin, they still speak Greek, and the country has a critical geopolitical position in the EU. So unofficially, it’s still among the 25 richest countries, and... Greece is bigger than Lehman Brothers...
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Old 06-28-2015, 07:59 AM   #45
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Seems to me like a classic wall of worry issue to the markets, but really should be much ado about nothing. The biggest concern was if Greece defaults that will bring about contagion, however, things seem to have improved in the other weaker euro counties, so doubt there will be much contagion. Of course I probably am wrong.
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Old 06-28-2015, 08:00 AM   #46
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....So unofficially, it’s still among the 25 richest countries, and......
can't pay its obligations.

I seem to recall that this payment coming due soon is relatively small compared to other payments coming up over the next few months.

It's a corrupt society and deserves to go bankrupt. To assist Greece is like assisting your relative who habitually lives beyond their means and is looking for a handout.
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Old 06-28-2015, 08:54 AM   #47
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I suspect the people will vote for the austerity deal on July 5. Whether anybody outside Greece trusts the leftist Greek govt is a separate issue.

Although this is largely the Greeks fault (spending way beyond their means), I still feel empathy for them (the people). They are suffering. No matter what they do in the near future, it will become worse before it becomes better.

I cannot help but think of America and our own overspending. Healthcare spending is still out of control, and that will cause huge problems for Medicare. Social Security will require significant changes, causing pain all around. And a good portion of age 50+ Americans are unprepared for retirement.
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Old 06-28-2015, 09:50 AM   #48
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I'm also fascinated by this drama. My interest is in the etiology of it, and who benefited financially. I remember hearing reports of Goldman Sachs doing a sort of "pump and dump" of Greek bonds, years ago, causing the whole problem, with GS walking away with full pockets, leaving Greece and European taxpayers taking the hit. Oversimplification?
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Old 06-28-2015, 10:01 AM   #49
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I just wish they'd settle it one way or another (PICK ONE!) and let the markets get on with it. Tired of getting jerked around in the market for the past year or two on this.
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Old 06-28-2015, 10:07 AM   #50
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Long term I think it best Greece get out of the Euro, however short term its going to impact the markets. My understanding it that it will hurt the Euro, which then means many of the US companies will miss their quarters (at least those with any significant Euro exposure) thus this could mean a rather choppy market ahead for the year. I for one leveraged out some of my more profitable stocks and hope to buy something during the downturn. Once that's done we can maybe stabilize a little; however that depends on Spain and Ireland.


on a side note, Greece having retirement at age 50 seems a little extreme as something they could do to improve their economic outlook rather quickly... I know the rest of the EU is not exactly excited that Greece says it can't pay its bills while it seems 1/2 the country is ERed.
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Old 06-28-2015, 10:10 AM   #51
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I've always wanted to go there, and have friends who would hop on a plane to go tomorrow. But, right now, I'd be uneasy hanging out in a nation where the general population is unwilling to face the hard facts presented by the EU. Will that lead to anger in the streets?

Not a time for me to visit the Parthenon, I think.....

We were there last month. It was a great visit. This will be nerve wracking for any visitor this week, for sure. But I suspect if you have cash in your pocket, it will be OK. The only thing that could really derail things is if the government calls a general holiday. In that case, the Parthenon will be shut.

Otherwise, life should go on. And any visitor there can say they witnessed history.

While we were there, there were demonstrations. But they were interesting and for the most part very civil. Ironically, there was chaos, with fires and riots, in Baltimore, USA and Milan, Italy.

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I feel sorry for the tourists with confirmed flights going into Greece upcoming weeks. I saw one gentleman on the internet asking if he should take Euros with him on Monday.


Absolutely. It may take a while for this mess to come to a head.
Yes. Cash is king there. If the ATMs are shut, this could cause some grief.

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The big issue with Greece is they are structurally broken in terms of finances. Many of the populace rich and poor fail to pay their taxes and its easy to cheat and not enforced well.
So the gov't fails to collect a huge portion of taxes.

Nothing will change, and they will default, and all Greeks will empty their bank accounts if they are smart on Monday.
The Greek people were so kind. It was a lot of fun to talk with them.

They spoke very openly about these issues. Some said: "Yes, Greeks are different. We don't hide our corruption. We embrace it."

Digging deeper, there was clearly a kind of divide of opinion about those with private sector versus public sector jobs. Pensions are an issue, if you have one or not, it is divisive. The police are not loved (read the graffiti). And it isn't all about oppression, it is also about their pay and very early retirement age. Etc.

We've heard it in America too. Someone else mentioned Illinois. There is some commonality there. However, Illinois has more going for it in manufacturing. It was painful to see the sorry state of manufacturing in Greece. Herein lies some of those structural issues.
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Old 06-28-2015, 10:27 AM   #52
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Samclem, governments have always tried to evade responsibility for bad financial policies. They lie, they cheat. They print paper money. When was the last time congress passed a budget? They are forever trying to fix exchange rates, for example. The euro eliminated exchange rates but it did not eliminate human nature. Transparency is our best ally.

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Old 06-28-2015, 10:42 AM   #53
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With the amount of tax evasion going on, a lot of tourist businesses probably only take cash.

Sounds like a lot of the hospitality industry on the islands want to keep the gravy train going so would oppose anything that would disrupt business, especially now the peak tourist season.
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Old 06-28-2015, 10:44 AM   #54
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Just saw this article from Business Insider:

Among other follies, Greece's first default was in the fourth century BC. (so what are WE worried about, eh?) It's just another day for them.

13 mind-blowing facts about Greece's economy - Business Insider
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Old 06-28-2015, 11:32 AM   #55
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Yes, I am confusing the two... but not as completely as you might think.... If Greece goes back to the dracma, they will be out of the Eurozone...

However, I have read where they are also at risk of being kicked out of the EU... and I know that the UK is looking to get out of the EU since they are not in the Eurozone... if you are in the EU, you still have to abide by the laws etc. that are passed by the EU...
Any reference to the possibility of Greece being kicked out of the EU?

A few years ago, after the 2008 meltdown, Iceland defaulted on its debt causing quite a few problems in local government pension plans in the UK and other countries that were holding quite a lot of Icelandic government bonds. There was never even a whisper that Iceland would leave or be kicked out of the EU.

The UK government has promised a referendum on staying in the EU but I don't believe the government really wants to leave the EU, just a better deal, and those negotiations on a better deal are currently in progress. With a referendum upcoming it will be very interesting to see what new terms are proposed. We'll actually be back in the UK in time to vote on any referendum that comes up.
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Old 06-28-2015, 11:38 AM   #56
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I haven't heard this about Greece. I'd be curious to know where you read this if you remember?

It was in relation to either Russia or China coming in and 'helping' Greece... and how Germany is very concerned with either of them getting a foothold in Europe...
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Old 06-28-2015, 12:01 PM   #57
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...on a side note, Greece having retirement at age 50 seems a little extreme...
They are too young to retire. What will they do all day?
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Old 06-28-2015, 12:04 PM   #58
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The European Central Bank said Sunday it will freeze for now the level of emergency loans for Greek banks at Friday’s level, a step that could push the country closer to having to impose capital controls to halt a deposit flight that appeared to have accelerated over the weekend.
ECB to Keep Level of Emergency Loans for Greek Banks Unchanged - WSJ
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Old 06-28-2015, 12:12 PM   #59
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Bloomberg reports Greece has temporarily closed it's banks. Greece Shuts Banks to Avert Collapse After ECB Freezes Support - Bloomberg Business

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Greece ordered its banks shut Monday to avert a financial collapse after the European Central Bank froze emergency loans to the nation’s lenders.
I lived through a banking shut-down and partial collapse, and it is truly painful. I feel for the Greek people, there is much pain ahead and now no way to avoid it.

Edit to add: FT with more detail http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/49775...#axzz3eN7R3Ond
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Officials said the bank closure would last for several days and would be accompanied by limits yet to be announced on bank transfers abroad and withdrawals from cash machines.
This is a real challenge - capital controls when the gov't does not manage the currency.
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Old 06-28-2015, 01:57 PM   #60
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The Athens stock exchange will also be closed according to the latest....

And, following up on MichaelB, the even greater challenge is getting the capital back in the door after it fled!
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