Greek Debt, the Ukraine Conflict and ISIS to Dominate G7 summit in Germany
Today’s Greece is often the cause for economic turmoil in the Eurozone, periodically sending global markets crashing.
Last week it withheld a 300-million-euro (US$333 million) loan repayment to the IMF, giving more grist for market pessimists, who played down Athens’ plan to group four scheduled tranches into a single payment later. The IMF has since given Greece the leeway to do so by June 30.
Greece is set to dominate the two-day G7 summit in Germany that got under way today. German Chancellor Angela Merkel is keen on tough stands, including austerity, on Greece.
Past and Present of Greece: For purposes of this post, I will focus on Greece – past and present. Their recessionary woes of the day, keeping it for long in the throes of bankruptcy, mask the past glory of Greece, the country which saw the birth of democracy and the Olympics and is rightly considered the cradle of Western civilisation.
Even a quick look at ancient history is enough to convince the world of their rich heritage and contribution to society. No single country can match the accomplishments of Greece in science, philosophy, literature and art.
Trail-blazers: Here is just a sample of the great people from ancient Greece who lived between 300 BC and 1000 BC and whose works are relevant even today:
- Hippocrates, the father of Western medicine credited with having crafted the oath that doctors have to swear by – the Hippocratic Oath
- Archimedes, among the greatest of scientists the world has seen
- Pythagoras – revered as the world’s first true mathematician and as a mystic and scientist best known for the theorem that bears his name
- Aristotle, Socrates and Plato – multifaceted personalities who are important founding figures in Western philosophy – the big three in Greek philosophy
- Homer – author of the Iliad and the Odyssey and the greatest of Greek epic poets
Waiting for Bad News: Institutions and analysts always look for the slightest of reasons to pull the markets down – even when they know what they fear will not happen! All they want are buying and selling opportunities that can add dough to their ovens.
That is what short-selling does to fundamentals! Ban short selling and the analyst community will see a bloodbath as they will lose their relevance and the markets will be rid of needless volatility.
Such a ban will never happen as it will seriously impair market liquidity. Volatility and liquidity are money-making avenues.
Reasons for Gloom and Doom: So we hear them often predicting doom and screaming over:
- Greece and the “looming” Grexit (which will never happen as the EuroZone will not want to let the Euro experiment fail. If Greece exits, the zone will crumble like a pack of cards
- The speeches of ECB chief Mario Draghi even if they are routine and innocuous — one common trait that journalists and market watchers share is their tendency to sensationalise and overplay developments
- Prices of oil and commodities
- Jobs and manufacturing data
Fortunately, the Western media do not have people of the mould of Times Now (India) anchor Arnab Goswami known for screaming without substance.
Back to G7, the markets will need to brace up for two more days of uncertainty when they open for business tomorrow.
G Joslin Vethakumar