It’s taken a very long time, but the easily predictable implosion to Europe’s sovereign debt crisis is finally approaching.
The same day that thousands of protestors against austerity measures returned to the streets in Athens, the Greek bailout talks also collapsed.
“I expect a hard default definitely before March, maybe this year, and it could come with this program review,” said a senior IMF economist who is keeping close tabs on the situation. “The chances for a second program are slim.”
Europe’s financial leaders want Greece to cut its budget further in order to make up for the gap that has been caused by the deepening recession. Of course the cuts are making the fiscal gap worse by slowing the economy further.
Meanwhile, yields on 1-year Greek bonds have hit 70%, a level so far above affordable that a Greek default is already priced into.