At the height of the 2008 World Financial Crisis, Greece was in the headlines daily because of its inability to make its debt payments. Now, Greece is seeking a third bailout of €30 to €50 billion, and it’s barely in the news.
The eurozone has agreed to talk about further debt relief if Greece will only continue to make payments under its second bailout, and making those payments will be a problem.
Greece is struggling, with its debt now standing at 180% of gross domestic product. Pensions and benefits have been cut, and unemployment is above 25%. Its economy has shrunk by 20% since the WFC.
Although the eurozone has 19 members, Germany’s Angela Merkel holds sway on this matter. The other important player is Christine Lagarde, head of the IMF.
Despite the next debt payment not being due until summer, Merkel wants to make a settlement now so that Greece’s debt issue is not a hot topic during the upcoming elections in the eurozone where “far right” parties are gaining ground.
The Brexit vote and Trump’s victory proved that political sentiment is moving nationalistic, away from a “New World Order.” The European establishment wants to head off any far right victories in the upcoming elections.
But, here’s the rub: Germany and a few other eurozone members do want to cut Greece any slack. They want to continue to get blood out of a turnip.
Meanwhile, Lagarde has said that Greece needs “debt relief,” which would mean some banks — many of them German — would take still further haircuts the Greek debt they hold.
Here’s betting that a deal is done before the elections so that further debt relief is not an election topic. If so, this will just further prove that once paper money becomes so easy to print, it will be used to paper over all problems.
However, history shows that there always comes a time that that paper money is repudiated, thereby ending that scheme — until the next time.
It is in such a climate that gold and silver again become recognized as the only true forms of money. Actually, the metals’ strength in the face of a stronger dollar since Trump’s election may be proof that some buyers are getting ahead of the curve.
In my opinion, the problems in the eurozone are only a few of the reasons the metals have resumed a bull market, the others being the financial problems that the US faces — and they are not even being discussed. When they are, gold and silver will garner even more interest.