Goldman Sachs researchers sent round a note this morning titled “What You Need to Know about Greece,” and it delivers what was promised.
In four charts it shows just how dreadful Greece’s economic situation is. Public debt is about 75% larger as a portion of the economy than it was in 2007, GDP has been cut by a quarter (a Great Depression-like reduction) and money has flooded out of Greek banks.
Here they are:
In some ways, the story is actually worse than it looks. Though the acceleration in Greece’s debt to GDP ratio was slowing down in 2014, the subsequent crisis mean it’s probably picked up again. Greece is now back in recession.
So for the same reason, the improvement in the deficit to GDP chart in the bottom left is unlikely to continue.
Another slide from Goldman sums up why the impasse between Greece and its creditors seems so difficult to close:
Greece’s economy has been hammered, and the initial assumptions made about its debts were just plain wrong. By pretty much all accounts, some sort of outright or effective debt haircut needs to happen. But for a number of awkward political reasons, the rest of Europe simply isn’t ready to budge on that issue.
And while it’s locked in the euro, under the current set of institutions, there’s not much hope for a quick recovery.