Greece is on the brink of default.
The country is a day away from a major debt payment that it cannot pay. Meanwhile, panicked Greeks trying to drain ATMs of whatever cash they can get are being limited by new capital controls. Stocks are plummeting and the euro is getting smoked.
But it’s not so bad.
At least that’s the assessment of a the market strategists who are stepping back and considering the recent history.
“The European authorities are both prepared and equipped to act to preserve the integrity of the Euro area in the face of market and economic turbulence emanating from Greece,” Goldman Sachs’ Huw Pill said on Sunday. “The [European Central Bank] will likely have to do the heavy lifting, likely through an expansion of sovereign purchases tilted towards more vulnerable countries in the first instance. While still acting in response to wider market developments rather than pre-empting them, we expect ECB actions to be more prompt and more aggressive than in the past.”
So, it will be a bumpy ride, but we’ve seen worse.
“[W]hile markets are likely to suffer in the coming days, we do not expect a repeat of the systemic and existential threats to the Euro area as a whole that emerged back in 2011-12, when Greece was last centre-stage,” Pill emphasised.
Behavioural Macro’s Mark Dow provided a laundry list of reasons why Europe and the rest of the world are better prepared for the current crisis. He too pointed to the European leaders’ broader capacity to contain the damage.
“We’re more financially prepared,” Dow wrote. “There were no firewalls in place three years ago. Moreover, every monetary innovation was met with a German ECB resignation. Today, LTRO, ESM, QE, “Whatever it takes”, etc. are part of the landscape. And we know they worked. Draghi won. Germanic phobias lost. Not likely to be much principled pushback if Draghi needs to get aggressive with runway foam.”
Read more of Dow’s reassuring message at Behavioural Macro.