When it comes to the PIIGS, Dr. Doom is in full-on doom mode.
Felix Salmon has some good notes on a PIIGS panel from the Milken Global Conference, which included Nouriel Roubini, who is in his wheelhouse when talking about sovereign debt crises.
Nouriel, of course, takes that kind of thinking to its logical conclusion, and kicked off the panel by announcing that it was just in time: “in a few days,” he said, “there might not be a eurozone for us to discuss.” There’s no way that Greece can implement the 10% spending cut it needs to do in order to stop its debt spiralling out of control at current interest rates — and even if it did, the economic effects would be disastrous.
Nouriel’s base case, then, is Argentina 2001: after all, Greece has a much higher debt-to-GDP ratio, much higher deficit-to-GDP ratio, and much higher current-account deficit than Argentina had back then. And if that’s the base case, there’s no way that Greek debt should be trading anywhere near its current levels.
And guess what: Spain is worse than Greece, says Roubini. Ugh.
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