Greek Debt Crisis

How Much Does Greece Owe? 4 Charts That Put Greek Debt in Perspective

how much does Greece owe

Greece is on track to run out of money in two weeks.

Unless officials can alter its current burn rate, the Mediterranean country will hit a cash wall on April 8, according to German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung.

Exactly how much does Greece owe?

The country is 323 billion euros in debt ($352.7 billion) - more than 175% of its GDP.

These four charts help to put that number into perspective...

3 Ways to Play the European Central Bank Easy Money Madness

European central bank

The European Central Bank meeting today (Thursday) stuck to the Eurozone's easy money script.

European Central Bank president Mario Draghi's commitment to super accommodative monetary policy in a sluggish Eurozone is certainly not the medicine Europe needs right now.

But it is has made some already enticing investment opportunities all the more attractive...

How Investors Should Play the Greek Debt Crisis

greek debt crisis

Last week Greece got a four-month reprieve on its bailout plan, but the risks that nation presents to the Eurozone and global markets remain.

So it's a good time to review how investors should play the Greek debt crisis.

"From chaos comes opportunity," Money Morning Chief Investment Strategist Keith Fitz-Gerald said in a Tuesday appearance on CNBC Asia's "Street Signs.

To find out how Fitz-Gerald thinks investors should play the Greek debt crisis, watch this video...

What the Greek Debt Crisis Means for Markets and Your Money

Greek debt crisis

All eyes are on Greek debt crisis this week, and rightfully so.

The country lied to get into the European Union, managed its finances terribly during its membership, and now wants to renege on its obligations. I'm not surprised and chances are you aren't either. We've been talking about the fallacy of central banking and the dangers associated with derivatives trading for years.

Now we need to talk about what happens next and, of course, what the Greek debt crisis means for your money...

What Greek Debt Talks Mean for U.S. Investors

greek debt talks

Financial News Today: The Greek debt talks that have been playing out over the past week have pitted Germany against Greece.

Of course, there's a smattering of Eurozone finance ministers offering their voice to the meeting, but one player seems conspicuously absent from these talks.

We'll discuss that in a moment. But first, here's a roundup of the financial news today...

How the Greek Debt Crisis Will Affect U.S. Markets

dow jones futures

As remote as the Greek debt crisis may seem, ripples from whatever happens there definitely will hit U.S. markets.

The new leftist government of Greece is currently tangling with the European Central Bank. While both sides seem very far apart, Money Morning Chief Investment Strategist Keith Fitz-Gerald thinks the ECB will blink first.

To find out what Fitz-Gerald thinks of the Greek debt crisis and what it means for investors, watch this video.

Profit from Greece and the European Union Struggles in 2015

profit from Greece

Yet another Greek tragedy is playing out in economically distressed southern Europe.

Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras failed to win support for his presidential candidate.

So citizens will head to the polls again, this time 18 months ahead of schedule.

With the "extreme left" party currently in the lead, there's more than political posturing at stake.

Volatility is sure to rise, and the pressure on ECB President Mario Draghi to "do something" will grow stronger than ever.

It feels like "déjà-vu all over again" as Europe continues to try and find ways to remain unified.

While the squabbling continues, we've found the best way of creating investment opportunities...

The Real Reason Government Is Paying Down the National Debt

Uncle Sam debt

After six years of non-stop deficit spending that has added $8.2 trillion to the national debt, the U.S. Treasury has announced that it expects to reduce the country's debt by $35 billion this quarter.

Given that national debt growth has rocketed past $16.7 trillion and is on track to exceed $17 trillion at some point in the fall, a $35 billion reduction is laughably tiny. It's just 0.02% of what we as a nation owe.

And in the very same statement, the Treasury admitted that in the following quarter it expects to be back to borrowing as usual - $223 billion worth, more than six times the amount it plans to pay down this quarter.

So why bother?

"I don't believe in coincidences," said Money Morning Chief Investment Strategist Keith Fitz-Gerald. "Our leaders in Washington on both sides of the aisle are terribly under pressure from the American public right now, and I think this is a very convenient announcement to say, "Hey, we're doing the right thing, keep us all in office for a little while longer.'"

And apart from any political motivations, Fitz-Gerald wonders whether the plan to pay down $35 billion of the national debt can even be considered legitimate, given the way the government borrows money from itself.

"It's like taking blood from the left arm and putting in in the right arm and calling it a transfusion," Fitz-Gerald said.

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Eurozone Debt Crisis: Will The Grexit Finally Become Reality?

The Eurozone debt crisis has long needed a "Grexit" or some other landmark event to occur to change the direction the beleaguered continent is headed.

When Mario Draghi announced that he would do whatever he can to preserve the euro, it seemed that moment was imminent. Since he uttered those words on July 26, the IBEX 35 in Spain has gained 17%, while Italy's FTSE Milano Italia Borsa is up 13%.

But the rally may quickly fade.

Draghi and the European Central Bank have not taken any drastic measures since then and investors will most likely have to wait until the September 6 meeting to hear what's next.

On Monday ECB policy maker Joerg Asmussen played to the sentiment felt by many German officials that it might be time to let Greece go from the euro.

"Firstly, my clear preference is that Greece should remain in the currency union," Asmussen said in Germany's Frankfurter Rundschau."Secondly, it is in Greece's hands to ensure that. Thirdly, a Greek exit would be manageable."

However, Asmussen warned that a Grexit would be costly, not just to Greece but to the entire continent as well. "It would be associated with a loss of growth and higher unemployment and it would be very expensive - in Greece, Europe as a whole and even in Germany," Asmussen said.

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The Next Phase of the Eurozone Debt Crisis

Today (Monday), as we digest what happened in Europe, the obvious question arises: What comes next for the Eurozone debt crisis?

For starters, the heads of state coming out of the Council of Europe meeting last week pledged to have the new structure by July 9, even though the new stabilization mechanism will take longer to phase in.

For the first time, there will be a greater accountability (and control) over continent-wide commercial banking and access to some underwriting of debt coverage. It also means that national banking systems will need to relinquish some oversight to the European Central Bank (ECB).

For months, a number of people (myself included) have insisted that the solution to th e Eurozone debt crisis requires greater financial integration. The shortcoming seemed rather straightforward.

The EU had ushered in a more centralized monetary system (single currency and all that) but had no centralized fiscal system to parallel it. Simply put, that required adherence to currency rules without any ability to coordinate the credit and fiduciary end of the spectrum.

Well what came out of the Council in the early hours of Friday will not solve the debt problem in Spain , Italy , Portugal, or Greece. There is no magic short -term fix. But it might just provide the underpinnings for a credit system that may begin to operate.

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The banks are the problem right now

Eurozone Debt Crisis: EU Reaches Bailout Deal

The recent marathon session in Brussels was the EU Council's 18th meeting on the Eurozone debt crisis. As it is comprised of the heads of government from European Union members, the Council was largely thought of as a grand debating society.

Not this morning.

In what may well be the first glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel, the EU will agree to coordinate bailouts across the continent. The details are still incomplete, and there is always devil in the details.

In addition, EU members must approve the substantive plan, meaning more coming politics in parliaments from London to Warsaw.

So this is not a done deal.

Actually, until there is some flesh on the bones, we are still uncertain what the "deal" really is.

But this much we do know.



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EU Calls for "Banking Union" to Ease Eurozone Debt Crisis

Blame the tumultuous tumble in equities Wednesday on Europe.

World markets were shaken as worries over the Eurozone debt crisis, in particular the Spanish banking system, again rattled investor confidence.

The Dow Jones was down 160 points, the S&P 500 fell 19 and the Nasdaq lost 34.

Sending shivers through markets Wednesday was a statement from the European Central Bank (ECB) saying it had not been consulted on the bailout for Spain's No.4 bank Bankia, and that such a recapitalization could not be provided by the Eurosystem. Spanish lender Bankia announced last week it needs $23.8 billion in state aid.

Also weighing on markets was Spain's debt downgrade late Tuesday by independent ratings agency Egan Jones. The move sparked more questions about the ailing country's ability to fund bank bailouts that could balloon to some 100 billion euro.

A number of other Spanish banks have recently been downgraded by various rating agencies. The woes hanging over Spain and its sickly banking system shoved the euro down to a near two-year low Wednesday of around $1.24.

"I believe that the markets have not yet fully priced in a Greek exit, nor the full implications of a Spanish default - both of which remain distinct possibilities in my mind," said Money Morning Chief Investment Strategist Keith Fitz-Gerald. "Until they do, expect trading to be an unholy mess of rallies driven by hopes for further bailouts, and short, sharp declines driven by the absence of the same."

Now the EU has a new bailout plan.



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Heavy Betting in the Middle of Mayhem

There's going to be a lot of very heavy betting over the next few days, weeks, and months on what's going up, what's going down, and what's going around:

  1. How far will Facebook IPO price go?
  2. How far DOWN from here will JPMorgan go, with the FBI and DOJ now sniffing around?
  3. How far AROUND the globe will the fallout be if Greece loses its game of chicken?


If you don't have the stomach for what's going to feel like an out-of-control rollercoaster ride, sideline yourself.

If, on the other hand, you like a lot of action, welcome to Mayhem - the preamble month to what will likely be the Summer of Some Discontent.

That is, unless you like rapid-fire trading.

Which, by the way, is not just fun, but can be very, very profitable. I'm in, and so are the subscribers to my Capital Wave Forecast. We're gearing up for some heavy betting in the weeks and months ahead.

So, what's front and center today? You know. The big three headlines: Facebook, JPMorgan Chase, and Greece. Are you sick of hearing about them? I'm not. I like trading the headlines.

Here's my "heads-up" on the big three headlines.

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