Greek crisis: “At the point where we are, it could hardly go worse!”

THE ECO SCAN / YOUR OPINION – Greece arouses a lot of comments and questions from Internet users of the Figaro. Update on the true from the false.

Everyone has their own opinion on the Greek issue. Here is a selection of comments from Internet users of the Figaro, to which Christopher Dembik, economist at Saxo Bank, answers.

• On François Hollande who

Comments:

-aureyssibond: “Another false statement from this president, to add to a far too long list.”
– Jacques Francis: “France has nothing to fear… it is true that at the point where we are now, it could hardly go worse!”
– On the wire: “But what does he know exactly? Our Madame Soleil of the economy has not been illustrated so far by the clairvoyance of her predictions. “

Christopher Dembik, economist.

Chistopher Dembik: In the short term, France has little to fear from the Greek crisis, as the French banking sector is no longer exposed to Greek debt. Since 2012, French banks have hardly held any Greek sovereign debt or Greek corporate debt. Of course, the current tensions put pressure on the French State’s borrowing rates, which has a negative impact on the public accounts of France. But France remains and will remain considered perfectly solvent, and the rates will not be able to climb to the point of making the country tremble. And we must not forget that long rates were abnormally low in recent months (close to zero) and ultimately, their rise above all represents a rebalancing of the bond market. However, the longer the crisis lasts, the more the consequences will be felt on French growth.

• On the banks which have transferred their debt to the States

-No cabbage: “The Greek crisis is the story of the banks which lent without looking (Goldman Sachs with Draghi) and which at one point managed to pass the rotten loans on to the ECB. And now, it is the standard European citizen who has to pay the price! ”

Chistopher Dembik: When the debt crisis erupted in Greece in 2010, French (and European) banks were very exposed. They had not yet fully recovered from the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy in 2008, which devastated the global banking system. At that time, we decided not to apply the basic rule of capitalism which consists in taking losses when we made a bad investment. To protect the banks, in fact, the private debt (the debt held by the banks) was transferred to the public sphere: it is the European states which hold a large part of the Greek debt. So it is the European taxpayers who would pay if Greece defaults or if the Greek debt is canceled.

Except this time around, in Greece’s long history of defaults, banks had always taken their losses.

• On the analysis of

-drasnam: “DSK’s analysis seems relevant to me. Support there. ”

Chistopher Dembik: DSK’s vision is good from an economic point of view. It is an affordable way to write off Greek debt. But there is no political window in Europe that allows such a decision. Note that bilateral loans with European States.

On the weakness of Europe

-WhateverWorks: “It is not Greece that is at an impasse, but the European financial system which uses credit to squeeze states. The house of cards will soon collapse. ”

Chistopher Dembik: It is true that Europe has done everything to limit the impact of the crisis since 2008. Excessive credit has been facilitated to stimulate consumption and growth. The increase in liquidity in the financial markets is worrying, and causes a worrying global indebtedness of economic agents. We can see that the crises are more and more frequent and more and more intense.

-the Dragon: “Without European federalism there is no salvation”

Chistopher Dembik: If it is a question of speaking of European integration, the Internet user is quite right. There should be a common budget, fiscal harmony, etc. But it is still perfectly illusory to think that this crisis will change things. Europe has been dealing with crises day by day from the start.

• On the interest on the debt received by the ECB

-questions asked: “It should also be remembered that the ECB, holder of Greek debts, made two billion in profits. She had to return them to Greece, without doing so until now. “

Chistopher Dembik: In reality, the ECB rather totals between 4 and 5 billion in interest earned by contracting Greek debt. But this money was transferred to a blocked account at the Central Bank of Greece. this account will be available to the Greeks as soon as they undertake to carry out the reforms desired by the creditors …

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