S&P says that "euro zone's policy response to the debt crisis has been largely misguided"

Note that S&P doesn't think that "more fiscal stimulus" will help Europe. The countries that have been doing best (Germany and Poland) didn't follow the Keynesian policy prescriptions advocated by Obama. From the WSJ:

Standard & Poor's analysts on Saturday defended their downgrades of more than half of the euro zone's 17 members, as the highest-profile victim of the mass ratings cut—France—looked to play down the impact.

In a conference call hours after the downgrades, S&P analysts said they stood by their moves as they believe the euro zone's policy response to the debt crisis has been largely misguided and is building up future risks.

"The proper diagnosis would have to give more weight to the ... rising imbalances in the euro zone," said Moritz Kramer, head of European sovereign ratings. He pointed to problems such as divergences in competitiveness from one country to another, which he said is reflected in huge imbalances in national current accounts.

Mr. Kramer said the centerpiece of a December summit aimed at arresting the crisis, the adoption of tighter fiscal rules to avoid excessive deficits, "wouldn't have identified the risks" in advance as Germany had one of the largest budget deficits of all during the first 10 years of the euro's existence, whereas Spain, which is a problem area now, had a largely balanced budget.

But Mr. Kramer stressed that S&P isn't calling for more fiscal stimulus from the countries with the biggest debt problems, saying that they have neither the room, nor enough credibility in the debt markets, to try to spend their way out of trouble.

"That certainly wouldn't be regarded as a credit positive, not by our metrics at least," Mr. Kramer said.

Something more worrisome is on the horizon. If only the Europeans could deal with these pesky bond holders, the same way Obama dealt with the GM and Chrysler bond holders. From Market Watch:

but the real story is that the Greek bond “negotiations” on a “haircut” have broken down once again. The dudes in power over there are trying to put a good face on it and are sure they can get a deal done next week…but the markets appear to be running out of patience. . . .

Portugal is just barely above "non-investment grade." Greece is "likely to default."

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home