I can’t say this often enough: the eurozone debt crisis is here to stay for a long time. The key stock indices might have given investors false hope, but we are still standing at square one of any economic recovery.
Greece, which was at the epicenter of the eurozone debt crisis, may be required to issue Treasury bills to stay solvent. The country has to convince the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and its eurozone peers that it has made the changes required by the bailout conditions it agreed to. If it fails to do so, Greece will not receive any aid from its eurozone partners for the next three months. (Source: MNI Deutche Borse Group, July 3, 2013.)
But Greece has actually failed to follow through on two conditions set by its creditors: cutting 12,500 jobs from the government sector and reducing a small but significant fiscal gap.
And Greece is hardly the only troublesome nation when it comes to the eurozone debt crisis. Look at Portugal—problems are emerging in that eurozone nation as both its finance minister and its foreign minister recently resigned. There are fears that the Portuguese government might collapse and put the 78-billion-euro bailout it received in 2011 in jeopardy. (Source: Reuters, July 3, 2013.) Those fears have caused the key stock index in Portugal to plummet and bond yields to soar.
And it doesn’t end here. The third-biggest economic hub in the eurozone, Italy, is facing troubles of its own. Antonio Guglielmi, an analyst at the second-biggest bank in the country, Mediobanca, in a confidential report to clients wrote, “The Italian macro situation has not improved over the last quarter, rather the contrary. Some 160 large corporates in Italy are now in special crisis administration.” (Source: “Italy could need EU rescue within six months, warns Mediobanca,” Telegraph, June 24, 2013.)
The report also indicated that the eurozone country will “inevitably end up in an EU bailout request” in the next six months unless it is able to lower its borrowing costs and recover from economic chaos. (Source: Ibid.)
Keep in mind that Italy is the country with the most debt in the region and third worldwide, after the U.S. and Japan. The debt crisis that the mainstream media claimed was over or under control could easily shake the global economy again.
All of this shouldn’t come as a surprise to my readers. I have been warning about the debt crisis in the eurozone for some time now. The common currency region still has some major problems that need to be fixed before it can be said that it’s in good economic shape.
What worries me even more is that the nations with stronger economies, such as France, have also fallen prey to the troubles in the eurozone. France is currently in a recession and the country’s unemployment rate remains high. The longer the debt crisis continues in the eurozone, the deeper its impact will be on the stronger economies like that of France.
I can’t stress this enough: the eurozone is critical to our own economy, because a significant number of American-based companies operate and gain revenues from the eurozone. Troubles in that region could hurt the profitability of North American companies, which could eventually cause the key stock indices here at home to slide lower.