Is This It? Mass Rioting, Civil Unrest In Greece As Economists Warn Of Global ‘Armageddon Scenarios’
June 16, 2011
As protesters continue to run riot in the streets, economists are warning that the whole of Europe and by extension, the rest of the world could face financial armageddon should Greece default on its debt, in the absence of a second bailout.
Financial experts are warning of a ‘Lehman Moment’ as the European markets are beginning to show signs of unraveling in the wake of the Greek crisis.
“The markets have moved from simply pricing in a high probability of a Greek debt default to looking at a scenario of it becoming disorderly and of contagion spreading to other economies like Portugal, like Ireland, and maybe Spain, Italy and Belgium.” a former UK Treasury official told Bloomberg news.
Many European countries and banks currently hold billions in Greek debt, meaning that a Greek default will act like a virus throughout Europe.
According to the Bank for International Settlements, Spanish banks currently hold $600 million in Greek debt, Italian banks hold $2.6 billion, UK banks hold $3.2 billion, French banks hold $19.8 billion, German banks hold $26.3 billion and other Eurozone countries hold a combined total of around $15.7 billion in Greek debt.
US banks also hold $1.8 billion in Greek debt and Japanese banks hold $500 million in Greek debt.
The euro has declined by more than 2 percent against the already vastly devalued dollar within the past two days. Equities declined around the world, while corporate bond protection costs soared to their highest level since January. There is now an estimated 78 percent chance that Greece will not pay its debts.