Greek Debt Crisis Reflects Global Problem

1 Mar

The Greek debt crisis represents a threat to the entire Eurozone, and ultimately, the global economy:

Simon Tilford, chief economist at the Center for European Reform in London, says the Greek crisis reflects a larger economic problem in Europe. EU members like the Netherlands and Germany have spent too little and their economies are driven by exports. Meanwhile, southern economies like Greece and Portugal have spent too much and amassed debts as a result.

Now that sounds familiar – “…economies are driven by exports… spent too much and amassed debts as a result”. One could be forgiven for drawing a logical conclusion – that the Australian economy, far from being a shining beacon of fiscal prudence, actually encapsulates the worst of the Eurozone’s economic dilemma.

Greece’s problems are also spilling beyond Europe’s borders. The value of the euro currency has plunged for example, which makes American exports – key to the U.S. economic recovery – less competitive.

Ultimately, Tilford says, the Greek problem reflects a world economic problem.

“The eurozone s really just a microcosm of the global problems we see. So unless we see the big countries in East Asia rebalancing away from exports and toward domestic demand, we are not going to generate a self-sustaining global economic recovery,” he said.

But Tilford does not believe Europe is ready, or willing, yet to undertake fundamental economic reforms he thinks are needed to right these imbalances. The region may rescue Greece, he says, but it will only be putting a bandage on a far bigger problem.

Could it be that, as with every other global trend, Down Under Australia has not “escaped” the GFC at all, but is simply running a few years behind everyone else?

Barnaby is right.

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