European Leaders Agree Debt Deal
After months of back-and-forth, after hours of negotiating, a three-part eurozone debt deal has been agreed between European leaders. According to the BBC , the deal is “vital to solve the region's huge debt crisis”.
The three parts of the deal are, 1) banks holding Greek debt will accept a 50 percent loss, 2) the eurozone bailout fund will be boosted to $1.4 trillion (1 trillion euros), and 3) banks will have to raise more capital.
The news prompted stocks to rally globally, with the New York Times reporting that, “Financial shares rose 5.6 percent, leading European indexes. B.N.P. Paribas rose 13 percent, Société Générale rose 11 percent, Deutsche Bank rose 9.9 percent and H.S.B.C. Holdings rose 4.4 percent. Trading in Standard & Poor's 500 index futures suggested Wall Street stocks would rally at the opening. On Wednesday, the S&P 500 rose 1.1 percent. “
Of course, this is only the beginning. The EU leaders were clearly delighted to hear Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi promise to balance his own country's budgets. None would be more pleased than Germany, who are obviously and ever-more-vocally sick of carrying the rest of the continent, as it perceives itself to be.
"The eurozone has adopted a credible and ambitious response to the debt crisis," said French President Nicolas Sarkozy, while European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said that, "Europe is closer to resolving its financial and economic crisis."
The deal will bring with it cynicism and skepticism, but it is at the very least a step in the right direction and, for now, the markets seem to be happy to ride the wave of relief.
With the markets reacting immediately, it will be interesting to see how they respond during the remainder of the week. The NY Times says that, “U.S. crude oil futures for December delivery rose 2.1 percent to $92.12 a barrel. Comex gold futures slipped 0.3 percent to $1,718.50 an ounce.”
The question of Greece's long term financial survival remains. But for now, let's be happy that a deal is in place, and with it, a sense of stability, however precarious.
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