Jeremy Hobson: There are new fears this morning that Greece will default on its debt and may even have to leave the euro zone. Greece has just added a new property tax in a last-ditch effort to meet deficit cutting targets so it can get more bailout money.
Let's bring in our regular Monday guest, Julia Coronado. She's chief economist with the investment bank BNP Paribas, and she joins us this morning live from London. Good morning.
Julia Coronado: Good morning.
Hobson: Well Julia, what are the chances, do you think, of a Greek default?
Coronado: First we have to ask what that means. There's any number of forms that could take. But the bottom line is there's a growing realization that the numbers don't really add up for Greece, and sooner or later there has to be some kind of a restructuring of their obligations.
Hobson: And do you think that this talk about Greece leaving the euro zone, potentially, is real, and what would that mean?
Coronado: You know we have no blueprint for a country leaving hte euro, so we don't know exactly what that would look like. It would no doubt be a fairly drawn out process, but I think what's happening is that there's been a real cat-and-mouse game between the countries providing the funding and Greece. And Greece just doesn't want to meet the demands of fiscal austerity, and these countries are getting sort of tired of dealing with this, and are sort of threatening to throw Greece out of the euro zone. So is it possible? It's possible. It's not in anybody's best interest -- certainly not Greece's. They despearately need the aid.
Hobson: Now, Julia, I've seen people comparing this situation this morning to the collapse of Lehman Brothers three years ago. And let's not forget we've got our own problems with the U.S. banking system specifically with Bank of America -- the CEO is addressing investors right now to try to calm their nerves about the health of that bank. Is the global financial system in trouble?
Coronado: You know, there's a lot more liquidity in the system now than there was in 2008 and certainly, policy makers have more tools at their fingertips to address liquidity problems should they arise. But that said, I certainly don't want to downplay the worries that are taking hold here. Ultimately, this is a crisis of confidence, and no modern economy, no financial system, can function without confidence in the system.
Hobson: Julia Coronado, chief economist with the
investment bank BNP Paribas, thanks as always.
Coronado: It's my pleasure.