A sigh of relief?

Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou (R) embraces Luxembourger Prime Minister (C) under the look of Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi during a working session of the European Council at the Justus Lipsius building, EU headquarters in Brussels, on October 26, 2011.

It's the kind of thing he can tell his grandchildren. Sometime around midnight in Brussels, as the 17 eurozone leaders struggled to come to some sort of agreement, the managing director of the Institute of International Finance Charles Dellara was brought in to essentially eat his words. A few hours earlier he'd sent an email saying, essentially, "there is no agreement on any element of a deal."

Douglas Elliot, a former investment banker and now fellow at the Brookings Institution, says summit leaders simply made a "your wallet or your life" kind of offer: either accept 50 percent on Greek government bonds or risk getting nothing. So, Dellara left the leaders and said that 50 percent was all right by him and the banks. Later in the middle of the night, the eurozone leaders announced that, yes, after marathon negotiations -- and more than a little arm-twisting -- they had a plan to help solve their sovereign debt crisis. Greece gets debt relief; Europe's banks get some sort of fresh capital to help them deal with their losses; and the eurozone bailout fund will get a boost to help it prop up Spanish and Italian debt.

In the end, Elliot says the eurozone leaders made progress overall, though he says it feel short of the bazooka that some had been hoping for, more like the design of a bazooka instead. He says the Greek haircut is only voluntary (though that's really a technicality). And it's not clear if European Financial Stability Fund (EFSF) will have enough in its coffers even after the agreed increase to $1.4 trillion.

In any case, the sign of some solid progress in Europe and a better than expected American GDP increase of 2.5 percent caused many investors to jump in. The Dow moved above the 12,000 level for the first time in two months.

Still it's clear that the Euro crisis is not in the rearview mirror. Up next: will an orderly Greek default help prevent its troubles from infecting other eurozone countries?


Also on the show today, happy days are here again, if you are the oil company Exxon Mobil. Our Marketplace Daily Pulse was quickened today after Exxon said it earned $10.33 billion in the last quarter. That's $112 million of profits a day.

Selling more product this quarter could generate more profits. And the market is thinking the world will need more oil, given the fresh economic growth figure out today in the U.S. The price of crude went up 3.5 percent today. If you are not an oil company but pay at the pump, your celebration may be more muted.

About the author

David Brancaccio is the host of Marketplace Morning Report. Follow David on Twitter @DavidBrancaccio

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