We are about to witness a historic showdown between the major euro area institutions and Greece. Greece's newly appointed finance minister Yanis Varoufakis, a staunch bailout critic, will lead the negotiations on debt haircuts. On the other side will be the creditors: the International Monetary Fund and the European Commission - with additional support from the ECB. Private bondholders may get dragged into the fight as well (although many of them are Greek banks who will do what the government tells them).
Syriza, in choosing to enter into coalition with the Independent Greeks, is sending a clear message to the Eurozone’s leaders: it is intent on challenging Greece’s debt repayments.
So, some form of challenge to the austerity policies of the previous government is inevitable – this was its mandate. But it has options for the extent to which it might challenge international lenders – and its leaders might want to consider if this is the best option for the Greek economy.
By Dan Steffens, Oilprice.com In last week's article I posted a chart from the International Energy Agency'srecent Oil Market Report that shows global demand for refined products catching up to supply by the 3rd quarter of this year. My opinion is that all of the analysts who are now blaming the sharp drop in oil prices on a “glut” of supply could change their tune quickly as consumers adjust to lower fuel costs. Just as higher costs reduce demand for any commodity, lower costs will increase demand. This is especially true for a commodity that has a direct impact on standard of living, like oil does.