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Wednesday, 08 April 2020


  1. 1 The financial "haircuts" worldwide from 1970 to present


    Looking back at the past of human history, debt crises, defaults, financial "haircuts" and debt restructuring are cases proved as old as public borrowing. The first recorded debt default can be traced back to ancient Greece in 454 BC, when ten of the thirteen city-states of the Delian Alliance, borrowed large amounts of money from the common treasury at the temple of Delos, only to later announce failure to repay their debt and proclaimed the first official default in world history, while eight of them initiated negotiations for debt restructuring.

  2. 2 How probable is a domino collapse in the world economy?


    The first signs of contagion of the Greek debt crisis throughout the Eurozone made their appearance at the end of June. There had intervened the celebrations for the conclusion, on July 21, of the agreement with the E.U. to support Greece and the temporary calming down of the markets, after which Italian and Spanish bond yields rallied anew, rekindling fears of contagion to the hard core of the Eurozone.

  3. 3 American soldiers' losses in Afghanistan


    May comes to a close with a negative record of 368 dead civilians in Afghanistan, 18 more than those in August 2010, the most violent month of the previous year. 82% of the casualties are attributed to Taliban attacks and only 12% to NATO attacks, according to the U.N.

    Following Bin Laden's death, the situation in the country remains critical and American efforts to approach the Taliban in order to reach further agreement are proving fruitless, as only 1.700 of 40.000 have accepted to enter negotiations.

    Inspite of all this, mainly financial reasons are pressing President Obama to suggest a plan of gradual withdrawal of military forces from the region and to attempt to end the longest-running war in American history.

  4. 4 How exposed are the world's banks to the Greek Debt


    A big part of the Debt, approximately 92 billion euros, is owned by european banks, resulting in a danger of chain reaction inside the EU, in case of a Greek “accident”. Many of the French and German Banks are being exposed to the Debt, while the Greek banks top the list, as their exposure totals approximately 55 billion euros. This exposure, along with the lack of cash funds, are the basic reasons for the continuous downgrades of the european banks, from the International Rating Companies.

    Meanwhile, the facts from the BIS, concerning the last three months of 2009, a time in which the, newly elected, Prime Minister G.Papandreou announced the economical “collapse” of the country, show a gradual release of the Greek Debt from the banking system. While, in the middle of 2008, the banks owned 216 billions, they are nowadays left with a sum of 100 billions, which are, on the one hand, extremely risky to be released or, at the other, too expensive to be secured as the insurance prices remain high.

  1. 1 The earth swallows a river


    The river Listara was suddenly lost in a tectonic fault in Northeastern Colombia, the authorities of the town of San Andres stated yesterday.
    The earth “swallowed” the river in an agricultural area at a distance of about 800 m. from this town of 9,000 inhabitants in the Santander province town, authorities said in a broadcast over the Colombian radio station RCN.

  2. 2 The PIIGS debt crisis


    Europe finds itself faced with an undeclared “work stoppage” by bond investors, the instigators of which are to be found in the risk management direction offices of investment banks and investment funds all over the world.
    Greece is the first Eurozone country on the risk list as it is completely out of the bonds market for the next 18 months at least.

  3. 3 The ten biggest earthquakes from 1900 to today


    The earthquake of 8.9 that hit Japan on March 11 ranks fifth in world list of biggest earthquakes

  4. 4 Social Democrats win Portugal election


    Portugal's centre-right PSD have won the Portugal's general election, defeating Socialists.

    The PSD captured 38.6 per cent against 28 per cent for the Socialists, after only the results of votes cast abroad were left to count.

  5. 5 Privatization in Europe


    With the sale of a 10% slice of the Greek Telecommunications Organization (OTE) to Deutsche Telecom AG. a series of privatizations will start in the context of the government’s ambitious program.
    The privatization and valorization program of the immovable property belonging to the State aims to collect 15 billion euro up to 2013 and a mammoth amount of 50 billion up to 2015 from the sale of more than 30 public enterprises.

    According to “privatization barometer” data , since 1991 to this moment, Greece has collected from privatizations about 20 billion euro from 61 such sales. If the amount of 50 billion the government aspires to collect until 2015 is added, Greece will rank fifth among European states with regard to privatizations, after France, ranking first (137.1 billion) , Italy (115.6 billion) , the U.K. (99.4 billion) and Germany (85.5 billion).
    However, this amount looks minimal if compared to the Greek debt, now standing at 329 billion euro and which, according to the most optimistic estimates, is expected to be more than double the country’s GDP by 2020.

    See in the infographic for the income of the European countries from the privatization of their public property (either through the public offer of a percentage thereof or by using a strategic investor) in the period 1997-2009, in relation to their debt.

    It becomes clear from the graphic that up to the nineties privatization was quite unknown, even to western states (with the exception of the U.K. under Thatcher where a privatization program was put into effect since the early eighties). This situation changed in the first two years of the nineties, was intensified with the collapse of the former Eastern block and continues to this day.