Everyone talks about how problematic Greece or Dubai is. But this downgrade of Greece does not smell right! Yes, yes Greece has problems, but why pick on Greece? Why focus on Greece? What did Greece do? Again not to say Greece does not deserve it, but why only Greece?
Greece has an estimated 2009 public debt level, which is 113.4 percent of GDP and a 12 % deficit. Sounds bad, yes? Why not look closer at the UK.
Ireland is projecting a budget deficit of some 12% of gross domestic product in this fiscal year while Greece is looking at a 12.7% budget gap. The U.K. treasury edged up its deficit forecast in last week’s pre-budget report to GBP178 billion, or 12.6% of GDP.
Under the austerity budgets they unveiled in recent days, Greece has pledged to drive down its deficit to 3% of GDP by 2013 to stay in line with European Commission rules. Ireland was given an extra year to slash its deficit to the European Union’s 3% ceiling but the Dublin government chose to be more ambitious and has said it will also hit the 3% mark in 2013.
By contrast, Darling said in his pre-budget statement last week he would stick to the goal of halving the deficit over the next four years. The U.K. treasury forecasts the deficit will fall to 5.5% by 2013 and to 4.4% in 2014.
The UK has the same fiscal position as Greece, and it is not being aggressive in addressing the problems. What people don’t realize is that the Greece shadow GDP economy is almost double of its official GDP. The problem is that Greece is corrupt, and completely inefficient, whereas the UK is not.
How about the US?
An eye-popping $1.75 trillion deficit for the 2009 fiscal year underlined the heavy blow the deep recession has dealt to the country’s finances as Obama unveiled his first budget. That is the highest ever in dollar terms, and amounts to a 12.3 percent share of the economy — the largest since 1945. In 2010, the deficit would dip to a still-huge $1.17 trillion, Obama predicted.
This is what bothers me, the US, and UK are doing the exact same thing as Greece, and yet the UK and US have a triple AAA rating. There is no peep from the S&P and Fitch, and that is what has me concerned.
I am asking myself what is the ulterior motive? I especially want to know because ever since Obama came back from China he has tried very hard to “fix” things. For example the drive to get all of the big banks out of TARP is downright insane, with the result being that Citi made a complete mess of things.
So what happens to the TARP money? Pay down the deficit, but the monies still available will be spent on other projects. And this is what has me wondering. The effect of fear mongering on Greece results in the dollar becoming stronger, and wondering if it does not do serve the purpose of some political motive?
If the ratings agency were truly doing their job they would be issuing alerts left, right and center. But they aren’t. This is a problem and I am tempted to believe something dramatic will happen to the rating agencies or their ratings. I am not entirely sure, but I am going to lean out on the window on this prediction, but I think there will be a flight to safety in smaller country debt.