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Bank of Greece Poised to Reveal Crucial Data

Thursday, 24 May 2012 | 4:05 PM ET
Greek Parliament
PNC | Brand X Pictures | Getty Images
Greek Parliament

This is the most important data point coming in the next few days:

The Bank of Greece is due to update its website (here's the English version) any day now with an Excel spreadsheet revealing the aggregate balance sheets of Greece's monetary and financial institutions. It will be the clearest indicator yet of the health — or lack thereof — of Greece's banking system.

Greece's central bank releases the data with an almost 2-month time lag. The latest round of available data shows balance sheets from March 2012. It was made public in late April.

March's data is not much use. Just a few months ago, it seemed like the situation in Greece had been brought under control. The can had been kicked down the road.

April's data could be more telling. Will we see a dramatic decline in the assets of Greece's banks? Will domestic depositors withdraw funds?

Of course, the most important data would be for May, following the Greek elections that threw the country's financial and monetary future into doubt. We won't have May data, however, until the end of June.

And by that point, things may well have changed so much in Greece that no one will care what was going on in May.

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