Money in Motion

Why a Short-Term Fix for Greece Makes Sense

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A Greek default could be a couple of years away, and that wouldn't be such a bad thing, this strategist says. 

Think Greece has no option but to default on its debt now? Think again, says Marc Chandler, chief currency strategist at Brown Brothers Harriman.

"We're still probably a couple years away from a Greek default," Chandler told CNBC's Scott Wapner.

"European officials will do everything they can do to prolong that," Chandler says. "That's for good reason, I think. That is so that banks in Europe can be stronger, better prepared to deal with it." He told me that a default today has the risk of causing "a Lehman-type event," and says the banks aren't really in shape to deal with that now.

There is another technical reason for leaders to delay, Chandler says. Greece's finances are so troubled right now that even if it did not have to service its debt, it still wouldn't have a balanced budget. That means that if Greece defaulted today, it wouldn't be enough to enable them to get their finances back in order. Chandler estimates that it would take about two years to reach a point where Greece would no longer run a deficit apart from its debt service, and thus would be able to get back on its feet.

So is this good for the euro? Chandler didn't exactly say, but Brian Kelly of Kanundrum Capital thinks it is. "They're going to kick the can down the road for a while," he told Wapner. "That should be positive for the euro."

You can watch the whole discussion in the video clip.

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