Europe News

Greek Default Won't Lessen Contagion Risk: Strategist


Even if Greece defaults in the next few months, the euro zone’s debt crisis will remain unresolved, particularly if any default is disorderly, a strategist told CNBC Thursday.

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"These talks are about the private creditors. No one will be writing down the part (of Greece’s debt) that the (European Central Bank) owns, and it leaves the debt-to-GDP ratio for Greece at 120 percent in the best case scenario. There needs to be a much greater writedown of Greek debt , and it has to go across the board," said Marc Ostwald, senior strategist at Monument Securities.

Writedown talks resumed between Greece and its creditors on Friday. An agreement is expected between the two later in the day.

Ostwald added that an orderly default is the more likely scenario, but said an unmanaged default could not be ruled out.

"An orderly default in the short term is the most likely scenario but this situation is not going to go away. We might get a hard default in 3 to 6 months time," Ostwald added.

Bob Parker, senior economist at Credit Suisse, was equally pessimistic about the long-term situation in Europe.

"There are two fundamental failures in the euro zone at the moment. Firstly, the lack of political will to add additional funds to the European bailout fund. Second, where is the growth strategy in Europe?" Parker said.

He added that the euro zone would be benefited by a weaker euro because of its poor growth strategy.

Gustavo Bagattini, European economist at RBC, added that the macro-economic picture had worsened and would hamper the positive effects of debt management in the short term.

"We are not quite out of the woods yet, and we have the macro-economic backdrop which has taken a turn for the worse as we are probably in recession this quarter. If the recession is relatively short-lived and shallow, that would support sentiment."