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Eurozone Crisis

Greece is on the brink of meltdown due to spiraling debt, and the deficit crisis is continentally contagious. Last year, the International Monetary Fund bailed out Greece to the tune of 110 billion euros, contingent on the implementation of strict austerity measures. On the heels of this dramatic action came bailout packages for Ireland and Portugal. And the Greek tragedy is far from over as the debate over whether to accept debt-forgiveness conditions upended the government in Athens. Furthermore, other debt-laden European nations risk going under.

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In a letter to the editor of the Financial Times, Desmond Lachman suggests that a Greek exit from the euro would be beneficial if default and capital controls are perceived to be inevitable.

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Greece's Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras arrives at an European Union leaders summit in Brussels April 23, 2015. Reuters

There is almost no chance Greece’s European partners will provide Greece additional financing without requiring basic policy reform. As a result, the ruling Syriza party ought to prepare seriously for plan B: an orderly Greek exit from the euro.

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The European Central Bank stands to suffer severe losses on its balance sheet should Greece default on its debt. The political fallout from such an event could limit the ECB’s role as lender of last resort just when Europe would need it most.

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“The amount of monthly purchases have resulted in a larger-than-expected market effect, with further declines in yields and spreads, an acceleration in the depreciation of the euro and a boost for stock markets.”

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As a result of thwarted economic expectations, parties on the far-left and far-right are gaining influence in Europe at the expense of the political center.

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In a letter to the editor of the Financial Times, Desmond Lachman argues that “Grexodus” is the more appropriate term with which to refer to Greece potentially leaving the euro.

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The Greek electorate has put the country on a collision course with its German paymaster that is almost certain to result in Greece being forced out of the euro before year-end.

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After six years of economic recession, which has seen Greece’s real GDP reduced by a quarter and its unemployment rate rise to over 25 percent, the Greek public appears to be at the end of its tether with economic policies imposed by the troika of the International Monetary Fund, the European Union, and the European Central Bank, which negotiate in concert the external assistance that they offer to Greece.

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Greece’s dismal economic performance since 2010 can be traced to the Troika’s insistence that Greece engage in massive budget belt-tightening within a euro straitjacket. Greece’s longer term interests might be better served by going through the short-term trauma of a euro exit that will at least offer the prospect of a return to longer-term economic growth and prosperity.

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Future of per capita purchasing power in Greece

The Initiative on Global Markets polled about 40 experts on, as shown above, the future of per capita purchasing power in Greece if it “explicitly defaults on its debt held by the official sector.”

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