Sunday, October 30, 2011

Rogers: Surprise 50% Greek haircut not enough to save Europe - Investment Week

Jim Rogers has welcomed last night’s eurozone deal, saying the size of the haircut for Greek bondholders was much higher than he had expected.

However, the veteran investor warned eurozone leaders have failed to address the crux of the problem, by only enforcing haircuts on holder of Greek debt. He said   the problem is likely to come back to haunt investors in the near term.

"It is good news. It is about time they started doing what is necessary. The problem is they have not dealt with anyone except Greece," said Rogers.

"Politicians have delayed addressing the problem yet again. It will come back in a few weeks or a few months and the world will still have the same problem, but this time only worse because the European Central Bank and other countries will be in deeper in debt," he added.

Rogers was surprised by the scale of the Greek bond haircuts, which will see boldholders accept a loss of 50% as part of the deal.

"Never in a million years did I expect them to impose a haircut of 50%, this shows at least somebody is starting to accept reality," he said.

However, Rogers reiterated that widespread haircuts across Europe are necessary to truly resolve the crisis. "Greece is bankrupt, but others are too, and these haircuts will have to come back and be wider," he said.

Rogers added that this morning's global stock market rally had the potential to last for a while.

"There has been a major overhang, so we will see the easing of some pressure, but the problem will come back because the Western world still has not dealt with its debt," he said.

"Most European countries are increasing their debt rather than decreasing their debt. Until that changes, the problems are going to continue, just as they will in the US," he added.

European leaders last night agreed a three-pronged deal to resolve the region's debt crisis.

The deal approved a mechanism to boost the eurozone's main bailout fund to €1trn (£880bn) in addition to the Greek haircut. Banks must also raise more capital to protect them against losses resulting from any future government defaults.

The framework for the new fund is to be put in place in November.


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