Belfast Telegraph

Monday 28 July 2014

Greek debtors to feel chill after bonds 'haircut' deal

Greece looks close to persuading its debtors to accept a hefty haircut, the likes of which hasn't been seen since Samson called into the barber's for a tidy up and left with a crew cut.

If they didn't accept losses of close to 75% on their bonds, longer repayment terms and lower interest rates then they would likely trigger the dreaded disorderly default, where Greece's economy closes down and raises two fingers to its debtors large, small or indifferent.

This so-called orderly default means (nearly) everyone agrees to take a haircut. It's maybe not as harsh as Samson's, but they're certainly going to feel a chill when they come out of the barber's.

Closer to home, some good news from the neighbour we like to call our biggest export market.

Employment levels in the Republic have increased for the first time since 2007 and nearly knocked the stuffing out of economists.

Both sets of good news offer a bit of cheer, but the elephant in the room continues to be energy prices. Anyone who's filled up the car recently will know the pain.

This downturn is a fickle animal, giving with one hand and taking in a snatched manner the next.

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