Euromoney headlines today with an article on the impossibility of 120% debt/GDP ratio target for Greece (link here). It so happens that few days ago, I crunched through my own estimates on Greek debt holdings and dynamics. The below is based on data from:
- Goldman Sachs Research (debt allocations)
- IMF WEO
- My own scenario 2 for growth shock
Here are the institutions holding Greek debt:
Using IMF scenario (best case scenario, based on current 2013-2017 growth projections and 2018-2020 growth at 2017 growth rate of 4.586% nominal - representing the highest annual rate projected by the IMF for 2012-2017) and my own adverse scenario (assuming growth of 2.84% on average annually in 2014-2020 as opposed to the IMF assumed average growth of 3.59% on average), the table below shows summary of forecasts for 2020 debt outrun under:
- Status quo - implying 2020 outrun of 137% debt/GDP ratio in the case of IMF own projections and 148.5% debt/GDP ratio in my scenario 2;
- Case of imposing 75% haircut on ECB-held Greek Government debt (a writedown of €33.52bn) resulting in IMF-consistent scenario estimate of 123.2% debt/GDP ratio in 2020 and 134.1% debt/GDP ratio under my adverse growth scenario 2;
- Case of imposing - in addition to a 75% writedown of ECB-held debt - a writedown of 25% of EFSF-held Greek debt, delivering savings / cuts to the debt of €62.74bn - and yielding 2020 Government debt/GDP ratio of 111.2% in the case of IMF projections for growth (scenario 1) and 121.4% in the case of my scenario 2.
Thus, the bottom line is: unless
- IMF projections for 2.84% average growth in 2014-2017, plus my assumption that in 2017-2020 Greek economy were to growth at the 2017 IMF-projected 4.59% hold, a 75% haircut on ECB-held Greek Government debt will not be enough to get Greek Government debt/GDP ratio anywhere close to 120%.
- To ensure probabilistically likely delivery on 2020 target of 120% debt/GDP ratio, Greece requires much more than a writedown of 75% of its ECB-held liabilities, but will most likely require some sort of action on EFSF side as well.