If Greece Defaults, What Happens to Portugal and Ireland - and Spain?

So it looks like Greece is about to go down the toilet.

What the Eurocrats Think of Greece

Last year, Greece got a bailout—so this year (wouldn’t you know it), they want another.

But it’s looking like France, Germany, Holland and the UK are all balking at the reality of having to save the Greek’s hide once again. Boris Johnson, the flamboyant Mayor of London,openly called for Greece to exit the euro in an op-ed in the Telegraph. Several of the participants in the negotiations are asking for Greece to make deeper austerity cuts first, before getting more bailout money—

—and of course, the Greeks won’t do that: Their population won’t stand for any more austerity measures, as they believe (correctly) that the reason Greece is in the hole it’s in is because rich people shirk their obligation to pay taxes. Also, the Greek people are getting handouts left and right from their government—paid for with deficits and debt.

So no European bailout, no money for Greece to continue funding its government.

So like I said, Greece is about to go down the toilet.

So now that we can, we have to step back, look up, and figure out what’s coming up next on the horizon, once Greece defaults.

The answer is obvious: Portugal, Ireland and Spain are coming up—and coming up fast.

Specifically, Portuguese and Irish debt: As of this writing, the 10-year Greek bond is yielding a staggering 17.34%. But the Irish 10-year bond? Safe as houses, you ask?

No! Irish 10-year debt is yielding 11.54% , while the Portuguese 10-year is at 11.15%.

So regardless of whether or not the Greek situation is somehow fixed and smoothed over with more money—“stabilized”, in that wonderfully bloodless turn of phrase—Ireland and Portugal are soon enough going to be needing another bailout of their own.

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Novelist, Filmmaker, Economic Commentator