The Greek financial crisis: Growing imbalances and sovereign spreads
We discuss the origins of the Greek financial crisis as manifested in the growing fiscal and current-account deficits since euro-area entry in 2001. We then extend a model typically used to explain risk premia to assess the extent to which credit ratings captured these premia. Next, we estimate a cointegrating relationship between spreads and their long-term fundamental determinants and compare the spreads predicted by this estimated relationship with actual spreads. We find that spreads were significantly below what would be predicted by fundamentals from end-2004 up to the middle of 2005; by contrast, since May 2010, actual spreads have exceeded predicted spreads by some 400 basis points.
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