Thursday, June 6, 2013

IMF's Greek mistakes linger as central banks meet

There were notable successes during the SBA-supported program (May 2010–March
2012). Strong fiscal consolidation was achieved and the pension system was put on a
viable footing. Greece remained in the euro area, which was its stated political
preference. Spillovers that might have had a severe effect on the global economy were
relatively well-contained, aided by multilateral efforts to build firewalls.

However, there were also notable failures. Market confidence was not restored, the
banking system lost 30 percent of its deposits, and the economy encountered a muchdeeper-
than-expected recession with exceptionally high unemployment. Public debt
remained too high and eventually had to be restructured, with collateral damage for
bank balance sheets that were also weakened by the recession. Competitiveness
improved somewhat on the back of falling wages, but structural reforms stalled and
productivity gains proved elusive.