Markets are Likely to Shrug Off a Greek Tragedy

Greece’s debt drama is getting louder and more dire as negotiators lose patience, but some market players are shrugging off a potential default as little more than a hiccup in the European market rally.

“Medium term, there is a very clear potential that Greece should go out [of the euro zone],” Michael Strobaek, global chief investment officer at Credit Suisse, said last week, citing the country’s “notoriously ineffective” reform efforts.  But while a Greek exit from the euro zone, dubbed a Grexit, might be tragic and chaotic for Greece, financial markets might not react much.

“That’s not a black swan thing. It’s a grey swan, I guess. I don’t think the markets are going to riot,” Stobaek said. “Even if (interest) rates were to go up because Greece went out, it’s not a disaster,” for other heavily indebted countries such as Spain and Italy because they will still have access to relatively low financing rates, he noted.