Greece’s talks with its creditors will remain at the forefront of people’s minds today, as finance ministers meet in Riga to try and thrash out an unlikely deal that would keep Greece solvent a little longer.
It’s been reported this morning that Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis has been “hammered” by finance ministers at the meeting, frustrated by the delay tactics being employed by Greeks in an attempt to get a favorable deal. The problem is that it’s in neither sides best interest for Greece to default and possibly leave the eurozone but at this stage, there is little incentive for either side to accept terms that they believe are unacceptable.
That incentive arrives when Greece has searched under every cushion and in every drawer and can no longer stump up the cash to continue to pay its way. We cannot be far away from that now after last week’s scramble to draw reserves from all public entities in order to make scheduled payments. I would say we’re probably in the final weeks of this particular debacle and eventually an agreement will be made and the can successfully kicked down the road.
What we need to see today is some form of progress being made. Unfortunately, Eurogroup President Jeroen Dijsselbloem has claimed that both parties remain a fair way apart which once again would suggest little, if any, progress. He called for a complete list of reforms from Greece in order to receive further financial help which sounds worryingly familiar to comments made on numerous occasions over the last couple of months.
Greek Prime Minister met with German Chancellor on the sidelines of the EU meeting yesterday to discuss matters, in a sign that both parties are keen for a deal to be done. Eventually, Greece is going to have to make big concessions, the other finance ministers gave them the opportunity to come up with alternative reforms and they have failed miserably.
The US session is going to be a little quieter today, with fewer companies due to report first quarter earnings and only one key piece of economic data being released. Core durable goods orders for March will be released shortly before the open on Wall Street and is expected to show a 0.3% increase, up from February’s 0.4% decline. This number can sometimes be overlooked a little, possibly because of the volatile nature of the numbers, but it is a great barometer of both current and future confidence. People don’t invest in large items if conditions aren’t improving and people and businesses aren’t optimistic about the outlook.