U.S. stock futures down, euro firms as Greek deal gets cautious nod

by LISA TWARONITE | Reuters  |  published on July 13, 2015

U.S. stock futures edged lower on Tuesday and the euro firmed as investors cautiously waited to see if Greece’s conditional bailout agreement would bring to an end that country’s debt crisis.

The terms imposed by Athens’ international lenders led by Germany in all-night talks at an emergency summit obliged Greece’s leftwing Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to abandon his pledge to end austerity.

Tsipras will face a showdown with members of his own party later on Tuesday, over the agreement under which Greece can get a possible 86 billion euros ($95 billion) over three years if it can satisfy its European partners that it is meeting their conditions.

  • Mike N

    This is a temporary fix. Greece has too many on the Dole who aren’t willing to change. Look out USA!!! There may be a lesson there.

    • It’s quite obvious you have no knowledge or understanding of economics or finance. Look out Conservatives!!! There may be a lesson there.

      • Mike N

        Please educate me. I know I have a lot to learn. I was treasurer for a church. I have takes economic courses in college. In spite of this my experiences have always proven to me that I couldn’t spend more than I take in. Please show me where I am in error. I would like to apply that knowledge to my personal finances.

        • Sorry, but your personal finances are of no interest to me. What is of interest is your misunderstanding of Greece’s economic problems and your incorrect comparisons and warnings regarding the American economy.

          Countries have many ways of temporarily dealing with economic problems. They can increase or restrict the amount of money in circulation. They can raise or lower interest rates. They can let their money raise or lower in value – aka “float” – in comparison to other currencies. By lowering the value of their currency – called “devaluing” – they can make their products cheaper on world markets, which encourages others to buy their products, which stimulates their economy.

          You can’t do most of these as a private person, but a sovereign country can.

          The problem with Greece is that, by many (financial) measures, it is not a sovereign country anymore. It doesn’t really “own” its own currency (the drachma used to be its currency). So it can’t do any of the things that countries that control their own currency do when they’re in a bind. They have to live in lockstep with the Eurozone, and the monetary policies that THEY set.

          Yes, there were plenty of mistakes and problems with pensions, but not as a percentage of their GDP. “Moochers” aren’t really the problem, either. The banks and lenders were the real culprits, and when the bailouts started, the money went to the banks and back to the lenders, not to the workers or pensioners.

          Your comparison between Greece and the US is totally offbase and shows how little you understand.

          • Mike N

            Both Greece and the US share the same problem and that is unfunded liabilities. The only difference is that Greece can’t print money and the US can. The problem is that you can print money for only so long before it becomes worthless. Our current debt is around 18 trillion and unfunded liabilities somewhere over 75 trillion. Money manipulation is part of the reason we are where are. You can do all the manipulation you want, but debt is debt and you cannot continue to spend more than you take in without having an economic collapse. It is just a matter of time. I stand by what I said.

          • Ah. Ok. So you’re not dumb. You’re just playing dumb.

            So when you say “…is part of the reason we are where (we) are”, what does that mean? What is your assessment of where we are?

            Why can’t you run a deficit – even a big one – in a time of crisis, when people are losing their homes and jobs and the economy is collapsing because of overlending and greedy banks (and greedy consumers)?

            Why is “austerity” the key to making everything right? Has it worked in Spain, Italy, Portugal, Greece? If the conservatives had their way, we’d be stuck in a big, decades-long rut, just like Japan was, and like those Euro countries are now, very high unemployment, a shrinking economy, reduced GDP, wage stagnation, etc.. But not the 1%, the job creators. The conservatives would be cutting their taxes, further putting a strain on the middle class and the economy in general. Is a stock trader or hedge fund manager a “job creator”? Why not tax their capital gains and their estates?

            Sorry, I got carried away. Just answer the first question, if you’d be so kind.

          • Mike N

            The first problem is we have too many people dependent on the Government whether it is Government retires (which is unfunded), welfare or other programs such as snap. Currently the actual unemployment rate is above 12%. The safety net for recovering from a recession is lowering interest rates to stimulate the economy. At the current rate it can’t be lowered. As soon as the Feds try to raise the interest rates the cost of houses will go down due to higher monthly payments. People will again default on their loans as in 08. Since the safety net is gone all the Government can do is print money. Already there are efforts to no longer accept the dollar as the money standard. This will happen if we print too many $$. The problem with Greece is people were retiring early with huge benefits. They weren’t willing to give up some of their benefits so as a result they defaulted. I am a government retiree. When I started my pay was minimal, but I had job security and a decent retirement. Unions came in and my pay increased immensely. My retirement was based on a percentage of my income which was bloated. I am just one person, but doing this for all Government retirees creates an unsustainable financial burden for the Government. Fortunately they did change to FERS, but it will take time for the CSRS retirees to get off the rolls. This is my take on the situation.

          • I Seigel

            All good information, but an underlying premise of yours is false – namely, that there’s nothing the Government can do except print more money. Your ideology is blinding you to some simple facts and solutions.

            Government retirees are NOT unfunded. Retirees draw pensions and also rely on Social Security. The system is broken but not irretrievably. As I’m sure you’re well aware, people only are taxed for Social Security up to about $120,000 a year of the income. The rest is not taxed for SS. Democrats have tried to correct this repeatedly, but conservatives keep blocking any attempt to raise that cap. If ALL of a person’s earnings were subject to the Social Security tax,. the system would be instantly and easily fixed. Norquist and his minions won’t let that happen because they loath Social Security and what it stands for – the ability of Big Government to help people.

            There is a very viable alternative to printing money, and that is to raise taxes, particularly on the highest wage earners. Severely restrict the ability of groups to claim not-for-profit status to avoid paying taxes (PACs and SuperPACs, for example), and maintain a fair and equitable tax rate on estates, so that America doesn’t wind up with an English-like landed class and common class, as is happening now in America. But again, the conservatives have genuflected to Norquist, and so a fair and workable solution is not possible.

            Don’t forget that we have the LOWEST tax rates we’ve ever had in this country. During the Eisenhower years, for example, the richest were paying many many times more in taxes that they were now. It didn’t hurt the “job creators”, wages and families were strong, and employment was booming. Now it’s all about amassing disgustingly huge amounts of wealth by screwing everybody and the environment, wealth that they intend to pass on to their kids, perpetuating the “privileged class”. This is EXACTLY the combination of events that led to the Bolshevik Revolution and the Castro Revolution.

            Your other false premise is that you and the right wing keep blaming poor people for their problems. “They’re all moochers, all wanting handouts.” Make them work and all would be well. Well, who is hiring them? Wal-Mart? Apple? US Steel? Ford? The “job creators” have sent a lot of their jobs to Malaysia and Mexico and China. Sure, they could go pick apples and lettuce, but the wages are so low and there’s no provisions for health care or any other basic safety net “benefit”. You want these people to work – hard – and not wait around for government handouts? Well then, support Unions and the right to collective bargaining. That’s a good start. If lettuce growers and roofers and janitorial companies had to pay a union wage with a health benefit, unemployed LEGAL Americans would take that work in a second, and the illegals wouldn’t bother coming across the border anymore. Another problem solved.

          • Mike N

            I don’t know where to start. First Government obligation for retirees under the CSRS are unfunded. The Government and employees contributed to this fund, but like Social Security the money was spent. Under FERS what you say is true. The problem with SS is not that enough is put in, but that the money has been spent by the government. This worked fine until the money going in wasn’t sufficient to cover the money being paid. If the Government hadn’t spent it there would be enough.

            How much do you think the rich should pay? Currently those making over $100,000 are paying 80% of the taxes. You can’t be serious that the wealthy would be investing money if they are paying 90% of their income in taxes. There is a rate where tax increases are self defeating. This is somewhere in the low 30%. After that there is little incentive to take risks for startup companies.

            Part of the reason that jobs are being sent overseas is because of the excessive benefits and salaried demanded by unions. If they requested reasonable conditions and wages and restricted the number of strikes companies would be more willing to keep the jobs in the US. They cannot compete in the international market paying exorbitant salaries and benefits.

            One place that we will probably agree is changing the tax structure so that companies don’t have all the tax loopholes. Create a fair tax and get rid of all the loopholes.

            People who work hard can progress beyond the McDonald, Wal-Mart type wages. The problem is that government hand outs are too readily available. People would rather live on the Government teat than work. Welfare should be temporary and those that can should be required to work even if it is cleaning trash from the road. That would be incentive to get a real job.

            The solution that liberals have for everything is raising taxes for thee, but not me. Even raising taxes for the rich will not cover the federal deficit. If we have a annual deficit of hundreds of billions when the President claims the economy has recovered what will happen when a recession hits.

            The solution is not raising taxes, but curtailing Government spending. I know this is foreign to liberals, I always depended on my myself for my needs and not the government. If times were tough or my job did not pay enough I took on other jobs. I always found if you work hard enough a company will pay more to keep you. Now if you don’t get paid enough you get the union to increase your wages.

            We will never agree because I believe in personal responsibility if you are mentally and physically able to work. If you are handicapped in one way or another the Government should have programs for your needs. Other than Government handouts should be temporary.

          • I Seigel

            I’m sorry, but to me your viewpoint is way too black and white. You’re either a lazy moocher or your a hard worker and successful. There are PLENTY of hard working people who are just barely getting by, because they can’t afford health care, for one thing. They have 2 jobs to support their kids. They have a sick parent or child, or need to save for a college education. Why is it that if someone isn’t doing well, if someone’s poor, it’s their own fault, as if they have the power to make a magical change all by themselves?
            There’s lots of reasons that people fall thru the cracks, or are just living from paycheck to paycheck. You were a government worker, my parents were, too. You and they had/have pensions and other security mechanisms so that your retirement is comfortable. But the days of those kinds of mechanisms are gone, thanks to outsourcing, Reaganism and the rise of the conservative ideology. Now there’s a sense of cruelty in everything that Conservatism stands for. There’s no compassion. Awww, too bad you’re poor. It’s your fault. Don’t come looking for help from me. There are a lot of people in this country that think Germany is doing a terrible thing with their insistence on austerity. The French have seen the light, the Brits now get it, and thank God Obama and the Dems stood their ground and fought off Paul Ryan and his ilk.
            Conservatives used to be for a good business environment. Now they even want to screw up the Import-Export Bank, which is a prime example of bipartisan support of small businesses and, generally, all American businesses. But you all go on about “crony capitalism” and all the other little catchphrases that you’re so fond of echoing. You don’t even know what it means.

          • Mike N

            You and I will never agree. Reagan was the greatest President in my lifetime. I believe Obama to be the worse President ever. He is destroying our country. I thought Carter was among the worse, but Obama proved me wrong. Liberalism and government unions are destroying our country. I believe the Government should help those that can’t help themselves like I said, but those that can work should be personally responsible and get off the Government dole. In answer to your question I wan not lazy or a moocher. I managed 4 different FAA facilities. I was president of the local Federal Executive Association. I achieved these through hard work. As a retiree I am busy with charity work and political activities. I maintain three Web sites including my own. This is my web site: http://home.wavecable.com/~mtnavarre/

            From the day I started working I planned for retirement. At age 42 I lost everything through a divorce. I regrouped and still was able to obtain a good retirement through hard work and spending my money wisely. Tell me a little about you.

          • I Seigel

            I agree Mike. We will never agree. But we are similar. I sent my daughter to Gonzaga, graduating Magna Cum Laude this year. I’ve worked since I was 15, a government worker for a few summer jobs – clerk/typist with the Army in Washington, DC. I have almost never been not working. Lost a lot in a divorce. I’ve lived on Bainbridge for 25 years now.

          • Mike N

            I guess we do share a lot. We just evolved in different directions. I don’t know if it was in my information, but I attended Gonzaga for 2 years. I had a 3.4 GPA there, but got screwed up when I transferred schools. I got drafted, but because of good scores I got selected to be an Air Traffic Controller. I did plumbing for a year after getting out of the Army then got into ATC. I have a thing called Ankylosis Spondylitis so plumbing was painful so I had to find another occupation. I moved quite a bit to move up the ladder–Aberdeen, Moses Lake, Wenatchee, Federal Way, then retired on Camano Island. Since you appear to be a WA person also thought you might be interested.

          • I Seigel

            You mentioned that Reagan was your favorite president. Were you an ATC when he was in office?

          • Mike N

            Yes I was and I fully supported his actions. The controllers were out of line. They signed a contract not to strike and they violated that contract. I was a manager at that time, but even if I weren’t I would not have gone on strike. I worked for a living before I got on with the FAA and I was shocked at the work ethic in Government employment. The controllers were well paid, but they thought that the Government couldn’t function without them so they tested them. They wanted to get the pay that airline pilots were getting at the time. They convinced the Grace commission that the strike was caused by bad management rather than their greed. After that time being a FAA manager was a thankless job. The tail was wagging the dog.

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