Wall Street hopes to avoid Greek tragedy

February 12 02:11 2015

The fate of cash-strapped Greece, which has become front-page news as its new anti-austerity government looks to get bailout concessions from its eurozone creditors, could become clearer today when eurozone finance chiefs break from an emergency meeting on the Greek debt crisis in Brussels.Wall-Street

Markets have been held hostage recently to uncertainty tied to developments related to the high-stakes — and difficult — negotiations between Greece’s new prime minister, Alexis Tsipras, and the so-called “troika,” or the International Monetary Fund, the European Central Bank and the European Commission.

Stocks have risen on days when negotiations for a new aid package for Greece showed signs of progress; stocks have fallen on days when it looked like the two sides, which are far apart, can’t get together to hatch a deal. Greece, which has received 240 billion euros in bailout money, is running out of cash.

In today’s trading, the Dow Jones industrial average is in wait-and-see mode, down just 30 points to 17,839. Put simply, Greece thinks the austerity requirements tied to its bailout are too onerous, and it wants concessions from the troika. And creditors want the money they lent to Greece paid back. At stake is Greece’s future in the eurozone and a possible default. Both of those potential outcomes would roil markets and likely exacerbate the eurozone’s current economic woes. Tuesday, markets cheered rumors that creditors would give Greece a six-month debt extension. But it is unclear if that deal — or any deal — is on the table.