The economic decline in Greece has rocked the European Union and the investors that hold Greek bonds. Greece’s Prime Minister, Alexis Tsipras, is in a very difficult situation because of the short and long-term challenges he faces politically as well as economically. Greece needs money and a lot of it, and the European Union has drawn the line as far as bailing the country out of its self-created financial woes. Investors have lost billions, according to Kenneth Griffin the hedge fund investors that knows something about financial woes.
In 2008, Mr. Ken Griffin lost his money and he almost lost control of his hedge fund investment company, Citadel LLC. The limited partners in Citadel were ready to walk away from Griffin, but he refused to let them go. Instead, he developed a plan to invest in very high-risk assets that no other hedge fund would touch at that time. Griffin used borrowed money to make those investments, and they paid off. Citadel LLC is now one of the top 15 hedge funds in the world with more than $26 billion assets under management. The Greek crisis may look dismal to most people, but Mr. Griffin looks at it as another opportunity.
Greece is under the financial gun. The country must show the European Union that it has political stability so they can continue to receive aid money. The responsibility for achieving that stability rests on Alexis Tsipras shoulders. Tsipras must change government policies and he also must make an impact on the Greek culture in terms of tax compliance and work mentality. Ken Griffin according to wallstreetjournal thinks the Greek banks must be recapitalized; exports must increase, and the country must attract more foreign investors like Citadel LLC. Trying to revive a Greek economy that is at one of the lowest points in history is an uphill battle, but Griffin believes investors will come to the rescue if Tsipras can show them a plan that will work.
One of Tsipras’s main objectives is to reduce unemployment, and another is to continue to service its debt. If investors see some progress on those issues, Greece could offer investors some attractive profit opportunities. The Greek economy must start to show more growth. The last five quarters have been better in terms of economic growth, but that growth is nothing like the 7.5 percent growth the country experienced in 2003, according to Griffin.
If Tsipras can recapitalize the banks, and attract foreign investors that can help the country create jobs, and implement the European Union’s agreement that focuses on a new tax plan, then Greece should recover over the next two years, according to Griffin. The country will also need economic support for the refugee crisis, and that will be another immediate challenge that some investors want to stay away from. But there are many investors that see the potential in Greece. The country has survived economic disasters in the past and has come out of them. But changing how the Greek system has worked for decades is an issue than many investors say won’t happen.