What is Greece's Grexit strategy?
When you think of Greece, you most likely have visions of the first Olympic games, epic mythological characters, picturesque sea-side vistas, or maybe the 1978 movie starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John (that's a different Grease). But if you have paid attention to international news in the past month you may also think of economic crisis.
Even if you're not up on your current events, you may have already known that Greece has a pretty poor economic track record, as the country has experienced a multitude of recessions and 5 insolvencies in the past 200 years. But Greece's current financial dismay is the product of 6 years of recession and its government's ineptitude. And despite efforts from the international community and private creditors to save Greece, the country's economy has continued to shrink, its government debt has expanded, and it has been swallowed up by the euro's inflationary credit bubble.
Now, in 2015, Greece's downward spiral has become one of the top stories of the year. As Greek banks shut down and run out of cash, Greece has begun to contemplate departing from the eurozone, a monetary union that consists of 19 European Union member states that use the euro as their common currency. This potential departure has filled up news cycles around the world and has given birth to a new trending term, Grexit.
The term, pronounced GREKS-it, combines "Greek" and "exit" and is used to describe Greece's exit from the eurozone. It was first coined back in February of 2012 by Citigroup's Chief Analysts Willem H. Buiter and Ebrahim Rahbari when their informational paper on Greece's economic future was published. However, the term did not begin to catch on until the departure became more likely in the past couple of months.
No one is entirely sure how Grexit will play out in the coming weeks, months, and years. If current eurozone negotiations fall apart, a Grexit is inevitable. If Greek banks collapse, it could lead to a Grexit as well, or possibly a eurozone rescue deal, which would avoid the Grexit. A Greek mandate persuading eurozone leaders to agree to a revised deal would also avoid a Grexit. Experts are somewhat divided on whether or not Greece should leave the eurozone as some say leaving would boost tourism and the economy while others argue that it would lead to civil unrest and harm the eurozone. Regardless of the decision, there's no denying that there will be ramifications for both Greece and the future of the euro.
It's not too often that a financial term referring to a country's economic crisis becomes a trending slang term in different parts of the globe. The popularity of the Grexit term depends on the path Greece chooses to take, if the country chooses to leave the euro, the Grexit will become a landmark decision in Europe. However, if Greece chooses to stay with the eurozone we won't be hearing much more of the Grexit, at least until their economy collapses again.