With the Dow Jones down 5 per cent today, some market experts are crying deja vu, saying that Greece's financial mess is launching a domino effect across the global economy, just as the subprime mortgage crisis in the U.S. triggered the meltdown in 2008.
By chance, Carl Weinberg, chief economist at High Frequency Economics, had dropped by The Globe and Mail newsroom just hours before the afternoon's massive stock selloff to sound the alarm bell about the Greek contagion.
He warned that the €110-billion rescue package just announced for Greece by the International Monetary Fund and European Union is no fix at all for the crisis.
"You can't make an insolvent company solvent again by loaning it money," he says.
Greece has to restructure all its debt into 30-year bonds and implement austerity measures to gets its mountain of debt under control. It has to be a painful process for both bondholders and the Greek population, or it doesn't work. "The bottom line is the problem isn't fixed," he says.
The risk now is that as several other over-leveraged EU members teeter on the edge, the global banking system will once again begin to seize up on worries of credit exposure.
The Canadian dollar has fallen nearly 2 cents Thursday against the U.S. currency as traders dumped their favourite flavours of the last few months and fled to the perceived safety of the greenback. The loonie is hovering just above 95 cents (U.S.). Brazil's real, Mexico's peso and the euro all tumbled against the U.S. dollar.