Grexit impacts and Island Opportunities

Next week we will witness what happens when a developed economy, corrects. The Greek economy has been living on borrowed time for years resulting from unbridled spending and poor deficit management over numerous governments. Some may see similarities to another Island culture a little closer to home.

Greece has been supported, artificially, by neighboring states in the federation of the European Union for too long. Greece is a struggling economy surrounded by stronger partners and propped up to avoid spillover effects upon its neighbors. Their economic demise has been predicted for years, and now we are on the cusp of their economic purge.

The world economy has moved from fear over contagion repercussions to one of preparation and acceptance. So what can we expect and will this economic turmoil impact our gentle Island?

Greece has technically defaulted on its debt payments, and is positioned to exit the Eurozone in favor of resurrecting its own currency. The world, and capital markets, have been preparing for this outcome for sometime. In fact the acknowledgement of this crisis climaxing has not really impacted North American markets in any significant way. Next week, after the Greek referendum, markets will respond; but capital markets have already considered the impacts.

Greece will descent into an orderly chaos and the European community will likely be supportive of Greece rebuilding as an economic ally, as opposed to Greece creating a new union with Russia, China or other economic partners. However this transition will not be without challenge.

For the Greeks, the short-run is difficult. For Islanders invested in the markets, it will be stormy seas for a little while but things will stabilize and Greece will be in a stronger position to experience growth as they reorganize. Will other economies follow Greece’s path, likely and after the ash will come the rebuilding.

For PEI, we will feel impacts. Global growth and domestic recovery will be impacted. We can expect less demand for our Canadian dollar, therefore a weaker dollar and a continuation of low interest rates. Low rates will keep the economy moving, but we have become so accustom to a low rate environment we shouldn’t expect much growth from this continued policy.

If prepared we will see opportunity from a lower Canadian dollar. Snowbirds will hate to see our dollar drop further, but exporters should be looking at recently signed global trade deals and how we can export our goods to new markets in stable economies like the US. Savvy businesses should be positioning right now to enter new territories and exploring new US states south of our boarder.

This will be an unprecedented time for Europe. The short-run impacts are unclear, but over the medium-term the resolution will be good for Greece and the Eurozone; this will absolutely present medium-term opportunity for Island exporters and even new economy companies that are proactive. Prepare and be ready for the unpredictable; these are the environments that can accelerate or collapse market positions.