Notice how dramatically off the market the IMF has been, skewered HEAVILY to the optimistic side. Now, notice how aggressively the IMF has downwardly revsied their forecasts to still end up widlly optimistic.
Ever since the beginning of this crisis, IMF estimates of government balance have been just as bad...
The EU/EC has proven to be no better, and if anything is arguably worse!
and the EU on goverment balance??? Way, way, way off.
If the IMF was wrong, what in the world does that make the EC/EU?
The EC forecasts have been just as bad, if not much, much worse in nearly all of the forecasting scenarios we presented. Hey, if you think tha's bad, try taking a look at what the govenment of Greece has done with these fairy tale forecasts, as excerpted from the blog post "Greek Crisis Is Over, Region Safe", Prodi Says - I say Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire!...
Think about it! With a .5% revisions, the EC was still 3 full points to the optimistic side on GDP, that puts the possibility of Greek government forecasts, which are much more optimistic than both the EU and the slightly more stringent but still mostly erroneous IMF numbers, being anywhere near realistic somewhere between zero and no way in hell (tartarus, hades, purgatory...).
Now, if the Greek government's macroeconomic assumptions are overstated when compared with EU estimates, and the EU estimates are overstated when compared to the IMF estimates, and the IMF estimates are overstated when compared to reality.... Just who the hell can you trust these days??? Never fear, Reggie's here. Download our "unbiased, non-captured, empirically driven" forecast of the REAL Greek economy - (subscribers only, click here to subscribe) Greece Public Finances Projections. Related banking research can be downloaded here:
It really is a shame when you have to pay for the truth, isn't it? If you think you've witnessed an example of social unrest in Greece, you ain't seen nuthin' yet. Wait until the reality of these faked numbers start hitting home...
What about the UK?
I'm glad you asked. We just finished our UK analysis (subscribers, see UK Public Finances March 2010), and the Greek theme has continued into the land of the Brits.
... and in terms of government balance over-optimism???
The UK government’s projections are based on real GDP growth of 1.3% and 3.5% in 2010-11 and 2011-12, respectively while the (extremely and unrealistically optimistic) consensus estimates stand at 1.2% and 2.1%, respectively. The latest estimates announced by the EIU (Economist intelligence unit) in March 2010 are even lower at 1.2% and 1.5% for 2010-11 and 2011-12, respectively. The European Commission has also raised similar concerns with the Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs, Olli Rehn, criticizing governments after scrutinizing the strategies of 14 countries, including Germany, France, Italy, the U.K. and Spain, that “their budget projections were based on favorable macroeconomic assumptions after 2010 that may not materialize” (stated in a press article on March 18, 2010)
Raising concerns on the UK, the European Commission also stated that “The U.K. won't meet the EU's recommended target of reaching a 3% budget deficit by 2014-15, and projections for economic recovery may also fall short. Details on how the U.K. government, whose budget deficit is expected to hit 12.7% in the current financial year, will rein back its spending are also lacking. The absence of detailed departmental spending limits is a source of uncertainty”.
Continuously rising fiscal deficit has led to a continuous increase in the government total debt, which increased from 43.3% of GDP in 2007-08 to 72.9% in 2009-10. Moreover, according to EU Commission estimates, after Ireland, the UK is poised to incur the worst deterioration in the gross debt ratio in the EU, from 44.2% of GDP in 2008 to 88.2% of GDP in 2011. Though the average maturity of UK’s debt is considerably higher compared to other nations (thus no refinancing risk in the near future), the expanding interest burden is exacerbating the already strained fiscal deficit.
Moreover, rising debt not only restricts government’s fiscal stimulus and support to the economy, but is also forcing the government to undertake sharp fiscal consolidation measures to moderate the adverse impact of rising interest expenses on the fiscal deficit. This is bound to have an internal deflationary effect.
The government expects an increase in its debt from 55.5% of GDP in 2008-09 to 90.9% in 2012-13. In absolute terms, the government debt is expected to grow from £796.4 billion in 2009-10 to £1,486.2 billion in 2012-13. However, we expect the debt to increase much higher off higher primary deficit owing to relatively lower GDP growth assumptions.
And what about Italy???
This is Italy's presumption of economic growth used in their fiscal projections:
For those that don't subscribe, there is still a lot of nitty gritty that I made publicly available on Italy here: Once You Catch a Few EU Countries "Stretching the Truth", Why Should You Trust the Rest?
More on Euro stretching of the truth
If you haven't had your fill of innuendo, ambiguity, creativity and sleight of hand (my polite way of saying "lying"), you can peruse Smoking Swap Guns Are Beginning to Litter EuroLand, Sovereign Debt Buyer Beware!
For the complete Pan-European Sovereign Debt Crisis series, see: