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Greek default? First Domino in Euro?

ECB's Knot says Greek default possible: reports (by MarketWatch)

FRANKFURT (MarketWatch) -- European Central Bank Governing Council member Klaas Knot was quoted Friday as saying a default by Greece can no longer be ruled out. In an interview with Dutch daily Het Financieele Dagblad, Knot said a default is a possibility. "It is one of the scenarios, I'm not saying that Greece will not go bankrupt," said Knot, who heads the Dutch central bank. "All efforts are aimed at preventing this, but I am now less certain in excluding a bankruptcy than I was a few months ago," Knot said, according to Reuters.

ECB ready to act if outlook worsens: Coene (by William L. Watts)

FRANKFURT (MarketWatch) -- The European Central Bank could act as early as next month to address risks to growth in the euro zone if economic data prove disappointing, Governing Council member Luc Coene said in an interview late Thursday in Washington, Bloomberg News reported. "The ECB has never ruled out things beforehand," Coene said, when asked if a rate cut was warranted. "If the data in early October shows that things are worse than we anticipated we will look at the kind of decisions we have to take for that," said Coene, who is governor of Belgium's central bank. Analysts credited the remarks with helping to lift the euro (eurusd) , which traded at $1.3539 versus the dollar in recent action, up from $1.3446 in North American trade late Thursday.

Greek minister says 50% haircut possible: reports (by MarketWatch)

FRANKFURT (MarketWatch) -- Greek Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos has told fellow Socialist party lawmakers that there are three scenarios for the end of the country's debt crisis, including an outcome in which bondholders take a 50% haircut in an orderly default, Greek newspapers reported Friday. In the first scenario, Europe follows through on the program agreed by European leaders in July, which extends a new 109 billion euro ($148 billion) aid package to Greece and projects a 20% writedown for bond holders, newspaper Ta Nea reported, according to Bloomberg. In a "bad" scenario, the agreement collapses and is followed by a disorderly default, while a "better" scenario would see an orderly default that would indicate a 50% haircut for investors, the report said. A government spokesman dismissed the reports, according to Reuters.