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Beware Contagion From Greeks Baring Rifts?

Leo Kolivakis's picture




 

Via Pension Pulse.

Richard Barley of the WSJ reports, Beware Contagion From Greeks Baring Rifts:

Euro-zone politicians may be fiddling while Athens burns. Tuesday's meeting of finance ministers brought no progress on how to address Greece's funding problems and avoid setting off a financial crisis. But conditions in European markets are deteriorating. The main risk from Greece has always been contagion, and that process is already under way.

 

Most directly, prices of Portuguese and Irish bonds have fallen sharply, with 10-year yields rising above 11% and the cost of insuring their debt at record levels. The gap between Spanish and German 10-year bond yields is at its widest since January. The market is effectively giving no credit for any reforms or budget policies set out in the past six months.

 

The next link in the chain, the banking system, has been affected. In Spain, progress by banks on regaining market access has gone into reverse: Average borrowing from the European Central Bank jumped to €53 billion ($76.32 billion) in May from €42 billion in April.

 

Meanwhile, the contagion into core banks may be being underestimated by investors. Moody's on Tuesday said it could downgrade France's BNP Paribas, Société Générale and Crédit Agricole due to their holdings of Greek debt, and the ratings firm is looking at whether other banks could face similar risks.

 

Disturbingly, the worries have now reached non-financial companies, which have been virtually bulletproof this year. Investment-grade bond issuance has come to a near-standstill. The yield premium on Portugal Telecom's February 2016 euro bond over German Bunds has widened a stunning 2.3 percentage points in the last two weeks, data from Société Générale show. Italian and Spanish credits are under pressure too. The credit market now starts by pricing government risk and then works back to price debt from financials and companies, one investor says: Greece is a destabilizing influence at the center of the market's deliberations.

 

When German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble last week proposed a seven-year maturity extension for Greek bondholders, setting up the current standoff with the ECB, he suggested there was a chance to minimize the negative impact on financial markets. That was always an optimistic hope. The reality is that markets are starting to wake up to the risks of a Greek debt restructuring. Europe's politicians need to act fast to stem the tide.

Markets have started to wake up to the risks of Greek debt
restructuring? No kidding? The problem is that Eurozone politicians
still have their heads up their asses (I'm sorry, calling it like I see
it, and there is no way I'm going to sugarcoat this crisis). With each passing
day, there is a huge risk of another international banking crisis -- and
this one will make 2008 look like a walk in the park! (Had lunch with
two of Montreal's most promising hedge fund managers yesterday and
they're both bearish on this market).

Meanwhile, over in Greece, Reuters report that Greeks of all ages want politicians to pay:

Greek workers of all ages and professions, pensioners, students, the old and young marched on parliament in Athens Wednesday to vent their anger at the country's politicians and their austerity plans.

 

Tens of thousands took part in the protest rally, which follows three weeks of peaceful evening gatherings in the central Syntagma Square of people from all walks of life, tired of tightening their belts a year after Greece received an EU/IMF bailout.

 

"I feel rage and disgust," 45-year-old civil servant Maria Georgila, a mother of two, said in front of parliament.

 

"These measures are very tough and they won't get us out of the crisis. I can't believe they have no alternative."

 

Like others yelling "Thieves!" and raising open hands toward parliament in a traditionally offensive gesture, 38-year-old Maria Koutroumba said she felt betrayed.

 

"They are traitors, they've plagued the country," the unemployed woman said of the politicians as she helped form a human chain around the parliament building.

 

"These measures are hurting us, the ordinary people," said Koutroumba, who used to get by on short-term contracts in the private sector but is now out of work, like over 800,000 Greeks.

 

The jobless rate hit a record 16.2 percent in March as cutbacks to rein in Greece's huge debt burden of 340 billion euros stifled the economy further. The EU and the IMF expect the Greek economy to contract 3.8 percent this year.

 

Greece's international lenders have also insisted that the country sell 50 billion euros of state assets to reduce its debt mountain.

 

"More people must take to the streets and say that Greece is not for sale," said Koutroumba, who spent the night on the square and said she would stay as long as needed.

 

Greek lawmakers were due to discuss a new austerity package of 6.5 billion euros in tax rises and spending cuts this year, including higher tax on cars and restaurants and slashing the public sector workforce.

 

"We wouldn't be here if they (the politicians) had made sacrifices as well," said 60-year-old pensioner Panayotis Dounis, who said he had joined the non-political rally in front of parliament nearly every night for about half an hour.

 

BREAD AND OLIVES

 

Dounis said he wanted no violence at the anti-austerity rallies. Most protesters marched peacefully Wednesday, though the rally was marred by clashes between stone-throwing youths and police.

 

"I am willing to make sacrifices, to live only on bread and olives, but what are they (politicians) doing for us?" asked the former builder, who retired last year.

 

"I want them to work for four years without getting paid, for Greece, for their country," said Dounis, whose three children are jobless and who believes MPs can afford to work for free for a while.

 

Singer Vassilis Theodorakopoulos, 32, who performs in various places to make ends meet, has been camping in central Syntagma Square for the past 20 days.

 

"All of these governments must vanish," he said. "We want to reorganize Greece away from any memorandum, the EU and the IMF."

If I were an ordinary Greek citizen, I would be enraged as well.
While Greece's elite are parking their money offshore in Cyprus,
Switzerland, UK and Germany, most Greeks are struggling to get by on
crumbs, bearing the brunt of the strict austerity measures being imposed
on them. There is no long-term game plan on creating jobs, much like in
the US where the jobs crisis is getting worse. I think politicians from around the world should carefully listen to professor Robert Shiller below on how to revive America's 'animal spirits'.

 

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Thu, 06/16/2011 - 14:02 | 1375194 Smu the Wonderhorse
Smu the Wonderhorse's picture

Vive les Bruins!

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 13:11 | 1375003 Freddie
Freddie's picture

"I feel rage and disgust," 45-year-old civil servant Maria Georgila, a mother of two, said in front of parliament.

 "These measures are very tough and they won't get us out of the crisis. I can't believe they have no alternative."

 

Govt "workers" getting all pissed off that the gravy train of welfare has ended.   Civil servants are neither civil or servants.

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 12:48 | 1374890 doggings
doggings's picture

 

Wait, what just happened? When did you turn bearish? Last i recall were your China Solar predictions and overall bullishness for the markets.

What opened your eyes, if you dont mind sharing.

I would like to know this too. 

"Dont fight the Fed, cash Tsunami.., solars, you guys are too doom n gloom"

was the last I remembered? 

this is promising though..

With each passing day, there is a huge risk of another international banking crisis -- and this one will make 2008 look like a walk in the park! 

have you been reading Mike Krieger? 

On Why 2011 Is Not 2008 – Why It Is Much Worse

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 12:08 | 1374784 Dirtt
Dirtt's picture

THANKS FOR NOTHING BOB.  

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 11:54 | 1374723 ZeroPower
ZeroPower's picture

With each passing day, there is a huge risk of another international banking crisis -- and this one will make 2008 look like a walk in the park! (Had lunch with two of Montreal's most promising hedge fund managers yesterday and they're both bearish on this market).

 

Wait, what just happened? When did you turn bearish? Last i recall were your China Solar predictions and overall bullishness for the markets.

What opened your eyes, if you dont mind sharing. Montreal is, quite unfortunately indeed, pretty shitty for high finance.

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 14:31 | 1375289 Freddie
Freddie's picture

Montreal is, quite unfortunately indeed, pretty shitty.

There fixed it.   Maybe Montreal can torch some cars like Vancouver to get some street cred.  :-)

I love the "had lunch with two of Montreal's most promising hedge fund managers."

Sort of like saying he had lunch with 2 pimps. 

John Paulson was a "promising" hedge fund manager about a month and a half ago.

 

 

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 10:55 | 1374460 Yancey Ward
Yancey Ward's picture

Well, I listened to the Shiller piece, and what?  His recommendation was more stimulus.  Sheesh.  I guess the Greeks are going about it all wrong, then, and should be borrowing more?

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 10:07 | 1374227 Miles Kendig
Miles Kendig's picture

Leo, austerity that isn't spread evenly over the whole of a society and its stakeholders isn't austerity, but theft & sedition

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 09:52 | 1374185 Capitalist10
Capitalist10's picture

"I feel rage and disgust," 45-year-old civil servant Maria Georgila, a mother of two, said in front of parliament.

Surprising that she could detach her mouth from the government tit long enough to comment.

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 14:02 | 1375196 edotabin
edotabin's picture

It is unfortunate that she had to lower her effiency ratings by going to a rally.

Seriously folks, I realize people aren't robots and I would venture to say that people elsewhere work way too hard and do not have enough vacation.  However, the Greek system is simply in shambles, broken, irreparable, a labyrinth without an exit, unimaginably flawed.

These "civil servants" should shut up and try to regain their self respect by beginning to act as if they care.  Otherwise, they are only shooting themselves in the foot and making the lives of their fellow citizens a true hell.

It is one thing for citizens of other nations to just blame "red tape and bureaucracy" and it is another to live through the Greek system. That bad? No. About 1000x worse.

 

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 13:19 | 1375024 Freddie
Freddie's picture

+1

"Civil servants" are neither civil nor servants.

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 09:18 | 1374054 alexwest
alexwest's picture

hey leo, you're back

remember last may-summer.. you said Greek 10yy at 12% were good investment ?
how's your forecast working out?? did you buy ?

alx

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 13:15 | 1375017 Freddie
Freddie's picture

LOL!  Nice call Leo.

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 09:26 | 1374076 oddjob
oddjob's picture

Why the fuck would he care?...its other peoples money. Pension managers are at the top of the white collar welfare pyramid.

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 10:23 | 1374297 css1971
css1971's picture

No, bankers are a whole order of magnitude higher up that slope.

 

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 08:57 | 1373988 web bot
web bot's picture

Leo,

Why don't you put some more soft porn up like you did yesterday... I'm sure it will improve your ratings. 

You're a hypocrite Leo. At the end of April you were talking about sitting in church... and you put this stuff up yesterday.

Figure out who and what you really are Leo, then start acting it.

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 13:17 | 1375006 Freddie
Freddie's picture

+1

We have to put up with Leo and Geo Washington's leftist sh*t day after day.

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 08:28 | 1373938 dcb
dcb's picture

the fact that you can have a crisis like this two years post lehman, says the central bankers fiancial elites haven't done their job of fixing the system. Of course the bankers want the system to remian vulnerable to this sort of thing. it allows them to steal the publics money at will and by using their trading desks. hey lets drop the market until they pay up. the world can't continue to be held hostage to these financial terrorists. the same people the tax payer bailed out, are the same people pushing the strings again. Am I the only one who sees something very wrong with this story.

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 12:12 | 1374795 Arius
Arius's picture

Am I the only one who sees something very wrong with this story

probably not - but you are certainly in the minority.

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 08:25 | 1373925 Volaille de Bresse
Volaille de Bresse's picture

Funny to see an orthodox priest leading the protestation... The Greek church is rich in BILLIONS in properties, land, Mercedes cars (uhh?) and of coruse they pax NO taxes on all this. 

 

Go bearded Mofos go!

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 09:11 | 1374044 salamander
salamander's picture

Ha, ha, always supporting both sides, but when the support is so public I have no doubt that this gov will fall - and yes the priest's wealth will be left intact!

 

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 08:21 | 1373914 Bruce Krasting
Bruce Krasting's picture

Leo,

You point us to Shiller and suggest we should listen to what he has to say.

So I wasted ten minutes litening to this. WTF??

Shiller did not make one recommendation on what policy(s) should be considered.

Why should we listen to him? What I heard him say was that housing was a terrible investment. That is probably true, but we knew that already.

He has no policy suggestions for one reason. There are next to no options at this point. There will be no stimulus from deficit spending. The Fed has shot its wad and has nothing to show for their efforts.

All your hopes for endless stimulus and life saving efforts by the Fed have bought us nothing. You can't push this string Leo. It doesn't work like that.

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 12:55 | 1374948 Ned Zeppelin
Ned Zeppelin's picture

Leo was also telling us to look for a 300,000+ jobs print about a year ago. Wrong, wrong, wrong.  And inexcusably so for a bright guy - sheer hopium.  I'm fine with optimism but at least say it is grounded on absolutely nothing but hope.

The Europe fire is lit and it's anyone's guess who far this goes.

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 10:48 | 1374422 Eireann go Brach
Eireann go Brach's picture

Bruce I can't believe you actually took Leos advice to watch anything he recommends, he googled "smart financial advisor" and Shiller pooped up. Leo is a cut and paste king and the only thing he ever talks about is having lunch with some promising hedge fund guy. I bet Leo eats 3 of twinkies everyday, is 400 pounds, sits around watching porn and plays with his 8 cats all day!

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 10:29 | 1374322 Kayman
Kayman's picture

Bruce:

I agree.

Sometimes a loss is a loss. Book it and spend your time and money on new and productive efforts.

It is criminal how much money has been pissed away.

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 07:42 | 1373836 Jack Sheet
Jack Sheet's picture

Baring?? of teeth?

Rifts ?? chasms ?

WTF?

What "speak" is this? In which language class do I have to enroll?

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 12:14 | 1374802 nevadan
nevadan's picture

It doesn't say much for journalism in America does it?  The bare truth is that the WSJ editorial command of the language is unbearable.

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 08:03 | 1373875 snowball777
snowball777's picture

I think he's saying avoid anal sex with people who have open sores (can you believe some people need a credit rating agency to tell them these things?).

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 08:01 | 1373871 IslandMan
IslandMan's picture

The Greeks are baring big rifts as they bend over and let the bankers take their pleasure....it doesn't bear thinking about.

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 07:31 | 1373827 Tom_333
Tom_333's picture

Schiller idea for better situation is more financial innovations?? He used to be of sound mind.Desperation?

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 08:33 | 1373950 ATM
ATM's picture

You forgot to mention his desire for more "porkulous" and govt make work programs.

He's a fucking tool and another enemy of the people.

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 07:27 | 1373815 celticgold
celticgold's picture

wake up and smell the resin ...biatches

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 07:11 | 1373799 Reptil
Reptil's picture

It's really simple:

Politicians and the financial industry moved public funds into europe for a decade, subsidising those countries that needed extra liquidity, with the goal to pump up their economies.

Any fraud was covered up, balance books did not make sense, but all this was ignored.

In 2008 and 2010 the dam broke, but more money was needed to paper the situation over. Now it's again obvious there is no solution by adding more money into a broken system.
Political parties (majority) in the Netherlands and Germany are against further bailouts, and that route is blocked. Now the politicians and financial managers demand further bailouts, but then indirectly through a fund of the ECB.

They say their goal is to prevent contagion, and point at the huge "investments" already made, but the real goal is to take money from taxpayers and put it into private organisations. These private organisations as well as the EU Commission, took a high risk, demanded no accountabillity from fraudulent governments like the greek, and mal-invested.

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 09:55 | 1374186 The Feds Connection
The Feds Connection's picture

The netherlands and germany are not against a bailout, they want the private sector to chip in so the risk isnt entirely on the tax-payers shoulders.

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 10:00 | 1374209 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

Same for Belgium.

 

and by "Private sector" they mean the "Pension funds".

 

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 06:54 | 1373779 nmewn
nmewn's picture

Beware downtown Vancouver after Canadians lose a hockey game.

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 07:03 | 1373784 Leo Kolivakis
Leo Kolivakis's picture

The Canada bubble is about to burst!

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 07:02 | 1373788 nmewn
nmewn's picture

LOL!

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 07:12 | 1373793 williambanzai7
williambanzai7's picture

I went to a riot and a hockey game broke out.

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 14:02 | 1375197 Smu the Wonderhorse
Smu the Wonderhorse's picture

Vive les Bruins! Vive Boston!

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 06:48 | 1373774 TexDenim
TexDenim's picture

In a past time of tension in Greece, the Greeks put pine resin in their wine, hoping to poison it for their invaders. That gave birth to Retsina, which is now spiked with pine resin because everyone likes it that way. Funny how the Greeks can turn bad events upside down. They will likely do so again in this case.

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