Moody's Warns Of Greek Default Spillover As Greece Opposition Leader Rejects New Austerity Package

Tyler Durden's picture

The Greek bankruptcy, pardon, sovereign liability management exercise, pardon reprofiling, is once again front and center in the news this morning, after Moody's had some words of caution about a broad spillover effect in Europe should Greece file. From Reuters: "A Greek debt default would hurt other peripheral euro zone states and could push Portugal and Ireland into junk territory, Moody's said on Tuesday, warning it would classify most forms of restructuring as a default.  "A Greek default would be highly destabilising and would have implications for the creditworthiness of issuers across Europe," Moody's Investors Service's chief credit officer in the region, Alastair Wilson, told Reuters in a telephone interview. "This would result in more highly polarised credit worthiness and ratings among euro zone sovereigns, with the stronger countries retaining very high ratings and the weaker countries struggling to remain in investment grade." And yet a Greek bankruptcy seems increasingly more inevitable after a brand new fissure has now appeared in the government, after the chief opposition, New Democracy, party leader Antonis Samaras said he would oppose the latest round of austerity which, nonetheless, must pass in order for Greece to not run out of funds in 2 months, as we previously reported, and finally set off the dominoes. While the political bickering will likely hit fever pitch, and result in new and increasingly more violent protests in Athens, it is likely that austerity will pass as western banks are licking their chops at acquiring Greek "privatized" assets, at least when it comes to infrastructure and real estate, banks not so much, at below cost prices.

From Moody's warning on spillover effects:

Wilson said the focus after any Greek default would be on Portugal and Ireland, which like Greece have agreed to receive international bailouts from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund.

Asked if these two countries would risk falling into junk territory in the event of a Greek default, he said: "Potentially yes...If there were to be a Greek default, there could potentially be multi-notch downgrades to the weakest sovereigns."

He said Spain, Italy and Belgium were not in the same category as Portugal and Ireland, but would also come under significant market pressure and could face rating downgrades.

"It would be expected though that even the slightly stronger euro zone sovereigns would come under significant market pressure and very likely face higher cost of accessing the wholesale funding market," Wilson said.

He declined to say how likely it was that Greece would actually default on its debt.

Greece announced on Monday 6 billion euros worth of new fiscal steps to cut its budget deficit as well as plans to jumpstart privatisations, in an effort to convince lenders it can pay off debt without a restructuring.

Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou said Greece would not be able to honour its obligations if it did not obtain the next tranche of bailout loans. The IMF has made clear it cannot disburse money if Greece's 2012 EU funding is not assured.

The three major ratings agencies, Moody's, Fitch and S&P, have all warned they would probably consider even a "soft" debt restructuring by Greece, in which investors were given the option to accept a deal but not explicitly forced to accept one, a default.

In a statement on Tuesday, Moody's said: "A Greek default might take many forms, including changes in terms and conditions, selective 're-profiling' and large-scale 'voluntary' debt buybacks at high discounts, which Moody's classifies as distressed exchanges."

Wilson said that even forms of debt restructuring such as voluntary swaps of bonds, with credit enhancements for old bonds to support their net present values, were highly likely to be classified as defaults.

And as to why riots in Athens are about to spike once again...

The leader of Greece's conservative political opposition on Tuesday rejected the government's new package of fiscal measures to slash deficits, saying it would not help the economy to recover.

"I am not going to agree to this recipe which has been proven wrong," New Democracy party leader Antonis Samaras said after a meeting with Prime Minister George Papandreou.

The government enjoys a comfortable majority in parliament but Papandreou is seeking wider political consensus before taking additional austerity measures to exit a debt crisis.

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MacedonianGlory's picture

Samaras is gonna be the new Leader for all Greeks

Papandreou will end up in JAIL.

bonddude's picture

These guys are about to go greek jail.

story about to break in next Sunday's Santa Rosa Press Democrat

(a nytimes newspaper) about the fraud helped bring down INDYMAC BANK, and what grown to

as many as 15 other banks including the very dirty Sonoma Valley Bank whos execs lavish

compensation program didn't have a concern about rampant executive fraud. Oh boy, a


cossack55's picture

I'm pretty certain NATO is going to run a bombing campaign on Samaras soon. 

Cdad's picture

The Greek bankruptcy, pardon, sovereign liability management exercise, pardon reprofiling...


It's "a soft reprofiling."  You make it sound almost bad or something.  Sheesh, what's the big deal with the first default leading to the dissolution of the Euro?  

Sofa King's picture

A rose by any other name would smell as sweet...and a pile of shit by any other name still stinks like shit.


The Profit Prophet's picture

Niall Ferguson (now working for Bloomberg) used the word "reprofiling" when describing Greek debt in an interview on Bloomberg yesterday.  I immediately felt sick to my stomach that a guy like Ferguson could sell-out. Truly sad and alarming. Perhaps when Goldman seizes uh..buys the Acropolis, people will start waking up to the massive world-wide national asset heists er..privatizations that is the strategic endgame of the manufactured financial crises.

T.E.I.N. everyone!

Bananamerican's picture

when was ferguson ever a sell-IN?

GeneMarchbanks's picture

Riot on then. The rating agencies are clearly part of the problem as these statements amount to threats. Default already. I'm looking to buy some seaside property when the new drachma is introduced.

writingsonthewall's picture

You think the Greeks will allow that? - I wonder if you'll feel the same when your local town is mostly empty because the Chinese have bought up half the US for a holiday market.

southsea13's picture

Yep, "you want fries with that?" in Mandarin or Cantonese.

Ghetto tourism will become de rigeur for the new middle classes from China as (`now`-near-worthless)  dollar coins will be flung from passing tour buses, as Chinese tourists record vicious fights of Americans scrambling in the gutter trying to get whatever crumbs they can from the rich man`s table. 

samsara's picture

I'm looking to buy some seaside property when the new drachma is introduced.

This may have worked in the past with similar type of events(ie Argentina etc).

But I think in the future,  the locals may have a different reception for people that come in and take advantage of events that they 'believe' are not their fault.

Again,  'You ain't from around here?'  will be the worst thing you will want to have a group of people ask you.

Hey,  There is some "Choice" Med. beach front property you probably could pick up CHEAP in Libya.



Libertarian777's picture

Does the Greek property come with air defence? I think there might be a premium on the Libyan property. 5-10 years of free air-cover and possible free food deliveries right on the beach.

GeneMarchbanks's picture

Dudes! ..... It's alright. Anyone who has been to Crete or the Northeast area knows the coastline is mostly held by westerners. If you think it'll be different from Argentina you are mistaken. I remember listening to Wallstreeters talk about going to Buenos Aires for a weekend of cheap hedonism. Money does what it wants... no exceptions. I may be wrong but we'll see...

oogs66's picture

It looks more and more like the restructuring is coming sooner rather than later, not a year or 2 from now like GS and everyone else was predicting.

Crisismode's picture

Maybe there will be a 2-tier Euro:

Euro-Gold: Germany, France, & Nordics.

Euro-Junk: All the rest

One Euro-Gold = 3.14159 Euro-Junk


Daedalus's picture

What makes you think France would be in the Euro-Mark zone rather than the Euro-Lira zone?

I'd expect a Euro-Mark zone to include Germany, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Estonia and maybe Austria?


Pseudo Anonym's picture

western banks are licking their chops at acquiring Greek "privatized" assets

it would be so nice if I could print my own priceless confetti, just like the hofjuden, and then purchase not only Greece, but the entire world at the cost of, well, confetti.

The Profit Prophet's picture

"And the truth shall set you free"...... Great post! (see my post above) We are now witnessing the end-game of the theft of the world's national wealth.....for the blue-light special price of the worthless paper they create by pressing a button!!! May the Oligarchs burn in Hell!!!!

T.E.I.N. everyone! 

Pseudo Anonym's picture

May the Oligarchs burn in Hell!!!!

I'm not certain how that could be arranged since the 'oligarchs' at the near top of the food chain are hofjuden, and hofjuden are satan's agents unleashing hell on earth.  And I doubt the great Satan is going to turn on his trusted, loyal agents since they always performed so magnificently.

The Profit Prophet's picture

Good Point....

May the Oligarchs receive moderate redemption and work as Walmart Greeters in Purgatory for eternity!!!!!!

T.E.I.N. everyone!

spanish inquisition's picture

Gee whiz, seems like there is an ulterior motive in the full court feel good press in Ireland from Obama and the Queen.

Could be "Believe in the audacity of hope and change, so that slavery to the financiers of the world doesn't feel that bad."

Tell me the Irish are not that dumb or do they need a "blow smoke here" tattoo ...

oogs66's picture

Obama "we have shared values" with Ireland.  Yeah, both indebted up to the eyeballs and have done everything to save the banks at the expense of the people.  Great shared value.

Tater Salad's picture

Sounds much like the U.S., everyone wants fiscal sanity with no sacrifice!


FOC 1183's picture

Bear Stearns is fine.

Jim Cramer is fine.

Hamy Wanger is fine.

plocequ1's picture

George Carlin.. " Bullshit!!! Hair is fine"

writingsonthewall's picture

Donald Trumps toupee is not fine.

Tater Salad's picture

Hamy, if you quit Zerohedge I'm most certain you will be greatly missed.



topcallingtroll's picture

He was better when he was trying to be funny.

The Profit Prophet's picture

I certainly miss "Harry"....he was either a trolling genius, a paid DJ, or believed the utter foolishness he spouted regularly.

Hamy's parody is getting a little long in the tooth.

T.E.I.N. everyone!

Bananamerican's picture

Hands Off Hamy.

Hamy is fine.

The hassling of Hamy is my #1 ZH shark jumping indicator...every other blog i've ever enjoyed eventually devolved into uninteresting bastions of purethought.

If y'all drive out the comic relief (!) then I'll know the time is close at hand

Robslob's picture

For those not paying attention to headlines it is WW III and it is all financial.

topcallingtroll's picture

Becky just said in the gingrich interview.

"A rising pie lifts all boats."

The Profit Prophet's picture

I heard her....but she immediately noted her "mixed metaphor".  What made me laugh was the Kleptocrat shit Gingrich was spewing....remove all taxes and repeal Sarbanes Oxley!!!!.....scary..scary..scary! (Not that anything matters anymore....I'd just hate to see the thieves successfully steal the world before it collapses)

T.E.I.N everyone.

ElvisDog's picture

Your T.E.I.N. acronym is like those personalized license plates that I can't figure out. No one knows what T.E.I.N. stands for.

The Profit Prophet's picture

I thought it was pretty straight-forward...I mean....being a doomsday prophet and all....

T.E.I.N. everyone!

ElvisDog's picture

LOL and ROTFL, you're my BFF for telling me what TEIN means. I mean how would I keep on what TPTB are up to and know when TEOTWAWKI was going to happen? Should I still BTFD?

Seriously, thanks for filling me in on TEIN.....

Fiat2Zero's picture

Google intertubes for acronyms

belogical's picture

All these gov't and banks are insolvent. If your portfolio value hinges on Greece or the American government, sorry your screwed.


I can see them right now planning a world wide currency devaluation. The Asian have no gold so they will have to aquire more quickly or have massive hyperinflation. The rest of the western world will devaluate as well but since they will apply some portion of gold reserves to the mix, they will look better

cossack55's picture

Exactly which gold reserves are you referring to?

tired1's picture

according to FOFOA - about ten times the amount of Ag held by CB's is in 'private hands'.

Sudden Debt's picture

This is getting boring...


Hannibal's picture

DEFAULT: is the signal that the growth and fossil economy days are numbered.

Rodent Freikorps's picture

Why would Greece default when people are still willing to give them money?

If them defaulting would crash the Eurozone, seems they are in the driver's seat.