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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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Tue, 05/24/2011 - 07:27 | 1304449 MacedonianGlory
MacedonianGlory's picture

Samaras is gonna be the new Leader for all Greeks

Papandreou will end up in JAIL.

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 07:35 | 1304453 bonddude
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


Tue, 05/24/2011 - 07:54 | 1304483 cossack55
cossack55's picture

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

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 07:31 | 1304450 Cdad
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?  

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 07:43 | 1304468 Sofa King
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.


Tue, 05/24/2011 - 08:45 | 1304508 The Profit Prophet
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!

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 11:27 | 1305178 Bananamerican
Bananamerican's picture

when was ferguson ever a sell-IN?

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 07:30 | 1304451 GeneMarchbanks
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.

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 07:35 | 1304456 writingsonthewall
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.

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 08:42 | 1304573 southsea13
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. 

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 07:37 | 1304459 bonddude
bonddude's picture

"let them eat baklava"

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 07:45 | 1304465 samsara
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.



Tue, 05/24/2011 - 10:42 | 1304936 Libertarian777
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.

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 13:19 | 1305717 GeneMarchbanks
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...

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 07:36 | 1304452 oogs66
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.

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 07:48 | 1304475 Crisismode
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


Tue, 05/24/2011 - 08:28 | 1304534 Daedalus
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?


Tue, 05/24/2011 - 07:35 | 1304457 Pseudo Anonym
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.

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 08:17 | 1304518 The Profit Prophet
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! 

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 08:41 | 1304568 Pseudo Anonym
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.

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 08:54 | 1304591 The Profit Prophet
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!

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 10:12 | 1304828 Thisson
Thisson's picture

You're a bigot. 

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 07:36 | 1304458 spanish inquisition
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 ...

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 08:03 | 1304492 oogs66
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.

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 07:38 | 1304460 Tater Salad
Tater Salad's picture

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


Tue, 05/24/2011 - 07:52 | 1304476 Ricky Bobby
Ricky Bobby's picture


Tue, 05/24/2011 - 07:41 | 1304461 HamyWanger
HamyWanger's picture

Greece is fine.

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 07:46 | 1304466 FOC 1183
FOC 1183's picture

Bear Stearns is fine.

Jim Cramer is fine.

Hamy Wanger is fine.

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 07:53 | 1304481 plocequ1
plocequ1's picture

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

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 07:54 | 1304484 writingsonthewall
writingsonthewall's picture

Donald Trumps toupee is not fine.

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 07:39 | 1304463 Tater Salad
Tater Salad's picture

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



Tue, 05/24/2011 - 07:48 | 1304471 topcallingtroll
topcallingtroll's picture

He was better when he was trying to be funny.

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 08:25 | 1304529 The Profit Prophet
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!

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 11:42 | 1305226 Bananamerican
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

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 07:59 | 1304467 Robslob
Robslob's picture

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

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 07:44 | 1304469 topcallingtroll
topcallingtroll's picture

Becky just said in the gingrich interview.

"A rising pie lifts all boats."

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 07:50 | 1304477 the not so migh...
the not so mighty maximiza's picture

Beckys cream pie

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 07:59 | 1304490 cossack55
cossack55's picture

Thats Warren's favorite.

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 08:52 | 1304539 The Profit Prophet
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.

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 09:31 | 1304699 ElvisDog
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.

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 09:45 | 1304754 Rodent Freikorps
Rodent Freikorps's picture

The End Is Near

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 10:19 | 1304851 The Profit Prophet
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!

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 11:16 | 1305095 ElvisDog
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.....

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 09:59 | 1304796 Fiat2Zero
Fiat2Zero's picture

Google intertubes for acronyms

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 07:47 | 1304473 belogical
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

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 07:56 | 1304491 cossack55
cossack55's picture

Exactly which gold reserves are you referring to?

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 09:16 | 1304673 tired1
tired1's picture

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

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 07:54 | 1304485 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

This is getting boring...


Tue, 05/24/2011 - 08:03 | 1304493 Hannibal
Hannibal's picture

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

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 08:06 | 1304496 Rodent Freikorps
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.

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 08:21 | 1304521 Rynak
Rynak's picture

It may sound alien to you, but one reason would be to stop living in alice's wonderland and start actually building a selfsustainable economy.

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 08:19 | 1304513 Rynak
Rynak's picture

"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."

So, it would result in reality, the arch-enemy of govs and banksters.

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 08:20 | 1304522 topcallingtroll
topcallingtroll's picture

The common man must never be exposed to reality. It could result in unintended consequences that would make oligopolistic frontrunning difficult.

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 08:22 | 1304525 Dan The Man
Dan The Man's picture

 " would classify most forms of restructuring as a default."


It should.  But when amerika restructures, it WILL NOT be classified as a default.

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 08:33 | 1304549 web bot
web bot's picture

So when are they going to "adjust" the rating for the UK and US? Both economies are on a nonsustainable path and insolvent.

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 08:44 | 1304578 southsea13
southsea13's picture

It will never happen. Those `mo\`fos` run the world (sort of). They`ll try every louisy trick in the book they can to somehow `hang in there` :(

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 08:43 | 1304567 lizzy36
lizzy36's picture

It is amusing to me that this is presented as a choice.

Will Greece every get out from under its current debt load? We all know the answer to that is NO.

So, the choice is between the banks and the people. Are the banks made to suffer the consequences of their choices, or are the people made to suffer the consequences of the banks choices. Ironically social unrest follows from either choice.

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 08:49 | 1304585 Rynak
Rynak's picture

Oh, but you forget what the purpose of that debt-load is.... it isn't to get out of it - it is to become a debt-slave state, that is remote controlled by another state. The "choice", is between pissing off others with selfautonomy, versus appealing to them by becoming a slave.

(Granted, the "slavedriver-states" too suffer from this, especially their populations - but politicians and banks don't think that longterm. They don't "get" that parasitism in the longterm is less benefical and profitable than mutualism. They want to believe that cheating works longterm. That, or maybe their terms are too short).

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 09:08 | 1304643 Itsalie
Itsalie's picture

Greece's still has "2 months" until its runs out of "euros" ? It seems this 2 months have been talked about for the last 2 months and still they have 2 more months. I think you ought to check your numbers again, and how about showing us the ECB's balance sheet for once, it shud be good for gold and silver to know they are printing like crazy non?  Or maybe it would mean risk-off and bad for all risk assets?

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 09:57 | 1304785 Fiat2Zero
Fiat2Zero's picture

Gold and silver making some fairly aggressive up moves. Will be interesting to see if the crimex is forced to use their last salvo of margin hikes this summer (I'm thinking there's one last grand takedown until were at 100%).

I guess summer isn't going to be so dull after all...

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 10:26 | 1304877 catsick
catsick's picture

Its all turning out nicely

Look at it this way the greeks have around 160% of debt to gdp that they admit to , most of it rolls in the next 2-3 years , they are currently paying "old" coupons i.e 3-5% on this stuff so close-ish to what germany pays, if they roll for 10 years at current rates which for 10 years would be 17% and you value the liability at german rates all of a sudden the debt gdp is 350% , ie the debt more than doubles when they roll as they pay such high rates, hence they default or the germans have to give them some free money ... that looks unlikely


The only strong countries in the euro in reality are germany austria and the netherlands, and outside the euro denmark finland and up and comming poland , interesting to see Obama is going to Ireland for the photo op , to the uk to see the queen , some boring meetings in france and then to Poland to discuss shale gas, nice to see the poles recently saying actually we will keep the zlotty the euro is puss ....



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