After trading limit-down on Monday when Greek stocks opened for trading for the first time since PM Alexis Tsipras called a referendum, shares of Greek banks once again flirted with the daily 30% loss limit on Tuesday as there were simply no bids for a set of institutions that everyone knows is insolvent. Meanwhile, Kathimerini reports that "the state’s losses from indirect taxes alone in the first couple of weeks of capital controls and the shuttering of banks [amounted to] more than half a billion euros."
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"Due to the lack of appropriated funds for this fiscal year the entirety of the PFC payment was not made today. This was a decision that reflects the serious concerns about the Commonwealth's liquidity in combination with the balance of obligations to our creditors and the equally important obligations to the people of Puerto Rico to ensure the essential services they deserve are maintained."
Amid the collapse in coal prices, not helped by the 'China situation' and President Obama's nudge, WSJ reports that the ailing US coal just got another black eye as Alpha Natural Resources is expected to file for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection early Monday to cut its more than $3 billion debt load. After four straight annual losses, Alpha - one of America's largest coal producers - has secured $692mm in DIP financing as it prepares its restructuring plan expected to sell some of the best mines and shutter others. It appears the Arch Coal's CEO's ominous words last week were prophetic - “Coal markets are as difficult as I’ve seen them during my 30 years in the industry."
"This was nothing but a coup. In 1967 there were the tanks and in 2015 there were the banks. But the result is the same in the sense of having overthrown the Government or having forced it to overthrow itself."
A third Greek bailout involving loans from the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), the eurozone’s bailout scheme, is now being negotiated. The start was quite rocky, with haggling over the precise location in Athens where negotiations need to take place and Greek officials once again withholding information to creditors. Therefore, few still believe that it will be possible to conclude a deal in time for Greece to repay 3.2 billion euro to the ECB on 20 August. Several national Parliaments in the Eurozone would need to approve a final deal, which would necessitate calling their members back from recess around two weeks before the 20th, so it’s weird that French EU Commissioner Pierre Moscovici still seems so confident that the deadline can be met.
With Greece facing a critical €3.2 billion payment to the ECB on August 20, creditors are under immense pressure to conclude official discussions on a third bailout program within the next three weeks. Now, Focus magazine says some German officials doubt whether the quadriga's timeline is realistic.
When fiat fragility shows its fecklessness, it appears people turn to the alternatives...
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While the Puerto Rican creditors' bargaining power on the island is to put it mildly, negligible, especially after the budget director made the imminent default into a crusade of poor versus rich, saying he won’t redirect cash from its operating budget to make debt payments, an unexpected supporter has emerged thousands of miles from the beleaguered island: New York's socialist mayor Bill DeBlasio. As CBS reports "New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio demanded President Obama and Congress immediately come to the island's fiscal rescue." "It's the federal government's obligation to act, because they can't stand idly by and watch Puerto Rico fail," de Blasio told a crowd of hundreds of Puerto Rico boosters gathered on the steps of City Hall.
"The International Monetary Fund’s board has been told Athens’ high debt levels and poor record of implementing reforms disqualify Greece from a third IMF bailout of the country, raising new questions over whether the institution will join the EU’s latest financial rescue."
Speaking to a gathering of some 200 Syriza lawmakers on Wednesday, Greek PM Alexis Tsipras drew a line in the sand, insisting that the divisions within the party cannot persist. In a dramatic move, Tsipras called for a party referendum on Sunday to decide once and for all whether Syriza lawmakers will support the bailout or push for its cancellation.
"He is going to pay me back in some sort of product when he is able to, maybe in cheese."
If Greece does find it has a legal basis to criminally charge Varoufakis with treason merely for preparing for a Plan B, then it brings up an interesting question: if Varoufakis was a criminal merely for preparing for existing the Euro, then comparable treason charges should also be lobbed against none other than Varoufakis' nemesis - Eurogroup president and Dutch finance minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem.
With creditors now on the ground in Athens, and with a third prior actions vote in parliament due at the first of August, Greek PM Alexis Tsipras spoke out about the new bailout "deal", debt re-profiling, the referendum, party politics, and the possibility of early elections in an interview with Sto Kokkino radio station.