In the end, finance—at any level—has to be about rules and numbers, or it becomes about nonsense. Break enough of your own rules, and your money turns to garbage, because in a world where money is debt and debt is garbage, money is garbage. But there is a proven method for solving this problem and moving on: it's called national bankruptcy. Greece is bankrupt; if its resolution brings on the bankruptcy of Spain, Italy and others, and if that in turn bankrupts the entire Eurozone, then that's exactly what must happen. But something else might happen instead.
The President and German Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke by phone this morning about Greece. The leaders agreed it is in everyone's interest to reach a durable agreement that will allow Greece to resume reforms, return to growth, and achieve debt sustainability within the Eurozone. The leaders noted that their economic teams are monitoring the situation in Greece and remain in close contact.
Despite endless assurances that the Greek debt crisis is contained, the reality is that the ragin' contagion of debt crises will spread not just to other deeply indebted nations but to the mercantilist economies that depend on selling goods to borrowers. Strip out the borrowing, and you strip out most of the customers for German, Dutch and Chinese goods.
In Spain, only Vladmir Putin is more disapproved of than Angela Merkel. Such is the level of polarization that Germany's chancellor has created in Europe that, as WSJ reports, even domestically she is being deriled for saddling Greeks with "soup kicthens upon soup kitchens." As Marcel Fratzscher, head of the German Institute for Economic Research, a leading Berlin think tank notes, "Germany has, at the end of the day, helped determine most of the European decisions of the last five years," and therefore, "what is happening now is a defeat for Germany, especially, far more than for any other country."
"We Greeks have voted 'No' to slavery -- but 'Yes' to our chains... What's simply whack-o is that, while voting "No" to austerity, many Greeks wish to remain shackled to the euro, the very cause of our miseries."
Among all the mindless blather served up by the talking heads of bubblevision is the recurrent claim that “its all priced-in”. That is, there is no danger of a serious market correction because anything which might imply trouble ahead—-such as weak domestic growth, stalling world trade or Grexit——is already embodied in stock market prices. Yep, those soaring averages are already fully risk-adjusted! Nothing to see here, it will be argued. Today’s plunge is just another opportunity for those who get it to “buy-the-dip”. And they might well be right in the very short-run. But this time the outbreak of volatility is different. This time the dip buyers will be carried out on their shields.
In one of the shorter Eurogroup meetings in recent history, the Greeks came bearing nothing and today's "final, final, final" "last chance for a deal" conference ended just after 2 hours in. The Greeks may come back tomorrow bearing a new proposal but at this point it is rather clear what the endgame is. In a few moments expect Diesel-BOOM to explain why nothing got done again, and why it's on the Greeks if the Eurozone dominoes start falling next.
For every loser there is a winner, and in the case of Greece and its tragedy, just as millions are about to lose everything, a few not only made billions but quietly, under the guise of "sovereign bailouts" transferred their entire risk onto the taxpaying public.
At this point it is unclear who wants Grexit more: the ECB or Greece.
- A new program requiring very major structural reforms of the Greek side, and much larger than the last Juncker proposal.
- Introduction of parallel currency, primarily through promissory IOU.
- Controlled bankruptcy and leaving the euro
ECB’S RIMSEVICS SAYS INTRODUCTION OF ANOTHER CURRENCY IN GREECE IS MOST REALISTIC SCENARIO, MAY BE ONE LESS EURO ZONE MEMBER IN FUTURE
Today's "final" Eurogroup meeting is yet another "last" chance for Greece to stay in the Euro according to Greek headlines. The meeeting begins in minutes, at 12:30pm CET/7:30am Eastern so expect the usual torrent of "Greek deal" headlines which send the S&P surging followed by prompt denials which the S&P algo soundly ignore. By now the game is quite familiar to everyone.
- Greece faces last chance to stay in euro as cash runs out (Reuters)
- Tsipras Begins Brussels Campaign to Keep Greece Inside the Euro (BBG)
- Greek Crisis Shows How Germany’s Power Polarizes Europe (WSJ)
- Eurogroup Head Dijsselbloem Calls for ‘Credible’ Greece Package (BBG)
- Europe Not Playing ‘Domino Theory’ Leaves Markets Calm on Greece (BBG)
- China stocks fall again despite support measures (Reuters)
- Chinese Trading Suspensions Freeze $1.4 Trillion of Shares Amid Rout (BBG)
- Crude Creeps Higher After Downturn (WSJ)
With Greece’s debt situation spiraling downwards, the European project is showing some cracks. The July 5 referendum could end up amounting to a mandate on whether or not Greece stays in the euro. In the meantime, the turmoil offers an opportunity for Russia to advance its interests... and with The Krlemlin reporting that Putin held discussions with Hollande today, it appears something is going on behind the scenes.
France has managed to use the Greek bailout to offload €8 billion in junk debt onto its neighbors and burden them with tens of billions more in debt they could have avoided had Greece simply been allowed to default in 2010. The upshot is that Italy and Spain are much closer to financial crisis today than they should be.