- IMF is likely to reach agreement this coming weekend. It'll then go to the Board for formal approval, which is a formality.
- The program will NOT be 100-150bn. Not realistic. But it will probably include a year of full funding (55bn), and indications of a long term commitment to help Greece.
- The program will not include a "private sector contribution", ie a demand for debt restructuring.
- the first European money, including in Spain, will be approved on Friday; others including Germany will followed very shortly after. It looks as if the European money will be disbursed in parallel with the IMF, with the first money going out before mid-May, safely in time for the May 19 "deadline".
- The ECB is extremely unlikely to intervene in Greek sovereign debt (what would they want to achieve by doing so?).
With its CDS at 875, today, Greece is riskier than dictatorical (but Fed Free) Venezuela and perpetually bankrupt Argentina. All the hedge funds who went long Greek bonds with or without protection are getting destroyed. And some very prominent names did. We are waiting for the latest HSBC report to confirm this.
Country Spread CPD
- Greece: 874.22 50.66
- Venezuela: 841.28 44.57
- Argentina: 832.50 43.17
- Pakistan: 708.40 38.22
- Ukraine: 601.41 34.24
"What could go wrong? In the short term, I can think of two serious risks: First, a collapse of the Greek financial system, e.g. via a run on banks. If that were to happen, I would expect an immediate guarantee by the government and recapitalisation of the banks, as necessary, implicitly underwritten by the ECB. Second, a sudden dramatic political shift in Greece away from the present policy towards one of confrontation with its creditors. In that case, the international support becomes obsolete, of course, and we’ll be heading straight towards debt restructuring. In the longer term, all the same risks that I have discussed for months remain, including the government’s ability and willingness to carry through the necessary reforms. The required cocktail of tough fiscal measures and structural reforms aimed at restoring competitiveness has long made me think that the odds are against them making it longer term." Goldman Sachs - can you say unfilled axes?
Any time a country has to stoop to the level of the US, implicitly or explicitly, you know it is game over. Today the Greek securities regulator banned short-selling on the ASE (Athens Stock Exchange) until June 28. Well that should surely fix everything. From an official statement: "The Capital Market Commission, having considered the extraordinary conditions in the Greek market, has decided to ban short selling on the Athens stock exchange. The rule will be in effect from April 28 until June 28." In the meantime, the European Commission just threw cold water on hopes of a trillion dollar expanded bailout package, saying it is not changing the amount of money to be provided to a short-free Greece. It appears the IMF will be on its own.
Help those most in need
Yes, you read that correctly! Greece killed its own banks. You see, many knew as far back as January (if not last year) that Greece would have a significant problem floating its debt. As a safeguard, they had their banks purchase a large amount of their debt offerings which gave the perception of much stronger demand than what I believe was actually in the market. So, what happens when these relatively small banks gobble up all of this debt that is summarily downgraded 15 ways from Idaho.
Where does it end? 100 billion? 1 trillion? 1 quadrillion? And yes America, this is your money, going to bail out Greece... Then Portugal... Then Ukraine....Then Dubai....Then Italy....Then Spain....Then Hungary....Then the Baltics...Then the UK....Then Japan... and by the time we have to bail ourselves out, there will be nothing left, except the Turbo Bernanke 3000 dry heaving with an empty ink cartridge and empty paper cart, while gold oz will be worth one quadrillion Benjamins (or is that Bernankes). In the meantime, as Erik Nielsen, who finally woke up, predicted, the final bailout cost of Greece alone will be €150 billion. So the IMF will do rookie mistake 101 and keep raising the bailout requirement incrementally, even as the depositor runs on Greek banks and the ongoing strikes and riots, destroy the country...But at least in the meantime the dollar will get devalued and Wells-JPM-BofA/REIT investors will be happy.
With Greece Bankrupt, Moody's Is Fully Awake Now, Takes "Negative Rating Action" On Greek Covered BondsSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 04/26/2010 12:24 -0400
Moody's Investors Service has taken the following rating actions on covered bonds issued by Greek banks:
- Mortgage covered bonds issued by National Bank of Greece S.A. ("NBG"): Downgraded to Aa2 and placed on review for further downgrade; previously on 31 March 2010 downgraded to Aa1;
- Mortgage covered bonds issued by Alpha Bank S.A. ("Alpha"): Aa2 placed on review for possible downgrade; Previously on 31 March 2010 downgraded to Aa2;
- Mortgage covered bonds issued by EFG Eurobank Ergasias S.A. ("EFG Eurobank"): Aa2 placed on review for possible downgrade; previously on 31 March 2010 confirmed at Aa2.
Hellenic Air Force is conducting a go-slow strike, affecting exercise and routine flights ; the Ministry of Defense has issued a statement today. Payments of amounts owed to health service providers [6 billion euros of debt], public sector construction [1.2 billion], ICT [200 million] and media-advertising [100 million] have ceased, according to Kathimerini.
"Greece will remain in the spotlight. Reportedly, PM Papandreou is planning to appoint a central coordinator for the government’s interactions with the IMF and the European counterparties. According to the FT, highly respected outgoing ECB vice-president Papademos has turned down the offer of the post, which – if confirmed - makes me wonder whether Papademos sees what I see, namely an overwhelming probability that we are indeed heading towards a debt restructuring, and being in the middle of this mess is just not the way he wants to end his fine career. IMF negotiations continue and will presumably pick up pace once Papaconstantinou returns to Athens, but on my schedule they really need to get done around May 6 so that disbursement can take place before May 19. In the European capitals, draft legislation for the loans is likely to be presented in several parliaments this coming week, including in Germany, but no decisions at least for another week or so. The whole thing is moving terribly close to the wire, so one must hope (and assume) that bridging arrangements are being put in place in case something slips." - Erik Nielsen, Goldman Sachs
Mark Mobius, at least smi-hypocritically, joins the camp of those who still dare live in reality. Bloomberg reports that the Templeton Chairman said Greece should be allowed to go bankrupt as that would be the best way to sort out its finances. “If we pour piles of cash into a country where corruption extends to top government officials, we won’t see any reforms,” Mobius told the Ljubljana based paper. “There is no other solution than to stop financing Greece with creditors taking responsibility and suffering damages, so countries should help them, not Greece, limit those damages.”
Bondholders to be re-paid with unicorn rainbows; EU objects, claiming withdrawal requires ratification by two-thirds of European Parliament or 10% of European populace.
Europe is closed, and Greek bankruptcy is out of mind (FTSE at a one month low is victory for the bulls) so risk is on, as seen by the parabolic intraday rise in the EURJPY: The only trade now is to short the Yen and buy everything else, until Europe opens again and Greek yields hit double digits. In the meantime let's sneak a RMBS securitization deal in the form of the Redwood Trust, the first securitization since early 2008: there is no stopping the bubble.
In true fashion Moody's wakes up the day of bankruptcy. The new rating? A whopping A3.
EURUSD drops right back below 1.33.
RTRS-GREECE MAY GET SHORT TERM BRIDGE LOAN BEFORE MECHANISM IS ACTIVATED- SENIOR GOVT SOURCE
Euro shoots above 1.33, as everyone forgets that all 1) this has been tried many times already and 2) this is just a DIP loan and all the existing debt gets primed. Congrats Greece - you are now officially bankrupt