Headlines out of Reuters:
- Draft EU summit conclusions call for "Marshall plan" of investment, growth stimulation for Greek economy
- Collateral will be part of new Greek aid deal according to Eurozone draft
- Draft EU summit conclusions says three options for private sector role in second Greek bailout remain on the table; debt buyback, rollover and swap
- Draft EU summit conclusions says EFSF will be able to recapitalise financial institutions through loans to governments,including non-programme nations
- Cost of recapitalising Greek banks estimated to be total of EUR 25bln according to Eurozone document
- Draft EU summit conclusions see rate of around 3.5% on new EFSF loan for Greece
- Draft EU summit conclusions says EFSF will be able to intervene in a precautionary basis
- Draft EU summit conclusions see extension of EFSF loans from 7.5 years to at least 15 years, according to a Eurozone document
The Rubicon has now been crossed: Europe goes all or nothing on Greece. When this latest bluff fails it is all over.
While the CDS market for various insolvent European names whose credit default swaps are trading 10 or more points upfront has become more or less nothing but noise, and the only true way to hedge risk exposure, courtesy of ISDA's advance warning that no matter what a CDS will never be triggered, is to sell cash bonds, the market for default risk is quite active for those names which still trade in a reasonable range: such as between 50 bps and 200 bps. And while the Bloomberg chart below demonstrates on an absolute basis the US is due for a two notch downgrade by S&P based on the recently observed spike in US default risk, it is DTCC data that is more troubling. As most revel in the latest nonsensical Group of 6 plan, the bond vigilantes are already quietly setting the trap.
To say that systemic risk is a MAJOR problem for the EU would be the understatement of the year. For instance, if Portugal defaults, Spain’s banks will get taken to the cleaners. This in turn could trigger a HUGE systemic collapse as exposure to Spanish debt is equal to 4% or more of GDP for Switzerland, France, Germany, the UK, and the Netherlands.
First Spain's Castilla La Mancha region was the first to announce it had "discovered" major debt ceiling holes, now it is Portugal's turn. The Telegraph informs that "Portugal's new leader Pedro Passos Coelho has told the nation to brace for further austerity measures after his government discovered a "colossal" €2bn (£1.7bn) hole in the public accounts left by the outgoing Socialists." And while it answers our immediate question "who's next" it certainly does not provide an answer to who's last. Because as more and more governments are changed, more and more such "discoveries" will be announced, but luckily for Europe (and then America), there are far more pressing issues that distract the populace than discoveries than in the past would have led to popular backlash. Concurrently, Portugal joins Greece in indicating that beggars can most certainly be choosers: "Mr Passos Coelho also appeared to caution the European authorities that his government will not tolerate heavy-handed interference in the country. "We want to take part in an ambitious European project and make our contribution so Europe can confront its problems in the most ambitious way, but as prime minister I will not stand by and let Europe govern Portugal," he told a party gathering." And while short-termism reigns across capital markets at least for a few more hours, the reality is that there is simply not enough money out there to plug each and every hole as it is uncovered. But that will take the market a few weeks to months to realize.
Greece is NOT the big problem for the EU. However, worldwide exposure to Greek debt is in the ballpark of $277 billion. So a default there would result in significant market dislocations. Now consider the exposure to a BIG Problem such as Spanish debt. In this situation, Great Britain is on the hook for $51 billion. The US is on the hook for $187 billion. France is on the hook for $224 billion. And Germany is on the hook for a whopping $244 billion.
We finally agree Greece will default. Why can't we all agree on the turmoil likely as a result? European CRE will get C-R-U-S-H-E-D in a volatile rate storm.
New money is required to address Greece's fiscal funding shortfall that would otherwise emerge in 2012 - a key weakness of the current EU-IMF programme highlighted by Fitch at the turn of the year. Fitch had expected the uncertainty surrounding new money, along with the role of private creditors, to be resolved with the completion of the fourth review of the current EU-IMF programme earlier this month. The agency notes that while the main parameters of a new multi-annual adjustment programme were discussed at an Ecofin meeting on 11-12 July, no further clarity on the volume and the terms of new money or the nature of private sector participation was forthcoming.
So far, every iteration of the trite, overused and cliched "X is not Y" has meant to generate confidence, when all it really does is inspire laughter. Today we get Nomura's stimulus advocate Richard Koo giving a different spin on the "Greece is not Argentina" perspective.
I have very high cartoon animation standards. That's why you better watch this...
The IMF is delighted to announce that it just approved a €3.2 billion disbursement of cash for Greece, its fifth, as part of the €12 billion in money that Greece needs in order to continue operating in the months f July and August. And just for what purpose will this money be used, one may ask? Well, as explained a few weeks ago, in Greek Math: €12 Billion In, €18.2 Billion Out the entire amount will be promptly recycled by global financial institutions in the form of debt maturities and interest payments, which amount to €18.2 billion in the months of July and August. Simply said ECB, EU and IMF money in, money owed to bankers out. The kicker: 17.09% of the money coming from the IMF, comes from, that's right dear US taxpayer, you (and since 21% of the quota contributions allocated to the IMF are deemed "non-usable", the actual number funded by the US is likely much higher). But this plot has a bonus kicker: as we reported on Wednesday, the actual Greek debt is no longer owed by European banks to the extent it had been previously expected: a development that threatens to scuttle the entire second Greek bailout plan as currently proposed. So as the banks have been selling Greek debt, who has been buying? Mostly hedge funds, such as everyone's favorite John Paulson. So to recap: US taxpayers have just paid out about $780 million of the $4.6 billion in order to fund interest owed to... hedge funds.
No matter what financial engineering scheme you attempt to wrap around it, no matter what socio-political financial nomenclature you attempt to drape it in, and no matter how far you attempt to kick said can down the road in a "delay and pray" tactic of pushing the inevitable collapse past your particular tenure at the helm, the only way out of this is the recognition of capital destruction, AKA Default!
Who Framed Greece?
The 5th Greek bailout tranche has not been delivered yet, under the very, very strict condition that the country adhere to the terms of its pillaging by European banks, and already Greece, which has proven beyond a reasonable doubt that a country that refuses to do work, and conducts full day strikes on a whim actually does not grow, has just fallen behind a critical monthly Troica benchmark. From Dow Jones: "Greece is at risk of missing a key budget target in June, European Union experts said in a report, a sign of the uphill struggle the country faces as it tries to get its deficit reduction plans back on track. The report, prepared by European Commission budget experts with input from European Central Bank officials and published over the weekend, says that Greece could miss its June target for its primary budget balance, a measure of the government deficit that excludes interest payments on outstanding debt." And here is why the last thing anyone in Europe cares about is actual Greek growth: "Government revenue faces "significant" shortfalls that have only partially been offset by lower spending and delayed payments, the report says. "As a result, the quarterly performance criterion on the primary balance could be missed already in June." June. As in before the disbursement of cash contingent on the primary balance being met...
Greece Welcomes Its New European Overlords - Juncker Warns "The Sovereignty Of Greece Will Be Massively Limited"Submitted by Tyler Durden on 07/03/2011 14:05 -0400
The Greek indigents huffed and puffed, broke a couple of marble plates from Syntagma square, striked for a few days (or is that stroke?), and achieved nothing. In the meantime, their government just sold off the country to European banking interests. But don't take our word for it. Take the word (on those very rare occasions when it is actually telling the truth) of Eurogroup chairman Jean-Claude Juncker who just told Focus magazine that "The sovereignty of Greece will be massively limited." And just like DSK's innocence was effectively granted 2 days after Christine Lagarde was made new head of the IMF (we still are waiting for the IMF to have a statement on the recent DSK developments), so Juncker's stunning disclosure comes not even 12 hours after the 5th Greek bailout package has been released. Per the Guardian: "Juncker's interview appeared just hours after Eurozone ministers signed off the fifth tranche of last year's bailout, worth €12bn. The payment must now be rubber-stamped by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and pushed through by 15 July in time to meet several bond repayment deadlines. Agreeing the latest IMF payout, on 8 July, will be an early task for Christine Lagarde, the new IMF boss, who starts work in Washington on Wednesday." One wonders how different, it at all, DSK's probanker stance would have been had he still been the IMF head.
In a piece oddly reminiscent to what our friends at Minyanville put up over a year ago, JP Morgan has just released a short report looking at the "Five stages of Greece", a reference to to Kübler-Ross model of Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance. Supposedly Minyanville's piece didn't get enough billing because despite being spot on, and absolutely correct in every aspect, the world was literally a year behind the curve to appreciate it. The full article can be found here. In the meantime, here is JPM's summary of where Greece was and where it is heading, based on inferences from clinical psychology.