International Monetary Fund
Greece formally requested a three-year bailout from the eurozone’s rescue fund Wednesday and pledged to start implementing some of the overhauls demanded by creditors by early next week. Crucially for Greece’s creditors, the letter says the government would start implementing some measures, including on taxation and pensions, by the beginning of next week, though it doesn’t go into details. The letter is a first step toward fulfilling a demand by international creditors, who have given Athens until Sunday to come up with tougher measures they would impose in return for desperately needed financing that could keep the country from bankruptcy and even worse economic turmoil.
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.
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.
LEADERS OF GREEK RULING AND OPPOSITION PARTIES ISSUE JOINT STATEMENT BACKING EFFORTS TO REACH DEAL WITH CREDITORS
"The IMF has taken note of yesterday's referendum held in Greece. We are monitoring the situation closely and stand ready to assist Greece if requested to do so."
"After the Greeks voted against accepting the latest demands from its creditors, Merkel is facing her worst nightmare: a possible Greek exit from the euro, a possible exit from the EU completely and loss of confidence in the currency itself. Half of her was Merkel — the pragmatic economist, the other was Merkel — the great European. She has now discovered, in her vacillation, she has not shown the leadership expected of the most powerful woman in the European Union."
According to Telegraph's Ambrose Evans Pritchard who quotes what appears to be a direct quote to him from Yanis Varoufakis, Greece will, "If necessary... issue parallel liquidity and California-style IOU's, in an electronic form. We should have done it a week ago." Hardliners within the party - though not Mr Varoufakis - are demanding the head of governor Stournaras, a holdover appointee from the past conservative government. They want a new team installed, one that is willing to draw on the central bank's secret reserves, and to take the provocative step in extremis of creating euros.
Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras allows the Greek people to decide their own fate via a democratic referendum. That’s enough to send the troika – the European Central Bank (ECB), the European Commission (EC), and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) - into a paroxysm of rage. Here, in a nutshell, is everything one needs to know about the EU “dream”.
"Greek banks are preparing contingency plans for a possible “bail-in” of depositors amid fears. The plans, which call for a “haircut” of at least 30 per cent on deposits above €8,000, sketch out an increasingly likely scenario for at least one bank, the sources said."
- WHEN ARE RESULTS DUE?
- WHAT ARE GREEKS BEING ASKED TO VOTE ON?
- WHAT DO THE POLLS SHOW?
- WHAT IF IT’S YES?
- WHAT IF IT’S NO?
- HOW WILL MARKETS REACT?
Greek banks will run out of cash "in a matter of days," WSJ reports. Meanwhile, businesses are closing their doors as suppliers refuse to extend credit prompting the Athens Chamber of Commerce to predict that "in one week, two weeks, three weeks, it will be finished."
"Greece is being 'hit', there's no doubt about it," exclaims John Perkins, author of Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, noting that "[Indebted countries] become servants to what I call the corporatocracy ... today we have a global empire, and it's not an American empire. It's not a national empire... It's a corporate empire, and the big corporations rule."
There are two narratives, according to WSJ's Fed whisperer Jon Hilsenrath, that need to be considered when judging the Fed's next steps. First is, the economy stumbled in Q1 but everything will be awesome going forward (so we should hike rates); and a second newer narrative is the turmoil overseas which could be exaggerated by Fed actions. Hilsenrath hints today that despite the miss in jobs data, it remains above 200,000 and "suggests the U.S. economy finished the first half of the year with a solid foundation to weather turbulence from overseas," giving The Fed room to hike.
1,000 Greek bank branches chanced a stampede in order to open their doors to the country's retirees on Wednesday. The scene was somewhat chaotic as pensioners formed long lines and the country’s elderly attempted to squeeze through the doors in order to access pension payments.
This is the question that astute investors are forced to ask themselves these days. No reasonable person believes that a system of ever-expanding debt can resolve painlessly. It simply cannot happen... not, at least, until 2+2 stops equaling four. But the international money system, while deeply interconnected, can implode in sections. In fact, it’s highly unlikely that it will crash as a single unit. So, if you have significant moneys to invest, you end up coming back to our question: Who will be the last to crash?
Over the weekend, the lines in Greece stretched along the street. Around the corner. Down the block. Lines to get cash. Lines to buy gas. Lines of people eager to get their hands on something of value. Food. Fuel. Cash. Pity the poor guy who was last in line... As more and more people turn to gold as a way to avoid standing in lines, the feds could ban it again. But when we close our eyes and try to peer into a world where gold is illegal, what we see is a world where we want it more than ever.