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Greece Caught Underreporting Its Budget Deficit By Nearly 50%

Tyler Durden's picture


There was a time about a year ago, before the second Greek bailout was formalized and the haircut on its domestic-law private sector bonds (first 50%, ultimately 80%, soon to be 100%) was yet to be documented, when it was in Greece's interest to misrepresent its economy as being worse than it was in reality. Things got so bad that the former head of the Greek Statistics Bureau Elstat, also a former IMF employee, faced life in prison if convicted of doing precisely this.

A year later, the tables have turned, now that Germany is virtually convinced that Europe can pull a Lehman and let Greece leave the Eurozone, and is merely looking for a pretext to sever all ties with the country, whose only benefit for Europe is to be a seller of islands at Blue Aegean water Special prices to assorted Goldman bankers (at least until it renationalizes them back in a few short years). So a year later we are back to a more normal data fudging dynamic, one in which Greece, whose July unemployment soared by one whole percentage point, will do everything in its power to underrepresent its soaring budget deficit.

Case in point, on Friday the Finance Ministry proudly announced its budget deficit for the first eight months was "just" €12.5 billion, versus a target of €15.2 billion, leading some to wonder how it was possible that a country that has suffered terminal economic collapse, and in which the tax collectors have now joined everyone in striking and thus not collecting any tax revenue, could have a better than expected budget deficit. Turns out the answer was quite simple. According to Spiegel, Greece was lying about everything all along, and instead of a €12.5 billion deficit, the real revenue shortfall is nearly double this, or €20 billion, a number which will hardly incentivize anyone in Germany to give Greece the benefit of another delay, let along a third bailout as is now speculated.

To quote Greg House: "Everybody lies"

From Spiegel:

The gap in the Greek national budget is greater than previously expected. According to a preliminary Der Spiegel finding, the troika of European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund reported that the government of Prime Minister Antonis Samaras is missing currently around 20 billion euros - nearly twice as much as last admitted. Only if the funding gap is closed, the next EU tranche will be transferred to Athens.

What is well-known is that for all intents and purposes Greece has already stopped trying:

That Greece can bridge the financing gap on its own seems unlikely. The already adopted austerity program has encountered great opposition in the population. In one published study in Athens on Saturday 90 percent of survey respondents declared that the new reform package go almost exclusively to the detriment of the poorer sections of the population. Only 33 percent also believe that the new cuts in the social network can not solve the country's problems would be. Nevertheless, 67 percent of respondents argued that Greece remains in the euro zone.

But at what cost? Already 8000 people in Athens alone have to resort to soup kitchens to find some food in a country in which there are virtually no opportunities left to make a living.

Sure enough, in a world in which no politician has any credibility left, it took Greece a few short hours to issue its canned response to the allegation that it has been making up numbers all along... as usual. Per Dow Jones:

Greece's finance ministry late Sunday refuted a report in a German magazine claiming that Athens must cover a 20 billion euros ($26 billion) budget shortfall--twice previous estimates--in order to satisfy international conditions for emergency aid.

Now we just need two more denials to have no doubt that every number out of that particular economic basked case is a lie. Which we don't now. Don't forget: this is what the Greek Finance Ministry looks like:

And the kicker of course is that as reported on Friday, Europe is now desperate to not rock the boat ahead of the Obama reelection, because as Reuters reported all of Europe wants to give Obama a second term. Which makes sense: in a world of wealth redistribution, it will be only fair that America, which has taken the place of China as the world's growth dynamo, and where fund flows out of Europe have pushed the S&P to a few percentage point shy of all time highs, will repay its reelection debt to Europe for avoiding reality as long as possible, by "sharing" US taxpayer funding, from those who for one reason or another still pay taxes, with its European proletariat cousins and bailout all of Europe's insolvent countries on Uncle Sam's tab yet again, starting just after November 6, 2012.

Because it's only "fair."


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Sun, 09/23/2012 - 16:49 | 2822689 knukles
knukles's picture




(Never trust a Greek bearing amyl nitrite)

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 16:50 | 2822692 suteibu
suteibu's picture

LOL indeed.

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 17:03 | 2822721 ShortTheUS
ShortTheUS's picture

I did Nazi this coming...

The XGD will set Greece free:

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 17:09 | 2822736 JLee2027
JLee2027's picture

The entire World lies...about financial or economic or political matters...all the time. Not some of the time on some things, but all the time on all those things. Astonishing. 

This must end soon. And very badly.

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 17:17 | 2822761 bank guy in Brussels
bank guy in Brussels's picture

Yer right about the lyin' everywhere

Was having a conversation 10 years ago with other bankers, as the euro currency notes were being introduced, that this whole European and USA credit thing was going to blow up 'soon' ...

10 years later, here we still are ...

By God they sure can float the game a loooong time

Don't count the money printers out yet. Even gold guru Jim Sinclair is thinking 2015 or so ...

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 17:31 | 2822789 grid-b-gone
grid-b-gone's picture

We don't know the time, but we know it's PM.

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 18:18 | 2822890 markmotive
markmotive's picture

The EU is facked!

Hugh Hendry said it best when he went head-to-head with Joseph Stiglitz:

Mon, 09/24/2012 - 00:01 | 2823426 Crisismode
Crisismode's picture

Hugh has them both by the balls and neither one of these liars will admit it.


Sun, 09/23/2012 - 19:52 | 2823033 cynicalskeptic
cynicalskeptic's picture

They've got experts kickig cans down the road - the guys whop can pull off 90 yard field goals.... but eventually the whole mess DOES collapse.  

I was waiting almost a decade for the housing bubble to blow.  Paid points to get a rate still over 8% (and put 20% down) when we bought but a few years later they were giving out 4% adjustables with NOTHING down....  Saw people buying larger houses who had a fraction of our income.  WTF?!?!  How in hell was THAT going to work out? - it wasn't but it took a hell of a long time for that obvious fact to become clear.

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 20:28 | 2823095 boogerbently
boogerbently's picture

Govt. officials being dishonest???

I have a hard time believing that....surely there's been some mistake.

Wait until the documented "understating" of our banks positions hits the fan.

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 17:25 | 2822776 grid-b-gone
grid-b-gone's picture

Even in the U.S., and even if the CBO is relatively honest and conscientious in their estimates, lobbyists, staff members with bias, bias of data presented to the CBO, purposeful deception, and failure to fact-check every assumption, probably mean the U.S. has also underestimated the severity of its financial condition.

One would hope it is nowhere near 50%, but Greece has seldom been a world leader during the past 1,750 years, so someone must be keeping an even bigger lie.

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 17:49 | 2822829 EscapeKey
EscapeKey's picture

And you think this is any different to any other time in world history?

The only difference this time around is the internet, which enables people to fact check, and discuss openly, without need of a centralized ministry of truth.

No fucking wonder they want to shut it down. Oh sorry, the want to make it "free", meaning those who pay for an opinion are free to post it.

Mon, 09/24/2012 - 04:28 | 2823605 Ar-Pharazôn
Ar-Pharazôn's picture

"centralized ministry of truth"


i think we will soon see this in SSEU and USSA

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 16:52 | 2822696 vast-dom
vast-dom's picture




Sun, 09/23/2012 - 17:10 | 2822738 Al Gorerhythm
Al Gorerhythm's picture

Eurozone members will need to dump as much toxic waste into that mess before letting them go.

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 18:09 | 2822869 max2205
max2205's picture

Can life on earth get any stranger

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 17:12 | 2822748 JohnKozac
JohnKozac's picture

wait until the Germans get a hold of all those Greek 10oz gold bars.......

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 18:08 | 2822868 unrulian
unrulian's picture

Can Greece afford gold plated tungsten?

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 19:54 | 2823035 cynicalskeptic
cynicalskeptic's picture

Spray painted pig iron - anything that provides the illusion will do (just ask the caretakers at Ft. Knox)

Mon, 09/24/2012 - 02:43 | 2823531 Rogue Trooper
Rogue Trooper's picture

Wow... just in.

The Prez: Get me Prof Holdren on the line... now!

Some Westwing Secretary: Who?

The Prez: For fucks sake, Holdren, John Holdren, my Chief Scientific Adviser dude, this is fuck'n important...

.. ten minutes later.

Holdren: Mr President, erm, thanks for asking me to call you, what a surprise, this is first time you have even spoke to me.... is this a social call?

The Prez: STFU.. and listen! I need you to give me the power to create and produce Gold... lot's of Gold.  Like Ben can with his QE stuff, which is not having the effect on the Economy that he has been promising me.  Errr what it called, that right, Alchemy!

Holdren: I'm on it.... I'll form a special investigative committee and project.. won't be cheap though. Can I be the Gold Tzar?

The Prez: Sure, and get the cash from Ben, here's the number, but be quick about...HANGS UP!

Several months later, at a cost of $1,234,345,678,998.98 ... success!

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 16:53 | 2822701 monopoly
monopoly's picture

This is all so absurd. How can the people be so fucking stupid to not see what is going on. This is not rocket science, just plain math, common sense and a little research. Yeah, I know, I crossed the line for many citizens. 

Oh well.

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 18:12 | 2822878 jtmo3
jtmo3's picture

Who has said no one sees what's going on? The bankers know and are profiting from it. The traders know and are profiting from it. The politicians know and are profiting from it. The people know they're getting it in the ass but the former have more and better bullets. So...where do we go from here?

Mon, 09/24/2012 - 04:40 | 2823608 Ar-Pharazôn
Ar-Pharazôn's picture

banksters, politicians and big trader are perhaps 5% of the population (and this is a large estimate)


rest, 95%, doesnt really have a clue on what's going on.


They think that politicians has the magic wand to solve everything.

Mon, 09/24/2012 - 13:49 | 2825054 Meremortal
Meremortal's picture

So you admit you have no idea what is going on. That's a start.

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 17:03 | 2822704 falak pema
falak pema's picture

when the nation state becomes a dark pool. Mission accomplished by the Oligarchs. "This land is totally ours as nobody will want to salvage it."

How dystopia of "free-fixed" markets and criminal oligarchs, sitting as elected phony leaders, over forty years, since ousting of military junta, has converted an agrarian and sub industrial economy into no man's land. No country for old men nor young men.  

Its an example to ponder, first world to third world in the lapse of two years, with forty years of hiding the rot under the oligarchy-crony government blanket.

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 17:05 | 2822728 magpie
magpie's picture

"From Goldman Sachs to Golden Dawn in Sixty Seconds"

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 17:43 | 2822814 agent default
agent default's picture

Golden Dawn: Now in a city near you:


Sun, 09/23/2012 - 17:45 | 2822820 magpie
magpie's picture

Not in walking distance from each other, i hope.

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 17:53 | 2822838 agent default
agent default's picture

I sincerely hope they are in walking distance from GS. 

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 19:05 | 2822962 Bay of Pigs
Bay of Pigs's picture


Sun, 09/23/2012 - 19:26 | 2822995 MsCreant
MsCreant's picture

How do you say "Sieg Heil" in Greek?

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 20:40 | 2823113 CompassionateFascist
CompassionateFascist's picture

You say: "thanks for the medical supplies".

Mon, 09/24/2012 - 05:20 | 2823632 NoClueSneaker
NoClueSneaker's picture

"Drachmas Now! "

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 19:38 | 2823017 prains
prains's picture

From Goldman Sachs to Golden Dawn to Golden Shower, piss always flows down hill, everybody needs to just drink up 




Sun, 09/23/2012 - 16:54 | 2822705 Zola
Zola's picture

Socialism is a disease of the mind

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 17:08 | 2822735 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

"fascism" is a disease of the mind. - fixed.

There are many families that came before yours, they want their rent, now pay up.

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 17:13 | 2822745 Al Gorerhythm
Al Gorerhythm's picture

Isms are a disease of the mind. Period. Except for mine, that is.

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 17:22 | 2822764 akak
akak's picture

There's no "ism" like 'US Citizenism'.

Make me laugh!

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 17:29 | 2822781 magpie
magpie's picture


Sun, 09/23/2012 - 19:27 | 2822998 MsCreant
MsCreant's picture


Sun, 09/23/2012 - 20:48 | 2823125 OneTinSoldier66
OneTinSoldier66's picture


Mon, 09/24/2012 - 02:48 | 2823537 prains
prains's picture


Mon, 09/24/2012 - 04:42 | 2823609 Ar-Pharazôn
Ar-Pharazôn's picture


Sun, 09/23/2012 - 17:55 | 2822842 grid-b-gone
grid-b-gone's picture


Sun, 09/23/2012 - 18:15 | 2822885 TheFourthStooge-ing
TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

US citizenism is the ismest.

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 19:45 | 2823025 This just in
This just in's picture

That depends on what the definition of ism is.

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 20:03 | 2823045 LMAOLORI
LMAOLORI's picture


ROFL +1 for the clinton reference

There is little difference between the ism's other then the means used (violence,voting,collusion) to arrive at the Totalitarian goal

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 20:27 | 2823093 jimmytorpedo
jimmytorpedo's picture

In Clinton's case it would be  'Jism'

Mon, 09/24/2012 - 05:25 | 2823634 NoClueSneaker
NoClueSneaker's picture

.... what leaves us with cannibalism as ultimate monism .... assisted with primitivism ... I'll stay with authism ....

Mon, 09/24/2012 - 13:51 | 2825066 Meremortal
Meremortal's picture

"...they want their rent, now pay up."


They get nothing.

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 17:47 | 2822826 agent default
agent default's picture

Statism is a disease of the mind, period.  It was said by somebody else here that Socialism is the Potemkin village of Communism, but the main point is this, either you are a statist or you are not.  Everything else is an excuse for you deranged fantasies of total and absolute control over everything.  And the more you fail the more you will want to expand your power.  A clean sign of the incompetent manager, your average politician and your neighborhood sociopath.

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 19:56 | 2823037 LMAOLORI
LMAOLORI's picture

Zola "Socialism is a disease of the mind"

And of the soul as socialists STEAL from one to give to another. Funny thing you see socialists whining about the banks getting money without giving a second thought to the fact that they themselves do the same damn thing. So sick of bailing everyone out including the socialist thieves.

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 20:06 | 2823054 nmewn
nmewn's picture

But but but...they will tell you their intentions were good even if everything turned out "faux green"...ROTFL!!!

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 16:57 | 2822709 Hulk
Hulk's picture

And in other news, walls have been found to be perpendicular to ceilings and floors. Film at eleven...

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 16:58 | 2822710 bigkahuna
bigkahuna's picture

HA! You Greeks think 20 Bills is a lot of dough to be in the red? Wait till' you see what we can do with jeethner and the bernanke! 

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 17:02 | 2822719 Dick Darlington
Dick Darlington's picture

We all know Greece is a basket case. But look at Spain. 25% unemployment, insolvent banking sector, massive housing bubble deflating, insolvent regional govts, record bankruptcies etc. Yet Spain reports it's GDP is barely dropping. LOL! If anyone believes those numbers coming out from Spain I suggest You get Your head checked.

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 19:31 | 2823003 MsCreant
MsCreant's picture

Psst...over here...yeah you. Let me whisper this in your ear:

"They are all lying."

The details, that they lure you into trying to "catch them," THIS is the distraction. It is too big and horrible to believe, and they bet on it you won't.

Take care friend.

Mon, 09/24/2012 - 07:03 | 2823691 Urban Redneck
Urban Redneck's picture

Ditto the US, but they have more adept central bankers- Bernanke leaks the FED might explore notional GDP targeting at some point in the future at the very same time he is effectively rolling it out, but because the commentariat has turned its gaze and is looking way down the road for something, they are oblivious to what is going on right in front of them.

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 17:08 | 2822734 disabledvet
disabledvet's picture

I fear that we may become respectable in the eyes of the world soon. Dinosaurs in tuxedos coming to a Media Outlet near you...

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 17:11 | 2822737 bob_dabolina
bob_dabolina's picture

Greece has only one problem.

It's not spending nearly enough to create growth. If they could only double their debt this shit would work itself out. It's simple economics.

-Paul K PhD

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 17:18 | 2822766 EscapeKey
EscapeKey's picture

(unknown ZH poster - I do not claim credit for this, though I found it to be brilliant)


Sun, 09/23/2012 - 18:09 | 2822870 agent default
agent default's picture



Sun, 09/23/2012 - 17:12 | 2822746 Frastric
Frastric's picture

Samaras: We lied! BITCHZ! Now cough up Mario's bailout money!

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 17:12 | 2822747 disabledvet
disabledvet's picture

12? 21? Eh, must be one of those fat finger thingy's...

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 17:15 | 2822757 lolmao500
lolmao500's picture

26 billion deficit! Not even 10% of GDP! They are amateurs compared to the US government!

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 17:17 | 2822759 Seasmoke
Seasmoke's picture

When things are really bad, it's OK to lie

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 20:07 | 2823055 icanhasbailout
icanhasbailout's picture

When things get serious, you have to lie.

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 20:24 | 2823086 Freebird
Freebird's picture

When things get catastrophic, you have to compound lie upon lie until you disappear up your finest orifice

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 17:32 | 2822794 PhilipAtticus
PhilipAtticus's picture

The numbers and general headlines you and Spiegel have reported are not exactly true regarding the Greek deficit.

In the January – August budget report, which you can find on the Greek Ministry of Finance website, we see the following results for central government budget expenditure:

a. Net Revenue: EUR 30.640 bln (versus a target of EUR 32.119): that’s a difference of EUR 1.5 bln, which is not surprising given the election you mentioned, but also given the 7% year-on-year GDP decline and 25% unemployment rate.

b. Expenditure: EUR 45.6 bln (versus a target of EUR 50.4 bln): that’s a “surplus” of EUR 4.8 bln, but it’s only temporary because of the factors I will list below.

c. The total deficit (including interest) was EUR 12.5 bln (versus a target of EUR 15.2 bln), again only temporary because of the factors I will describe below.

What are the Troika saying? That by the end of 2012, the deficit will likely be EUR 20 bln, versus a target of EUR 14.139 bln. This is highly probably for the following reasons:

a. The only reason the budget shows lower expenditure and a deficit at this point in time is because the Public Investment Budget (PIB) has only disbursed EUR 2.6 bln in Jan-Aug, versus a planned EUR 4.9 bln. In other words, the government has been delaying payments for public works. The PIB target to the end of the year is EUR 7.3 bln.

b. It is highly probably that supplemental spending will be needed for unemployment insurance and pension fund bail-outs. This is normal in a situation where unemployment has reached 25% and continues to rise. Tax revenues will be lower for the same reason.

c. The interest costs recorded to date probably do not include the high costs of interest from short-term treasury bill borrowing, which the government is using to fund operations and refinance debt. This carries a coupon of 4.4-4.6% per 3- or 4-month term (over 13% annualised). Given the delay in the next disbursement, I estimate that Greece will borrow at least EUR 20 billion this year, resulting in additional, unforeseen interest costs of over EUR 2.5-3.0 bln.

d. The recession (now in its fifth year) and unemployment continue to accelerate, and obviously the political disruption of the elections did not help.

I would be very careful about how I phrase the headlines. Der Spiegel has consistently over-hyped things, which I would expect a mass-market German tabloid to do. I expect better from Zero Hedge.

The fact is that Greece has a deficit target of EUR 14.139 billion in 2012, but is it highly probably that this will come in at EUR 20 billion for the reasons mentioned above. This has nothing to do with the Greek government hiding anything: it has everything to do with higher interest costs and economic conditions which amount to a depression.

Between 2008-2012, real GDP will have fallen by about 20%, while unemployment will have hit 25%. There is simply no way a classic IMF “structural reform” programme will work under these circumstances – EVEN IF THE PROGRAMME HAD BEEN PROPERLY DEFINED IN THE FIRST PLACE.

You can see a detailed presentation based on January-July public finance numbers here:

Slides 3, 6, and 7 are illuminating.



Sun, 09/23/2012 - 17:41 | 2822813 Tyler Durden
Tyler Durden's picture

What part of "currently" is confusing? Furthermore, citing Greek government "data" to prove the Greek government is not lying, is a little like reading a media report citing a Galuip poll that the credibility of the media is at an all time low.

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 20:26 | 2823091 roadsnbridges
roadsnbridges's picture

or a poll that sez Romney is losing

Mon, 09/24/2012 - 00:10 | 2823436 Crisismode
Crisismode's picture

Oh, sorry,


Greek government lies are segmented as superior to


American government lies.


Greek lies . . . . AAA

American lies  . . . . AA

Russian lies . . . A

French lies . . . B++

German lies . . . BB

Italian lies . . . B

Spanish lies . . . C++


Japanese lies . . . D--




Mon, 09/24/2012 - 06:28 | 2823659 MillionDollarBoner_
MillionDollarBoner_'s picture and your spanish lies will wait for me...

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 17:51 | 2822835 EscapeKey
EscapeKey's picture

 the Greek Ministry of Finance website


Sun, 09/23/2012 - 18:23 | 2822900 CrashisOptimistic
CrashisOptimistic's picture

I'm going to guess and say your point was that they are not lying; they merely missed -- in good faith.

That Doesn't Matter.

They were supposed to hit a deficit/GDP target.  That GDP collapsed doesn't relieve them of the obligation to hit the target.  If GDP is collapsing, they have to raise taxes or cut spending EVEN MORE -- and even if that worsens GDP.

The issue is not that they tried in good faith.  The issue is that they are borrowing money from northen Europe with a claim of being creditworthy.

Creditworthiness is not merely intention to repay.  It is ability to repay.  They fail the ability criterion and should be cut off.  

If you cut them off, their deficit goes to zero.  Immediately.

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 18:48 | 2822935 EscapeKey
EscapeKey's picture

"In good faith" has been abused to the extent it is sadly meaningless.

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 20:45 | 2823118 walküre
walküre's picture


You tried. You failed.

They saw, they came and they won.

Greece needs to use the MIDDLE FINGER option and say FUCK YOU BANKSTERS.

End of story.


A German friend

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 17:37 | 2822804 ISEEIT
ISEEIT's picture

I've been looking to get back in short Eur, but with this latest news I'm thinking might be wise to hold off till 1.33 or so. We all know the routine with 'bad' news by now.

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 17:49 | 2822828 elementary
elementary's picture

The Greeks lied about their debt?   Whoa, dude, my foundation has been totally rocked, man. How could politicians, banksters and technocrats lie like that? I feel so violated.

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 17:51 | 2822834 nmewn
nmewn's picture

"Greater than previously expected"

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 18:19 | 2822887 Peter Pan
Peter Pan's picture

Rest assured that the powers pulling on both visible and invisible strings have contingency plans for every scenario both expected and unexpected, both manufactured and spontaneous.

This is in stark contrast to the general populace that is trapped for the most part in big cities, poorly prepared, poorly informed and under the thumb of big brother.

As for Greece her eventual economic demise was forseen even by no name bloggers more than two years ago. Their intuitive and basic mathematical abilities made such a prediction common sense.

The puppet masters have only two fears. First, if the outbreak of civil disorder is beyond their capabilities to contain and secondly they must surely fear that their well paid and well armed minders may well turn on them and deliver them to the people.

Mon, 09/24/2012 - 08:06 | 2823750 ZeroAvatar
ZeroAvatar's picture

Thumbs Up, Peter Pan!   +1

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 18:20 | 2822893 Ungaro
Ungaro's picture

Nobody could have seen this coming. This 7-sigma soot-black swan is outside the visible spectrum. Print mo' money! 

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 18:23 | 2822899 Kataphraktos
Kataphraktos's picture

Tyler, something tells me this is another case of brinksmanship, and we will one day find out that, according to Eurostat accounting standards (such as they are), the gap was a fraction of this 20 billion.

Translate this page, about a former member of ELSTAT, who reveals that the huge 2009 budget deficit was not calculated using standard Eurostat methodology, and if the budget deficit had been calculated correctly, it would have been about 3.9% of GDP, instead of the reported 15.6%. Compare this to 3.2% for Germany, 5.6% for Holland and Belgium, and 7.5% for France in the same year, using the same methodology.

So I'll call bullshit on these numbers as well, and assume this is just more ammunition to drive Greece further into depression and desperation, paving the way for even lower fire sale prices on mineral rights and public assets, and further fearmongering in preparation for the upcoming elections, which should be coming in a few weeks, now that multiple current and former government members have been implicated in a massive EUR 10 billion brobery and money laundering operation.

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 18:35 | 2822917 Dollar Bill Hiccup
Dollar Bill Hiccup's picture

We all know that Excel produces rounding errors. Sheesh! Give 'em a break, would you?

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 18:39 | 2822921 Lost Wages
Lost Wages's picture

I heard the Council on Foreign Relations is changing the name of Earth to "Imaginationland."

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 18:39 | 2822922 q99x2
q99x2's picture

Like giving out 100 dollar bills on the streets of Calcutta. The banker that uncovers the most debt in need of immediate bailout makes the most money. Time to go stealth.

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 18:42 | 2822927 Dealer
Dealer's picture

That picture is great.  Love it.  Pretty much says it all.

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 18:53 | 2822944 Peter Pan
Peter Pan's picture

If only people knew how many government employees have not been paid for months, and how many suppliers and contractors are still waiting for their money for a year or more, they would realise that the budget shortfall is a lot lot more.

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 21:00 | 2823144 Peter Pan
Peter Pan's picture

I don't mind a downtick but what I have written is the truth. Would the person who downticked please tell me where I was wrong? Or is just a personal dislike?

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 18:54 | 2822947 chump666
chump666's picture

Oh f*ck me dead.

Kick'em out! The EU are pathetic.  Greece is and will always be a lost cause, they were good before BC, with Plato and whatnot.  But every empire/greatness gets 200 years.  There's is gone.

IMF should be decimated for exasperating this

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 19:00 | 2822955 Towhog
Towhog's picture

Greece is but a small window into the scam. Does anyone think the EU would accept such lies if they were not doing the same thing. Would the USA put up with the ponzi if they werent doing the same. Ditto for China and all the rest. There are no paper trails. There are no records.
Its a giant con game started to con the masses now they con each other. Nobody objects because they are all doing the same. Nobody knows what the Natl Debt is and no one cares because it exists only in the con game.


Sun, 09/23/2012 - 19:32 | 2823010 Dina Strange
Dina Strange's picture

Guys, reading your comments makes me laugh. How sad is this?

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 19:44 | 2823021 Threeggg
Threeggg's picture

Nothing that a couple barrels of ink and a few face-cords of wood cant fix !

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 20:17 | 2823073 Miss Expectations
Miss Expectations's picture

In other news, A press conference was held and truth was told.  At least there are a few folks who know what America should be.

Congressman Walter B. Jones (R-NC) held a press conference on Sept. 21, in Washington DC to discuss House Concurrent Resolution 107. Rep. Jones was joined by Bruce Fein, Associate Deputy Attorney General under President Reagan, author, "American Empire: Before the Fall", Lt. Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson (USA.Ret), former Chief of Staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell (2002-05) & Lt. Colonel Anthony Shaffer, author of "Operation Dark Heart"!

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 23:42 | 2823402 Bernankenstein
Bernankenstein's picture

Thank you for that post. Excellent to view

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 20:27 | 2823092 q99x2
q99x2's picture

The banksters just lifted the Eurozone bailout fund to more than 2 trillion. They are going to tax the gold out of the teeth of the German workers dead ancestors and off the control circuits of their automobiles. Nice red jumpsuited buffons running your courts Germany. You sure you didn't borrow them from the US.

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 20:50 | 2823130 CompassionateFascist
CompassionateFascist's picture

The Courts do what the JewBanksters "ask" them to do. Cf. Chief Justice Roberts, new owner of his very own private island.

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 20:29 | 2823097 roadsnbridges
roadsnbridges's picture

How does this relate to a purported $16 trillion US debt?

Mon, 09/24/2012 - 09:25 | 2823970 fajensen
fajensen's picture

Simple, Leverage the Greek debt a few thousand times and it becomes the collateral for the US debt.

PS; The picture shows the OTC-derivatives held by the Greek ministry of finance. They pawned these precious assets to DB as security for more loans. All DB now has to do is to collect and sell the paper in the market.

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 20:49 | 2823128 Colonel Klink
Colonel Klink's picture

Greece up the Troika!

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 21:25 | 2823191 jonjon831983
jonjon831983's picture

Hmm what's that quote again?


When it is bad, you have to lie!!!!!

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 21:55 | 2823247 RiskAverseAlertBlog
RiskAverseAlertBlog's picture

Any quid pro quo involving outsourcing the BLS and the GAO to Greece?

Sun, 09/23/2012 - 22:27 | 2823285 yogibear
yogibear's picture

Sorry, a bit of mathematical errors.

All the PIIGS know the Troika and ECB will do anything to keep the Euro together.



Mon, 09/24/2012 - 01:57 | 2823509 Haus-Targaryen
Haus-Targaryen's picture

This is true.  Why the Greek government hasn't come out and said . . . . "You will forgive all our debt, and pay off the rest, and then subsidize our loans in perpituity . . . or we are going to blow the whole thing up"


They'd get their way.  Serves us European surfs right . . . all they do is vote in pro EU parties.  

Mon, 09/24/2012 - 02:59 | 2823547 TNTARG
TNTARG's picture

Sorry but as the banksters have taken over the EU and the USA why should they leave the Euro in their path to "world currency to be a key component of global governance (which) have been consistent", il they're doing so well?

This mother fuck...s won't drop unless people all around the world force them to. And it seems such a thing is not likely to happen any time soon, isn't it?

It's surrealistic to talk about "markets" considering  the deep of the shit we're into and the bankster's delirium tremens.




Sun, 09/23/2012 - 22:48 | 2823313 gwar5
gwar5's picture

Greece acts like it has more lives than a one-eyed ally cat. Just. Go. Iceland.


Sun, 09/23/2012 - 23:40 | 2823395 walküre
walküre's picture

This news comes out today and just in time before markets open in Frankfurt, the announcement that ESM should be increased to 2 trillion Euros.

Unfucking real. They've got ONE response to every problem. PRINT, PRINT, PRINT

This shit is going from bad to worse.


Mon, 09/24/2012 - 00:38 | 2823460 IridiumRebel
IridiumRebel's picture

or from bad to WE ARE ALL FUCKED.

Mon, 09/24/2012 - 07:48 | 2823723 fockewulf190
fockewulf190's picture

You watch, both the CDU and the SPD/Greens are going to back the printing and the German public is going to be ignored once again. Schrecken ohne ende seems to be the main strategy. The CSU will pretend to be outraged for awhile, and then tow the line as always. Keep stacking!

Mon, 09/24/2012 - 01:47 | 2823505 Haus-Targaryen
Haus-Targaryen's picture

I could care less about "fair,"  

Mon, 09/24/2012 - 02:18 | 2823518 Joe A
Joe A's picture

So 8,000 people use soup kitchens in Athens? That is nothing on a population of 1.5 million. I was in Greece on holiday. Not to Athens or Thessaloniki but on the mainland. The season was slower but still people wined and dined. Some shops had closed but still there were a lot of luxury shops open. With huge discounts often but still people were spending like crazy. Terrases full. I expected a whole lot worse but if you know you will be bailed out all the time, why worry?

Mon, 09/24/2012 - 02:38 | 2823523 Heyoka Bianco
Heyoka Bianco's picture

What's wrong with bondholder haircuts? That's what saved GM, right?

Mon, 09/24/2012 - 02:41 | 2823530 Heyoka Bianco
Heyoka Bianco's picture

All governments are lying cocksuckers. - Bill Hicks, again. Why does he die, yet Kathy Griffin continues to use up valuable air and water?

Mon, 09/24/2012 - 03:12 | 2823563 suckerfishzilla
suckerfishzilla's picture

This is exactly how finance works in the trailer park.

Mon, 09/24/2012 - 05:10 | 2823627 ak_khanna
ak_khanna's picture

Countries around the world are taking on more debt without any fruitful attempts to curb their expenditures. This has resulted in a much more fragile and artificially held up financial system which is on a much shaky ground than it was in 2008. In 2008 companies failed due to excessive leverage and debt and now countries are likely to default because they took on the same bad debt on themselves so that the bankers can continue to gamble in the commodity, stock, bond and currency markets with other people's money and enjoy ever increasing bonuses and pay packages for themselves.

A single currency for an economy as strong as Germany on one hand and relatively weaker economies like Greece or Ireland on the other is not sustainable in the long run. The idea of the stronger countries in the Euro zone to keep on bailing out the weaker ones repeatedly will be a difficult one to sell to the citizens of the economically stronger countries. Their is no practical way to save the Euro, the only thing that the politicians can do is to lavishly spend tax payers money towards bailouts which creates a much bigger crises a few months down the line but does not solve anything.

Mon, 09/24/2012 - 05:58 | 2823651 eurogold
eurogold's picture

The Greek were, are and will remain .........nothing more than lieing bandits.

Mon, 09/24/2012 - 07:10 | 2823697 Grand Supercycle
Grand Supercycle's picture


Due to recent central bank intervention and short covering spikes, these daily charts are extremely overextended and significant correction expected very soon:


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