JPM Buys Greece For $2?

Tyler Durden's picture


From Peter Tchir of TF Market Advisors

JPM Buys Greece For $2

While we wait for the antics in Greece to result in some announcement, I can’t help but think about how different the Greek situation is from when JPM bought Bear Stearns (shortly after the last time the Giants won the super bowl).

The “weekend” deadline for Bear was neither artificial, nor self-imposed.  Without a deal, Bear would have failed that week as risk aversion hit an extreme.  Greece has until the March 20th payments, so all the deadlines we keep hearing about are mostly negotiating ploys.

The negotiators in Greece will have to approve whatever they decide, so they will need some time.  When Jamie Dimon said “done” on the Bear deal, it was done.  It also meant a very savvy investor had his people do the analysis and was comfortable with the deal (I’m sure the Fed backstop didn’t hurt).  But in Europe, almost none of the people involved in the negotiations have the authority to “pull the trigger”.  They have to go back to their respective parties or groups or special interests they represent and get the deals approved.  Even more bizarre, is how few of the people involved have financial experience, let alone investment experience.  They are largely politicians.  The Minister of Finance was the Minister of Defense less than a year ago.  The IIF team has limited experience in distressed debt.  The “technocrat” in charge has experience, but like many of the Troika members it is as an economist in a functioning economy – not the disaster that is Greece.

They all seem so scared that no deal is awful, that we will probably see a deal. Will there be one more petulant flight out of town before we get that agreement?  Possibly, but so far they all seem to believe that a deal is necessary to say the world.

What I find interesting, is that finally some Greek citizens and even minor politicians seem to be getting the joke that the “bailouts” aren’t for Greece, it is for the people that lent Greece money.  I do not think a Greek default is an economic disaster (stocks would sell off, probably 5% or more over a week or two, but that is not an economic disaster).  A Greek default would be good for Greece.  Greece wouldn’t owe the money. We all know the old saying about if you borrow a little and can’t pay it back, you have a problem, but if you borrow a lot and can’t pay it back, the lender has a problem.  The Greek case is even stronger – they have borrowed a lot, and can’t pay it back, but the lenders have almost no way to enforce even the limited rights they have.  The longer the negotiations drag on, the more people in Greece that will finally figure this out.  When everyone was scrambling from desperate “plan” to desperate “plan” no one seemed to spend the time thinking about what a default would mean.  The “Default” card would be played any time actual critical thinking reared its ugly head and with some gnashing of the teeth and wringing of the hands, new plans would be created.  Now, more and more sensible people seem to be reaching the same conclusion – default would not be end of the world (heck, not even the end of the banking system) and might provide the best framework for future growth.

It is probably too early to get that outcome, and instead we will get one more round of plans and measures that barely get approved, don’t work, and get the people who agreed to them kicked out of office, and then, maybe, finally economic reality will take over, which in the long run will be the best for all.

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Mon, 02/06/2012 - 09:26 | 2130211 GeneMarchbanks
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'JPM Buys Greece For $2'

You've been conditioned perfectly Pete.

Hail Caesar!

Mon, 02/06/2012 - 09:26 | 2130221 GetZeeGold
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Mon, 02/06/2012 - 09:35 | 2130234 economics1996
economics1996's picture

Do these assholes realize they have Spain, Portugal, and Italy up in the on deck circle?

Mon, 02/06/2012 - 09:37 | 2130242 trav7777
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there seem to be a lot of deadbeat States in the EU whose citizens think life is to be spent collecting a socialist government paycheck and lounging in cafes all day

Mon, 02/06/2012 - 09:42 | 2130247 LawsofPhysics
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Fuck trav, there are a lot of deadbeat states in America full of the same fucking people.

Mon, 02/06/2012 - 09:46 | 2130255 tarsubil
tarsubil's picture

You just don't get it. The solution is more lies. You can always cover for past lies with new bigger ones. Every once and a while mix in a little truth. That is the way to fix all problems. Don't worry. Everything is bone!

Mon, 02/06/2012 - 09:50 | 2130275 GetZeeGold
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Oh.....I think we get it.




Mon, 02/06/2012 - 09:55 | 2130281 tarsubil
tarsubil's picture

No. If you say you get it, you don't get it. Only by saying you don't get it, do you get it.

All they need to do is not make a deal and say that there is one. Greek pays nothing but they don't default. No CDS is triggered but it still works. Print money and say that you aren't. Problems solved. I don't get it.

Mon, 02/06/2012 - 09:58 | 2130287 LawsofPhysics
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No shit sherlock, but I suggest you pick up a history book.  lies and paper work right up until the supply lines are interupted and goods and services simply can not be delivered, for whatever reason (and there will be many).  Hedge accordingly.

Mon, 02/06/2012 - 10:01 | 2130293 GetZeeGold
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but I suggest you pick up a history book.


Yeah.....there's usually a catch.




Mon, 02/06/2012 - 10:11 | 2130312 francis_sawyer
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How about 'Contemporary American History' with Professor Turgeson?

Mon, 02/06/2012 - 10:12 | 2130316 Badabing
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It’s been well known, that JPM is the FED’s boy, for all we know, JPM may be a major shareholder of the secret privet Fed shareholders and it may be the other way around. Proof would be that JPM gets away with fraud all the time. The Greeks would have not been able to join the European Union without the book balancing act provided by JPM. “The big boys” and I repeat, WILL NOT LET GREECE DEFAULT! The tax payers of the new world order will foot the bill. They will not loose.

Will JPM buy Greece for $2?  

No we will for 100 cents on the dollar!

Mon, 02/06/2012 - 10:15 | 2130324 tarsubil
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The problem with those books is that they did not lie big enough.

Mon, 02/06/2012 - 09:59 | 2130288 GeneMarchbanks
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Me neither. It all depends of what your definition of is is.


Mon, 02/06/2012 - 10:01 | 2130292 Mr Lennon Hendrix
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Is is?

She is a god.  Kneel before her.

Mon, 02/06/2012 - 10:13 | 2130320 francis_sawyer
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So Clinton was playing 'Zod' with Monica Lewinski! It all makes sense now...

Mon, 02/06/2012 - 10:00 | 2130290 Mr Lennon Hendrix
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Then Portdegaul asks or one, then Espana, then Italia, and soon the eurozone has printed $10 trillion in a span of months, all from loans by the Fed.  The world is once again leveraged up (as Japan and China print) and costs double.  Grannie is eating cat food three times a day, but her kids are really nice to her because she has life insurance that will pay out soon, and the kids have debts to pay, and they want a vacation.

There is no more pretending after this.  That is why they have strung Greece along.  Once Greece goes down it all goes down.  Once Greece defaults they all default, or once Greece gets bailed out (again) the rest fall in line.  This is why they are kicking the can.

Mon, 02/06/2012 - 10:11 | 2130310 GetZeeGold
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......and that concludes this weeks edition of the Captain Obvious show.


You don't have to leave....but you can't stay here.



Mon, 02/06/2012 - 09:57 | 2130284 Mr Lennon Hendrix
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That's right.  This whole lie of a system will go on orever because we continue to lie.  We lie to each other and we lie to ourselves, and that is our only hope.  It is when we stop lying that it comes unraveled, so we will continue to lie.


You see, it doesn't matter what we believe anymore, even though this is what the technocrats believe.  There is such a thing as reality.  It rises above the human head and bears down on us.  We can ignore it, but it won't matter in the long run.  There will be a time when the data spins out, because there is nothing sustainable about it.  Pension payouts, inflation, debt, it is all unsustainable, and there will be a point when reality rears its head.  One month, one year, who knows, but pretending is for children, and we are not living in the dreamworld, however it sometimes may seem.

Mon, 02/06/2012 - 13:52 | 2131076 Omen IV
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there seem to be a lot of deadbeat BANKS in the USA whose MANAGERS think life is to be spent collecting a socialist government paycheck /BONUS /HANDOUT and lounging in cafes all day

Mon, 02/06/2012 - 09:45 | 2130253 atomic180
atomic180's picture

Thats the reason their holding the line with greece otherwise the others want the Greek deal, let Greece fail and the others will either honor their comittments or follow Greece into defalt.

Mon, 02/06/2012 - 10:01 | 2130291 Vampyroteuthis ...
Vampyroteuthis infernalis's picture

I do not think a Greek default is an economic disaster (stocks would sell off, probably 5% or more over a week or two, but that is not an economic disaster).

The default of Greece itself is not the problem. The losses from a default and the excessively large CDS market would tip many overleveraged banks into insolvency overnight. Good for Greece. Bad for Europe and their bankster masters.

Mon, 02/06/2012 - 10:12 | 2130317 DavidC
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Mon, 02/06/2012 - 10:16 | 2130325 Non Passaran
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It was said here several times that outstanding CDS amount to barely 2bn.

Mon, 02/06/2012 - 10:16 | 2130327 Caggge
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They don't want to let Greece default because the other countries will see that it isn't the doom that they say it is. The doom will be on the lenders. Where it belongs. The people they are demanding to take haircuts aren't the bankers that made woeful business decisions. The doom belongs to the elite that made these decisions.

Mon, 02/06/2012 - 09:38 | 2130236 LeBalance
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very savvy investor?

how about? a MF who conditions the whole circumstance to dehumanize and humiliate everyone and get them to sell themselves into slavery.

i call that someone who needs a lot of TLC, because kicking his ass will not help the situation.



We are the weeds.

Mon, 02/06/2012 - 10:51 | 2130470 SwingForce
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And didn't that 'savvy' (wft does that mean?) "investor" have to pay $10 not $2?

Mon, 02/06/2012 - 10:58 | 2130506 Randall Cabot
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Feb. 6, 2012, 9:49 a.m. EST



Greek party talks on bailout delayed to Tuesday

Mon, 02/06/2012 - 10:06 | 2130300 atomic180
atomic180's picture

Greece is a welfare state only looking to get the biggest welfare check and best deal they can, ultimately they'll come back crying they dont want to go bankrupt so we'll take the deal...

Mon, 02/06/2012 - 10:18 | 2130334 GeneMarchbanks
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'want to go bankrupt so we'll take the deal...'

I'll safely assume you're in North America so I'll go slow. You see 'want' implies that there is a matter of choice and that is incorrect. Greece is bankrupt and defaulted some time ago OK? You don't need to wait for someone to say "Hey, Greece says they are going to default" or any formal announcement thereof alright? Pum'kin?

Secondly, the 'deal' is an undoable fantasy plot that defies arithmetic.

Finally, instead of letting your ADHD get the better of you by diverting your attention to a place you neither live nor understand the complexity of, I suggest you start demanding a stop to the much bigger corporate welfare state that has taken hold in the States.

Mon, 02/06/2012 - 17:04 | 2131824 atomic180
atomic180's picture

Greece is spending 160% of GDP was included in the EU with GS cooked books and spends 80% of GDP on pensions and goverment salaries. What dont you understand about welfare state and fraud...

Mon, 02/06/2012 - 09:20 | 2130213 Catullus
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And then 2 days later for $10... when those with warrents nearly shit themselves.

Too bad Greece isn't short silver like Bear was.  Whatever, JPM probably underwrote most of the CDS of Greek debt anyway.

Mon, 02/06/2012 - 09:21 | 2130216 RobertMugabe
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I'm throwing a pre-emptive ouzo party, just in case those sneaky fucking Greeks decide to do everyone a favor and slip out the back door today

Mon, 02/06/2012 - 09:27 | 2130222 battle axe
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It is not the default that is scaring people in the financial industry, you are right. It is the CDS triggers being tripped that I think has people worried, because no one knows how big the CDS are and who has the biggest exposure and how well they are "Hedged". That whole market is a black hole full of  question marks...

Mon, 02/06/2012 - 09:45 | 2130246 Marco
Marco's picture

Common sense tells me that counter party risk can't be hedged in the end, the buck has to stop somewhere, and the ones with the biggest exposure are those with implicit government guarantees.

Mon, 02/06/2012 - 09:46 | 2130257 atomic180
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Mon, 02/06/2012 - 09:50 | 2130271 chindit13
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Actually the numbers are known.  There are just under $69 billion of Gross Notional CDS on Greek debt, and $3.2 billion Net Notional (down from about $9.7 billion a year ago).  Theoretically this is marked to market and collateralized, though there is probably some slippage.   What is only known to individual countries' central banks---and this only if domiciled firms are honest, is how much risk the various individual parties hold.  Until recently it seemed---from the manner in which Germans and French authorities---that they feared default because they knew what their domestic banks net position was.  The Germans, at least, seemed less concerned today.

There is always the possibility that somebody out there has taken premium from the entire world, a la AIG.  I would have bet it was DB, but it might be a French Bank (if there is an AIG in hiding).

Mon, 02/06/2012 - 10:40 | 2130420 battle axe
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"And this is only if domiciled firms are honest" exactly, but that is a big if. You have to know in your bones that there is another AIG out there, and if I was to bet (and aren't we all anyways) then I would say that it is one of the French or Italian major banks. I think you are right that given the German attitude we have seen as of late that they have gotten their banks (DB etc) set up to withstand the coming onslaught. Thanks for the numbers also. 

Mon, 02/06/2012 - 09:33 | 2130223 HamyWanger
HamyWanger's picture

Well, people should live with their time.

I don't have any problem with banks or private companies buying up old and obsolete Nation-States. It is the beginning of the "Diamond Age", and it will continue exponentially.

Mon, 02/06/2012 - 09:46 | 2130251 Dr. Engali
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Hamy that was one of your weaker trolling attempts. You can do better than that.

Mon, 02/06/2012 - 09:50 | 2130272 Mr Lennon Hendrix
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Did he mean "Blood Diamond Age"?

Mon, 02/06/2012 - 09:44 | 2130252 LawsofPhysics
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Yep, right up until the supply lines start getting cut.  Then the diamond age will be followed by another golden age.  

Mon, 02/06/2012 - 10:18 | 2130329 francis_sawyer
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Maybe you'd prefer that they turn Greece into a Mental Health Institution and you can go in there and help keep them supplied with pinwheels & butterfly nets...

Mon, 02/06/2012 - 09:30 | 2130224 The trend is yo...
The trend is your friend's picture

Maybe a Greek default will finally give us a glimpse into the 700 trillion Derivitive market,  unless of course that one little pebble makes the whole house of cards come down

Mon, 02/06/2012 - 09:49 | 2130270 Mr Lennon Hendrix
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The CDS are an interesting play.  Making fiat money when the SHTF is a funny concept. 

Mon, 02/06/2012 - 09:36 | 2130238 Barometer
Barometer's picture

Maybe Greece will buy JPM for $2

Mon, 02/06/2012 - 09:48 | 2130263 Mr Lennon Hendrix
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We're getting a decent pullback in silver.  It may last another week or so. 

Good time to buy.

Mon, 02/06/2012 - 09:38 | 2130243 LawsofPhysics
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I want my two dollars!!!

Mon, 02/06/2012 - 09:47 | 2130259 Mr Lennon Hendrix
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I want my MTV.

Mon, 02/06/2012 - 09:48 | 2130268 StychoKiller
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Meh, you'd just use it on blow & hookerz...

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