'Totally Ridiculous' Greece Should Default Big Or Go Home

Tyler Durden's picture

In what seems like the first honest words from a central banker in months (albeit an ex-central banker), Mario Blejer (who presided over the post-default Argentina in 2001) has some first-rate advice for G-Pap and his fellow Greeks. From an interview in Buenos Aires, Bloomberg notes the following notable quotes:

Greece should default, and default big, you can’t jump over a chasm in two steps.”


"Rescue programs backed by the International Monetary Fund and European Central Bank are “recession creating” efforts that will leave Greece saddled with more debt relative to the size of its economy in coming years and stifle growth"


“It’s totally ridiculous what is going on,” Blejer, 63, said. “If you assume that these countries do everything that is in the program, they do all these adjustments and privatizations, at the end of 2012 debt-to-GDP will be bigger than this year.”


It seems that once you retire and are free of the shackles of self-aggrandizement, the truth can flow freely and while he does not advocate Greece leaving the Euro-zone, his view is very clear.

Germany and France will have to bear the brunt of financing efforts to help Greece and other countries that default re-start their economies - "someone will have to pay, but if they are not willing to pay for the Euro they will have to get out of the Euro."


With longer-term GGBs already trading at EUR30, it seems the market views the world this way too. The GGB price term structure does not look so hot.


UPDATE: For some context on what occurred in Argentina - it seems long-dated GGBs are indeed priced for this and shorter-dated obviously priced for this plus some short-term carry:

When the default was declared in 2002, foreign investment fled the country, and capital flow towards Argentina ceased almost completely. The Argentine government met severe challenges trying to refinance the debt. The state had no spare money at the time, and the central bank's foreign currency reserves were almost depleted.

The Argentine government kept a firm stance, and finally got a deal in 2005 by which 76% of the defaulted bonds were exchanged by others, of a much lower nominal value (25–35% of the original) and at longer terms. In 2008, President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner announced she was studying a reopening of the 2005 swap to gain adhesion from the remaining 24% of the so-called "holdouts", and thereby fully exit the default with private investors.

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RealFinney's picture

Have they taken delivery yet of the fancy new military gear they were eyeing last year?


Can't ruin the credit rating till you've got your new toys...

espirit's picture

...ponzi. must. go on.  To it's dying breath, at least.

Rumor, rumor, news, rumor, news, rumor...rumor...rumor.

Maxwell Smart's picture

Angela Merkel and Finnish prime minister met today. Here's the story with a  lovely Google translation:

Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen (cons), and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have discussed the Finnish security requirements generated controversy in Berlin. After the meeting with Merkel at the press conference, said that the front is very hard, and that he is convinced that a solution is found.

Merkel, Finland and Germany are in line with the debt crisis, and will continue to cooperate closely. In Germany, for the first time as prime minister visited Katainen was received with military honor ceremony.

Katainen told the Finnish reporters later that the securities become the main topic of discussion. Katainen gave, however, to understand that a security solution to the dispute can be found in even the next few days or a couple of weeks. - Begin to deal with the various parliaments of Greece, package, and then this issue must be clear.

Katainen did not specify what kind of solution would be valid for all member countries. - I do not it still can not explain it because it is quite difficult enough without it.

Minister of Jutta Urpilainen (soc dem), discussed the controversial securities a week ago the German and Dutch finance ministers. Berlin, the meeting did not provide for any concrete.

According to Greek sources, tomorrow, Wednesday, Greece's debt crisis will be discussed again. Geroge Papandreou, Greek Prime Minister to keep a phone meeting with Chancellor Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

AFP, according to a telephone conference later this week in Poland, paving the way for the EU finance ministers meeting.

Cpl Hicks's picture

" I do not it still can not explain it because it is quite difficult enough without it."

I could not agree more!

IQ 145's picture

I love Google Translates. It's absolutely hilarious. One page I asked to translate from Dutch, (about an engine), started off, "the green sausage cannot to revolve well in this soup bowl" And, I thought, oh I don't think this is going to work.

Printfaster's picture

This is truly idiotic coming from Merkel.

Once you say that you are going bankrupt, you go bankrupt.  Ask Lehman.  Once you tell your creditors that you are going bankrupt they all start banging on the door to get out before bankruptcy and they get nothing.

It is over.  Now.  Not 2013.  Over.

bankruptcylawyer's picture

there's nothing to say that they can't literrally throw a money bomb at the problem , particularly if china is willing to play ball for a year in order to secure its interests in europe, 200 billlion for greece and italy doesn't seem like such a big price to pay if you can get trade, sphere of influence, and IP concessions worth as much. 


but i agree about the analogy of creditors. i mean  , this is classic liquidity crisis stuff. however, if you are a nation with unlimited borrowing means, ( germany ) and you tell people a subsidiary is insolvent but that you will prop it up for an orderly unwind slowly over 18 months, 

some might just call that a prepackaged bankruptcy, and so ....the difference is that asset values are not sold in a fire sale in a prepack...a deal is worked out in advance so that the unwind is not too jarring. 


hard to say though. who knows.

unununium's picture

Ken Pruitt said on Bloomberg Radio this morning: "China has a lot of money, let's have them step up and buy Italian bonds!"

Lets "have them"... Priceless.

IQ 145's picture

But it's extremely German; "They vill go bankrupt vhen we say, Bankrupt! Und not vun minute before!"

Lord Welligton's picture

What is it with 2013.

Are they waiting to see if the Mayans were right.




centerline's picture

Hoping the Mayans are right is what it seems.

Instant Wealth's picture

2013: Merkel re-election *muhawwhawwhaww*

Pancho Villa's picture

So Merkel is willing to send hundreds of billions of Euros to Greece in order to delay bankruptcy by a year? I guess the German dream of European domination dies hard.

It kind of reminds me of Stalingrad. Hitler could have avoided a major defeat if he had only pulled his troops out in a timely fashon. Instead he left them there with vague plans to supply them by air which never really worked out.

snakeboat's picture

Can somebody get Blejer on CNBS?? Puuhhhleeeeze, pretty please!

LongSoupLine's picture

Amazing how many of these CB'ers "find clarity" after they leave office.  Talk about no moral courage...

LookingWithAmazement's picture

Yaaaaaaaaaaawn. Still no Armageddon. Everything is calculated in now. Merry Christmas.

shazbotz's picture

Amerika needs to FIRE THE GOVERNMENT.... ALL OF IT and start over and smaller

LongBallsShortBrains's picture

Amerika needs to FIRE THE GOVERNMENT.... ALL OF IT and Not start over and smaller

Fixed it fer ya

kito's picture

nooo, keep the euros flowing to greece!!! good for my gold!!!!!!!! print print print!!!

Dan Watie's picture

One redeeming benefit from all this euro nonsense is knowing that Rockefeller's plan for globalisation is unraveling before his serpentine eyes!

SMG's picture

I hope you're right.

Tuco Benedicto Pacifico Juan Maria Ramirez's picture

Dan, I hope to hell you are right, but as you know you can not underestimate these demons.  We must watch closely.  They will use this crisis to attempt to create a "United States of Europe" with one demon central bank.


Dan Watie's picture

You're right Mr. Ramirez. But they can delay their day of reckoning only as long as we allow. And more people are awakening. That's what happens when you get hungry and you have no job. Poverty in the US is at levels not seen since 1983. And that's just government numbers. In reality we know it is much, much worse. Those 7,000 Ferraris sold so far this year better stay covered and hidden in McBanker's McMansion because they will be spit on and keyed and trashed in no time. Keep that rope handy,Tuco. ;-)

markar's picture

Please!!! Someone stick a fork in it already! so we can move on to more important BKs... Italy, Portugal, Spain, CA, IL, etc.

Curtis LeMay's picture

The General Secretary of the Brussels Politburo, el Presdiente Barroso, just have Italy the kiss of death:

EU's Barroso:Italy Needs Rigorous Implementation Of Budget Plan

Italy must ensure that the implementation of its new budget plan is "rapid, effective and rigorous," European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said in a statement Tuesday following his meeting with Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.


SEPTEMBER 13, 2011, 11:48 A.M. ET


Every single time he used that exact same terminology - when Greece was imploding, Portugal and Ireland falling into the abyss, his words were simply confirmation that it's already far too late to save that country within the eurozone.


Lord Welligton's picture

God almighty.

These clowns just don't know when to shut up.

IQ 145's picture

A bit of good old English reticence would be rather welcome; but as soon you cross the channel all you've got is Wogs; Bloody Wogs. Screeching and hand wringing in public, frightening the horses; disgraceful ! Simply disgraceful.

Dick Darlington's picture

Same with the ponzimaster Olli Rehn. He knows only two things.

  1. more debt
  2. kiss of death

Every time he opens his mouth to lie more in public one or the other will become reality.

LookingWithAmazement's picture

Believe me: Greece will get all the promised money. No eurocountry can let the euro default, so all parliaments will agree with the July 21 package. By October 17, Greece would run out, but it will not happen. Even the ECB will jump in and print the needed funds. Monsieur Jean-Claude will not let the euro explode or even one member go bankrupt during his tenure. It's only a matter of time, the voting in the Bundestag takes place only at the end of September. The panic is because it takes so long. By October 1, it's all done and ok. So, sleep well and a merry Christmas. Jingle bells ...

Pancho Villa's picture

Thanks for the update Mr. Venizelos.

LookingWithAmazement's picture

Even WHEN Greece defaults, Armageddon will not come. Instead, a massive run into German, Dutch and US bonds will come, as well as a run to cash and to a lesser extent gold and silver. No collapsing euro, on the contrary, that currency will strenghten. So, merry X-mas, this "war" will long be over by then. Sleep well.

IQ 145's picture

Jingle Bells? Whoa, I want some of what he's smoking.

Spigot's picture

The delays in the inevitable are simply to allow the positioning of interests to take advantage of the inevitable (or at least to not be hurt by it). If you know what will come then you have the power to capitalize on its arrival (timing and etc).

MS7's picture

G-Pap is not going to take anyone's advice. He's not on the side of Greece. He was born in the US, his mom is American, and he has no respect or understanding of Greek people. At the same time he is the ultimate government insider. His dad was PM as was his granddad, plus he has been in the government for decades. Yet, he pretends to represent change. He is working for the EU, either for neo-liberal ideological reasons or because he wants to please his buddies who are fellow prime ministers. Whatever the reason, the last thing he will do is something bold for the sake of Greece. He and his party are extremely unpopular in Greece. Unfortunately the people's rage is not properly channelled. There know what they don't want, but they don't know who will replace him. I wish they would act quickly before he irreversibly sinks the whole country (assuming that has not already happened).

Dick Darlington's picture

Fellas fellas, the incarnation of the Iraqi information minister in France is telling us it's all good.

Solid i tell You. And united!

France is in panic and it's only a matter of time when someone else than the cds market makes the same notion. And with that we can say goodbye to the monster CDO and, well, the eurozone.

HistorySquared's picture

Surely Greece knows this, but they are still a net borrower. So their plan is to run up the credit lines as high as they will go then default, just like those hucksters looking to file for bankruptcy run up their credit cards first. 

Jacks Cold Sweat's picture

I dont get all that hatin' you oppose against Greece. And i dont understand how you could possibly believe that Merkozy and their pals would let Greece default. We all know very well that you cant fuck an HIV positive whore beacause you get HIV as well and you die. 




GErmany has a Mercedes Benz and Greece has a Yugo Zastava. Who do you think will pay more in rims , paintjob etc???

Dont hate the player,hate the game

Nout Wellink's picture

Dutch ministry of Finance says: 'Greece will default'.


One phrase:

Als het faillissement niet op een beheerste manier gaat, kunnen andere zwakke eurolanden als Italië en Spanje ook in grote problemen komen. Als die landen niet overeind blijven, zou de euro als munt in gevaar komen.

Translated: If the default is going to be disorderly, other weak EU countries like Spain and Italy will be in big trouble as well. If they fall, the euro is in danger.

how to trade armageddon's picture

Sorry about the first messy post, here it is cleaned up, the Ransquawk feed on this topic:

14:09 ECONOMIC COMMENTARY Dutch finance ministry says not calling for an orderly default for Greece
14:08 ECONOMIC COMMENTARY Dutch finance ministry says Greek default is only a scenario
14:07 ECONOMIC COMMENTARY Dutch finance ministry dismisses report on Greek default
13:56 ECONOMIC COMMENTARY Dutch finance ministry says sees Greek default as unavoidable and urges orderly default

Oops, what did I say? Umm, I meant the opposite. At least until tomorrow.

falak pema's picture

Sounds like an invitation to a bunga-bunga session: "please do it if you have to but do it in orderly fashion." Oh, the lovely pleasures of defaulting in orderly fashion...very German that, not very latin. Passion bitches! 

IQ 145's picture

Well, that gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling all over. To me, no one could be more credible than a Dutch official. They're very serious and practical and many times, for centuries, have go the right answer and muddled thru when other European Countries were making complete asses of themselves. Speaking about the unspeakable; "Contagion is real, and to be expected, or planned for". Lovely. Just peachy.

LookingWithAmazement's picture

A Greek default would not lead to Armageddon, but to a massive relieve rally on the stock market and other financials. Finally, the uncertainty gone! Armageddon is crap.

falak pema's picture

I propose you be nominated to take over the ECB when Lord Triché leaves in October. It would be so refreshing to hear "SO boring" at ECB press conferences. "Armageddon is crap" would then win you the Nobel peace; like for O'bammy!

how to trade armageddon's picture

Stay long, baby, stay long! I mean just you, personally. This message doesn't apply to anybody who doesn't want to lose their money.

If Greece defaults, Greek banks indefinitely freeze deposits. The only relatively quick way to unfreeze them would be automatic conversion into hugely devalued drachmas. Imagine how Italians and Spaniards are going to react to that.

walküre's picture

Spain and Italy are economically much more versatile and attractive than Greece.

Greece got the money because they're part of the EU and everyone expects the EU to carry Greece.

There's always money for countries like Spain and Italy, just depending on how the deals get structured. Depending on what Spain and Italy were to put on the table, an investor can be tapped.

walküre's picture

The default is being priced in as we speak. So lenders are taking a haircut. Their own fault for going all in on the olive oil crapshoot trade. Assets? What assets does Greece have that fucking matter anywhere? Maybe their debt can be packaged and traded but realistically, there just isn't anything of value in Greece. It once played an important strategic role but that was then.

Crapshoot either way. Extending the misery will only make it worse as markets are trying to figure this out and speculating as to when, not if.

Would it matter to America if say, Alabama defaulted on its debt? Probably not a whole lot. The money issue can be sorted out if done in an orderly fashion where nobody has access to anything or anybody for a year. No backroom deals and no favors either. The Greeks are broke and they ought to be able to go through the process of real changes to their bloated bureaucracy. Something meaner and leaner will emerge.

IQ 145's picture

Oh, go drownd yourself, will you please. Put yourself out of your misery. intended for "Amazing amazment" .