In the two days after Syriza's dramatic victory in the local Greek election, global investors assumed this loud cry against European policies would mean... more of the same, and as a result not much changed in the risk assessment of Greek assets. Then, overnight, following the previous report that not only does Syriza mean business but it is actively pivoting away from Europe (and toward Russia?), and everyone started paying attention, with a waterfall of selling engulfing not only the Greek stock market but also its bonds, which are crashing in the process sending the 3 Year yield to 16.4%, the highest since the restructuring, and the 10 Year either below or above 10%, depending on which data source is used (Bloomberg has them slightly below, others reporting 10-year bond yields up 50 basis points at 10.30%).
Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras promised "radical" change on Wednesday as his new government swiftly moved to roll back key parts of Greece's international bailout, prompting a third day of losses on financial markets.
A swift series of announcements signaled the newly installed government would not back down from its anti-austerity pledges, setting it on course for a clash with European partners, led by Germany, which has said it will not renegotiate the aid package needed to help Greece pay its debts.
Even before the first meeting of the new cabinet, ministers had hit the airwaves to reassure voters they would honor campaign pledges to roll back the tough economic policies imposed under Greece's 240-billion-euro bailout program.
The planned sale of a 30 percent stake in Public Power Corporation of Greece (PPC), the country's biggest utility, was halted while ministers pledged to raise pensions for those on low incomes and reinstate some fired public sector workers.
"We are coming in to radically change the way that policies and administration are conducted in this country," Tsipras told ministers at their first cabinet meeting.
Needless to say "radically changing" is the last thing all those US hedge funds, may they rest in piece, who bet all-in on the Grecovery in 2013 and 2014 is what they wanted to hear and the resultant decimation of Greek risk is as follows:
- Greek banks continue rout as 3-yr bond yield rises to 16.5%, highest since restructuring.
- 10-yr spread vs bunds widens to more than 1,000 bps
- FTSE/Athex banks index down 19%, taking decline since election to as much as 39%
- Piraeus Bank falls as much as 23.2%; volume-at-time is 286% of 30 day average
- Eurobank Ergasias falls as much as 22%; volume-at-time is 284%
- National Bank of Greece falls as much as 20.5%; volume-at-time is 394%
- Alpha Bank falls as much as 19.5%; volume-at-time is 324%
- Those four banks account for 0.54 points of Stoxx 600 decline; index down 0.6 points, or 0.2%, to 368.11
This is what the first three days of post-election Greece look like for local stocks: the biggest weekly (so far) drop ever.
Update: Greek bank stocks not liking Syriza's victory, -38.5% this week, on track for biggest weekly fall ever: pic.twitter.com/fsectnGMMt— Jamie McGeever (@ReutersJamie) January 28, 2015
Worse, Greek bank stocks right now are having their worst day ever.
Last one on Greek bank stocks for now - they're having their worst day ever: pic.twitter.com/5PKMRiwRSq— Jamie McGeever (@ReutersJamie) January 28, 2015
It's amazing what happens when a country finally has a politician who truly puts the interest of the people ahead of those of the bankers or shareholders.
And of course, nobody ever said going cold turkey on years of European bailouts (bailouts which are used by Greece to mostly continue paying its obligations to the Troika) is going to be easy. If indeed Greece is intent on proceeding with the Icelandic route, we congratulate them... and wish them luck because the next 6-12 months are going to be painful. The good news: it's all uphill from there.