Somehow, following three years of defaults, the world has only now figured out that the ISDA CDS trigger determination committee is made up of the same bankers, who stand to lose everything in the case of global out of control contagion, such as that which may occur if an unwelcome CDS trigger sends the house of cards collapsing, and force mark to market losses on all those institutions which hold impaired debt at par (all of them). As a result, the ISDA meeting which is currently in process is expect to find absolutely nothing, and we agree, however not for that particular 'conspiratorial' reason, but because ISDA is waiting for the PSI outcome for a realistic finding on a credit event. Because after all ISDA is not stupid: they don't want to appear like a pushover - remember how vehemently ISDA had opposed a Greek CDS trigger in the days when Europe still was not prepared for this outcome - but on the other hand wants to preserve some CDS market credibility, which would disappear if none of the recent events in Greece were to trigger CDS. Yet more Greek creditors are getting impatient. Even as the first ISDA meeting has to find (that there has been no CDS trigger), the association's determination committee has just released that it has gotten a second question whether a "Restructuring Credit Event occurred with respect to The Hellenic Republic?" We find it rather odd (or not really) how suddenly quite a few requests are springing out of the woodwork by creditors who obviously are interest in a Greek default. As such the PSI gets quite interesting, because if the pre-PSI action is any indication, quite a few creditors are rather interested in triggering just the event they now consistently badger ISDA with.
Here is the second question in its entirety:
Does (i) the agreement that has been reached between the Hellenic Republic and a number of private sector holders of Greek debt (the “PSI Agreement”) to vote in favour of the invitation described in the Invitation Memorandum dated 24 February 2012 by the Hellenic Republic to the holders of each series of securities listed in the Invitation Memorandum (the “Designated Securities”) to offer to exchange the Designated Securities for new securities (the “Invitation”); (ii) the enactment of Article First of Law No. 4050/2012 (Government Gazette A 36/2012), “Rules on the modification of titles issued or guaranteed by the Greek State with the Bondholders’ agreement” (the “CAC Law”) and (iii) the statement by the Ministry of Finance of the Hellenic Republic on 21 February 2012 that the CAC Law can be used together with the PSI Agreement to achieve participation in the offer described in the Invitation at the levels anticipated by the 26 October 2011 Euro Summit Statement, constitute a Restructuring Credit Event in accordance with Section 4.7 of the 2003 ISDA Credit Derivatives Definitions (as amended by the 2009 ISDA Credit Derivatives Determinations Committees, Auction Settlement and Restructuring Supplement to the 2003 ISDA Credit Derivatives Definitions, published on July 14, 2009) because (i) a reduction in the amount of principal or premium payable at maturity or at scheduled redemption dates of the Designated Securities has been agreed between the Hellenic Republic and a sufficient number of holders of the Designated Securities to bind all holders of the Designated Securities and (ii) this agreement results directly or indirectly from a deterioration in the creditworthiness or financial condition of the Hellenic Republic? Links to publicly available information: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-02-21/euro-area-finance-ministers-st… http://mobile.reuters.com/article/article/idUSL5E8DK4UF20120221 http://www.consilium.europa.eu/homepage/showfocus?lang=en&focusID=80910 http://www.athensnews.gr/portal/11/53558 http://www.minfin.gr/portal/en/resource/contentObject/id/7ad6442f-1777-… http://www.consilium.europa.eu/uedocs/cms_data/docs/pressdata/en/ec/125… http://www.greekbonds.gr/
This is somewhat different query from the one currently being discussed, although both fundamentally address Section 4.7:
Does the announcement of the passage by the Greek parliament of legislation that approves the implementation of an exchange offer and vote providing for collective action clauses (“CACs”) that impose a “haircut amounting to 53.5%” (MINFIN Announcement, 2.21.2012) that “shall bind the entirety of the Bondholders [of eligible instruments]” (First Article, Section 9), constitute a Restructuring Credit Event in accordance with Section 4.7 of the 2003 ISDA Credit Derivatives Definitions (as amended by the 2009 ISDA Credit Derivatives Determinations Committees, Auction Settlement and Restructuring Supplement to the 2003 ISDA Credit Derivatives Definitions, published on July 14, 2009) because (i) the European Central Bank and National Central Banks benefitted from “a change in the ranking in priority of payment” as a result of the Hellenic Republic exclusively offering them the ability to exchange out of their “eligible instruments” prior to the exchange and implementation of the CACs, thereby effectively “causing the Subordination” of all remaining holders of eligible instruments, and (ii) this announcement results directly or indirectly from a deterioration in the creditworthiness or financial condition of the Hellenic Republic? Supporting Information: http://www.isda.org/uploadfiles/_docs/PAI_for_Issue_No_2012022401.pdf
Just how many more such requests can ISDA sustain before it comes out appearing like a manipulated, corrupt organization, dominated by banks (if also a few hedge funds), and finally caves first on Greece, then all the other countries (all of those where the ECB has bought bonds), where the ECB has subordinated creditors?