Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Greece Drowns In Debt: ECB Plans For Grexit - Its SHTF Time

greek debt cartoons

When the European Central Bank "leaks" that it is preparing to ride out a Grexit, take it seriously, because it is time to start thinking about what happens on "the day after." First thing that will happen of course is Spain, Italy, Portugal and Cyprus will announce they want out too.

And because Boggart Blog readers are not by and large bond market players, to satisfy curiosity about what will happen to European bonds in finance markets (and thus to your pensions), the ECB has suggested any money invested in such vehicles will take a 95% loss.

While the ECB is making it very clear what happens to markets in the case of a "Graccident", it has yet to provide an explanation how it will resolve the billions of Greek debt on its own balance sheet, which are about to be "marked-to-default"...

Here's what one German pundit thinks (by Tim Bartz, Translated from Manager Magazin by fatsally)

The European Central Bank (ECB) is preparing for a possible Greek exit from the euro zone. In internal model calculations, the central bank has already calculated the consequences of different scenarios on the prices of Greek government bonds.

Fernando González Miranda, head of risk analysis at the ECB, assumed for his calculations three different developments of the Greek crisis. These variants have also been presented to our colleagues from the Bundesbank few days ago.

Under the most likely method, the value of Greek government debt - currently around € 320 billion - in the event of a sudden, "accident-like" Farewell to the Greeks from the Euro-zone ("Graccident") shrink to around 5 percent of the principal amount.

If however, the Greek Government were to complete the withdrawal on the basis of ordered negotiations ("Grexit"), the ECB expects a residual value of government bonds by nearly 14 percent. And should it even create the country to negotiate a recent haircut, without having to give up the single currency, the government securities could keep at least a quarter of its original value.

As central bankers feared, the risk is high that the Greek government members "lose track and suddenly find themselves unable to settle their bills." In such a case, the rating agencies Greece would classify as necessarily insolvent, with the result that the central bank should have stopped emergency loans.

But what of Greece? How would that country fare outside the EU. The received wisdom is that they could simply print New Drachma and inflate away their debt. Tyler Durden at Zero Hedge thinks things might not be so simple for them.

Unless there is another way out ...

While Greek treasury officials are digging around in the sofa cushions to try and scrape up €2 billion by Friday (20 March) in order to pay interest due to the IMF, the ECB, and Goldman Sachs, and with celebrity Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis doing his absolute best to sink the entire ship with a series of epic PR faux ups, where can Athens turn when Berlin and Brussels finally pull the plug on further bail outs to suport the continuation of gross incompetence in the Aegean. Reuters carried this story today:

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras will visit Moscow on April 8 after being invited to talks by Russian President Vladimir Putin, a Greek government official said on Tuesday.

Greece's government has previously said Putin had invited Tsipras to visit Moscow on May 9 and it was not immediately clear if that trip had been changed. It would be Tsipras's first official visit to Moscow since being elected in January.

So one again the Geopolitical chess player outmanoeuvres the bluffing poker players of Washington and Brussels. As Syriza faces the unenviable proposition of either completely giving up on its campaign promises or plunging the Greek economy and banking system into a drachma death spiral, it appears as though Athens is playing the one card it has left, which is threatening to effectively surrender itself to the Kremlin.

As Reuters notes, this wouldn't be the first time Greece has inadvertently created speculation around the possibility that Moscow could end up being the new best friend of Europe and marginalising the USA.

Well as someone on television said, "When you play the Game Of Thrones, you win or you die." Its a pity Obama and his friends only watch reruns of The Fresh Prince Of Bel Air.


How To Help The Poor - A look at how mainstream politics talks of fairness but penalises poverty

All three mainstream parties in the May 2015 General Election are focusing, as they did last time, on fairness, equality and helping 'the poor'. As their senior spokesmen piously pontificate there will be no trace of irony from either Conservative, Labour or Liberal Democrat while the spout such bollocks, even though they know their economic policies will penalise the poor.

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