Dec 03

Former Greek PM G-Pap’s 89 Year Old Mother Said To Have $700 Million In Swiss Bank Account (ZeroHedge, Dec 3, 2012):

There was a time when Swiss bank secrecy was the passion of every tax-challenged oligarch in the world. Then things changed, Obama made it s badge of honor to rat out anyone you know who has a bank account in Zurich or Geneva, lists of previously ultra-secret account holders started “leaking” and from an asset, Swiss bank accounts promptly became a liability to everyone involved. Such as the matriarch of the legendary Papandreou family, former Pasok Greek PM G-Pap’s mother, Margaret, also wife of former PM Andreas, who according to The Telegraph has been revealed as having a €550 million ($700 million) Swiss bank account (she will hardly be happy to learn that Credit Suisse just instituted a negative interest on CHF deposits) in the Geneva branch of HSBC. Obviously lots of hard work by M-Pap went into building up that particular nest egg.

M-Pap has quite an soap opera past of her own: Continue reading »

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Nov 10

How Goldman Sacked Greece (Greg Palast, Nov. 6, 2011):

by Greg Palast for In These TimesHere’s what we’re told:

Greece’s economy blew apart because a bunch of olive-spitting, ouzo-guzzling, lazy-ass Greeks refuse to put in a full day’s work, retire while they’re still teenagers, pocket pensions fit for a pasha; and they’ve gone on a social-services spending spree using borrowed money. Now that the bill has come due and the Greeks have to pay with higher taxes and cuts in their big fat welfare state, they run riot, screaming in the streets, busting windows and burning banks.

I don’t buy it.  I don’t buy it because of the document in my hand marked, “RESTRICTED DISTRIBUTION.”

I’ll cut to the indictment:  Greece is a crime scene.  The people are victims of a fraud, a scam, a hustle and a flim-flam.   And––cover the children’s ears when I say this––a bank named Goldman Sachs is holding the smoking gun.

********

This is an adaptation of an excerpt from Vultures’ Picnic, Greg Palast’s new book, out next week, an investigator’s pursuit of petroleum pigs, power pirates and high-finance fraudsters. Read the first chapter or just get the book here.

********

In 2002, Goldman Sachs secretly bought up €2.3 billion in Greek government debt, converted it all into yen and dollars, then immediately sold it back to Greece.

Goldman took a huge loss on the trade.

Is Goldman that stupid?

Goldman is stupid—like a fox. The deal was a con, with Goldman making up a phony-baloney exchange rate for the transaction.   Why?

Goldman had cut a secret deal with the Greek government in power then.  Their game:  to conceal a massive budget deficit.  Goldman’s fake loss was the Greek government’s fake gain.

Goldman would get repayment of its “loss” from the government at loan-shark rates.

The point is, through this crazy and costly legerdemain, Greece’s right-wing free-market government was able to pretend its deficits never exceeded 3 percent of GDP.

Cool. Fraudulent but cool.

Continue reading »

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Nov 09

Another rat leaves the sinking ship.

See also:

PM Berlusconi Says He’s Resigning For The Good Of Italy


G-Pap Speaks Live, Resigns (Zero Hedge, Nov. 9, 2011):

Headlines as the outgoing PM has what may be one of his last addresses to the nation.

PAPANDREOU RESIGNS
PAPANDREOU DOESN’T SAY WHO WILL LEAD NEW GOVERNMENT
PAPANDREOU SAYS AIMED FOR CONSENSUS FROM BEGINNING
PAPANDREOU SAYS HAS CONSENSUS NOW
PAPANDREOU SAYS NEED OF UNITY MORE THAN EVER BEFORE
PAPANDREOU SAYS GREECE MUST DO ALL TO STAY IN EURO
PAPANDREOU SAYS GREECE MUST DO ALL TO EXIT CRISIS
PAPANDREOU SAYS NEED OF UNITY MORE THAN EVER BEFORE
PAPANDREOU SAYS WILL DO WHATEVER IS NECESSARY TO IMPLEMENT EU AID DEAL

In the meantime, L-Pap appears to be gone, and with it, the Fed and ECB annexation plans, and instead the speaker of the government Filippos Petsalnikos (or F-Paps) will most likely be named interim PM. What that means for the future of the country at this point is still unclear.

via BBG and Reuters

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Nov 02

Greek military leadership changes spark opposition outcry (Telegraph, Nov. 1, 2011):

As Greek politics grew ever more chaotic strong political protests erupted as the government moved to replace military chiefs with officers seen as more supportive of George Papandreou, the prime minister.

In a surprise development, Panos Beglitis, Defence Minister, a close confidante of Mr Papandreou, summoned the chiefs of the army, navy and air-force and announced that they were being replaced by other senior officers.

Neither the minister nor any government spokesman offered an explanation for the sudden, sweeping changes, which were scheduled to be considered on November 7 as part of a regular annual review of military leadership retirements and promotions. Usually the annual changes do not affect the entire leadership.

“Under no circumstances will these changes be accepted, at a time when the government is collapsing and has not even secured a vote of confidence,” said an official announcement by the opposition conservative New Democracy party.

“It has no moral or real authority any more, and such surprise moves can only worsen the crisis currently sweeping the country”.

The party said it will not accept the new nominations and will take its own decisions on armed forces changes if it comes to power at the general elections that are expected to take place in Greece if the government loses the vote of confidence on Friday night.

GREECE – Collapse Of Government Is Imminent (The Daily Bail, Nov 1, 2011):


CNBC Video – Michelle Caruson Cabrera reports from Greece.

Bloomberg:

The country that invented drama and democracy is not disappointing the world on either front. Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou on Monday called for two high- stakes votes.

The first asks parliament to say by the end of this week whether it has confidence in his leadership. The second is a referendum in which Greek voters would approve or reject, possibly by year’s end, Europe’s latest debt-crisis workout.

The move blindsided European leaders on the eve of a global summit and rocked lawmakers in Papandreou’s party, some of whom are now calling for him to step down. The next day, stocks tumbled worldwide, the euro declined and Italian bonds plunged.

No doubt, Papandreou’s gambit is extremely risky. He has only a three-seat parliamentary majority. And the referendum, if rejected, could push Greece into default and out of the European Union and the single currency. A doomsday scenario could follow, including financial market mayhem, soaring sovereign borrowing costs and cascading bank failures. Europe and the U.S. could fall back into recession.

Still, it was the right thing to do. Greek citizens deserve a say on one of the most important matters in their lifetimes. Perhaps more important, the move could finally force Europe into the full reckoning required to solve its two-year-old sovereign- debt crisis.

– The gloves are off! Greek PM prepares for showdown with Merkel and Sarkozy tonight as Europe teeters on the brink of financial disaster (Daily Mail, Nov. 2, 2011):

  • European Commission President calls on Greek leaders to support the bailout package insisting the alternative would be more painful
  • Greek cabinet vote unanimously to hold referendum on whether to uphold debt agreement
  • Generals face sack in Athens as coup rumours spread
  • Papandreou to face confidence vote in Greek parliament on Friday

The Greek prime minister was today preparing for a tense showdown with the leaders of France and Germany after he announced shock plans to hold a referendum on his country’s emergency bail-out.

George Papandreou has arrived in Cannes, France, after securing his ministers’ support for the vote in a mammoth seven-hour cabinet meeting last night. The referendum could take place next month.

If Greece rejects the austerity measures – part of a package to stop the sovereign debt crisis spreading, Europe faces being plunged into an economic catastrophe.

Mr Papendreou will face the wrath of President Nicolas Sarkozy and Chancellor Angela Merkel this evening ahead of the G20 summit.

The pair will then meet with other top world leaders who they will try to convince that the eurozone is not in terminal decline.

In Greece yesterday, little was done to calm the nerves of politicians and financial markets as Athens announced extraordinary plans to sack its military leaders amid rampant speculation that it was trying to head off a coup d’etat.

‘It’s all over. The government is about to collapse,’ said one Greek official. Greece’s former deputy finance minister Petros Doukas agreed: ‘The **** has hit the fan.’

Continue reading »

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Oct 03

See also:

Former White House Advisor & UBS Global Strategy Deputy Head And CFR Member: The Germans Announce They Are Re-Introducing The Deutschmark – They Have Already Ordered The New Currency And Asked That The Printers Hurry Up

The Multi-Trillion Euro Bailout Plan Has Already FAILED

Christine Lagarde: IMF May Need A BAILOUT

Flashback on Bilderberg Papandreou and his elitist friends:

The Papas And The Papas: Greece’s First Family

Top Swiss Banking Insider Exposes The Bilderberg Group

Bilderberg 2000 with Papandreou

Bilderberg 2010 with Minister of Finance George Papaconstantinou


Greece to miss deficit targets for 2011-2012 (AFP, Oct. 2, 2011):

Greece to miss deficit target for 2011-2012; deficit to reach 8.5 pct of GDP this year

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greece won’t meet 2011-2012 deficit targets imposed by international lenders as part of the country’s bailout, the Finance Ministry said Sunday.

The country’s deficit this year is expected to reach 8.5 percent of gross domestic product, or euro18.69 billion ($25.2 billion) — higher than the targeted euro17.1 billion ($23.1 billion), which would have been 7.8 percent of GDP, the ministry said.

Greece to miss deficit targets despite austerity (Reuters, Oct. 2, 2011):

Greece will miss a deficit target set just months ago in a massive bailout package, according to government draft budget figures released on Sunday, showing that drastic steps taken to avert bankruptcy may not be enough.

The dire forecasts came while inspectors from the International Monetary Fund, EU and European Central Bank, known as the troika, were in Athens scouring the country’s books to decide whether to approve a loan tranche. Without that installment, Greece would run out of cash as soon as this month.
Continue reading »

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Jul 22

… not to forget physical silver!!!


If You Haven’t Bought Any Gold Yet… (ZeroHedge, July 21, 2011):

If You Haven’t Bought Any Gold Yet…

Print. Lie. Borrow. Deceive. Deny. These are a the principal tenants of the Greek restructuring plan that were released today from Brussels… it’s as if EU policymakers put it together after shaking a Magic 8-ball.

The whole world knows that Greece is bankrupt and has been living bailout to bailout for over a year. Deep in debt and devoid of cash, the country has completely forsaken its sovereignty in exchange for becoming a ward of the European Union; Prime Minister George Papandreou is now a hapless stooge awaiting instructions from Germany.

It’s ironic that the Greek proposal released today calls for a ‘Marshall Plan’ of investment across Europe… given that the last time Greece was being controlled by Germany was during the country’s occupation by Nazi forces after being vanquished by Hitler’s 12th Army in April 1941.

And so, with limited debate and even less fanfare, Europe has just officially signed on to destroy its own currency. Utterly worthless, quasi-defaulted Greek debt will become perfectly acceptable collateral, much in the same way that the US Federal Reserve took every scrap of toxic paper it could find off banks in 2008 and 2009.

Given the favorable market reaction, European politicians must be feeling pretty proud of themselves. The euro is up. The stock market is up. Oil is up. Well, never mind about oil, they’ll blame that on evil speculators… just like food prices.

Continue reading »

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Jul 15

Flashback:

Greece Must Sell Up To €300 Billion ($434 Billion) In State Property!!!

NWO Financial Terrorist Attack On Greece: Max Keiser, Nigel Farage, Gerald Celente On Greek Austerity & Bailout

The No.1 Trend Forecaster Gerald Celente on Greece: ‘The IMF Is Nothing More Than The International Mafia Federation’ Stealing Big!

The Papas And The Papas: Greece’s First Family

Greece: Default Is Inevitable (By Mario Blejer, who was former president of the Central Bank of Argentina, and has held top positions at the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the Bank of England.)

The Big Fat Greek Sell-Off: Foreigners (Like Rothschild) Have Come To Sell The Family Silver

Accusations Of Treason In The Greek Parliament Against Bilderberg PM Papandreou

Here Is What Happens After Greece Defaults

Max Keiser on Greece: ‘The IMF is a Financial Mafia’:

The only solution for Greece is to arrest the Goldman Sachs bankers immediately and all those involved in the fabrication of Greek economic data in 2000, when you became a member of the eurozone. The next step is to nationalize all banks like Sweden did in 1993. The International Monetary Fund is that last thing you need. You will lose your sovereignty. It exercises terrorism. You will be raped in such a way, that it will be the worst pain you have ever felt.

On Bilderberg:

Top Swiss Banking Insider Exposes The Bilderberg Group

Bilderberg 2000 with Papandreou

Bilderberg 2010 with Minister of Finance George Papaconstantinou

Enough:

Former Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury Dr. Paul Craig Roberts: Revolution is the Only Answer (For Greece, Ireland etc.)

People of Greece BUY, BUY, BUY physical gold and silver (Maple Leaf, American Eagle, Wiener Philharmoniker 1 oz coins) to PROTECT YOUR ASSETS …

… and to help us to destroy the Illuminati banksters, exposing their gigantic, unprecedented silver short position:

Silver Market Manipulation Exposed: BIS Changed Silver Data From $203 to $93 Billion in Silver Liabilities: $93 Billion Is Still Absurdly Large At About 6.2 Billion Oz. Of Silver, Or About 8.8 Years Of Worth Of World Annual Mine Production Of Silver

Accordingly, it sure is a good thing that the world’s biggest derivatives player – J.P. Morgan – has ‘seemingly’ NEVER, EVER made a bet even ’1 % wrong’ with their 80 Trillion derivatives book. The Morgue has a Market Cap of roughly $180 billion. A wrong bet of a mere 1% on their ‘book’ would translate to a loss of $800 billion dollars eviscerating their entire capital base more than four times over. The knock on effect from such an event would trigger multiple tsunamis reverberating through the global financial system. Sounds absurd, but it’s pure math.


Greece PM says second bailout needed urgently

Greece PM says second bailout needed urgently (Reuters, July 13, 2011):

Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou said the euro zone and International Monetary Fund must quickly approve a second bailout for his country to avoid its economic reform plans collapsing, a German newspaper reported.

“The current mood doesn’t help us to get through this crisis,” Papandreou told the Financial Times Deutschland, in a brief preview of an interview to be published in the paper’s Thursday’s edition.

“This uncertainty scares investors. If we don’t get a decision soon supporting the second Greek programme so that the country can begin its far-reaching reforms, the programme itself could be held up.”

Continue reading »

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Jul 03

See also:

Former Goldman Sachs Managing Director Appointed European Central Bank President!

Former Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury Dr. Paul Craig Roberts: Revolution is the Only Answer (For Greece, Ireland etc.)



Added: 02.07.2011

A short video about what’s happening in Greece at the present and what has lead Greece to this state. Speaking in the clips are Max Keiser, Nigel Farage and Gerald Celente. The clips are from Russia Today, Aljazeera and EU parliament. Music by Corner Stone Cues – Requiem For A Tower Mvt II III IV.

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Jul 03


Added: 01.07.2011

If Nostradamus were alive today, he’d have a hard time keeping up with Gerald Celente.
– New York Post

When CNN wants to know about the Top Trends, we ask Gerald Celente.
– CNN Headline News

There’s not a better trend forecaster than Gerald Celente. The man knows what he’s talking about.
– CNBC

Those who take their predictions seriously … consider the Trends Research Institute.
– The Wall Street Journal

A network of 25 experts whose range of specialties would rival many university faculties.
– The Economist

More from Gerald Celente:

The No.1 Trend Forecaster Gerald Celente: Collapse – It’s Coming! Are You Ready? (06/14/2011)

The No.1 Trend Forecaster Gerald Celente’s Dire Warning For The World

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Jun 25

See also:

PIMCO, The World’s Biggest Bond Fund, Expects Greece And Other European Economies To Default – Allianz Global Investors Capital: Greek Default ‘Inevitable’


The Papas And The Papas: Greece’s First Family (ZeroHedge, June 24, 2011):

With the resurgence of Greece back to the top of global news, incompetence and labor strikes charts (just like back in 2010 at roughly this time, which is to be expected since 2011 has been following the 2010 script to the dot) there has been far too little focus in the mainstream media on the family whose actions were responsible for Greece’s rise to glory and subsequent collapse into default. As Associates Press notes in its report the ruling family, “One family has dominated Greek politics for more than half a century: the Papandreous.” For all those who are wondering who the men behind the curtain, or as the case may be, front and center, are, the following expose is for you.

The Papandreous: Greece’s first family


One family has dominated Greek politics for more than half a century: the Papandreous.

A George Papandreou was in charge in the 1960s at a time of constitutional upheaval. And a George Papandreou rules now amid a financial crisis that threatens the nation with ruin.

Continue reading »

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Jun 19

See also:

Former Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury Dr. Paul Craig Roberts: Revolution is the Only Answer (For Greece, Ireland etc.)



A Greek protester shouts slogans during a rally against the government’s latest austerity measures in central Athens. Photograph: Kostas Tsironis/AP

Greek debt crisis: George Papandreou in emergency talks for more EU money (Guardian, June 19, 2011):

Greek protesters warn that ‘people may die’ as anger over fresh austerity measures sees Athens in revolt.

With its coffers nearly empty, its people protesting and its political system under unprecedented attack, Greece stands on the brink of crisis as European officials prepare for a week of crucial meetings to avert economic collapse.

Fears that a debt-choked Athens could plunge global financial markets into turmoil are mounting as Germany and France edge closer to a new multibillion rescue package for the nation. Eurozone finance ministers are expected to give the green light to an emergency loan for the country when they convene for urgent talks in Luxembourg.

Continue reading »

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Jun 15

See also:

Former Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury Dr. Paul Craig Roberts: Revolution is the Only Answer (For Greece, Ireland etc.)



Added: 15.06.2011

Greek PM to form new government (Al Jazeera, June 15, 2011):

George Papandreou, the Greek prime minister, has in a televised address said he will form a new government on Thursday and seek a vote of confidence from his PASOK parliamentary group.

His announcement on Wednesday came shortly after the opposition turned down his offer to stand down to facilitate the formation of a unity government for passing tough austerity measures.

“I will continue on the same course. This is the road of duty, together with PASOK’s parliamentary group, its
members, and the Greek people,” Papandreou said.

“Tomorrow I will form a new government, and then I will ask for a vote of confidence,” he said.

He had earlier said the proposed new unity government must support the European Union and International Monetary Fund (IMF) bailout, and should not seek to overhaul it.

Continue reading »

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Jun 06

Tens of thousands protest outside Greek parliament (BusinessWeek)

ECB: Having state property means Greece is solvent (Newsday)

Greeks stage huge Athens rally against austerity cuts (BBC News)

Greece For Sale (NPR)

Thousands rally against Greece’s austerity plans (AFP)

Thousands protest against Greek austerity (Financial Times):

Thousands of Greeks protested outside parliament on Sunday against a fresh austerity package agreed in return for the country’s second bail-out in 13 months by the European Union and International Monetary Fund.

“Thieves, thieves … Where did our money go?” the protesters shouted, blowing whistles and waving Greek flags as riot police thickened ranks around the parliament building on Syntagma square in the centre of the capital.

Continue reading »

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Jun 05

See also:

Former Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury Dr. Paul Craig Roberts: Revolution is the Only Answer (For Greece, Ireland etc.)

Accusations Of Treason In The Greek Parliament Against Bilderberg PM Papandreou


The big fat Greek sell-off (Telegraph, June 5, 2011):

Roll up, roll up, roll up. Elgin Marbles, Acropolis, Mykonos. Anyone? You don’t have to be an ancient Greek historian to understand the significance of it. But maybe it helps. For Thucydides, born back in 460 BC, the Port of Piraeus was the commercial heart of the Athenian democracy. “From all the lands, everything enters,” wrote the author of the History of the Peloponnesian War.

But now the port is up for sale – alongside the sort of assets even Thucydides would never have envisaged – in the biggest and most controversial privatisation Greece has ever seen.

Under pressure to raise €50bn as the quid pro quo for its massive €110bn (£98bn) bail-out, Greece is being forced to hawk its industrial and commercial backbone to the highest bidder.

Continue reading »

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May 30

Flashback:

Greek Central Bank Accused of Encouraging Naked Short Selling of Greek Bonds (Financial Times)

And remember that the biggest Greek CDS speculator has been the state-controlled Hellenic Post Bank with help from (Yes, you’ve guessed it!) Goldman Sachs:

State-controlled Hellenic Post Bank (TT) bet against Greece (Kathimerini)

Fragwürdige Finanzgeschäfte Griechen wetten auf eigene Pleite (Sueddeutsche Zeitung)

The state-controlled Hellenic Post Bank was betting on Greece going bankrupt!

What will happen if Greece dafaults:

Here Is What Happens After Greece Defaults

Solution:

Former Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury Dr. Paul Craig Roberts: Revolution is the Only Answer (For Greece, Ireland etc.)

Must-read!


The following article will be constantly updated at ‘Covering Delta’, so please visit the link  and read the article there.

Accusations of Treason in the Greek Parliament (Covering Delta):

Leaving aside for a moment the obvious questions of criminality and treason that have arisin from the details of the Memorandum of Understanding between the Greek government and the Troika (IMF/EU/ECB), which concedes total sovereign authority of the Greek state over the fate of its own citizens to foreign banks, let us turn to recent allegations made in Parliament against the Prime Minister of Greece himself, George Papandreou.

Recently, in an interview on Greek television, Member of Parliament for New Democracy, Mr. Panos Kammenos, made allegations that if true, could very well constitute treason for the Greek Prime Minister, members of his staff and possibly members of his own family. These allegations were repeated by Mr. Kammenos on the floor of parliament and given support by the leader of LAOS, Mr. George Karatzaferis. These allegations are therefore, not made lightly, and have now been plainly put forth before the Greek people. They can no longer be ignored, and the Prime Minister is obliged to respond to them.

The gist of the allegations rest on the charge by Mr. Kammenos, that the Greek Prime Minister, Mr. George Papandreou and members of his team, presided over the sale of 1.3 billion dollars worth of credit default swap contracts (CDS on Greek sovereign debt) on or around December of 2009, shortly after coming to power. The 1.3 billion dollars worth of insurance protecting against a Greek default was bought during the spring and summer of the same year, by the Hellenic Postbank, a public banking arm of the Greek government. It is unclear what the intentions of the Postbank were when it purchased the credit protection. Clearly, the previous government that was in power at the time (New Democracy or N.D.) understood that Greece was headed towards a fiscal crisis, otherwise they would not have purchased the insurance. However, we do not know if the move was initially made with the intention of reaping private profit, or simply as a hedge by the government itself against it’s own default.

[*Note: I have been made aware of a possible discrepancy between the numbers cited by Mr. Kammenos and those cited by Mr. Tombras in his law suit. Specifically, the subject at issue is the notional value of the CDS purchased and then sold by Hellenic Postbank. The size of the bank’s balance sheet would not warrant as large a hedge as the 60 billion in notional CDS (implied by Kammenos), which would imply that either the bank was net-short it’s own government’s debt, or that some mistake has been made by those looking over the books. This would affect the profit potential for the position, but would not change the fundamental fact that insurance protection was sold from public to private hands. – i.e. it has no bearing on the allegations]

Continue reading »

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Mar 08

See also:

With $5 Trillion In US And European Funding Needs Over The Next 3 Years, How Long Until The Global Monetization Tsunami Hits (Again)?

Portugal: Only €4 Billion In Cash Vs €20 Billion In Bond Maturity And Deficit Ouflows In 2011

Spain Is Still The Elephant In The European Room!

Happy currency reform!


• Ratings agency warns of more cuts if Greece pulls back from reforms
• EU leaders fear offering bailout to Portugal will leave Spain exposed


Moody’s has angered the Greek government, including finance minister George Papaconstantinou, by slashing its credit rating to B1. Photograph: Louisa Gouliamaki/AFP

Portugal took a step nearer a humiliating multibillion-pound bailout by the European Union on Monday after Greece saw its credit rating slashed to a new low and speculation grew that eurozone leaders will fail this weekend to agree measures to prevent a repeat of last year’s sovereign debt crisis.

The ratings agency Moody’s cut Greece’s credit rating by three notches to B1, which analysts said was deep into “junk” territory, sending the cost of insuring the country’s debt soaring.

The downgrade, which was attacked as reckless and “completely unjustified” by the Greek government, highlighted the collapse in confidence among international investors who fear peripheral eurozone countries such as Greece, Portugal and Ireland cannot afford to repay their debts.

Greece, like Ireland, has already been forced to accept a rescue package put together by the EU and the International Monetary Fund. Portugal is widely regarded as the next country in need of a bailout as it struggles to refinance its debts while still in recession.

Continue reading »

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Oct 01

Oh, sure!

Bilderberg 2000 with Papandreou

Bilderberg 2010 with Minister of Finance George Papaconstantinou

So don’t hold your breath!

loyd-blankfein-orc
Loyd Blankfein (Lord Blankfein)

See also:

Greece: Beyond $1.2 Trillion Debt, $250,000 Per Working Adult

Top German Economist: EU Austerity Policies Risk Civil War In Greece

Greece Puts Its Islands Up For Sale In Order To Survive

Flashback:

Greek Central Bank Accused of Encouraging Naked Short Selling of Greek Bonds

And remember that the biggest Greek CDS speculator has been the state-controlled Hellenic Post Bank with help from (Yes, you are right!) Goldman Sachs:

State-controlled Hellenic Post Bank (TT) bet against Greece (Kathimerini)

Fragwürdige Finanzgeschäfte Griechen wetten auf eigene Pleite (Sueddeutsche Zeitung)

The state-controlled Hellenic Post Bank was betting on Greece going bankrupt!

Somebody needs to probe the role of the banksters, the central bank and the government!


Greece plans parliamentary probe of foreign banks

greece-001b

Greece’s prime minister pledged Thursday that a parliamentary commission would examine the reasons behind Greece’s finance crisis and the role played by US banking giant Goldman Sachs, reports said.

Prime Minister George Papandreou told a press conference reserved for Greek media that the panel would be set up by the end of the year.

“In the context of this parliamentary commission on the economy … we are going to look into the participation of foreign institutions in the Greek problem,” he said in a report carried by the semi-official ANA press agency.

He added that the probe would look back as far as 2001, the year Greece entered the eurozone, and that among its targets would be Goldman Sachs.

Continue reading »

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Jun 16

Chinese sign multibillion euro contracts with Greece

george-papandreou-welcomes-chinese-vice-premier-zhang-dejiang
Greece’s prime minister George Papandreou welcomes Chinese vice-premier Zhang Dejiang who brought good news to the debt-ridden country.

Greece’s debt-ridden economy has received unexpected endorsement from China as the two countries announced multibillion euro accords to boost cooperation in fields as diverse as shipping, tourism and telecommunications.

The deals, which will see Greek olive oil being exported to China, were a welcome relief for a government smarting over Moody’s move hours earlier to downgrade the nation’s credit rating to junk.

As investors moved in the other direction, the world’s pre-eminent emerging economy embraced Greece. Signing the agreements, China’s vice premier Zhang Dejiang not only lauded Athens’ efforts to resolve its worst debt crisis in years but gave the eurozone’s weakest link a public vote of confidence, declaring it would soon come out of the woods.

“I am convinced that Greece can overcome its current economic difficulties,” said the politician who arrived in Athens with 30 of the economic power’s leading businessmen. “The Chinese government will encourage Chinese businesses to come to Greece to seek investment opportunities.”

Greek officials said the fourteen deals amounted to the biggest single investment by China in Europe. China views Greece as a “perfect gateway” to the continent and Balkan peninsular where Chinese exports have proliferated in recent years.

Under the agreement, Cosco, one of the world’s largest container terminal operators, will extend its reach with the construction of up to 15 dry bulk carriers in Greece. The company took over cargo management at Pireaus, the eastern Mediterranean’s premier dockyard, on a 35-year concession worth $1bn (£680m) last year.

The Chinese construction company BCEGI also signed an accord, thought to be worth €100m (£830m), to develop a hotel and shopping mall complex in Pireaus.

Other deals include the exchange of know-how between China’s Huawei Technologies and the Greek telecoms organization OTE and four agreements signed by food firms to export olive oil to China. Continue reading »

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May 19

And remember that the biggest Greek CDS speculator has been the state-controlled Hellenic Post Bank with help from (Yes, you are right!) Goldman Sachs:

State-controlled Hellenic Post Bank (TT) bet against Greece (Kathimerini)

Fragwürdige Finanzgeschäfte Griechen wetten auf eigene Pleite (Sueddeutsche Zeitung)

The state-controlled Hellenic Post Bank was betting on Greece going bankrupt!

And now…


Greek central bank in Athens
The Greek central bank in Athens

Greek central bank hit by short claims (Financial Times):

A former European commissioner has accused Greece’s central bank of encouraging naked short selling of Greek bonds by altering the regulations on its electronic bond trading platform last year.

Vasso Papandreou, a senior deputy in the governing Socialist party, made the charges on Wednesday in a written question to parliament.

She said an extension of the settlement period and the abolition of penalties for failed bond trades had made it easier for speculators to short Greek bonds.

“The Bank of Greece knew the country’s negative fiscal situation. Why did it facilitate the speculation?” asked Ms Papandreou, who is not related to George Papandreou, the Greek prime minister.

Her question, supported by another 10 deputies, reflects growing concern in the Socialist party over an apparent policy contradiction in the handling of Greece’s debt crisis.

“The prime minister launched a truly titanic effort, on a global scale, aimed at unmasking speculators,” she said.

Mr Papandreou claimed the surge in spreads that resulted in Greece seeking a €110bn ($135.4bn, £94.4bn) bail-out last month from its eurozone partners and the International Monetary Fund was the result of sustained shorting of Greek bonds by unnamed speculators and hedge funds.

During a visit to the US earlier this year, he called for international sanctions against naked short selling.

The confusion in policy continued for months, although the prime minister regularly met George Provopoulos, governor of the Bank of Greece, and George Papaconstantinou, the finance minister, to discuss the handling of the country’s debt crisis.

The six-page question addressed to Mr Papaconstantinou set out details of measures taken by the central bank last year. The bank first extended the settlement period for transactions on HDAT, the bond trading platform, from Tplus3 (trading plus three days) to Tplus10.

The change was reportedly made in response to a request from the Association of Greek Banks, which represents market-makers in Greek bonds. But it gave short sellers a longer window of opportunity to push down the price of a Greek bond before delivering it on the settlement date, Ms Papandreou said. The central bank also abolished penalties for investors which did not deliver a bond on the settlement date. Continue reading »

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May 05

Hmmh. I would like to know who really firebombed the bank. (Another Iceland?)


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Greek police hit by molotov cocktail (Reuters)

3 dead after protesters torch Greek bank (ABC NEWS):

Three people died in a burning bank as tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets of Athens during a general strike over the Greek government’s planned spending cuts.

Some protesters tried to storm parliament while others threw petrol bombs at police and torched buildings in protest against new austerity measures and a decision to raise taxes to meet the conditions of its international bailout.

A petrol bomb hurled at an Athens branch of the Marfin Investment Bank killed two women and a man who were caught in the resulting inferno.

3 killed as rioters overrun streets of Greece (Los Angeles Times)

Greek bank firebombing a ‘raw murderous act’ (Sydney Morning Herald):

Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou has condemned the killing of three people in a firebombed bank during protests in Athens as a “murderous act”, vowing to bring those responsible to justice.

In an address to parliament on Wednesday, Papandreou denounced “the unfair deaths of our citizens who fell victim to a raw murderous act” hours after the three died when petrol bombs thrown by demonstrators set the bank on fire.

“Nobody has the right to violence and particularly violence that leads to murder. Violence breeds violence,” Papandreou said.

a-riot-policeman-falls-after-being-hit-with-molotov-cocktail-near-the-greek-parliament-in-athens
A riot policeman falls after being hit with molotov cocktail near the Greek parliament in Athens. Photo: Reuters

At least 3 killed as protestors storm parliament in Greece (InTheNews):

At least three people have been killed in Greece as protestors stormed parliament buildings in Athens amid the country’s debt crisis.

Striking workers set fire to a bank, possibly after being hit by petrol bombs, with fire services saying three bodies were found inside the burning building.

Police have responded to the unrest with pepper spray, tear gas and stun grenades.

Transport was at a standstill in the country as the angry protestors began their second day of strikes in the capital today over the government’s response to the country’s huge deficit. Continue reading »

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May 02

German Chancellor Angela Merkel Says She Was Right on Greece, Winning ‘Unthinkable’ Cuts (Bloomberg):

May 2 (Bloomberg) — German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she was right to demand International Monetary Fund involvement in the Greek bailout over the objections of her European peers, saying it resulted in previously “unthinkable” budget cuts by Greece.

“This is an ambitious program which contains tough savings measures and on the other hand seeks to improve the efficiency of the Greek economy,” Merkel told reporters in Bonn today. “Three months ago it would have been unthinkable that Greece would accept such tough conditions.”

The elitist solution for the financial crisis:

ECB President Jean-Claude Trichet calls for ‘Global Governance’ at the Council on Foreign Relations (Forbes)


Greece Accepts Terms of EU-Led Bailout, ‘Savage’ Cuts

greece-accepts-unprecedented-bailout-from-eu-and-imf-bailout

Olli Rehn, European Union economic and monetary affairs commissioner, right, holds a chart shows which reads ‘ Greece: reducing deficit, restoring growth’, as Jean-Claude Trichet, president of the European Central Bank (ECB), left, looks on as European Union finance ministers gather for an extraordinary meeting in Brussels today. (Bloomberg)

May 2 (Bloomberg) — Greece accepted an unprecedented bailout from the European Union and International Monetary Fund valued at more than 100 billion euros ($133 billion) to prevent default, agreeing to budget cuts that unions called “savage.”

The measures are worth 30 billion euros, or 13 percent of gross domestic product, and include wage cuts and a three-year freeze on pensions, Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou said in Athens today. Greece’s main sales tax rate will rise to 23 percent from 21 percent. The exact bailout amount will be agreed by euro-region finance ministers currently meeting in Brussels. Germany will provide 28 percent of the euro region contribution.

“Greece will be shielded from the international markets and will be able to put its house in order,” Papaconstantinou said in Athens. Prime Minister George Papandreou said “avoiding bankruptcy is a national red line” and the agreement will demand “big sacrifices” from Greeks to avoid “catastrophe.” Continue reading »

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May 01

Max Keiser said it best in this interview:

Max Keiser on Greece: ‘The IMF is a Financial Mafia’:

Is the International Monetary Fund Greece’s only solution, or are there other alternatives?

Max: The only solution for Greece is to arrest the Goldman Sachs bankers immediately and all those involved in the fabrication of Greek economic data in 2000, when you became a member of the eurozone. The next step is to nationalize all banks like Sweden did in 1993. The International Monetary Fund is that last thing you need. You will lose your sovereignty. It exercises terrorism. You will be raped in such a way, that it will be the worst pain you have ever felt.

There are those who believe that the IMF is not the “bad wolf” but the only solution for Greece

Max: If someone burns down your house in order to sell you charcoal, would you consider this logical? That is exactly what Goldman Sachs did to the Greek economy. They burned you down like arsonists and then they tell you not to worry they’ll give you charcoal. It’s outrageous. The IMF has said that it can provide Greece with help. The Wall Street investment hedge funds are attacking Greece’s bond market so that the Greek economy collapses. And they’re doing this for a simple reason; to force the Greek people to ask for help from the IMF. The IMF will say, we came because you asked for our help. Wall Street bankers work very closely with the IMF. It’s a financial mafia and the hedge funds are the assassins. Research conducted on Goldman Sachs in the USA and in Europe show how big a mafia it is. They are involved in illegal activity throughout the world.

See also this: Max Keiser on the Greek Crisis (with Greek subtitles)


Riot police clash with Greek protesters over cuts

riot-police-athens
Policemen try to escape a fire from a petrol bomb during riots at a May Day rally in Athens

Tear gas has been fired at demonstrators in Greece protesting against the government’s planned austerity cuts to save their failing economy.

Thousands of left-wing and union demonstrators have descended on Athens for a march to oppose the wage cuts, tax rises and pension reductions being proposed.

Riot police deployed tear gas into the crowds after protesters hurled rocks at the Finance Ministry this morning.

There were similar scenes in the northern city of Thessaloniki as youths attacked business premises, smashing store fronts and ATMs.

Greece must cut it’s budget deficit by 24 billion euros to secure a £120 billion loan from the European Union and International Monetary Fund for the next three years.

The details of the cuts will not be revealed until after the loan is secured, but Prime Minister George Papandreou has warned the country to prepare for a period of hardship. Continue reading »

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Apr 22

See also:

– Portugal, Not Greece, Poses The Greater Existential Threat To Europe’s Monetary Union (Telegraph)

CDS Traders Are Betting That France Is Next Up For A Sovereign Shakedown (As Are Spain And Portugal) (ZeroHedge)

Q&A With Billionaire Jim Chanos Part I: ‘Greece Is A Prelude’ (Business Insider)


protestors-stand-in-front-of-the-greek-parliament-in-athens
Protestors stand in front of the Greek Parliament in Athens, on April 22, 2010. (Bloomberg)

April 22 (Bloomberg) — The European Union said Greece’s budget deficit last year was worse than previously forecast and may top 14 percent of gross domestic product, fueling investor concern about a default and sending its bond yields soaring.

The EU’s statistics office said Greece’s deficit was 13.6 percent of GDP last year, topping the government’s two-week-old forecast of 12.9 percent and the EU’s November prediction of 12.7 percent. “Uncertainties” about the quality of the Greek data may lead to a further revision of as much of 0.5 percentage point, Luxembourg-based Eurostat said.

Greece’s benchmark 10-year bond yield rose to 8.49 percent, the highest since 1998 and more than twice the comparable German rate. The cost of insuring government debt against default climbed to a record today.

Greece’s widening deficit and questions about the accuracy of its economic data have undermined the credibility and enforcement of the EU’s budget rules and contributed to the 6.9 percent slide in the euro this year. The EU and the International Monetary Fund offered Greece as much as 45 billion euros ($60 billion) in emergency loans to assure investors the country can make its debt payments and shore up the euro.

Breaking the Rules

“They have played against the rules and now they’re getting the bill,” said Sylvain Broyer, chief European economist at Natixis in Frankfurt. “It’s a very uncomfortable situation for the Greek government. Greece has very much benefited from the currency region, but ignored the rules.” Continue reading »

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Apr 13

jim-chanos_10

Last week had the opportunity to visit Kynikos Associates in Manhattan and speak with its President, famed short-seller James S. Chanos.

The billionaire hedge funder is the stuff of legend. He made a killing shorting companies like Tyco, Worldcom, and of course, Enron. Chanos spoke with us at length on everything from how he discovered Enron’s problems to the issues at hand with Greece to the ongoing problems in China.

We’ll be running several posts on our Q&A sessions with Chanos throughout the week.

Today we talk about Dubai, Greece, and the role of derivatives in these markets.

———————–

Business Insider: Let’s talk about Dubai and Greece. Dubai – was it just a case of a nation that saw too much growth and excessive debt?

Jim Chanos: No, no. Dubai was a property bubble. Plain and simple. Go to Dubai and see what happened. It was…what I call it the “Ediffice complex” – it’s just, we can grow by putting up lots and lots of buildings and trying to attract people to come here, stay here, and put up offices here and sooner or later, you put up too many. And whether it’s the Palm Island project or the indoor ski resort or, you know, take your pick because everyone has lots of Dubai stories. At first it seemed plausible and economic and by the end of the boom, they were putting on drawing boards all kinds of crazy projects. So it didn’t take a rocket scientist to see the excesses. They were pretty visible to the naked eye.

Greece is a different issue. We’re not involved. We don’t trade sovereign debt, we don’t trade CDSes. You know I feel bad for my mother country in that they’re going through a lot of austerity now and I actually think that the Prime Minister and his team are doing the right thing. I met with them recently, actually, in Washington [DC] and they gave a pretty rational response to a problem that they, quite frankly, inherited.

You know they came in and discovered the hole in the budget deficit and discovered a lot of the off balance sheet stuff that was not of their doing. And he’s taking the politically unpopular step of extending the retirement age and cutting government wages not knowing if it’s going to be enough and so far the market is pretty skeptical, but I think the Greek government is being more courageous than some of the other western-European governments who aren’t addressing these issues and are going to be facing these same problems like Greece down the road. So Greece is a prelude to the problems that a lot of other countries will face that have made promises to their people without the ability to pay for them.

Continue reading »

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Mar 18

See also:

Banksters Bet Greece Defaults on Debt They Helped Hide

Greek Debt Crisis: How Goldman Sachs Helped Greece to Mask its True Debt

Greece: 2009 Budget Deficit Was Just Revised From 12.2% To 16% Of GDP!

The CDS Puppetmaster Behind It All And The Ever Increasing Parallels Between AIG And Greece

The people will have to pay the bill …

… and the elite that controls the banksters, the governments, the media and the central banks always gains more money, power and control.


george-papandreou1

George Papandreou, Greece’s prime minister, gestures during a press briefing at the European Union Parliament headquarters in Brussels, on March 18, 2010. Photographer: Jock Fistick/Bloomberg

March 18 (Bloomberg) — Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou set a one-week deadline for the European Union to craft a financial aid mechanism for Greece, challenging Germany to give up its doubts about a rescue package.

Papandreou said he may turn to the International Monetary Fund to overcome Greece’s debt crisis unless leaders agree to set up a lending facility at a summit March 25-26. The IMF option has already been dismissed by European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet and French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who say it would show the EU can’t solve its own crises.

“It’s an opportunity to make a decision next week at the summit,’’ Papandreou told reporters in Brussels today. “This is an opportunity we should not miss. When you have that instrument in place, that could be enough to tell the markets hands off, no speculation, let this country do what it’s doing.” Continue reading »

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Mar 13


Added: 13th Mar 10

Gerald Celente: ‘The Crash is Coming in 2010.’

The No.1 Trend Forecaster Gerald Celente: Financial Mafia Controlling US and Wall Street

Survivor, America: ‘It’s Only Going to Get Worse,’ Gerald Celente Says

The No.1 Trend Forecaster Gerald Celente: The Terror And The Crash of 2010

If Nostradamus were alive today, he’d have a hard time keeping up with Gerald Celente.
– New York Post

When CNN wants to know about the Top Trends, we ask Gerald Celente.
– CNN Headline News

There’s not a better trend forecaster than Gerald Celente. The man knows what he’s talking about.
– CNBC

Those who take their predictions seriously … consider the Trends Research Institute.
– The Wall Street Journal

A network of 25 experts whose range of specialties would rival many university faculties.
– The Economist

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Mar 11

Related article:
JPMorgan Employee Who Invented Credit Default Swaps is One of the Key Architects of Carbon Derivatives, Which Would Be at the Very CENTER of Cap and Trade


suddenly politicians “get religion” about making damn sure it has no bullets in it:

“We’re of the opinion that a quick implementation of actions in the area of CDS has to happen,” Merkel said. Citing “ongoing speculation against euro-region countries,” she called for the “fastest possible” implementation of new rules. Europe must “do everything to avoid unhealthy speculation,” said Juncker, who heads the euro-area finance ministers group.

Where ‘ya been Angie?

Oh, and you too Papandreou:

“Europe and America must say ‘enough is enough’ to those speculators who only place value on immediate returns, with utter disregard for the consequences on the larger economic system,” Papandreou said yesterday in a speech in Washington.

And, of course, Sarkozy.

Note that I’ve been calling for these things to be either exchange-traded with central counterparty “blinding” (on purpose) as is the case with the regulated option and futures markets or be torn up since The Ticker began publication.

Why?  Because it is my position and remains so that unless you have this sort of market these contracts are all a scam.

They are a scam because: Continue reading »

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Mar 10

Fitch Ratings has delivered a serious blow to the credibility of the Government’s budget plans, warning that Britain risks a loss of investor confidence and erosion of its AAA rating unless it maps out clear austerity measures.

fitch-warns-britain-and-questions-greek-rescue-as-sovereign-risks-grow
Fitch warns Britain and questions Greek rescue as sovereign risks grow

Brian Coulton, the agency’s head of sovereign ratings, said the UK has seen “the most rapid rise in the ratio of public debt to GDP of any AAA-rated country” and is courting fate with its leisurely plan to halve the deficit by the middle of the decade.

“It is frankly too slow, a pedestrian pace. Why the UK thinks it has more time than other countries , we’re not sure. This needs to be reoriented,” he told the Fitch forum on sovereign hotspots.

A string of European states are stepping up the pace of retrenchment, aiming to cut deficits to 3pc of GDP within three years. The risk is that Britain will soon stick out like a sore thumb, left behind with a shockingly large deficit long after such loose fiscal policy can be justified as a crisis measure. The UK deficit this year is 12.6pc of GDP, the highest among G10 states. Continue reading »

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Mar 04

See also:
Greece passes new deficit cuts to avert ‘catastrophe’ (Telegraph)


george-papandreou
George Papandreou, Greece’s prime minister, pauses during a conference organized by The Economist in Athens, on Feb. 2, 2010. (Bloomberg)

March 4 (Bloomberg) — Greece’s pledge to deepen planned budget-deficit cuts failed to yield an offer of assistance from Germany, Europe’s biggest economy, as protesters in Athens seized the finance ministry building and blocked roads in the city center.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said a meeting tomorrow with Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou won’t be “about aid commitments.” Her finance minister, Wolfgang Schaeuble, said the third round of deficit-reduction measures this year were probably enough to convince investors to buy Greek debt.

While Papandreou is risking a backlash at home to meet European Union demands for more deficit cuts before allies even consider providing aid, Merkel is facing domestic opposition to tapping taxpayers to extend a financial lifeline to Greece.

“There would be no understanding in Germany for bailing out Greece,” Henrik Enderlein, a political economist at the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin, said by phone. “It’s a bit of catch-22 situation: if you give in to Greece and you put 5 billion or perhaps even 10 billion into some kind of rescue package or into some guarantees, then the German government would look irresponsible. However, if it doesn’t, then European Union leaders might put a lot of pressure on Merkel and say, look, we have to bail out Greece.” Continue reading »

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Jan 28

Greece, Portugal Debt Concerns Start to Infect Companies, Banks (Bloomberg):

Jan. 28 (Bloomberg) — Investor concern about the ability of Greece and Portugal to lower their budget deficits is starting to hurt the debt of national utility companies and banks.

The cost to insure Greek sovereign debt against default surged to a record today, spurring a rise in credit-default swaps on Hellenic Telecommunications Organization SA and National Bank of Greece SA. Swaps on Portugal Telecom SA and Energias de Portugal SA jumped as the perceived risk of holding their government debt rose.

“If you fear a Greek crisis then you should not only avoid government bonds but corporates as well,” said Philip Gisdakis, head of credit strategy at UniCredit SpA in Munich. “And if you fear Greece you should also fear Portugal and Spain.”


Chinese whispers drive up Greek yields

George Papandreou
Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou speaks during an economic policy speech aimed to soothe international markets increasingly worried by the country’s ballooning public debt and budget deficit, in Athens. (AP)

(Financial Times) — Greece’s debt crisis returned to financial markets with a vengeance as agitated investors demanded the highest premiums to buy its government bonds since the launch of European monetary union over a decade ago.

The yield spread between 10-year Greek bonds and benchmark German Bunds widened dramatically on Wednesday, by almost 0.7 percentage points at one point, in what one trader called a “capitulation” to sellers worried about Greece’s ability to refinance its debt.

The mayhem unfolded after Greece denied it had given a mandate to Goldman Sachs, the US investment bank, to sell government debt to China. Greek 10-year bond yields closed at 6.70 per cent, 0.48 percentage points up on the day.

The Financial Times reported on Wednesday that Athens was wooing Beijing to buy up to €25bn of government bonds in a deal promoted by Goldman. China had not yet agreed to such a purchase, the FT said.

The government’s comments unsettled markets because of their implication that China, with $2,400bn in foreign exchange reserves, was not interested in increasing its exposure to sovereign Greek debt.

Experts, though, said that heavier Chinese purchases of Greek debt would be no less disturbing. For the eurozone, “a member country implicitly rescued by China would be an even worse signal than an IMF programme,” said Marco Annunziata, chief economist at Unicredit.

The Greek finance ministry said Athens wanted to diversify its sources of funds, and meetings with institutional investors would continue in Athens as well as the US and Asia.

Shares in Greek banks tumbled after Greece’s denial that it had mandated Goldman. The yield spread on Portuguese and Italian government bonds widened as traders fretted about other peripheral eurozone countries with high public debt and rising budget deficits. Continue reading »

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