Monday, January 23, 2012


Nothing.  The best report that came out of Athens was the the chief negotiator for the bond holders had left town for Paris due to a previously scheduled committment.  Right at the moment of truth for Greece and the EU.  I did that a couple of times myself but the stakes weren't quite so high; funny, I can't remember her last name...come on gang, just kidding.

I find it hard to believe that the interest rate of bonds maturing in two years is the only thing standing in the way of a restructuring agreement for Greece's debt but that's what they are telling us and nobody is telling me anything different either.  Then again, this entire escapade has been the theater of the absurd from the git-go so it just might be true, and in negotiations with a sovereign their are always strange rituals to which people must adhere before the conclusion of the exercise.  It isn't like buying a used me on that.  So, rather than try to crystal ball this thing we, like everyone else will wait to see what happens.

In the mean time, Euroland continues to prove to be a bundle of laughs for anyone interested in takeing the time to listen to these good folks.  With another Euro summit on tap for tomorrow, somebody leaked the word that maybe, just maybe,  the banks really didn't need a capital infusion at the moment and could wait until later in the year.  Now there is a knee slapper because every discussion that has been held either here or across the pond since 2008 has involved the call for new bank capital, new forms of capital, new percentages of, capital, capital...and capital.

I would like to think that someone was listening to me when I was shouting that it's liquidity, stupid, not capital that is important, but despite the fact that in deed the ECB is pouring liquidity into its banking system the word has been CAPITAL; until they seem to figure out that there aint no capital to be had despite the announcement that a bunch of Middle East money has been committed to the UniCredit rights offering.  You can'y make this stuff up.  The entire world knows that there are a hald-dozen banks in Euroland that are broke and have been for some time beginning with Commertzbank but despite three "stress tests" in the past 18 months (that were admittedly crap but oh, well) all calling for new capital, now they don't need any more.  Thank you for proving me right guys, but don't you think you look a bit stupid?  Or don't you care?

And so we wait.  For what?  Maybe we will find out tomorrow but don't count on it.

1 comment:

  1. A truer headline has never been written:

    EU to Have No Deadline for End of Greek Talks

    By Rebecca Christie and Jonathan Stearns - Jan 23, 2012 4:29 PM ET .

    The European Union has no deadline for concluding negotiations with Greece and private bondholders on details of a debt swap that was broadly agreed to in October, according to two euro-region officials.

    There is also no talk that the official sector might add more public money to the deal, which aims to slice 100 billion euros ($130 billion) from the 205 billion euros of privately owned Greek debt, said the officials, who declined to be identified because the discussions are private.

    The failure to wrap up the debt-reduction accord over the weekend helped drive Greek two-year yields to a record high of 206 percent earlier today. While German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that the talks can be completed “soon enough” and French Finance Minister Francois Baroin noted “tangible progress,” neither of them specified a timetable.

    The October deal calls for investors to accept a 50 percent loss in the face value of their holdings. It includes 30 billion euros of public money for incentives to encourage investors to take part.

    A formal offer on the terms of the voluntary debt swap is due by Feb. 13, according to the Greek finance ministry.

    To contact the reporters on this story: Rebecca Christie in Brussels at; Jonathan Stearns in Brussels at