Thursday, February 9, 2012


My Really Smart Friend, Larry says it's all short covering.  If that's the case there must have been a hell of a short out there but maybe he's right.

Anyway, this morning a puff of white smoke emerged from some building in Athens and the Greeks announced that a deal had been reached among all the warring factions in Greece which will result in approximately 300 million Euros in cuts and just about whatever else the Troika (Germany) wants.  There isn't a deal with the private sector yet because that would represent reality whereas this agreement is purely designed to get the money out of the bail-out fund to cover March maturities and will never be implemented in full or in half for that matter.  It will either be ignored or abrogated by the first elected government.  The risk is that we could be looking at a terrible weekend if the social unrest is half of what reports would led one to believe, but I think if the reports are correct that all political factions are on board, the word will go out to cool it until we get the money at which point anything goes.  We've seen this movie before in Latin America in the eighties.  It worked then but the reality of the EU makes this plan a bit more difficult as Greece is not alone.

The markets yawned no doubt in the belief that while the day to day threat might have been removed, the chance that this might be a long term solution was slim to none.  An accurate read I would think.  Then, as though on cue, unconfirmed reports out of Brussels have the Germans muttering that what the Greeks came up with was not good enough.  If true, it would seem to indicate that Frau Merkel actually believes that there is a solution to this mess other than just playing for time which leaves me Gobsmacked, then again, reality has never had a prominent role in this production.  Again, we await the morn.

On this side, The Leader announced a settlement with six banks and the states over the mortgage mess that will cost $26 billion.  This will, of course, go a long way to solving the housing problem according to the White House.  Without having seen the wording of the actual deal I must withhold comment but in his speech The Leader may no bones of the fact that it was entirely the fault of the banks and this was punishment.  Is there an election this year?  More tomorrow.

1 comment:

  1. The mortgage settlement seems to cost the banks only $5 Bon, with the rest coming from investors in private label RMBS. Always useful to pay with other peoples money. Any chance the regulators will police the services to insure the funds for principal reduction only go for economical modifications (per the services fiduciary duty)? Nah.