Monday, December 3, 2012


The game's afoot...until Friday at least.

The Greeks have announced plans to spend 10 billion Euros in a debt buy-back which, if successful, would reduce their outstanding debt by 60% (their figures).  The style is clever; it is a Dutch auction which puts maximum pressure on those who really want to get out of town.  With a limited amount to be spent and obvious pressure being placed on local entities such as Greek Banks who would expect to recoup their losses from the taxpayers of Europe, some folks might just bid early and bid often to be relieved of their holdings closer to the minimum band of 30% rather than waiting to chance the upper limit of 40-odd%. Depending on how much of this stuff has been bought recently by hedge funds and at what level, this could turn out pretty well for Hellas.

Now you have to forgive me but I'm a suspicious old guy and I've seen a lot of these things in my time.  The "book runner" so to speak in this operation is Deutschebank with Morgan Stanley in the background providing--well--I don't know what they provide.  Keep in mind that anything that gets this phase of the game in the history books is good for the Greeks, for Euroland but especially for Angie and anything that is good for Angie is good for Deutschebank.  Now I have no knowledge of the goings-on but if I were a betting man I would wager that Deutschebank has a damn good idea at what levels the hedge funds are owners and what their profit goals might be.  Rigged?  How dare you Sir!  But I bet they're in at less than 30 for the most part which means some serious money is about to be made.  Memo to bond holders: if you're looking for 37-38 there is a big disappointment in your future.  Never going to get there. Only four days to see if I am right.

Oh, the Spanish banks asked or a bail-out of 38 billion Euros.  Some commentator remarked, "Surely this is a good thing."  This is where we are.  A National government announces that five of its larger lending institutions are flat-on-their-butts broke and we can't cover them without help from out side and this is a good thing?  As I have said before, I should have retired to Bedlam.  Madness, pure insanity and now we all wait in joyful hope for the coming of the request from the government itself.  Once that happens we'll all be in great shape that is as long as the U.S. doesn't go down the gurgle tube at the end of the year or over the fiscal cliff depending on what image strikes your fancy.

And then there's the French.  Today they announced that hereto come, Euro financial transactions should be centered in Euroland with London being allowed to participate but not playing an important role.  They of course mean Paris, a city of incomparable beauty, lacking only the necessary infrastructure for such a role and a language not spoken anywhere else but in West Africa and Haiti.  Can't we all just get along?

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