Loans and Finance

Loans and Finance

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News and information about loans, money, debt, finance and business issues.

Friday, September 30, 2011

The Century Bond

Greece is making plans to kick its debt can a very long way down the road, seemingly around 100 years if Reuters has its facts right:

"One of the options the sovereign is looking at is offering a 100-year bond in return for outstanding short-term debt, said a banker at one of the institutions advising Greece who said he saw the plans being studied. 

Two senior Greek government officials denied that such a plan was being considered.

"We are obviously not working on this"

Well they would say that, wouldn't they?

The Death of The Greek Economy


The gullible elements of the media may well be reporting the hype from the Eurozone, that yesterday's vote by the German Parliament to approve a larger EFSF resolves the Euro crisis.

Well it doesn't!

1 The EFSF that the Germans have agreed to is not large enough

2 The implementation of the EFSF is not timely enough

3 Wise eyes are now focusing on Greece, which is not in a position to meet its obligations.

Greek Deputy Prime Minister Theodore Pangalos told AP:

"I believe that the tax limits of Greek society have been exhausted. I would say they have been exhausted for some time."

In the extremely unlikely event Greece tries to implement its much vaunted austerity measures, the knock on effect on GDP coupled with the rise in debt servicing costs and the inability to raise further taxes effectively means that the economy is dead and that they will have to default.

In October 2010 I wrote about the EU budget:

"The fact that budget rises of this kind are being pushed through, during a time when national governments are being forced to reduce their own budget deficits, shows just how out of touch with reality the EU has become.

The EU, by acts of folly such as this, will eventually engineer its own self destruction. Unfortunately, in the meantime the citizens of its member states will pay the price for the greed and intransigence of the MEPs
."

Those "leading" the EU have lost touch with reality and the needs of its own citizens.

In Orwell's "1984" Winston Smith was told what the future would look like:

"Imagine a boot stamping on a human face forever".

Sadly we no longer need to read "1984" to visualise the future, we just have to watch what is happening to the Greek people courtesy of the Eurozone.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Guilty Idiots



Angela Merkel has won the vote in the Bundestag to expand the EFSF. The expansion to the fund is too little and too late.

The Euro is collapsing under its own inherent weaknesses and contradictions.

Votes in the Bundestag will do nothing to stop that.

BTW, The Germans call the current iron eagle in Bundestag (the current version adopted is 1949) the PLEITEGEIER, ie the "CARRION BIRD OF DEFAULT"

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Acropolis Now

Either the YesMen have infiltrated Italy's biggest, and most undercapitalied, bank, or the stress of constant, repeated lying and prevarication has finally gotten to the very people who know their livelihoods hang by a thread, and the second the great ponzi is unwound their jobs, careers, and entire way of life will be gone.

Such as the head of UniCredit global securities Attila Szalay-Berzeviczy, and former Chairman of the Hungarian stock exchange, who has written an unbelievable oped in the Hungarian portal Index.hu which, frankly, make Alessio "BBC Trader" Rastani's provocative speech seem like a bedtime story. Only this time one can't scapegoat Szalay-Berzeviczy "naivete" on inexperience or the desire to gain public prominence. If someone knows the truth, it is the guy at the top of UniCredit, which we expect to promptly trade limit down once we hit print.

Among the stunning allegations (stunning in that an actual banker dares to tell the truth) are the following: "the euro is “practically dead” and Europe faces a financial earthquake from a Greek default"... “The euro is beyond rescue”... “The only remaining question is how many days the hopeless rearguard action of European governments and the European Central Bank can keep up Greece’s spirits.”...."A Greek default will trigger an immediate “magnitude 10” earthquake across Europe."..."Holders of Greek government bonds will have to write off their entire investment, the southern European nation will stop paying salaries and pensions and automated teller machines in the country will empty “within minutes.” In other words: welcome to the Apocalypse...

But wait, there's more. From Bloomberg:

The impact of a Greek default may “rapidly” spread across the continent, possibly prompting a run on the “weaker” banks of “weaker” countries, he said.

“The panic escalating this way may sweep across Europe in a self-fulfilling fashion, leading to the breakup of the euro area,” Szalay-Berzeviczy added.

Szalay-Berzeviczy has just arrived in Hungary from a trip abroad and can’t be reached until later today, a UniCredit official, who asked not to be identified because she isn’t authorized to speak to the press, said when Bloomberg called Szalay-Berzeviczy’s Budapest office to seek further comment.

And now, for our European readers (first) and everyone else (next), it is really time to panic.

Source ZeroHedge

Germany and USA Go To War, France Panics

It seems that the relationship between Germany and the USA has taken a nosedive.

The Telegraph reports that German finance minister, Wolfgang Schauble, has said that it would be a folly to boost the EU's bail-out machinery (EFSF) beyond its €440BN.

"I don't understand how anyone in the European Commission can have such a stupid idea. The result would be to endanger the AAA sovereign debt ratings of other member states. It makes no sense."

He then told Washington to mind its own business, after President Barack Obama rebuked EU leaders for failing to recapitalise banks and allowing the debt crisis to escalate to the point where it is "scaring the world".

Quote:

"It's always much easier to give advice to others than to decide for yourself. I am well prepared to give advice to the US government."

Well then!

In other news, the FT reports the following:

"A split has opened in the eurozone over the terms of Greece’s second €109bn bail-out with as many as seven of the bloc’s 17 members arguing for private creditors to swallow a bigger write down on their Greek bond holdings, according to senior European officials.

The divisions have emerged amid mounting concerns that Athens’ funding needs are much bigger than estimated just two months ago. They threaten to unpick a painfully negotiated deal reached with private sector bond holders in July."

The French are really panicking about the deal unravelling because, were it to do so, it would expose how under capitalised French banks really are as the banks would be forced to take a greater hit (one that they cannot afford).

The recent market rallies have been based on leaks spread by those with an interest in seeing a rally at month end, and by the gullible media.

Don't fall for the hype, there is no bailout plan!

The Solution To The EU Debt Crisis

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Rumours Feed Markets - The End is Nigh

The European Investment Bank has stated the following today:

There have been media reports about a potential involvement of the EIB in a special purpose vehicle in connection with the EFSF, for the purpose of bailouts.

The EIB has not been approached and has no plans to be involved in this.

The EIB will continue to focus on its mission which is financing viable investment projects."

Why did these rumours start, and what purpose do they serve?

Markets have rallied briefly, in time for the month end, useful for traders et al looking to show a "good" month.

Those who doubt EIB's rebuttal, re read the last sentence:


"The EIB will continue to focus on its mission which is financing viable investment projects."

No one on the planet can call Greece a viable investment.

In fact Valor Economic reports that Brazil is now preparing for a Greek default within the week.

"Something must happen. Greece is a few days [from bankruptcy]" said a high official source."

A Dishonest Man

"Guarantee that Greece will live up to all its commitments."

Greek PM George Papandreou

Nonsense!

People are planning for a Greek default, the Greeks know it and everyone else knows it.

Greece will take the next tranche of bailout money, then default (as already planned by the EU and the Greeks).

For the reality, see my article posted a few minutes earlier (entitled An Honest Man)


An Honest Man - Alessio Rastani

Monday, September 26, 2011

Distract The People With a Small War

Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou called for calm over Cyprus in a phone conversation with Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan on Monday, a Greek government spokesman said, as regional tensions rise over oil exploration.

Sourece Reuters.

This will end badly.

Catch 22 - The End of The Euro


The IMF and EU have got themselves into "right old pickle" by leaking snippets of a possible rescue plan, over this weekend, that may or may not save the failed Euro experiment.

The key element of this "plan" (were it to ever come to fruition) is an expansion by trillions of the EFSF (the European Financial Stability Facitlity), the EU version of printing money without having the collateral to back it up.

Unfortunately for the panicking Eurocrats (and believe me, they are panicking), leaking "plans" that have not been finalised, yet mention a 50% haircut on Greek debt, do nothing but further undermine and damage their ability to resolve this crisis. The fact that they claim the "plan" won't be ready for six weeks or so hardly adds to its credibility.

Unsurprisingly, the markets are pulling it apart.

Cue S&P, who have stepped up to the plate and specifically warned that if the EFSF is expanded, they will downgrade various countries in the region (including core EU members, ie France and Germany).

Why does this matter?

Downgrades will mean that the EFSF will be rendered useless, in other words the "plan" has been killed before it has even been finalised.

In other news, it seems likely that the ECB will announce an emergency rate cut of 0.5%.

Unsurprisingly the ECB denies this.

Oh, and one more point to brighten your Monday, the Greek haircut of 50% that everyone is talking about is of course nonsense; the actual haircut will in fact be 80%.

The EU "leaders" are displaying "bunker mentality", not a good sign.

Enjoy the rest of your Monday!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Grand Plan To Save The Euro

Here's just a few reasons why the plan to save the Euro won't work:

1 The EU wasted a year dithering etc etc..it was in a far better economic position last year to do this.

2 By the time the funding etc is in place, certain banks/countries will have already gone to the wall.

3 The Greek people will not accept the level of austerity required to keep them in the Euro.

4 The politicians are in denial, they won't accept that their view of how the world should work has been shattered.

5 The timing and content of the announcement is a "hail Mary" designed as a stop gap to put a bottom under the markets (form over substance). The markets will see through this, and the relentless pressure to force Greece out will not be abated.

6 The current design of the EU is unsustainable

7 Germany should leave the Euro, and let the PIIGS devalue the Euro to bring the dead economies back to life etc etc.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Six Weeks To Save The Euro

Six weeks is too far away (even if there was a "solution" waiting there for them).

Political timescales and market timescales are out of synch.

Our so called political "elite" are presiding over the shattered wreckage of their "world vision". They are in shock and denial that their world view has been destroyed. As such they are a danger to themselves and a danger to the world economy, as they are attempting to put in place "solutions" for a world vision that no longer exists.

IMO, Germany should leave the Euro and allow those who remain to devalue it to bring their shattered economies back from the dead.

Sadly, because those in charge still cling to the their shattered vision, the reality will be a Greek exit coupled with the PIIGS falling one by one.

In other news, gold fell last week not because of the strength of the dollar (as incorrectly reported in the media) but because news leaked to a few that gold margins were to be increased (news officially only released yesterday).

Friday, September 23, 2011

The 50% Haircut


Two Greek newspapers claim that the Greek Finance Minister, Evangelos Venizelos, told parliament that he sees three scenarios to resolve the debt crisis, including one involving an orderly default with a 50% haircut for bondholders.

Unsurprisingly, the government is denying he said any such thing.

Draw your own conclusions as to whether he said it or, most certainly secretly believes it.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Dark Clouds

Despite the announcement by the Fed of Operation Twist, where it will buy $400BN in 6-year to 30-year Treasurys by June 2012 and over the same period sell $400BN of Treasurys maturing in 3 years or less, markets are in free fall.

For why?

The inclusion of more 30-year bonds than expected means that the Fed wants to keep very long-term rates lower for a long period. This means that the Fed views America's economic problems as being long term (they rubbed salt into the wounds by stating that the economy has "significant downside risks").

Aside from American economic woes, the shambles that is the Eurozone continues to sap the global economy.

Chris Williamson, chief economist at PMI compiler Markit, summed up the reality:

"The recovery has finished, we are now contracting. 

The forward looking indicators suggest that things will deteriorate further in the coming months."

Meanwhile, has anyone seen the Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou since he abruptly turned his plane around mid air and aborted his trip to the USA?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

ECB Eases Rules

Judging by today's press release from the ECB, wrt abolishing eligibility requirements, it seems that they are making ready to accept defaulted Greek government bonds.

Do they know something that they haven't yet told anyone else?

21 September 2011 - ECB publishes an updated version of the General Documentation

The European Central Bank (ECB) has today published an updated consolidated version of “The implementation of monetary policy in the euro area: General documentation on Eurosystem monetary policy instruments and procedures”.

The version published today mainly includes changes on 3 aspects:

First, the Eurosystem has abolished the eligibility requirement (Sections 6.2.1.5 and 6.2.1.6) that debt instruments issued by credit institutions, other than covered bank bonds, are only eligible if they are admitted to trading on a regulated market. At the same time, the Eurosystem risk control measures for marketable assets (Section 6.4.2) have been amended.

Specifically, the Eurosystem has reduced the limit for the use of unsecured debt instruments issued by a credit institution or by any other entity with which the credit institution has close links. Such assets may only be used as collateral to the extent that the value assigned does not exceed 5% of the total value of collateral submitted (instead of 10%, as previously stipulated).

Greece Enters The Twilight Zone BREAKING NEWS

The EC claims that "good progress" was made in yesterday's phone conference between Evangelos Venizelos, the Greek finance minister, and the troika.

Platitudes are all very well. However, it is the citizens of Greece who will have to endure the pain of the additional austerity measures being imposed on them.

Oddly enough the Greek government is currently in "silent" mode wrt communicating "progress" to its own people. Allegedly there will be a statement issued this afternoon, letting the people know what fresh pain they will have to endure.

Senior bods from the troika will return to Athens next week, to take a hard look at the figures and the reality of Greece's promises (so often broken in the past). It also seems that the troika will be discussing the 2011 budget next week.

The sharp eyed amongst you will have noticed that as we are now in September, there are but three months remaining of 2011.

Such is the absurdity of the "Twilight Zone" of Greek finances and the schemes of those who are trying to keep the dead parrot of the Euro experiment alive!

BTW, if you think that things can't get any worse then I suggest that you read this:

Greece has a EUR2bn zero-coupon bond due on 9/23 and a de minimus EUR13mm in interest payments due 9/30.

Source Zero Hedge.

UPDATE

The Cabinet meeting postponed till later this afternoon while the Greek Finance Minister faces objections to the new measures in Parliament.

BREAKING NEWS

Austerity measures being debated by Cabinet - public announcement might not be made till Monday

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The End of Days

Yesterday's conference call between various EU/IMF bods (aka Troika) and the embattled Greek government ended with not a bang but a whimper. Various self serving platitudes were presented to the press which, reading between the lines, indicates no one has come up with any plan that will work.

Oh, I exaggerate a tad, they have come up with one plan....namely to have another conference call today!

Default for Greece is a certainty, the only question remaining is the exact day (today, tomorrow etc) on which it will officially occurs. Until that happens the EU and world economy remains in limbo, awaiting what the markets know but the politicians deny will happen.

To add to the febrile atmosphere in Europe, S&P downgraded Italy with an outlook "negative" and Moody's is expected to follow suit.

As if the above issues are not bad enough, the media reports that Siemens withdrew around €0.5BN from a large French bank two weeks ago, and placed the money with the ECB

Michel Perebeau, Chairman of BNP, hotly denied this morning that it was his bank.

Whichever bank it is, the fact that a major European company has no faith in a major European bank shows just how bad things really are in Europe.

Sadly for the people of Europe we are being "governed" by a political "elite" whose vision of how the world works (or should work in their minds) has been shattered. Hence they are displaying symptoms of shock and depression, and are a danger to themselves and us.

Update

Reuters reports that a large market-making state bank in China's onshore foreign exchange market has stopped foreign exchange forwards and swaps trading with several European banks (including Societe Generale , Credit Agricole and BNP Paribas) because of the unfolding debt crisis in Europe.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Default Day Edges Closer

Greece looks set to default within 24 hours.

Reuters reports that the conference call today between Greek leaders and EU and IMF officials has been pushed back by four hours to 7pm Greek time (5pm UK time).

Earlier today it had been announced the call would be at 3pm.

Paul mason the Economics Editor of Newsnight has Tweeted the following:

"Just arrived in Greece where finmin makes fiery speech denouncing journalists as enemies of ppl, in land where protesters attack journalists"

It is very clear that for Greece, the game is over!


Greece Humiliated

Evangelos Venizelos, Greece's Finance Minister, is upset that Greece is (in his view) being made a "scapegoat" for the debt crisis in the eurozone.

The BBC quotes him as saying that European and international institutions were using Greece as an "easy excuse" to "hide their own lack of competence to manage the crisis", and that Greece has been "blackmailed and humiliated".

All very well, maybe. However, no one forced Greece to commit fraud and no one forced Greece to join the Euro.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Default Day 20th September

September 20th is Greek default day, as Mr 85% cancels his trip to the USA.

Friday, September 16, 2011

The Greek Tragedy - Utterly Pathetic

Which world "leader" said this to his Cabinet yesterday?

"I can say that in 85%, the priorities we had put in August were implemented. 

This is a good rate. 

You see, because the remaining 15% had difficulties, some were biased. But to put such short-term goals is very important because we also have a direct orientation. 

We do, however, and a broader plan for the coming months to organize the best moves ahead. 

Good job."

(source Zero Hedge)

Why none other than Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou.

Completely and utterly pathetic!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Global Liquidity Bailout

World Central Banks Announce Global Dollar Shortfall Funding Resolution

What does this mean?

It means that at least one country is close to defaulting, and that this mechanism has been put in place beforehand to stop global financial meltdown.

It also means that the central banks have taken away the responsibility for trying to resolve the economic crisis from the hands of the politicians.

The Comfort Call

Yesterday's conference call between Sarkozy, Merkel and Papandreou has offered the markets short term respite (in the form of a modest dead cat bounce).

However, it changes nothing as it was but a mere restatement of wishes and hopes. France and Germany offered their full support for Greece remaining in the Eurozone. However, they pleaded with Greece to implement the promised economic reforms as a way of stabilising the Eurozone.

Papandreou tried to convince the French and German leaders that Greece would follow through on its promises.

All very nice, maybe.

However, even if the three callers were comforted by their promises, the markets will need more than a comfort call to convince them that anything substantive will come from this. There is no plan, merely platitudes, reality will set in and Greece will default and leave the Eurozone.

BTW, tomorrow is the 19th anniversary of the UK being kicked out of the ERM.


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Conference Call Delayed

The conference call between Merkel, Sarkozy and Papandreou of Greece has been moved back one hour, and will now be held at 6PM London time.

The Greek Tragedy - The End Game

The long running Greek tragedy is now entering the "end game".

Today (16:00 GMT) Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou will hold a conference call with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy to discuss the shambles that is the Greek economy.

In effect they are discussing how to ensure that the forthcoming Greek default, and expected exit from the Euro, can be handled in an "orderly" manner.

The French government has sated that it will do everything possible to support Greece. However, rather perversely, it has also sated that it will make no statement after the conference call.

What does this mean?

It means that the French do not expect anything tangible to come from the call, other than an admission between the three countries that Greece is going to default and that it will have to leave the Euro.

This is clearly not something that the French can comment on, as it is up to Greece to make the official announcement (possibly this evening after the markets have closed or early tomorrow before they open).

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Return of The Drachma?

Reuters report that the Greek Prime Minister, George Papandreou, will hold a conference call today with French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

The call comes amid renewed talk among eurozone policymakers about a Greek default, prompted by the country's failure to meet the fiscal goals set out in its EU/IMF bailout.

Sarkozy's office denied earlier on Tuesday that Paris and Berlin would issue a joint statement on Greece, after a French government source had said a statement would be made.

There is another rumour circulating that Greece will, tomorrow, announce a return to the Drachma. This is ironic as on 19th August I tweeted the following:


Ken Frost
@
Greece to introduce "new Drachma" around 15 Sept..apparently..

Monday, September 12, 2011

Greece Running Out of Cash

Filippos Sachinidis, the Greek deputy finance minister, has admitted that Greece is running out of cash and that it has barely enough to survive on until before the end of October.

C'est la guerre!

Greece committed fraud in order to gain entry to the Euro club, and is now reaping the "rewards" of the membership and the fraud.

The Dead Parrot

German politicians are now daring to say in public what everyone has known for sometime, namely that Greece is heading for bankruptcy and that it will leave the Eurozone.

Philip Rösler, German Economy Minister, wrote in Die Welt:

"In order to stabilise the euro, we must not take anything off the table in the short run.

That includes as a worst-case scenario an orderly default for Greece, if the necessary instruments for it are available."

Rösler has recognised that Greece's problems cannot be solved by the Eurozone (ie Germany, the largest provider of funds for Greece's bailouts).


What are the "necessary instruments" to which Rösler refers?

Horst Seehofer, state premier of Bavaria, has helpfully provided the answer. He told ZDF that Greece must leave the Eurozone.
 
"If, despite all their efforts, the Greeks do not manage, then you can't rule out this possibility."

In fact the executive committee of the CSU, the sister party to Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU), will today approve a motion that calls for highly-indebted states to leave the eurozone.


The wheels for removing Greece from the Euro are now in motion, the only question is will the expulsion of Greece be enough to stop the rot?

The answer to that is "no".

The Euro, as an experiment in its current form, is finished. Sadly, for the people who live in the Eurozone, the "political elite" of Europe refuse to see that reality and will continue to wreak economic havoc in Europe and beyond, by continuing to prop up the "dead parrot" of a currency until the very end.

Friday, September 09, 2011

Germany Threatens To Expel Greece From Euro

Wolfgang Schauble, the German finance minister, told Deutschlandfunk that no more money will be given to Greece until Greece "actually does" what it agreed to do.

"I understand that there is resistance among the Greek population to austerity measures. 

But in the end it is up to Greece whether it can fulfil the conditions necessary for membership of the common currency. 

We offer no discounts."

The remarks are in effect threatening Greece with expulsion from the Euro.

I suspect that, given the shambles of the Greek economy, the good people of Greece are beyond caring whether they remain in the Euro or not.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Pensions Crisis Looming


The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has released figures that show that the number of people contributing to personal pensions fell from 7.6M in 2008 to 6.4M in 2009 (a fall of 1.2M).


Contributions by savers into personal pensions fell by over £2BN between 2008 and 2010, from £20.9BN to £18.7BN.

For why?

People are skint, returns are abysmal and the financial services industry in the UK is despised.

The future is bleak indeed!

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Temporary Relief For Eurozone

Germany's constitutional court has rejected lawsuits which were brought with the aim of blocking Germany's participation in eurozone bailouts.

Cue a sigh of relief from the embattled "leadership" of the sinking eurozone.

However, this is but a temporary "relief" for the Euro. The vote was, by all accounts very, tight and the court ruled that Germany's parliamentary budget committee must approve any aid before it is granted.

This effectively hobbles any future rescue packages (even if they are approved by the German parliament) as, by the time the parliament approves them, the packages will be too late to address the issue they were intended for.

Politics is moving a lot slower than economic events.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Back To The Future

Josef Ackermann, the chief executive of Deutsche Bank, has warned that numerous European banks would not survive having to revalue sovereign debt held on their banking books at market levels.

Ackermann is of the view that the current market conditions (and mood) are at the levels last seen during the financial crisis of 2008.

However, despite calls by the IMF for a further recapitalisation of banks, Ackermann believes that this would signal that the politicians do not themselves believe in the measures they have implemented to bolster fragile eurozone countries.

Fair comment, maybe.

However, the markets are not listening to the politicians as they have failed to show any form of leadership during the build up to this crisis.

Monday, September 05, 2011

The Downward Spiral

Christine Lagarde, the IMF's CEO, has told Der Spiegel that the global economic outlook has worsened over the summer.

Hardly a revelation!

She is quoted:

"There has been a clear crisis of confidence that has seriously aggravated the situation. Measures need to be taken to ensure that this vicious circle is broken.
The spectrum of policies available is narrower because a lot of ammunition was used in 2009. But if governments, institutions and central banks work together, we'll avoid recession."

She is correct in that measures need to be taken. However, there is neither the political will nor hegemony necessary to resolve the economic issues that are destroying the global economy.

The endgame, as far as the Euro experiment is concerned, is now being played out.

Friday, September 02, 2011

Trouble Ahead

The Telegraph reports that central banks and official bodies have "parked" record sums of dollars at the US Federal Reserve for safe-keeping.

For why?

It seems that they have lost confidence in the commercial banks.

Reserve funds from "official foreign accounts" have doubled since the start of 2011, with a dramatic surge since the end of July when the eurozone debt crisis spread to Italy and Spain. 
 
Whilst the amounts are (in relation to the global economy) small ($100BN), the increase serves as an indicator of problems that resemble what happened in late 2008.

To add to the indicators of problems ahead, talks between Greece and a visiting troika of international inspectors (IMF, the European Union, and the European Central Bank) were suspended today.

The talks ended abruptly this morning, as there is some disagreement over Greece's ability to meet its deficit targets.

The troika is expected to return in 10 days time.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Greek Irony


Without any hint of irony Greece's Finance Minister,  Evangelos Venizelos, has rejected a parliamentary report which states that Greece's debt is out of control (no surprises there then).

Why did he reject the report?

He claimed that it lacks credibility:


"Yesterday's report lacks elements of credibility of other international reports ... all necessary measures will be taken to upgrade and improve the credibility of the work of the budget committee,"

The irony being that the independent parliamentary committee of experts, that issued the report, was in fact appointed by the Finance Ministry in 2010.