REVEALED: Why the Troika’s ‘validation’ of the Greek psi may open up a can of worms

ANAYSIS OF A CREDIT EVENT: DIRTY DEEDS AT THE DEBT-SWAP CORRAL

Evidence of public sector bribery raises doubts as Venizelos accused of personal gain

Although the ways and means used to get to 85.8% overall Greek swap participation (0.8% over what ISDA wanted) and 95.7% including CAC enactions (0.7% over what Brussels wanted) are roughly 0.0001% relevant to the now inevitable death of the eurozone, I think it behoves all good bloggers and investigative hacks to raise some doubts about them. I believe this because all those who think 21st century commerce and politics need a major ethics transfusion always require some evidence to go on….if only to shatter the risible arguments put up by the opposing side.

First up, let’s do some forensics on how that magical 85.8% was achieved. Thursday March 9th at 9.18 am, I posted that participation was stalled at around 75%. It had been when I went to bed the night before, too. It still was at noon on Thursday, when Reuters claimed it was ‘slightly above 75%’. But eight hours later when the deal closed, another 10% had piled in.

As closure approaches, one sometimes does find a sudden rush. But by and large, if you’ve had a week to think about stuff – and two weeks before that poring over the paperwork – yet on closure day you still haven’t shown up, it means you’re holding out. This is why, in that morning post, I was fairly confidently expecting 75-80% participation. So were others I spoke to. So were most of the Telegraph staff.

There are three ways you can get that many in such a short time: blackmail, bribes, or ballot-stuffing. My mailbox from Friday contains allegations of all three.

According to the Berlin Finance Ministry source, ‘The Greeks – not anybody else – are responsible for issuing the percentage number of PSI acceptances‘. The German authorities claimed not to have an inside track on progress at all, but a Frankfurt source told me Wednesday evening that, at that stage, Berlin was ‘less than impressed’ with the 74/5% figure. The point is, the PSI count was a totally Athens-run operation.

I’m left wondering why there was no Troika presence at all. Given that thus far the Greeks had deceived them at almost every turn, one would’ve thought they’d be expecting some fiddling of the results. But as the Troikanauts were due to go over the accounts of the process yesterday (Friday) it may well be that they felt it unnecessary. It may also be, of course, that they wanted to distance themselves from it.

Either way, Friday passed without any Troika announcement saying they were satisfied with the results process. This is slightly different to what The Slog’s Berlin FinMin source suggested:

Greeks announce a number which the troika has a few hours to check and “validate” before a teleconference of finance ministers’

In fact, I understand officials will spend more time over the weekend on it, and reconvene Monday. So far, 35 bn euros of ‘immediate’ debt relief has been issued. But as yet, I haven’t seen any trumpeted validation.

Meanwhile, it seems that several Greek pension funds came on board during Thursday. And there were also some other irregularities. One thing you need to deliver participation (as with most things in life in these times) are lots and lots of lawyers and civil servants. It is not commonly understood that upwards of 105bn euros of the bonds swapped this week were owned by Greek public sector institutions and pension funds. How strange, then, that on March 7th itself, the Athens government’s Official Gazette announced backdated pay increases for certain folks. Drill down a bit – and here I’ve needed the help of Athenians, for which they get my eternal gratitude -  you find some rather suspiciously specific job functions:

‘The legal advisers appointed in independent authorities, the Capital Market Commission and the Accounting and Auditing Oversight Board (ELTE) will have an additional monthly bonus of 400 euros…’

Note the immediate ‘monthly bonus’. Further research reveals that

‘….the Court of Audit will start with a monthly salary of 1,906 euros. They will also be entitled to family benefits, Christmas, Easter and summer vacation bonuses, as well as, position related bonuses. The salary increases decided will be retroactive from Nov. 1, 2011…’

This second group are largely young gofers recently qualified. So a starting salary of 1,906 euros might not seem much to you and me, but if you’re 23 years old and hungry, that’s a lot of money.

The overall announcement – ‘The monthly salaries of legal advisers appointed in the public sector will gradually increase 10-15 per cent within the next three years’ – has been widely reported in the Greek media, and offers a stark contrast to, said Adesmeftos Typos, for example, “times when many households suffer from unemployment and Greece’s biggest social insurance fund IKA recently borrowed another 200 million euro in order to pay pensions”.

Even the normally quite staid Athens News allowed a female reported to add this acidic comment at the end of her column: ‘Romantic and stylish woman seeks marriage with legal adviser in the Greek public sector’.

All up, some 500 people working in the public sector have been exempted from the planned salary cuts, and instead awarded rather generous new pay and emolument contracts. Again, the official gazette describes them quite openly as being located ‘in the ministries of Finance and Administrative Reform [for] civil servants working next to deputy ministers and secretary generals’.

It’s quite possible of course that, like most brotherly, equality-seeking trade unionists when they see an opportunity, the beagles and Sir Humphreys blackmailed their bosses. Either way, it seems likely that they were paid in this extraordinary manner with one purpose in mind: looking the other way – and/or forcing through legal compliance.

The somewhat late decision of the Greek public sector pension funds to buy into the bond-swap has, I’m informed, wiped out 11,370 pensioners entirely. Not just reduced their stipend, but – as Tyler Durden put it at Zero Hedge – ‘vaporized it’. He too quotes a figure of ‘around 11,000′ – and who am I to argue with a bareknuckle pugilist? And when you’re 10% adrift on the participation count, what’s 11,000 citizens compared to the survival of this Great European Project of which we are all so fond, according to Herman van Rompuy?

Now, I am a man with a suspicious mind nurtured by a decade of dealing with EU institutions, pension providers, banks, property developers, local planning authorities, the police, and senior mandarins. Am I besmirching the good name of those who work for IKA (the State Social Security Board) when such is ill-deserved? Am I bigoted against Evangelos Venizelos because he is a toad with piggy eyes that are too close together? Possibly; but on the other hand, here’s a little recent history.

Last week a major fraud by IKA staff was uncovered. IKA officials had managed to siphon off a cool 6 million euros since 2003.  The IKA officers involved were certifying decisions to grant medical care of all kinds. In some cases and in cooperation with insurers, they issued fake hospitalisation orders, gave 20% of the illegal fund to the insurers, and kept the rest for themselves. And here’s the most worrying aspect: the whole thing was done by four (count them) employees. Imagine the graft going on if just 5% of employees in one small section of that Greek DSS were up to one scam or another.

Earlier this week, the German company Siemens agreed to pay 130 million euros compensation and create 700 new jobs in Greece in order to avoid a long-running bribery scandal going to Court. That’s a big price to pay, so the mind boggles at just how smelly the whole process must’ve been. Personally negotiating the compensation was – guess who? – Evangelos Venizelos. The bribery concerned bungs that Siemens gave to Greek politicians and senior civil servants over several decades to secure public contracts.

The ‘over several decades’ emphasis there is to enable us to take a trip down Bribery Lane with Finance Minister Venizelos. For a while, he played a major role in the Olympic Games construction projects. Later he was instrumental in taking procurement decisions for weaponry in his role as Defence Minister. The Games went badly over budget, and both in that portfolio and Defence, clouds regularly followed him around. As Culture Minister, he was directly involved in some of the Siemens projects; here too there were allegations of graft and corruption…now seen to have been true.

In order to protect himself and others against the growing evidence of wrongdoing, Venizelos – he being a Doctor of Law and Constitutional Expert – in 2006 wrote and and pushed through an amnesty law for Government Ministers On the Responsibilities of Ministers, as a result of which all senior politicians are practically immune to public prosecution for cases of political corruption. It was described in a recent magazine article in Greece as ‘the most hated Law in our history’. Given that would include some pretty unpleasant ones passed by the Ottoman Empire in its time, that’s saying quite a lot.

One final twist. As a young lawyer, Evangelo Venizelos got his start in politics by defending former Prime Minister George Papandreou….against corruption charges. In a Slogpost last year, you may recall I covered some of the odder dealings of Papandreou and others in the removal of public funds to the account of a Swiss wealth management firm via the juxtaposition of CDSs. The Papandreou family is deeply implicated in the scam…..but thanks to his one-time saviour Venizelos, Papandreou can rest assured that he is immune from prosecution in any Greek court. This is a shame, as the total embezzled is an eye-watering 27 billion euros.

Greek readers of The Slog (who now number quite a few I’m glad to say) should not take these accusations as a slur on their people. The German press is fond of portraying the average Greek as bone idle, but the EU’s own stats give the lie to this: the average Greek worker puts in 1.2 hours per day more than his Teutonic counterpart. Rather, I am saying that the worst kind of corruption is endemic in Greek Government – it often involves, I must add, German suppliers – and that the pols have effectively indemnified themselves against any comeback on every front. No man in Greece is more up to his neck in that cover-up than Evangelo Venizelos.

So these are not people you’d want to leave alone with an unguarded ballot box, to do a vital multi-billion dollar audit crucial to the country’s survival. Yet that’s exactly what the Troika – so keen just three weeks ago to put its own Kommissars into Athens – did. How very odd that is coming from people whose most telling feature is an inability to stop ordering people around.

And finally my Greek friends, I must acquaint you with a very serious allegation. I have no evidence to support it, but if you do, please get in touch with me at Jawslog@gmail.com. I assure you that you can do so in confidence of complete anonymity.

I understand that, as the country’s leading consitutional expert, Evangelo Venizelos has taken personal control of the trickiest poison pill put into the Brussels Accord: that of changing the speed at which Constitutional changes can be enacted in order to satisfy the control freaks in Brussels, Washington and Berlin. (Under current Law, the changes demanded by the Troika are impossible in the time frame of the bailout).

It is alleged that Mr Venizelos has extracted an extremely high price from the EU, for his personal use, in order to be a dutiful servant and good European in getting the legislation changed. This may of course be entirely scurrilous and completely untrue. But anyone who has intelligence to offer me on that one, send it to the email address above.

«Μαζί μπορούμε να κερδίσουμε!”

70 thoughts on “REVEALED: Why the Troika’s ‘validation’ of the Greek psi may open up a can of worms

  1. Greek Immigration Officer: “Nationality?”
    Tourist: “German.”
    Greek Immigration Officer: “Occupation?”
    Tourist: “No, just on holiday

  2. This will become a standard interview question for new hires on Wall St:

    Q: Imagine you’re the Greek Finance Minister. You want to enslave the country further with more debt from the Troika. The Troika wants you to achieve a minimum PSI on a bond cram-down and wipe out Greek pension funds, but you can’t reach that minimum. What do you do? Three parts to the answer.

    A: Lie about the PSI figures.

    Q: Yes.

    A: Make sure I’m immune from prosecution.

    Q: Yes

    A: .Bribe everyone involved in the counting process.

    Q: Excellent. When can you start?

  3. Thanks John, we’re unlikely to hear this in the greek media, which mostly follows the line its paymasters want to take. There’s some follow up on the IKA story in Πρώτο Θέμα and Ελευθερος Τυπος (“Free Press” – ha). Also a number of civil servants in various jobs being found to have unexpectedly large sums of cash in their bank accounts. I’m an ex-pat in Greece, would love to hear the opinions of your other greek readers. Mentioning politicians to my neighbours normally results in “let me get my gun” or a sign of a finger being drawn across the throat.

    “Μαζί μπορούμε να κερδίσουμε!” – δεν πιστεύω, δύστυχος. Keep up the good work!

  4. As to Siemens and the like – is there anything that can surprise me about the activities of a corporation whose only intent is to make money – and having achieved that end, want only more of the same?

    On the other hand, you say that there are now 11,000 Greek pensioners who have had their pensions obliterated. This is happening in other countries too – though through different means. A low base rate in a country means that the return on a pension fund is now extremely low – and affects a lot more people than 11,000 Greek citizens. Whilst I commiserate with them, inflation is biting at the heels of many and even here in NL prices of foodstuffs is at around 10%* whilst wages continue at modest rates as is the norm here in the North.

    (*some is stable; others such as milk has gone up by 20%; chocolate at around 5% (phew!); meat much the same, but one cannot tell how much more water they are injecting – the EU maximum is 10% but hey! who cares about them!? I could sort out some more precise figures as I have receipts going back a couple of years).

  5. John I think it is worth to investigate the following :

    Strong evidence of “criminal” manipulations by the former Finance Minister Giorgos Papaconstantinou and Chief ELSTAT Andreas Georgiou concerning the calculation of the deficit of 2009 resulting from the course of investigations of the House inquiry committee investigating the massive folder that has the form Economic crime prosecutor Gregory Peponis for the “case ELSTAT.”

    I want to remind you that every public speech or Papandreou or Papaconstantinou had as a result an increase of spreads (just check their speeshes (e.x. Eurogroup, Davos, ) and the relevant spreads and you will undrestand.

    Today Papandreou said that for that raise of spreads the blame has to be upon the Europeans and thanked Venizelos for his efforts.

    • all cases in Greece lead to Venizelos, i lost track of how many they are!Since late 80′s,it’s always strong evidence vs no prosecution

  6. May I just add to John’s comments about the Greek people..

    I’ve been fortunate enough to visit Greece over many years, and my experience of the Greek people has been almost entirely delightful. As a very young squaddie, I was welcomed into strangers’ homes and fed olives, bread and retsina. In later years, my previous experiences of Greek hospitality was, if anything, enhanced. They are an enchanting people; courteous, generous, family-orientated and hard working. Their efforts in the summer sun would put even a hardened Irishman to shame. Importantly, their scepticism regarding officialdom is healthy and robust. In the past, the bribery and graft could be tolerated because there was enough to go round and it was all regarded as a bit of a game. Now the storm clouds are gathering and foolish corrupt bureaucrats, who have consigned their countrymen to a life of penury, would be unwise in the extreme to ignore the latent martial spirit of the Hellenes.

    As John says, “Together we can win”. Remember the 300 – you turned back the hordes then – you can do it again.

  7. Revision of the Constitution is initiated by a motion by at least one sixth of MPs, and agreed by a supermajority of three fifths of MPs, expressed twice, in two separate votes at least one month apart. In this case, the business of revision is transferred to the next term of Parliament, i.e. after the following legislative elections. Parliament may then ratify the revision by a 50% plus one majority. If the initial motion for revision has only achieved a 50% plus one majority, then a three fifths supermajority of the new Parliament is required. A Parliament thus endowed by its predecessor with the powers of revising the Constitution is officially named a “Revisional Parliament” and is enumerated separately from “Ordinary” Parliamentary terms

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constitution_of_Greece#Constitutional_amendments

  8. Maybe they also bribed Samaras the opposition party leader, who before was adamant in denying any troika plans, and after he voted for them

  9. «Μαζί μπορούμε να κερδίσουμε!”
    Ή ως μπόνους με γνώμονα μέσο όρο οι έμποροι. Δεν έχουμε τίποτα να χάσουμε, αλλά τα κέρδη μας

    • A recurrent theme is the granting (by whom? in what capacity?) of immunity from prosecution for many of the great and the good ‘doing their bit’ to further the aims of the EU. It disgusts me: if the Project has genuine merit, would seem to be quite unnecessary Any comment, John?

  10. John, coupla points:
    - if the last minute take-up of the deal was genuine, it wouldn’t surprise me. People often leave such things close to the deadline and this may have been explained by them waiting to see what ISDA might emit about declaring a default. There was nothing to gain by signing-up early.

    - ISDA *may* have been in private cahoots with the Greeks by agreeing not to issue any statement that could have been interpreted by bondholders as a possible default being called. This would have cleared the way for Venizelos to apply pressure on outstanding bondholders, which he apparently did.

    - I cannot see how votes could have been stuffed. Either bondholders signed up and exchanged their old bonds for new ones or they didn’t. This was not an Russian election!

    - we don’t know why the Troika didn’t supervise the process because we don’t really know exactly where they stand on it. Did Troika want the deal to go through? hhmm.

    If there was any irregularity over this, it may or may not come out.
    We know that this bond-swap process will never solve the Greek problem.

    We now have to wait and see if Portugal try the same game on…followed by Spain and perhaps Italy.

  11. Remember the battle of Salamis!
    After all the wheeling and dealing, remember the average Greek man, woman and child. They are what really matters here. The Greeks are a gregarious people, they will eventually say enough is enough and rise up against the europhiles. How will our Germanic cousins react then? Will they hold hands with the French and invoke a NATO expedition or will they see the light. It takes a big person (country/nation/experimental continental state) to admit they were wrong.
    I’m lucky, I live in the land of OZ which is a few years behind the rest of the civilized world. I hope our lairds and masters learn from the mistakes of others. (I’ve got a good veggy garden and a stash of cash in case they dont)

  12. Hello all , a post from home as I’m having trouble posting from my usual lunch-break in the office . The corruption of this deal seems so obvious that surely the Germans can yet pull te plug . Sadly no-one on this blog is remotely surprised.
    @JW check out the Boss’s new album “Wrecking Ball ” , its a mix of angry social comment with some more uplifting songs . Brilliant stuff , and very relevant to alot of the comments being posted on this excellent blog .

  13. Dear John, I don’t know whether you intended to make a subtle point, but otherwise, the meaning of the greek phrase “Μαζί μπορούμε να κερδίσουμε” at the end of your article is “Together we can profit”.
    Obviously you don’t imply that the rotund ogre we have as a finance minister should make you an offer you cannot refuse, do you?

    If you intended something like “Together we can win”, than it’s better that you change your greek to “Μαζί μπορούμε να νικήσουμε”.

    In any case, it would be a bad omen for our time, if victory (nike) and profit (kerdos) are becoming synonyms.

    Venceremos!

    • Atreides
      Many thanks for that. In English, ‘profiting together’ we call ‘mutualism’. It is the socially and economically efficient form in my view.

      • Dear John,
        Unfortunately, people profiting together as a result of a solution to this crisis seems to be way past the point (at least in Greece).
        And how could it be otherwise?
        History shows that in its darkest hours, a society must in essence spontaneously decide whether it wants to persevere, even if this would not be “profitable” for its members, or dissolve into its individuals, which would then seek refuge to another society or authority.
        This decision is not political, religious, economic, national or even rational, even though many would rationalize it as such: It has more to do with what parents think when they look at their children, or their own parents, what their memories of the place they grew up is, and whether they could live on knowing that they surrendered them.

        The time to decide, judging from what I experience here, and the comments I read, has not arrived yet, but is fast approaching.
        What is different (and more interesting) at this particular juncture of time, is that for the first time in its modern history, Greece had managed to raise two generations in peace and improving prosperity that are (in principle) educated and not isolated from the world.
        What the answer of these two generations will be, not just to those inside and outside of the county stripping them of the above, but also to themselves, remains to be seen.

  14. JW , Venizelos’s political past is very well known here.
    He has been producing judicial & law scandals since the very early 90′s , most of the times by bringing new laws in favor of his political followers either in Thesaloniki (where he comes from & gets elected) or his political sponsors ( one of his major supporters is the “Lambrakis foundation”, owning a group of mass media, radio stations, tv stations, newspapers, magazines, and several more financial activities such as publications, travel&holiday operators, construction business etc..).

    Infact, Venizelos is going to be elected president of Pasok(the “socialist” party) on the following weekend ( 18th March).

    • It sounds like Venizelos is following in the footsteps of Benito Mussolini.
      It’s Corporatism, a growing problem in the US & Europe and elsewhere.

      Doubtlessly, when he becomes President of Pasok, his media backers will be propagandering what a great guy he is …When he becomes PM it’ll be telling everybody that the trains run on time and the economy is getting better …while in reality the unemployed numbers grow etc etc etc and poverty spreads.

      • btw, Venizelos declared himself along with his wife bank accounts of almost 3 million Euros for 2009.

  15. If I were a citizen of Greece I’d be highly tempted to become a Communist of the Bolshevik variety. Venizelos and his cronies should be shot as traitors.

      • I couldn’t think of any party that had a policy (formulated by Lenin I think) of mercilessly liquidating its enemies. The other choice was the Nazis, but they were the Germans of yesterday. Today’s Germans are just as authoritarian if not murderous. However, they aren’t any smarter now than they were then. Bailing out Greece with the taxpayers’ money is throwing money down a rat hole. I have seen several videos on line of meetings of the EU Parliament over the past several years. Eleven members were or are Communists. In their speeches, with the notable exceptions of Nigel Farage and the member representing the Czech Republic, they speak interminablely of “solidarity.” What a load of manure. The UK should get as far away from this as possible. It’s toxic.

      • @Mary Wilbur: You’re absolutely right. The EU is a mish-mash of old European commies, fascists and other assorted socialists trying to resurrect, by a back door coup, a new authoritarian socialist empire. And that explains why the Labour Party are overwhelmingly supporters of it and why the Tory Party have been locked in civil war about it for so long. Farage is a rare person who can see what’s happening.

    • Shot? Why so merciful?

      Personally, I wouldn’t recommend piano wire for Venizelos – not even of a thickness used for the bass notes. Due to his obesity – I’m sure he measures almost as much going round the waist as he does from feet to top of head – the chances are the piano wire would decapitate him, in a sort of cheese-wire effect. Then think of the mess to be cleaned up afterwards.

      Might I suggest using a length of heavy-duty bog chain. If only for the symbolism! And raising him, Iran-style, rather than dropping him.

      • If It was up to me I would re-open the Ille De Salut, particularly Devils Island. Give them a small plot of land & a hut & then let dog eat dog. I think true misery for them would be being deprived of power & the sustenance to feed their gigantic egos, they seem to me as though they are mere appetites on legs, lacking any real human values.

        Imagine an island full of people like Venizelos, it would probably be Van Rompuy stew after about a week. Cover the place with hidden cameras for some truly disgusting reality TV, X rated ” Lord of the flies “.

        I don’t really care what happens to them, I just want them stopped from spreading their disease.

  16. Dear friends
    let me give you a hint on the real deal here.
    —- Those Public Insurance Agc how denied haircut are called : TRAITORS !!lol ( 3 billion/207 )
    If smone exposed the BOD decisions both from the pro and con to haircut…
    hahahaa we will ave a lot of laughs..!

    —-Since all those who voluntarely swaped their bonds get CASH plus EFSF bonds totalling 46.5% plus a security linked to GDP ect,… QUESTION:
    - why the Greek bondholders are not eligible to receive the part of the CASH COLLATERAL offered to the rest ???… 1 claim to ISDA = D

    — Till Friday afternoon Ath time, Greek Banks had around 1.000 official claims from private bondholders ( 11.000+ total )… a very sensitive
    QUESTION :
    - why the Gov mandated the Banks to send the invitation latters to private bondholders in Greece?.. maybe you know or you can guess the answer to that !!.. its a finance/legal scam ! ISDA should be aware of that!

    —- Will Those who will cut their assets under CAC’s, ( 17/13billion E ) get the same compensation as the rest ?? if not, why not ? if yes why yes ?

    Π₪₪₪₪Π

    here is the list of the bonds :

    [scribd id=84496039 key=key-911psffn4m3iqpxis1q mode=list]

    • @Porta Porta:
      — Will Those who will cut their assets under CAC’s, ( 17/13billion E ) get the same compensation as the rest ?? if not, why not ? if yes why yes ?

      I’m not exactly sure what you mean here. But in my opinion, those who voluntarily signed up to the bond-swap and took a loss will not get ISDA compensation. They did so voluntarily. But those who held out and have CDS insurance will get ISDA CDS compensation, presumably equal to the loss imposed. The loss was imposed on them by a CAC. I may be wrong but that is how I see it.

  17. Pingback: REVEALED: Why the Troika’s ‘Validation’ of the Greek PSI May Open Up a Can of Worms

      • @Send in the clowns: Weird. $79billion on ZH equals about €60 billion.
        But MSM have been blathering on for two days that Greek CDS exposure is about €32billion and ‘manageable’. Suddenly the figure almost doubles and seemingly hasn’t anywhere near topped out yet if that LONG list of other Greek bonds on ZH are included.

      • @Knight rider:
        Depends what currency you express them in. ZeroHedge is quoting USD 79 billion. That is equal to EUR 60 billion.

        (EUR 103 billion was a USD-EUR conversion error by a previous poster).

        Recall we were led to believe the CDS exposure was about EUR 32 billion yesterday. Now it’s EUR 60 billion. How much on Monday?

      • Whoops … my €32 billion figure in two posts above should have read €3.2 billion. That’s the figure we’ve been told is the CDS payout.

  18. Pingback: John Ward – REVEALED: Why The Troika’s ‘Validation’ Of The Greek Psi May Open Up A Can Of Worms – 10 March 2012 | Lucas 2012 Infos

  19. You know, I’m sure that there’s a simpler explanation here. It’s probably that Goldman Sachs just plain forgot about those Greek law bonds they had stashed in that bottom drawer in their basement. But fortunately in the nick of time they were able to rehypothecate the lot and save the day.

  20. And on it goes. But I believe JW has identified matters that will make this Greek business look like the storm in a teacup that it is. There’s 10 times global GDP floating in the air as derivatives. There is not enough money on the planet to buy these. They can only be bought if the money supply is drastically expanded.Or they can be destroyed and burnt. This paper is owned by banks primarily.
    If the governments print the money and buy this rubbish the bankers will own the world. That’s what needs stopping.
    Well, that’s what’s on my mind at the moment.

    • I missed a bit. If you reduce the amount of players in the derivatives market to two, how can I have lent JW more money than exists? And how can he pay me back?

  21. Pingback: GREEK BAILOUT: UNCERTAINTY PERSISTS AS NEW SOVEREIGN LIABILITIES SURFACE | The Slog

  22. @MARCJF Is it me but has the graphics on the slog suddenly gone wonky? Every post in tiny capitals?
    =======================================================
    Same here. Maybe it’s an Internet Explorer thing?
    Kb

  23. Pingback: Από επιτυχία σε επιτυχία « /var/log/rouvas

  24. As reported on a German website:

    “Austria’s taxpayers have to come up with € 1 billion

    Credit Insurance: UniCredit and Deutsche Bank as loosers

    Loosers in the credit default swaps are UniCredit, Deutsche Bank and BNP Paribas. The biggest setback has to be accepted by the Austrian KA. The winners are the UK banks.

    Deutschen Mittelstands Nachrichten | 10.03.12, 02:02 |

    The continental European banks pay, the institutes on the island cash in. That is how one can anticipate the result which will arise from the decision of the ISDA (explained in the original here). The banking committee had established on Friday: Greece is bankrupt.

    A total of 3.2 billion euros will be due for credit default swaps, (CDS). According to the current state of knowledge, one of the biggest loosers is the Austrian bad bank KA Finanz. It participated in the debt reduction (here) and now has to pay an additional 500 million in CDS. More specifically: the Austrian taxpayer must raise one billion euros to pay for the damage. The Austrian Finance Minister Maria Fekter proudly declared just a few weeks ago that Greece was good business for Austria, because the Austrian government could collect interest from the loans.

    The bankruptcy is also painful for the already battered Italian big bank UniCredit: as calculated by the European Banking Authority (EBA) it will have to pay out about 240 million in CDS. The Deutsche Bank has to fork out 77 million, France’s BNP Paribas, about 74 million euro.

    The winners are sitting, as so often in sport betting, on the island: the British HSBC can look forward to a profit of 194 million €, the state-owned Royal Bank of Scotland will pick up € 177 million.

    For the moment, the ISDA has established the credit event for the bonds issued under Greek law. Those issued under international law are likely to follow in the coming week. The CEO of ISDA, Robert Pickel, said the establishing of the bankruptcy and the triggering of the CDS will stabilise the market for credit insurance. Bill Gross of Pimco sees it quite differently: Because the rules are constantly changing, the confusing process will leave lasting damage in the market for government securities.”

    So folks, 3.2 billion euronens is actually just the kick-off sum, according to DMN! Probably it’s anyones guess where the counting might end – if it ever does! Plus, after already having had a not very good 2011, Ackermann and his hoodlums at Deutsche are probably feeling a bit down in the dumps – and rather pensive of what the coming days/weeks will bring them. Perhaps Siemens can help them out – after all, doesn’t Siemens also have a banking licence?

    Some of the comments from DMN contributors:

    “There are reports that large amounts of CDS are held by the US investment banks. But they have friitered the premiums away instead of placing them in the premium reserve fund. They could now go bust, which could mean that other banks, who are holding promissory notes from any bet winnings on the balance sheet, will suddenly find that they only holding old paper, then things can very quickly come to a head.”

    “That’s no problem at all. British Bank, Deutsche Bank, it all stays in the family! Check out the main shareholders of these banks sometime!”

    “Yeah-yeah, the English banks, one can still learn something from them. What are Schäuble and Merkel going to do now? And the poor Sarkozy, he had been so looking forward to his reelection. I grieve with him. HAHAHAHAHAHA no, away with him!!”

    “This means that the Axis powers, together with Vichy France, pay to the City of London, as they have since time immemorial!
    ——-
    Or the Mafia bankers in the City are just cleverer than our “top managers”. Here you can see once again what big bonuses can bring about – we all know: Without good pay all of “our” super bankers go for a hike.
    Or the really good money generators are already sitting in London now and laughing themselves to death over the dimwitted clods on the continent.
    ——
    I am convinced that the banksters in the City of London are laughing themselves to death over the stupid fools on the continent.
    And they’ll be very pleased how the marionettes, IM Erika at the top, get to feel it. If you look at or listen to it all daily, then I must say, they turn in an almost superhuman performance. The mere stress of the responsibility (of course, towards the NWO), the travel, having to always be contactable, the drafting of contracts and packages, the permanent first aid courses for the rescues. No one can say that they have been lazy, The catch is that they have betrayed us and will continue to do so. Actually, we only need to be clear that the one who strikes first has the better cards. Because, when once the contingencies in the Lisbon Treaty come into force, suppression of riots and rebellions by the EUROGENDFOR with orders to shoot (worse than at the zone borders) and the death penalty, then it’s all over for us.
    It is interesting that at present the EUROGENDFOR, established by the Member States Italy, Greece and France, is based with its headquarters in Vicenza (Italy). Here, as per EU assessments, the risk of riots should be at its greatest. So, they do know how to do it. Otherwise, they could have set it up in Finland.”

    So, at least 3 dames in the game; Fifi Lagarde, Geli Merkel and Maria Fekter. For the last named I can well imagine that the Austrian taxpayers/cartoonists/comedians are already thinking up disrespectful variations of her surname.

    Plus, it would appear there has been another casualty in the drive for political correctness in Germany – as of yesterday, no more bare-breasted ladies on the front page of BILD-Zeitung. Could Page 3 also be in danger?

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