This from a Wolf Richter piece at Zero Hedge:
‘…they’re going through a drawn-out step-by-step procedure of demands for reforms, promises, failed implementations, rebukes, withheld bailout transfers that then might still be made, and so on. The idea is to keep markets from panicking, give governments time to prepare for the inevitable, and render politicians blameless for Greece’s exit from the monetary union….’
The ‘they’ Herr Richter’s referring to is the Troika. And his observation here does, I believe, accord entirely with what I was saying last Monday: the ECB/Berlin/Brussels/Paris/IMF mob are ‘ready’ to take the hit from Greek contagion. Mario and Angela now see Athens as win-win: the lenders cave in, or Greece defaults, but we survive.
Now either the Hedgies are going to get their fingers burned bigtime here, or the Troika hubris is somewhat misplaced. Funnily enough, it’s just possible that both are true. For while Mario Draghi clearly knows what he’s doing, the disagreement I highlighted yesterday between the Troika members about eurobonds, ESM firepower and ECB liquidity-pumping remain as serious as ever. (And as always, at least 70% of the proposed ‘funds’ to tackle the problem are Regler-Lagarde fantasies).
“It’s not a given that Greece’s default would have a domino effect in the euro zone,” John Chambers, chairman of S&P’s sovereign rating committee, said yesterday. This is what the Troika is gambling on; and it could be that the ‘game of chicken’ is moving away from the creditors. Greece’s private creditors were reportedly ‘pleading’ yesterday with European officials who rejected their bond swap offer to hammer together a deal before Athens tumbles into a chaotic default.
“It’s important that all parties recognize how much we have at stake and work together and cooperate to find a solution,” said Charles Dallara. But he offered neither a backdown nor an alternative solution. The IIF tactic now, I’m being told, is to let the other side stew for a while, dribble away some more time….and wait for the blink.
None of this will save Greece – or indeed the eurozone. But my water tells me this could be a turning point in relations between sovereign States and their creditors.