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SLOG ATHENS SOURCE IN BANK OF GREECE PROBE

Confidential US management report shows how woefully tiny the EFSF is

Truth of Greek bailout hidden from MEPs

The Slog has learned that the Mario Draghi EFSF sleight-of-hand continues, with the both the last and the next tranches of bailout ‘cash’ being paid in bonds of highly variable quality, and the truth of this hidden from MEPs. The news comes via an oracular source in the Bank of Greece, and has been confirmed by sources in both Brussels and Frankfurt. Ten weeks ago, The Slog was the first site to reveal Draghi’s cash-to-paper transmutation. The MSM continues to ignore the story. But now a new development explains why the ECB boss dare not use any real EFSF money.

“What they told me is that the due 18 billion euro bank recapitalisation will be paid by the EFSF in bonds,” says a thus far very reliable Slog source in the Athenian elite. ‘They’ in this instance means sources close to the Governor of the Bank of Greece. And hacks everywhere know what ‘sources close to’ means.

“So we pay interest on the ‘loan’ in coupons,” he continues, “but these friends of ours are lending us their debt. It is laugh-out-loud funny. God alone knows if the bonds are cash-backed [they aren’t] but I am told that even the triple-A bonds in the mix were bought at a discount by the ECB.”

So it’s a bailout in paper only…and even the paper bailout is being cobbled together on the cheap. Well, at least it’s nice to see that Mario is working hard to keep taxpayer costs down. Except that Signor Draghi has altogether more terrifying reasons to be laying this paper trail.

A confidential American management consultancy report commissioned by the Troika shows conclusively (using maths of which the awake folks are already well aware) that the upcoming bailout needs are miles beyond what the total ESM/IMF/ECB funds could ever be.

To quote from this report, of which I have had sight:

“At a total maximum going forward of €850bn euros, the fund is, even in terms of known commitments, under 45% of what would be required to ensure the viability of the eurozone….bailout costs in 2012 we estimate to be €2.04 trillion, and these will continue to rise as long as zero sovereign intervention policy applies.”

From my normally reliable Brussels mole comes further news – some of it fresh, some confirmatory.

“Given the fact that not a single MEP has seen the final signed EFSF loan facility agreement between Brussels and Athens, nothing surprises me any more,” he told me yesterday afternoon. “But yes, the same applies as previously….none of the bailout involves real cash. Does anyone give real cash to anything European any more? Every supplier to Greece wants the money cash in advance, and the same will happen in Spain before long”.

Nothing is as it seems. Do not adjust your set. The Eurozone has become the Twilight Zone.

Related: How the Troika bailout terms make deeper Greek debt a certainty