domingo, 5 de julio de 2015

Pensando en mañana después del "OXI"


¿OXI-rrinco financiero planetario a la vista? ¿Quién puede saberlo? Lo concreto es que el "OXI" griego aprueba tácitamente el default de 340.000.000.000 (trescientos cuarenta mil millones) de euros a la banca europea. Para ir pensando en mañana después del OXI (acuérdense que las bolsas abren en Shangai, que cerraron el viernes casi 6% abajo) veamos algunos análisis y especulaciones sobre el día después. 

Pero primero recordemos una vez más lo que realmente estaba en juego el día de hoy. Hace tres días alguien muy conocido por nosotros, Paul Craig Roberts, escribía en su sitio web (http://www.paulcraigroberts.org):


Título: Sunday’s Vote Will Determine Liberty Or Serfdom

Texto: According to history books, democracy originated in Greece. Of course, historians could be mistaken, but this is the prevailing view among Western populations with enough awareness to be interested to know.

What we are witnessing today, July 2, 2015, is that after 2,500 years in the Western World only the current Greek government is interested in democracy. The Greek government, to the surprise and consternation of every other European government, has called a referendum for the Greek people to decide the fate of Greece. For resorting to democracy, the Greek government has been universally denounced in the Western World.

So much for Western democracy.

The greatest and most successful propaganda scam in history is the one that convinces the world that they are nobody if they are not part of The West, the indispensable peoples, the exceptional peoples. If you are not part of The West you are nobody, nonexistent, a nothing.

This prevailing propaganda might prevail in Greece on Sunday, in which case a fearful and intimidated Greek population might vote against the only government that, instead of accepting a payoff from Greece’s enemies, fought for the welfare of the Greek people.

If the Greeks vote for their oppressors and against their own government, democracy in the EU will cease to exist.

2,500 years ago Greeks saved their independence from the Persian Empire. Sunday’s vote will tell us whether Greeks have again served liberty or whether they have succumbed to Washington’s Empire.

The fate of all Europeans and of Americans themselves will be settled on Sunday.

Las patas en la fuente

Ahora vayamos a esa joyita del pensamiento reaccionario neoliberal, el "chief opinator" de la sección Finanzas del Telegraph de Londres, Ambrose Evans-Pritchard (y recuerden: lo que pase mañana en la plaza financiera de Londres será clave para lo que ocurra después):


Título: EU warns of Armageddon if Greek voters reject terms

Epígrafe: "Without new money, salaries won't be paid, the health system will stop functioning, the power network and public transport will break down," warns President of European Parliament

Texto: Greece risks a collapse of the medical system, power black-outs, and an import blockade, if the Greek people reject creditor demands in a make-or-break referendum tomorrow, the EU's highest elected official has warned.

Martin Schulz, the president of the European Parliament, said the EU authorities may have to prepare emergency loans to keep basic public services functioning and to prevent the debt-stricken country spinning out of control next week.

"Without new money, salaries won't be paid, the health system will stop functioning, the power network and public transport will break down, and they won't be able to import vital goods because nobody can pay," he said.


What happens if Greece defaults to the IMF?

Mr Schulz earlier called for the elected Syriza government to be replaced by "technocrat" rule until stability is restored.

The alarmist warnings are part of an escalating pressure campaign by European leaders as Greeks decide their destiny in what has become – despite attempts by Syriza to present it otherwise - an in-out vote on euro membership after five years of economic depression and mass unemployment.

Yanis Varoufakis, the Greek finance minister, said his country is on "war-footing" and accused the eurozone of trying to terrify Greek voters into submission.

"What they're doing with Greece has a name: terrorism. Why have they forced us to close the banks? To frighten people. It's about spreading terror," he told El Mundo.

The complete break-down in trust between Syriza and the EU-IMF inspectors comes as polls show the "No" side neck and neck, each driven by powerful emotions in the bitterly divided country.

An estimate 40,000 people gathered for a rally for "No" side on Friday in front of the Greek parliament, drawn by a star-casting of Greek singers and defiant appearance by premier Alexis Tsipras.

Some 18,000 thronged a nearby stadium for the "Yes" campaign, blowing whistles and waving Greek and EU flags, many afraid that Greece would be blown out of the EU altogether after 34 years, and cast into oblivion.



The crisis has reached a point where the Greece's manufacturing system is grinding to a halt. Crucial imports and raw materials have been stuck in ports since imposition of capital controls and the shut-down of the banking system a week ago.

Industrialists cannot pay suppliers outside the country unless they are deemed a top priority by an emergency payments committee at the Greek treasury. Hundreds factories and mills may be forced to close down as soon as next week.

Mr Varoufakis angrily dismissed "malicious rumours" that Greece's banks are drawing up plans to seize a share of all deposits above €8,000 in a so-called "bail-in". This is far below the EMU-wide deposit guarantee of €100,000.

The claims have been widely aired by Greek television and the conservative press, though no sources have been identified.

Louka Katseli, the head of the Greek banking association, said the reports were fiction.
The situation is clearly desperate, however. Mr Varoufakis told the Telegraph earlier that Greece's banks will run out of cash over the next two days. "We can last through to the weekend and probably to Monday," he said. Greeks were still able to withdraw €60 a day - in reality down to €50 – with local cards from ATM machines earlier today. Foreign cards have no limit but it is far from clear whether that can continue.

Mr Varoufakis appears ready to sit out a long siege if necessary. "We have six months stocks of oil and four months stocks of pharmaceuticals," he said.

The finance ministry is allocating much of the country's scarce liquidity for imports of food to avert a disaster as the tourist seasons reaches a crescendo. He said there is no risk of food shortages.

Romano Prodi, former chief of the European Commission and Italy's ex-premier, said it is the EU's own survival that is now a stake as the botched handling of the Greek crisis escalates into a catastrophe. "If the EU cannot resolve a small problem the size of Greece, what is the point of Europe?"

"I would like to know how Merkel, Juncker, or Lagarde can possibly take it upon themselves to throw Greece out of the euro. It is true that irrational behaviour always recurs in history. The First World War broke out over a minor incident. Let us hope this is not our Sarajevo," he said.

It has emerged that European members on the board of the International Monetary Fund tried to suppress the publication of a report by the IMF showing that Greece's debt is "unsustainable" and that the country is in grave need of debt relief.

This validates the claim by Syriza that a deal without debt restructuring fails to go to the root of the problem, and merely ensures another crisis later. Angry staff members at the IMF leaked parts of the paper to the German press, forcing full publication.

The EMU creditors have so far refused to offer any debt relief. The danger is that this hard line will backfire, forcing Greece to default on an estimated €340bn of liabilities to the eurozone system. This would entail vastly greater losses for the creditors.


Ahora vayamos a un par de títulos del Zero Hedge:


Título: A "No" Victory Appears Probable: What Happens Next According To Deutsche Bank

Texto: With early forecasts all telegraphing a modest victory for the "Oxis", barring some last minute miracle, the Varoufakis gambit - with some last minute assistance by the IMF - may succeed. What happens next? Here is Deutsche Bank's "map for the post referendum" which presents the four possible outcomes

In this document DB, which is one of the banks that may stand to lose the most from any major stresses to Europe's precarious status quo as a result of its tens of trillions of notional derivatives, lays out the possible post-referendum scenarios.

Here is how the German megabank sees the possible outcomes of what is shaping up to be a "No" vote:


N1 – Soft deal: The most unlikely scenario is that the euro-area partners offer a much softer programme to Greece.

N2 – Default-and-stay: Moderately less unlikely is a scenario where Greece defaults but stays in the euro thanks to a direct recapitalisation of Greek banks by the euro-area partners, with the Greek government using only domestic resources for the country’s fiscal needs.

N3 – New deal: The third scenario is one in which the rising economic and political cost of a closed banking system results in the Syriza government being replaced by a new government of national unity and a new deal with creditors being reached.

N4 – Grexit: In our view, Grexit and Scenario N3 are the most likely – with about equal probabilities. That said, we see the probability of Grexit increasing the larger is the margin of victory of the NO vote. Even with a NO vote, the cumulative probability of the first three scenarios still exceeds that of Grexit.

Un día peronista

And the details:


NO, Scenario #N1. Soft deal

This, in our view, is by far the least likely outcome, as it would generate significant moral hazard issues, which in the longer term could be as damaging as an exit. If Europe were to offer significant concessions to Greece following a no vote, it would de facto incentivize other borrowing countries to call domestic referenda to improve the terms of their rescue packages. This would be unsustainable in the long-run as (a) it would create obvious political issues in creditor countries, (b) it would not deal with the structural adjustments and political integration which are necessary for the longer term viability of the euro area.


NO, Scenario #N2. Default-and-stay

A direct recapitalization of the Greek banks is more likely, we think, than a very soft programme, but would be a challenge for Greece and, above all, euro-area partners to accept.

From the European perspective, it could be the start of a new round of financial commitments, all the more so unless there is a strong, credible agreement on structural reform to boost growth and protect Europe’s capital investment. After a default, getting the necessary consensus for such a bank-based deal will be difficult. Indeed, a public default would likely lead to a cascade of private defaults — starting with corporates.

The most serious flaw with this scenario is the moral hazard it creates. If Europe facilitates this default-and-stay option in Greece, it opens the door across the periphery to similar demands. If it is easy to renege on debts but have Europe preserve your banking system and access to the single currency, others will want the same. It will promote instability.

It is not only a question of ex-post moral hazard either. There are general elections in Spain at the end of the year and in Ireland by April 2016. How could the governments of these countries explain to their electorates that they should help to shoulder the direct recap of Greek banks after their own public debt ballooned because of the recap of domestic banks?

From Greece’s perspective, the cost of direct recapitalization in terms of deposit bail-in and general economic conditionality (see Box 1) means this scenario is not a shoe-in either.

It is also a scenario that needs time, measured in months, to come to technical fruition. In the meantime, the economic and political cost of a closed banking system will be mounting. There is a considerable probability if Greece and Europe go down this route that it merges into Scenario N3.

An additional consideration is that the HFSF is a guarantor to the EFSF. In the event of a Greek default, the EFSF may have a direct claim on the HFSF shares in the Greek banks. If Europe becomes the beneficial owner of the Greek banking system, the argument for direct recapitalization could grow. This does not diminish the technical and political complexity of direct recapitalization.



NO Scenario, #N3. New deal

Whether the ECB withdraws ELA — and when — is almost beside the point. The liquidity in the Greece economy is seriously impaired and as each week passes the economic, social and ultimately political cost of the crisis will rise exponentially. The tourist season may be compromised. We cannot judge Greece’s capacity for this. There may be new negotiations after a NO vote, but the chances of a soft programme (Scenario 1) or direct bank recapitalization (Scenario 2) are, in our view, very low. In the meantime the domestic political cost of a closed banking system will rise.

At some point, the rising economic and political cost of a closed banking system could cause the Syriza government to fall. A national unity government could emerge and new negotiations could take place around a deal with the international creditors.

How quickly such a scenario plays out depends on the economic and political cost. By that time, after the economic shock of failing talks and default, the scale of debt relief required to return Greece to sustainability will be even larger. If the EU wants to retain Greece in the single currency, more debt relief might be the price to pay.

Such an agreement would have to be based on a more balanced programme, probably along the lines outlined by the IMF in their latest debt sustainability report. There would need to be much more emphasis on structural reforms in exchange for a less growth-unfriendly fiscal consolidation and a commitment on a gradual debt relief based on implementation milestones . There needs to be a sequence that creates the incentives to improve the ability of the Greek economy to pass and implement the structural reforms that would allow the country to stands on its own leg within the monetary union.

A risk under this scenario is political deadlock could result if the Syriza government resigns but parliament is incapable of forming a new, stable government capable of striking a deal with the international creditors. The parliamentary arithmetic says that about 45 Syriza MPs – about one third of the parliamentary party – would have to join forces with the MPs of New Democracy, PASOK and River to gain a majority in parliament. Syriza retains strong support in opinion polls. Combining forces with the opposition could erode support and push voters further into the political extremes.

If a government cannot be found, the next step would be early elections. Note that there would be legal and financial challenges to new elections. According to the Greek constitution, the incumbent government cannot call elections within 12 months of the previous election. The government would first have to resign, followed by renewed attempts by the President of the Republic at forming a government. The constitution calls for three rounds of at most 3-day negotiations with the next three largest parties in parliament before an early election can be called.



NO Scenario, #N4. Grexit

A resounding NO would embolden PM Tsipras to ask for a complete overhaul of the programme. Actually, from his perspective it would make a much softer deal for Greece a necessity. But as we wrote in Scenario N1, an excessive compromise might be as damaging to medium-term euro area stability as Grexit, if not more damaging.

There is no formal mechanism in the EU Treaty that allows a member state to be expelled. That does not mean exit is impossible. First, Greece can take a unilateral decision to change its national currency back to the Drachma. Greece has this right under international public law (“Lex Monetae”). Second, exit could be agreed by mutual agreement. There is a view that Article 352 of the Lisbon Treaty might provide a basis for such an approach. It requires the unanimous agreement of the European Council, i.e. all EU countries in the EU including Greece.

Even though there is no legal mechanism that allows a member state to be expelled, there is a practical mechanism to trigger exit, namely the withdrawal of ELA. Withdrawing ELA would force the Bank of Greece to call in the emergency lending. The banking system does not have the capital for allow this and the government guarantee for ELA triggers a general default. The Greek banks would not regain access to ECB funding until they have been resolved and recapitalized, a lengthy and costly process.

The Syriza government claims it has no intention of leaving the euro area and that it would fight attempts to force it out through the European courts. This leaves economic circumstance to determine the point at which Greece feels it has no choice but to leave the euro area.

What differentiates the Scenario N4 (Grexit) from Scenario N3 (new deal) is that the Syriza government survives and takes the decision to exit. After a NO vote, these are the two most likely scenarios, in our opinion. They have a broadly similar probability, but we see the probability of Scenario 4 (Grexit) rising the larger the margin of victory for the NO campaign.

It is important to note that leaving the euro area and leaving the EU are two separate questions. If Grexit occurs, Greece would leave the euro area but not the EU. There is no argument being made for Greece to leave the EU. Staying within the EU limits the geopolitical ramifications of the Greek crisis.


Sequencing of events after a NO vote

Given the limited contagion in other peripheral markets and the rising domestic pressures in Greece, it is probably in Europe’s interest to wait. The exposure to Greece is no longer growing now that the ELA is capped. Contagion has been contained and the ECB has the ability to intervene more forcefully if necessary. Therefore, there is little cost in waiting for now.

On the other hand, precipitating an exit by e.g. suspending ELA, would lead to a crystallization of the losses on the existing official sector exposure to Greece, the introduction of potentially more challenging contagion risks and initiating a process that will be difficult to reverse. Conversely, given the trust lost over the last six months, Europe is unlikely to find it attractive to loosen its terms without a more credible commitment from the Greek side (or a change in government), as discussed in Scenario N1.

Given the above, it would be rational for Europe to wait for the political process in Greece to play out, even in the case of a NO vote. It would neither trigger a formal exit, nor offer more lenient terms until one of the following three outcomes realizes.

First, in the most optimistic scenario, there is a credible change in position from the Greek government. This would then enable Europe to restart more constructive negotiations along the “new deal” scenario.

Second, Greece itself gets closer to considering an exit. At that point, Europe may consider other alternatives such as a managed default within the eurozone, which will require Europe to recapitalize and control the Greek banking system which could lead to either “exit” or “default-and-stay” scenarios.

Third, there is an event that makes it institutionally very difficult for Europe to avoid exit. For instance, if the ECB decides that it is unable to maintain ELA following a default on the Greek bonds it owns, and Europe is not willing to recapitalize Greek banks, which would lead to the “exit” Scenario.

Note that it is not necessarily the case that ELA is suspended as soon as Greece fails to pay the ECB on 20 July – indeed, the ECB left the ELA volumes unchanged on 1 July despite the ‘default’ on the IMF. The rules of ELA are not published. It might also be the case that there is a 30-day grace period on the ECB held bonds. If so, the ECB could avail of the grace period before taking action on collateral (or suspending ELA). The counterargument will be that by permitting ongoing ELA the ECB will probably be in breach of the monetary financing prohibition in the EU Treaty.



Título: Eurogroup In Shock: Finance Ministers "Would Not Know What To Discuss" After Greferendum Stunner

Texto: There are no plans for an emergency meeting of euro zone finance ministers on Greece on Monday after Greeks voted overwhelmingly to reject the terms of a bailout deal with international creditors, a euro zone official said on Sunday.

Asked whether a meeting of the Eurogroup was planned for Monday, the official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters: "No way. (The ministers) would not know what to discuss."
May we suggest containing the fallout, whether in capital markets or in the resurgent mood in the other PIIGS, as a primary topic?

And meanwhile, while we symptahize with the Greeks officially telling the Troika to "fuck off", they may have other liquidity problems of their own.

Greeks cannot withdraw cash left in safe deposit boxes at Greek banks as long as capital restrictions remain in place, a deputy finance minister told Greek television on Sunday.

Greece's government shut banks and imposed capital controls a week ago to prevent the country's banks from collapsing under the weight of mass withdrawals.

Deputy Finance Minister Nadia Valavani told Alpha TV that, as part of those measures, the government and banks had agreed at the time that people would also not be allowed to withdraw cash from safe deposit boxes.
Surely the Greeks bought enough gold and/or bittcoin ahead of this outcome. Surely



Título: Greek PM Calls Emergency Meeting For Bank Liquidity: MNI

Texto: Congratulations Greece: for the first time you had the chance to tell the Troika, the unelected eurocrats, and the entire status quo establishment, not to mention all the banks, how you really felt and based on the most recent results, some 61% of you told it to go fuck itself.

Now comes the hard part.

Because at this point, with Greek banks all of them effectively insolvent, it is all up to the ECB: should Mario Draghi now announce an increase in the ELA haircut or pull it altogether as the ECB did with Greece, then a Greek deposit haircut bloodbath ensues. And judging by the latest news out of Market News, this is precisely what Tsipras is focusing on.

According to MNI, Greece's Prime Minister, Alexis Tsipras has called an emergency meeting for Sunday evening, after the referendum vote result will be announced, to assess the situation in the banking sector and the liquidity shortage, a senior Greek official told MNI Sunday.

The source said that so far Tsipras has not had any communication with other EU leaders "but that could change in the coming hours." Finance Minister Yiannis Varoufakis is currently meeting with the representatives of the Greek banking union to mull whether the banking holiday ,which expires Monday evening, should be prolonged and until when.

Greece's government spokesman, Gavriel Sakellarides told Antenna TV that the Central Bank of Greece will submit Sunday evening a request to the European Central Bank for further Emergency Liquidity Assistance saying "there is no reason why we cannot get ELA" adding that "negotiations should start as soon as today with reasonable demands."

The Greek source who spoke with MNI said that, according to his estimations, the No vote would be even higher than what the preliminary polls showed earlier.

The source also said that the EuroWorking Group, the aides of the Eurozone Finance Ministers, are expected to convene Monday and that the Eurogroup might also convene via teleconference to assess the situation.


A Banking source has told MNI that even when banks reopen capital controls are expected to be readjusted and imposed for a long period of time, until trust is restored and a deal with the creditors is being reached.




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