Grexit Daily News – 12 July 2015

image


12 July 2015  —  Lies, myths and misconceptions


It is easy to get captured within myths and misconceptions. It is easy to identify oneself as left and progressive and start seeing reality through constructs and systems instead for what it is. I have always struggled with ‘interpretive frameworks’, perhaps this is why I have been unsuccessful in being a ‘lefty’.

What is it we are trying to save in Greece by resisting European demands for ‘modernisation’? Oh, but they are undemocratic, they are being unreasonable, they are being neo-liberal, you may say. Lets take a moment to de-construct these accusations.

We are the ones asking them for money. We are the ones who have run our country to the ground and are now begging for help. We have decided to assert out democratic rights, you might say! Assert away, Schaeuble says, but with your own money. Democracy ends when you ask other people to pay for it. This sounds awful? I agree it sounds awful. My human rights and my ability to self-determine do not stop my rent from going up every year. Attempting to blame others for our troubles is silly at best and devious at worst. Sure, Syriza blames everyone but themselves and Greeks love seeing conspiracy theories everywhere. They do not envy us because we have the nicest beaches: We messed up.

But their demands are unreasonable! Yes they are, austerity is pro-cyclical, a high primary surplus does not help service an unmanageable debt burden because it entrenches recession. Fine I agree, I can read Varoufakis books and nod away while I am eating Egina pistachios. What have WE done to present a credible alternative? We talked and talked. There is nothing wrong with the Greek state? There is nothing wrong with the Greek economy? What has Tsipras done over the last 6 months to deal with a dysfunctional state that is weak yet pervasive, predatory yet subject to capture? What did Samaras, Papandreou, Karamanlis, Simitis, Mitsotakis, the Dad Papandreou and so on and so forth? It is fine to decry a bad solution, but lacking an alternative you have no solution. Is the medicine killing the patient? Well, Greece supposedly never dies, but it cannot persist in an eternal zombie state either.

But hang on, this is an attempt by the Europeans to remake Greece in their neoliberal image! Yes it is. This is the whole point of Germany now playing hardball. They have a particular potion of neoliberalism and ordoliberalism that they think is best for Europe, and having failed to convince the Eurozone to go there voluntarily, they are now trying to push the Eurozone in that direction. This is terrible. What is our alternative as a small, bankrupt nation but to follow? This is horribly sad and horribly undemocratic, but Greece needs to acknowledge it has FAILED. Our political and economic system has FAILED. Our culture has FAILED. This was not done to us by others. WE FAILED.

Do I not have pride as a Greek? How can I say these things? Isn’t this is exactly what the ‘expert’ Paul Mason means when he accuses people of being ‘nazi-collaborators’ (historical surrealism aside)? Fine ok, lets do pride. Lets have Zoi Kostantopoulou as PM, Lafazanis as Foreign Minister and Lapavitsas as Finance Minister. Let us envisage a future outside the Eurozone and the EU. Where we will have pride and dignity. Where we will also have no money, a standard of living akin to the 70s, alliances with unpleasant imperialist dictators. Is this your alternative? Or will Greece become a loving commune where everyone is poorer but happier? I am thinking North Korea of the Mediterranean is a more likely outcome of this option.

Take a moment to think this through. What is the alternative? What is the non-Euro, non-EU future for Greece. Blame me for having insufficient imagination, but I do not see one.

@iGlinavos

Advertisements

17 thoughts on “Grexit Daily News – 12 July 2015

  1. It’s sad to see your country in this state. To me it feels as if the last few month have been a waste of time and have made the situation more difficult for businesses in Greece.

    I personally see Greece’s future in the Euro-Zone (don’t want to think about what might happen in a Grexit situation), but can understand that the people in Greece are tired of being told what to change in their country. Still, it would be nice if their was understanding for the other Euro-members, wanting a perspective not having to fund Greece forever (the instruments used can be discussed of course, especially the primary focus on austerity in the early days).

    No matter what will happen in the next few days, I hope that the people of our countries will remain friends. In the future history will show if the right decision have been made or not.

    Like

  2. I have only visited beautiful and culturally rich Greece but I spent years living in Italy. I have read the OECD “toolkit” for shops reforms, etc., and if the same were applied to Italy, there would be a significant loss of quality of life for many people in small towns and villages, and also in the quality of food products for everyone. Many, many small Italian towns would cease to be able to sustain their resident populations if the providers of essential services — food, pharmaceuticals and taxis in particular — were driven out by unbridled competition and if Italy is forced to conform to the kind of market models that prevail in London and Berlin. I believe that people are entitled to reject modernisation. It benefits the banks with their “growth” charts and graphs, but people end up with less of what has made them happy. When I lived in Italy, I could not help but notice how the country filled up with millions and millions of tourists who acted almost like refugees from the modern world. They marveled at the richness of Italian social life, the respect for craft, the deliciousness of the unindustrialized food. They wanted to live there. To be sure, as it always seems necessary to add to persuade the audience, Italians were very critical of the many things wrong with Italian tradtional ways — which includes corruption, denial of opportunity, stifling of entrepreneurship, higher costs to many with less money, inefficient but expensive public services. Italians want reform, but they do not want to be Germany or the UK — or even France. They want to find a more creative answer. Many would have loved to have the help of the rest of Europe to move Italian politics and society forward. After this debacle, they are rightly disillusioned about the rest of Europe’s motives.

    Like

  3. Well-wisher says:

    “What is the alternative? What is the non-Euro, non-EU future for Greece.”

    Stay in the EU, but take on a new currency and re-gain growth and sovereignty at the same time. You’ve just signed on to a new recessionary package to Greece’s detriment while solidifying the neo-liberal order. You are by your own definition failing again. You are caving to someone else’s agenda and not creating a sovereign Greece in your own mould. Krugman and Stiglitz think it would be better economically for Greece to leave the EURO for its own currency and re-gain its sovereignty than suffer more of these bad deals – the latest is shameful. I don’t know how it possibly could be called ‘honorable’. Greece was only ever offered complete capitulation or nothing. (= “restoring trust” in German!) The question for Schaeuble et al was just whether Greece’s independent spirit was truly quashed and sufficiently humiliated. I guess now they have succeeded. And you are the embodiment of the beaten spirit bending to his will.

    It would be a rough road in a new currency – no one could deny that. But has it been easy up to now??? And Remember that the Euro is a failed design Europe doesn’t seem to want to put right. The complete lack of generosity shown to Greece is a sign of where it is going. Get out while you can.

    All best wishes to all Greeks!

    Like

    • anna v says:

      @Well-wisher

      “It would be a rough road in a new currency – no one could deny that”

      We have a greek proverb ” whoever is outside the dance, sings many songs”, meaning that dancers have no breath for songs.

      Your reaction is from the singers’ side, not the dancers. We are the ones who are dancing now at the tune played by the rest of the eurozone and have to gauge whether to stop dancing or not.

      There are people not dancing in our neighbourhood. I will give you Bulgaria for example who is not in the euro. The cleaning lady, who now comes once every two weeks as my take home pension has been cut in half , is from Bulgaria, who is in the EU but not the eurozone. She has also been worrying whether there will be enough work for her and she is a single mother with a 13 year old daughter. She charges 7 euros an hour. Her father, a retired policeman in Bulgaria urged her: come back, we can live on my pension! His pension? the equivalent of 70euros a month.

      That is where getting out of the dance will inevitably take us. Will you join us with the prospect of such a pension? Romantic dreams are just that: dreams.

      So if you are wishing us well, wish us that we have enough genes from Zorba the Greek to be able to dance the way through to success. The debt will be restructured. We finished paying the debt from our bankruptcy of 1895 in 1995. Something like that will happen here.

      .”

      Like

      • Well-wisher says:

        I am aware of your suffering in Greece and I have great sympathy for your plight and the others you describe. That is why I wrote as I did. To use your proverb, the dancers who are moving and ‘out of breath’ may not have the clearest overview. Clearly the decision is with you and the Greek people whether to accept these extraordinarily recessionary conditions, which in their severity far exceed those you have been under for the past 5 years (and those to which the Greek people voted ‘no’ just a week ago). The same laws of economics will apply and I don’t see how even worse debt deflation can be avoided. It is by no means guaranteed that the debt will be restructured or when. Here is the relevant EU agreement text on that:

        “Against this background, in lhe context of a possible future ESM programme. and in line with the
        spirit of the Eurogroup statement of November 2012, the Eurogroup stands ready to consider, if
        necessary
        , possible additional mcasures (possible longer grace and payment pcriods) aiming at
        ensuring that gross financing needs remain at a sustainable level. These measures will be
        conditional upon full implementation of the measures to be agreed
        in a possible new programme
        and will be considered after the first positive completion of a review.

        After 5 years of unrelenting difficulty there is nothing more understandable than to want the nightmare to end – if only temporarily. But I would urge you to think about which is really the best option in the long run.

        Like

      • anna v says:

        @well wisher

        “But I would urge you to think about which is really the best option in the long run”

        define “best” and define “long run”.

        Is it best for the lowest pensions to become 70 euros instead of 400 or so?

        Is “long run” to get to 400 in 10 years? 20 years? Bulgaria is in the EU for some years and that is the size of pensions .

        Already all our educated and trained people, engineers, doctors, nurses, who can, are emigrating. If the salaries for doctors fall to 200 euros there will be no doctors left. Is that best?

        We have to choose between bad and worst for our society, and I think that Tsipras saw the light and chose the bad.

        Like

      • Well-wisher says:

        “define “best” and define “long run”.”

        I see you have already answered that question for yourself. So I will ask you one: Why do you think it is that the Greek economy has gone into this death spiral for the past years? Could it have anything to do with the harsh austerity conditions Greece agreed to for their loans? If so – and I think it does – why would you think signing up for an even harsher version with even more debt PLUS loss of sovereignty is going to make it better???

        Like

      • anna v says:

        >I see you have already answered that question for yourself. So I will ask you one: Why do you think it is that the Greek economy has gone into this death spiral for the past years?

        Before Tsipras et al, as Portugal et al , we were getting out of the spiral. The Sisyphus stone went again to the bottom with the experiments on pride and sovereignty. One who owes has lost sovereignty by definition and pride is not an exchangeable commodity.

        > Could it have anything to do with the harsh austerity conditions Greece agreed to for their loans?

        Sure,but we were getting out of it, now we are back at square number one because some brilliant apprentice magicians thought that game theory can be applied to the politics of the EU.

        >If so – and I think it does – why would you think signing up for an even harsher version with even more debt PLUS loss of sovereignty is going to make it better???

        The harsher version comes because we are already back to square number one and it will be harder to climb up, i.e. we owe more , we need more money to survive. It is the only road offered us, there was not choice really, if one thought of people with flesh and blood who need shelter and food , and not of games.

        There could have been an alternate solution, but as we say in greek, Germany has the melon and the knife.

        I agree with this analysis:

        http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-07-06/piketty-germany-has-never-repaid-its-debts-it-has-no-standing-lecture-other-nations

        >Piketty: […] But wait: history shows us two ways for an indebted state to leave delinquency. One was demonstrated by the British Empire in the 19th century after its expensive wars with Napoleon. It is the slow method that is now being recommended to Greece. The Empire repaid its debts through strict budgetary discipline. This worked, but it took an extremely long time. For over 100 years, the British gave up two to three percent of their economy to repay its debts, which was more than they spent on schools and education. That didn’t have to happen, and it shouldn’t happen today. The second method is much faster. Germany proved it in the 20th century. Essentially, it consists of three components: inflation, a special tax on private wealth, and debt relief.

        >ZEIT: So you’re telling us that the German Wirtschaftswunder [“economic miracle”] was based on the same kind of debt relief that we deny Greece today?

        >Piketty: Exactly. After the war ended in 1945, Germany’s debt amounted to over 200% of its GDP. Ten years later, little of that remained: public debt was less than 20% of GDP. Around the same time, France managed a similarly artful turnaround. We never would have managed this unbelievably fast reduction in debt through the fiscal discipline that we today recommend to Greece. Instead, both of our states employed the second method with the three components that I mentioned, including debt relief. Think about the London Debt Agreement of 1953, where 60% of German foreign debt was cancelled and its internal debts were restructured.

        Unfortunately the upper hand is Germany’s and they are harsh masters:

        From the same link:

        > … Germany is really the single best example of a country that, throughout its history, has never repaid its external debt. Neither after the First nor the Second World War. However, it has frequently made other nations pay up, such as after the Franco-Prussian War of 1870, when it demanded massive reparations from France and indeed received them. The French state suffered for decades under this debt. The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.

        So that’s the way the cookie crumbled. Germany holds the trump cards, to keep in the game world.

        We have a long history of sovereignty loss with the Ottoman ,starting in 1400s AD. During all the years until the successful revolution of 1821 every two generations a revolution would start someplace, which would be repressed in blood because there was no support from the west, and even Russia let us down ( brothers Orlof). 1821 succeeded because the west came to our rescue. ( Lord Byron et all and all the classical revivals). 18 countries of the west were against us in the discussions. How could we win that the second option should be applied when facing an overlord? The only way is to find allies, and this was the one thing that was not only not done, but also created an alienation with our natural allies.

        Politics is not a game. Whoever holds the economic (and alliances) power rules.

        Like

      • Well-wisher says:

        Ok, your position is becoming clearer and the fault line of our differing view points.

        “Politics is not a game.”

        You seem to be intimating that Varoufakis, having studied “game theory” was also deploying it and “playing games” (despite his many denials) and was therefore responsible for the worse deal in the end. I don’t know Varoufakis personally – perhaps you do – but I believe him that he wasn’t playing games. His message has been consistent for years. In my opinion his “sin” was to expose the truth.

        He maintains Greece was “set up”. All that was ever going to be on the table was another “extend and pretend”, keeping Greece inexorably on a downward recessionary path in a Sisyphean task trying to pay off a debt it could never repay without measures that provided the opportunity for growth. There is ever-growing evidence that this is true (not least the latest summit result) and that his good faith negotiations with proposals, aiming not only at benefitting Greece but also all of Europe and the creditors by including moderate debt restructuring and investment were rejected not because of antipathy to him personally but because it was already decided. Did the mild mannered Tsakalotos get a different result than Varoufakis? Schäuble favours Grexit. That is absolutely clear now.

        Varoufakis explains his fully rational position to a conservative German very clearly in this video

        Is it not odd, that the creditors would ask for a deal whereby their chances of being re-paid are diminished? As I pointed out in an earlier comment, debt restructuring is by no means guaranteed even in this latest agreement – despite full knowledge that is absolutely necessary for debt sustainability (see latest IMF pronouncements, available to the finance ministers before negotiations). Why is the IMF now derailing the agreement publicly after the fact?

        Remember too, the politics is used as a means to achieve one’s goals and, as Clausewitz saw it, also a strategic affair, a war by other means. In this sense politics are very much a strategic “game” but (in the sense of “war games” not a child’s game of ‘ring-around-the-rosies’). The Syriza government seemed to assume a communal will to save Greece and the Eurozone – that was, after all, the initial reason for the loans. But it took the world a while to realise that the goal of Greece’s partners changed without telling anyone. The clue that Greece’s partners weren’t handling in the best interests of Greece AND the Eurozone can be found in their contradictory position regarding re-couping Greece’s debt. If you want to stay in the Euro then it will be endless pain – the poor German taxpaper can’t be made to pay for you! Want to leave the Eurozone? Great! – then no problem. Then we can cut your debts. Collateral costs no problem! Here, have some humanitarian aid. For this reason, I feel this latest deal is setting Greece up for a “Grexit”, if not sooner then a bit later.

        “Before Tsipras et al, as Portugal et al , we were getting out of the spiral”

        It did have the appearance of this but it was not so:

        Krugman writes:

        “… the troika program was simply infeasible, and would have been infeasible no matter how willing the Greeks had been to make sacrifices. The more they cut, the worse things got, because of Fisherian debt deflation.” http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/07/07/debt-deflation-in-greece/

        He goes on to explain the phenomenon of debt deflation with a link to his post “Austerity arithmetic” which is well worth reading. http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/07/05/austerity-arithmetic/.

        Was Tsipras “playing a game”? I feel he certainly was not. After yet another fruitless meeting, as Tusk informed him that “the game is over”, Tsipras flashed back that “1.5 million unemployed, 3 million poor and thousands of families without income, living only with grandparents’ pensions, is not a game.” That shows great sincerity and compassion. If anything he played too weak a strategic “game”.

        I feel Tsipras has remained a surprising and not easily understood figure – and certainly no one envies him his job or the weight on his shoulders. I admire him. In the sincerity of his vision he perhaps did not adequately foresee the political tactics and machinations he was up against and the few tactical options that might have given him leverage in the negotiations he didn’t seem to use. Now he has risked a great deal of his own political capital signing and pushing through a deal he says he doesn’t believe in. So is he doing it in an act of statesmanship for the majority of Greeks who want to stay in the Euro at all costs? Or to gain time because nothing else is on the table? One of Greece’s greatest vulnerabilities is the time need to transition to a new currency. Who can really know. Both are plausible. I don’t think anyone, least of all Germany, expected that the “proud” Tsipras would entertain the onerous proposal and then carry on to fight through the night for whatever improvements he could receive. And they were not many. Nonetheless he signed.

        “Unfortunately the upper hand is Germany’s and they are harsh masters”

        This is true. But only as long as you accept there is no alternative to the current framework. But there might be. I don’t understand why Greece would freely subjugate themselves to these “harsh masters” for decades when they have the choice of choosing their own currency and sovereignty within the EU. You seem to prefer this because you think leaving the Euro is an option that will make you ever poorer as a country. I am not an economist, but Krugman suggests this is not necessarily true and would provide far better growth opportunities for Greece:

        “OK, this is real: Greek banks closed, capital controls imposed. Grexit isn’t a hard stretch from here — the much feared mother of all bank runs has already happened, which means that the cost-benefit analysis starting from here is much more favorable to euro exit than it ever was before. …. devaluation couldn’t create that much more chaos than already exists, and would pave the way for eventual recovery, just as it has in many other times and places. Greece is not that different.”
        http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com//2015/06/28/grisis/

        “It’s becoming hard to see any path that doesn’t lead to Grexit; it is also …Greece’s best hope. Otherwise, where is recovery ever supposed to come from? Even with massive debt relief, Greece will be forced to run huge structural primary surpluses … and in so doing keep its economy depressed for the foreseeable future. … what would be a straightforward policy problem if Greece had its own currency becomes an almost insoluble mess because it doesn’t. At some point the argument that the costs of a transition are too high wears thin.” http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/07/06/scattered- notes-on-the-euro/

        I couldn’t find where Stiglitz and Piketty addressed the results of a Grexit for Greece. But they both emphasised it would be a disaster for the Euro. Piketty says a Grexit would be the “beginning of the end of the Euro”.

        Varoufakis, to be fair, wrote vehemently and rather convincingly against the feasibility of a Grexit in 2012. I don’t yet know what he had to say to the Greek parliament today. Perhaps he will think it is best to vote for the agreement as the only option (as Tsipras has said) and then to wait for the inevitable loan defaults he then suggested:

        “Does this mean that Greece ought to grin and bear the massive and misanthropic idiocy of the bailout-austerity package imposed upon it by the troika (EU-ECB-IMF)? Of course not. We should certainly default. But within the Eurozone.” http://yanisvaroufakis.eu/2012/05/16/weisbrot-and-krugman-are-wrong-greece-cannot-pull-off-an-argentina/

        As I see it, the whole Eurozone is falling apart. A terrible mess and enormous political failure through nearly willfull obtuseness. And it is German led austerity policies on the heals of the US-led 2008 economic crash due to unregulated greedy bankers that caused it.

        “There could have been an alternate solution, but as we say in greek, Germany has the melon and the knife.”

        Yes, there certainly could have been alternative solutions!

        Good luck to you! Good luck to us all!

        Like

  4. I largely share our view, only that I’m not sure if we are to call German/EU policies neo-liberal. Bailing out the risk premiums of institutional investors that invested in Greek state bonds doesn’t feel neo-liberal, it more feels like corruption at the highest government levels. If institutional investors would have had to fear that their risks would manifest in reality, the moment of decision would have been 5 or 6 years ago, at much lower debt levels. Failures occurred on many levels, and indeed: there was and is a lot to be fixed in Greece, but we (the EU) should have found ways to minimize the impact on the ordinary citizen. That is my main concern. What is the purpose of the European Union? Or of the economy, since we are at it. If I am asked: to benefit people. All people.

    Like

    • Well-wisher says:

      Thanks for your reply. Very good questions. And I couldn’t agree more with your answer. Policies, even in Germany, are ever less geared to benefit those people on the lower half of the economic wealth scale.

      When I said ‘neo-liberal’ I was thinking in particular of the “Institutions'” demands to “develop a significantly scaled up privatisation programme” to monetise “valuable Greek asets” through a private fund, to implement “more ambitious product market reforms”, privatise the electricity network, demands for worker dismissal and limitation on collective bargaining etc. Aside from benefiting the already wealthy more than the less wealthy and poor, it is exactly these types of implementations that will over time sterilise the unique heritage of a country, such as the commenter Randall spoke of above.

      Like

  5. “Let us envisage a future outside the Eurozone and the EU. Where we will have pride and dignity.”

    Well it could easily have happened two weeks ago, when Varoufakis proposed taking over control of the Greek central Bank from the ECB, default on ECB debt and issue IOUs as payment. (see New Statesman for details).

    The effect would have been to be outside the Eurozone, effectively, while still have Euro as the currency. And still be in the EU , of course. In effect, Greece would have become like Montenegro. I think that is probably the best way out for Greeks, all things considered.

    https://radicaleconomicthought.wordpress.com/2015/07/13/how-to-grexit-gracefully/

    Like

  6. “We are the ones asking them for money. We are the ones who have run our country to the ground and are now begging for help. We have decided to assert out democratic rights, you might say! Assert away, Schaeuble says, but with your own money. ”

    Well, it is not correct that Greece is asking for more money.

    https://radicaleconomicthought.wordpress.com/2015/07/11/blanchards-tales-of-woe/

    All that money has been out, and it is really roll-overs from ECB/IMF/EU funding.

    Then of the 86bn now talked about some money is new (22bn I think) that is there to recapitalize the private sector banks in Greece. So that is really new money. For, effectively again, bailing out the banks. So the EU wants to force yet more debt onto Greece to bail out the finance sector. Comme toujours!

    Bad idea, as I said before, better to nationalise, split into bad bank, good bank, sell and privatise good bank, and just administer bad bank hoping to get money back.. That way the government makes money selling shares of good bank.

    The problem with this common sense, capitalist approach is that the ECB, who provides liabilities to Greek banking sector via ELA, Target2) would lose money. Especially if the authority restructuring the debt puts all ECB financed liabilities in the bad bank. An INDEPENDENT Greek Central Bank could do that, stick all the bad debts to the ECB.

    That is what the ECB wants to do, according to the website below, stuff the Greek depositors and keep its assets (ELA, Target 2) whole. That is why the banks need 22bn which the Greek government is forced to borrow through this new arrangement agreed over the weekend.

    ECB versus Greece, here. ECB want Greek depositors take losses and the Greek government to inject an extra 22 bn into private sector Greek banks now.

    If Greeks had a choice, they would say, ECB should pay!

    Which would you choose now, Mr Glinavos? Still think it is a good idea to take on 22bn of extra debt, so that the Greek government is now responsible for the failure of the ECB and implicitly the Eurozone system as set up? The 22bn is a bail-out of the ECB!

    I think the only way to end this impasse is for Greece to say good-bye to the Eurozone and take on the financial interest which stand behind the ECB decision. Gain back monetary sovereignty. The Montenegro option, as I said before.

    That is the ECB preferred option:

    http://www.bruegel.org/nc/blog/detail/article/1679-preserving-the-greek-financial-sector-options-for-recap-and-assistance/

    Like

  7. Or let us put this another way. The ECB, forcing 22bn onto the Greek state to be put into its PRIVATE banking system, wants to be ranked as preferred creditor to a bankrupt Greek banking system.

    Clearly, it cannot do that. Legally the preferred creditors are all depositors up to 100,000.

    After that, every creditor to Greek banking system should rank the same, pari passu.

    Still think staying under the auspices of the ECB is the best option for Greece, Mr Glinavos?

    Like

    • Thank you for your comment. The seniority of creditors is a much more complex issue and your comment confuses bond holders with depositors. I will agree however that the current arrangement is not good. The problem is the lack of alternative. Till Prof Lapavitsas and now (apparently) Varoufakis offer us a detailed, costed plan for Grexit, the bailout is the only plan.

      Like

  8. “The seniority of creditors is a much more complex issue and your comment confuses bond holders with depositors.”

    Sorry, it was confusing.

    What I meant to say was that in a bankruptcy and liquidation of a bank, the assets side will need to be sold off. The funds available would pay off the liability side of the balance sheet.

    These liabilities (shareholder funds, depositors, ECB Target 2 funding) would need to be met.

    The shareholders will be paid last – and probably will not get anything back.

    The depositors and the ECB funding will probably rank equally, following Greek bankruptcy law, I would think. So if total assets available after liquidation of assets are 80, but liabilities outstanding (after shareholder funds) are 100, then only 80 cents of every Euro will be paid.

    That is the end of the liquidation of the bank.

    Quite separate is the depositor guaranteee:

    If there are less than 100,000 available for each private depositor, the Greek government would have to step in to meet the short-fall to meet the depositor guarantee, so in a situation like this, the government would have to pay Euro 20,000 for each depositor who had exacty 100,000 in the bank.

    So that is what would normally happen. A normal bankruptcy.

    But what the EU is saying, have another 22 bn for your banks, to prop up shareholders funds, so we do not have to liquidate.

    In addition, (that is what the Bruegel paper says) have haircuts on your Greek depositors, and use that as additional capital. Leave ECB funding whole

    What Greeks should say is: have haircuts on the ECB funding and leave Greek creditors whole. In fact they should say, have haircuts worth 22bn on your ECB funding, and we do not need new loans!

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s