By John Ward
Greece has no money to pay international law creditors, and the Bundesbank is owed 550 billion euros by debtor banks
From Germany’s Deutsche Mittelstands Nachrichten this morning came the news that investors with Greek government bonds issued under international law continue their refusal to take a cut in debt.
The Slog has already posted about the Venizelos Mob raiding University and Hospital bank accounts to pay off the English Law creditors with contracts that were watertight on the ‘money now please’ thing. Generalised international law is different, but only slightly so: Greece wants them to sacrifice most of their demands, but the remaining investors are rejecting any form debt restructuring.
This impasse was announced by the Greek debt agency yesterday (a Sunday – fancy that) and it seems the amount at stake totals three billion euros. In the past week, the Greek government has tried to agree a rescheduling of the first 539mn euros, but the negotiations failed, following which Athens made it clear that it had no further funds available with which to repay the debt.
This isn’t default, it’s insolvency. In the commercial sphere, Greece would now be subject to a simple winding up order and refused the right to trade further. But even in the rarified alternative universe of sovereign debt, payment default on the bonds under international law will trigger the usual massively leveraged obligations and derivatives.(Needless to say, it’s the Hedgies that are remaining immovable – as I predicted some weeks ago).
But Germany itself is also in a difficult place on the banking front. I’ve post extensively (and intensively) on the subject of Target 2 at the ECB being used to dump debt onto creditor banks, and the Central Bank, in the eurozone. Now we have some clear accountancy via a website of which I’ve been hitherto unaware, but to which I shall be returning – called Sober Look. Apt name to have in the current climate.
Sober Look confirms that the German Bundesbank is replete with unwanted assets – bank accounting being such as to pretend that radioactive isotopes are things that your kids could happily play with. As a result of Draghi’s LTRO scam, the junk resting within the remit of Jens Weidmann was a cool 50 billion euros higher in February 2012 versus January. At the start of 2009, 50 billion euros was the total owed to the Bundesbank by other eurobanks.
No wonder Jens decided last week that enough was enough. No wonder Jean-Claude Trichet is very happy to be reitred and forgotten.
Very big thank yous to Sloggers Stevie and Viking Jack for alerting The Slog to this.