Tuesday, September 7, 2010

More European Problems - A Return to Greece

Euro got pounded today. Like I said, I think it if the market is going to take a significant turn down at this point I think it has to be a sovereign issue. It has to be something investors aren't focused on. Everyone is so bearish on the U.S. economy that the likilhood of U.S. economic data driving the market down at this point seems remote.

Well more and more focus is shifting to Europe. A Bloomberg article describing hiden Greek debt is the latest of a string of stories that have surfaced recently (though this one really doesn't have anything new). Sounding alot like Lehman.

Four months after the 110 billion- euro ($140 billion) bailout for Greece, the nation still hasn’t disclosed the full details of secret financial transactions it used to conceal debt.

“We have not seen the real documents,” Walter Radermacher, head of the European Union’s statistics agency Eurostat, said in a Sept. 2 interview in his Luxembourg office. Eurostat first requested the contracts in February.

Radermacher vows new toughness when officials from his staff head to Greece this month to come up with a “solid estimate” of the total value of debt hidden by the opaque contracts. “This is a new era,” he said.

So many things in the above paragraph that would be hilarious if the stakes weren't so high. They were given billions before the data was disclosed? Greece has snubbed Europe for 7 months (since February)? A new era? Ha

And the game among the players continues. Again this would be hilarios if the consequences were not so high.

Banks worldwide increased their total exposure to Greek debt in the first quarter of the year by 7.1 percent, or $20.7 billion, to $297.2 billion, according to a Sept. 6 report by the Basel, Switzerland-based Bank for International Settlements. Norway’s sovereign wealth fund, the world’s second largest, said in August that it had bought Greek bonds, along with those from Spain and Portugal, because of higher yields and as those governments push to reduce their deficits.

The article has much much more. Nothing changed in June with the ECB attempt to buy time. There is only so many ways to patch up a leaking dam. Keep an eye on European spreads and the Euro.

No comments: