Thursday, April 29, 2010

Back to Business, I Guess

I wrote a post about my new foster dog who wears a diaper and is supposedly trained in German, and it generated not a single comment!  I guess you guys want to talk about Greece instead, so here it is, from David Rosenberg via TPC:

“First we have governments bailing out banks (and auto companies and mortgage providers), homeowner debtors, and now we have governments bailing out governments.  When does someone finally say — enough is enough!
Oh no — bank ABC is too big to fail.  Company XYZ is too complex to fail.  And now country GRK is too interconnected to fail.  Give me a giant break.   Look, Greece is not going to “fail”.  They are going to default.  There will be a debt restructuring.  And there will be some recovery.  Bondholders will take a haircut — why shouldn’t they?  Why should Angela Merkel care if German banks own Greek bonds?  Greece has been in default in its recent 200-year history almost half the time.  So has most of Latin America come to think of it.  What about Russia?
So Greece defaults, bondholders who knowingly bought these instruments knowing the historical record went for the yield and simply do not deserve a taxpayer supported bailout of any kind.  To actually come to the aid of Greece (especially after all the accounting gimmickry) would send a signal to investors that the best way to make money is buy the debt of the most risky and highest yielding enterprise because there will always be a bailout.  Rewarding bad investment decisions is a huge mistake, in my opinion.
Let Greece default, the world will not come to an end, and whether or not the country gets a “bailout”, the fiscal drain is going be a pervasive drag on economic activity for at least the next five years.  While there may be contagion risks — same deal.  Investors who bought Club Med bonds with their stretched government balance sheets in order to stretch for yield don’t deserve to be bailed out either.
Taxpayers unite, wherever you live (because you too support the IMF).  These are solvency issues we are talking about, not liquidity issues.  This is about bad decisions, not market failure."

Also worth reading from TPC:  Americans are once again bailing out banks via Greece.

"Most Americans probably haven’t connected the dots yet, but you’re going to be signing an enormous check over to Greece over this weekend.  That’s right, as the largest contributor to the IMF the United States taxpayer is on the hook for the Greek bailout.  The numbers aren’t set in stone quite yet, but the latest rumors are for a $160B bailout over three years.  Of course, the most despicable part of this whole thing is not just the fact that the U.S. is helping to bail out Greece, but that this bailout is actually another bank bailout!  That’s right.  This isn’t really about the people of Greece.  They are going to be forced into years of austerity and painful economic times regardless of the situtation.  What this is really about is the $189B in Greek debt that the European banks have on their books.  No one wants them to take a 70% haircut on the debt.  So, connecting the dots here for you – Americans are once again bailing out banks – this time via the IMF."



scharfy said...

>So, connecting the dots here for you – Americans are >once again bailing out banks – this time via the IMF.

Nuf said. We loves us some banks.

oc bear said...

What percentage does the US Fund?

JCH said...

I don't know the percentage, but I read the commitment is 108 billion per year.

I think they could use Mr. Griffey's diaper down in the Gulf of Mexico!

Todd said...

I read it. It was pretty damn funny but I read it on my iPhone so posting a comment was too much of a hassle. Good luck with the pup.