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ΡΑΝΤΕΒΟΥ ΣΤΟ ΛΟΥΞΕΜΒΟΥΡΓΟ

περίεργα δημοσιεύματα απο το Σπήγκελ κατάλληλα για Σαββατοκύριακο με αγρυπνίες….
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reposted from here αναδημοσίευση απο εδω

Athens Mulls Plans for New Currency

Greece Considers Exit from Euro Zone

By Christian Reiermann
A protest against austerity measures in Athens. Greece is considering leaving the euro zone, according to sources in the German government.
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REUTERS
A protest against austerity measures in Athens. 
Greece is considering leaving the euro zone, according to sources in the German government.
The debt crisis in Greece has taken on a dramatic new twist. Sources with information about the government’s actions have informed SPIEGEL ONLINE that Athens is considering withdrawing from the euro zone. The common currency area’s finance ministers and representatives of the European Commission are holding a secret crisis meeting in Luxembourg on Friday night.




Greece’s economic problems are massive, with protests against the government being held almost daily.
Now Prime Minister George Papandreou apparently feels he has no other option:
SPIEGEL ONLINE has obtained information from German government sources knowledgeable of the situation in Athens indicating that Papandreou’s government is considering abandoning the euro and reintroducing its own currency.

Alarmed by Athens’ intentions, the European Commission has called a crisis meeting in Luxembourg on Friday night. The meeting is taking place at Château de Senningen, a site used by the Luxembourg government for official meetings. In addition to Greece’s possible exit from the currency union, a speedy restructuring of the country’s debt also features on the agenda. One year after the Greek crisis broke out, the development represents a potentially existential turning point for the European monetary union — regardless which variant is ultimately decided upon for dealing with Greece’s massive troubles.

Given the tense situation, the meeting in Luxembourg has been declared highly confidential, with only the euro-zone finance ministers and senior staff members permitted to attend. Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and Jörg Asmussen, an influential state secretary in the Finance Ministry, are attending on Germany’s behalf.

‘Considerable Devaluation’
Sources told SPIEGEL ONLINE that Schäuble intends to seek to prevent Greece from leaving the euro zone if at all possible. He will take with him to the meeting in Luxembourg an internal paper prepared by the experts at his ministry warning of the possible dire consequences if Athens were to drop the euro.
“It would lead to a considerable devaluation of the new (Greek) domestic currency against the euro,” the paper states. According to German Finance Ministry estimates, the currency could lose as much as 50 percent of its value, leading to a drastic increase in Greek national debt. Schäuble’s staff have calculated that Greece’s national deficit would rise to 200 percent of gross domestic product after such a devaluation. “A debt restructuring would be inevitable,” his experts warn in the paper. In other words: Greece would go bankrupt.
It remains unclear whether it would even be legally possible for Greece to depart from the euro zone. Legal experts believe it would also be necessary for the country to split from the European Union entirely in order to abandon the common currency. At the same time, it is questionable whether other members of the currency union would actually refuse to accept a unilateral exit from the euro zone by the government in Athens.
What is certain, according to the assessment of the German Finance Ministry, is that the measure would have a disastrous impact on the European economy.
“The currency conversion would lead to capital flight,” they write. And Greece might see itself as forced to implement controls on the transfer of capital to stop the flight of funds out of the country. “This could not be reconciled with the fundamental freedoms instilled in the European internal market,” the paper states. In addition, the country would also be cut off from capital markets for years to come.
In addition, the withdrawal of a country from the common currency union would “seriously damage faith in the functioning of the euro zone,” the document continues. International investors would be forced to consider the possibility that further euro-zone members could withdraw in the future. “That would lead to contagion in the euro zone,” the paper continues.

Banks at Risk
Moreover, should Athens turn its back on the common currency zone, it would have serious implications for the already wobbly banking sector, particularly in Greece itself. The change in currency “would consume the entire capital base of the banking system and the country’s banks would be abruptly insolvent.” Banks outside of Greece would suffer as well. “Credit institutions in Germany and elsewhere would be confronted with considerable losses on their outstanding debts,” the paper reads.

The European Central Bank (ECB) would also feel the effects. The Frankfurt-based institution would be forced to “write down a significant portion of its claims as irrecoverable.” In addition to its exposure to the banks, the ECB also owns large amounts of Greek state bonds, which it has purchased in recent months. Officials at the Finance Ministry estimate the total to be worth at least €40 billion ($58 billion) “Given its 27 percent share of ECB capital, Germany would bear the majority of the losses,” the paper reads.

In short, a Greek withdrawal from the euro zone and an ensuing national default would be expensive for euro-zone countries and their taxpayers. Together with the International Monetary Fund, the EU member states have already pledged €110 billion ($159.5 billion) in aid to Athens — half of which has already been paid out.
“Should the country become insolvent,” the paper reads, “euro-zone countries would have to renounce a portion of their claims.
επίσης απο εδώ με σχολιασμό

FRIDAY, MAY 6, 2011

Euro Whacked by Reports that Greece May Leave the Eurozone?

The Euro has fallen from roughly 1.49 to the dollar to 1.43 in a mere two days, which is a huge move. Many pundits have argued that the ECB’s newly accommodative stance is the trigger, but there may be additional forces at work. Most experts have deemed the idea that any eurozone member would exit the currency to be simply inconceivable, that it would be too costly and disruptive.
But with the hair shirt that Greece is being asked to wear, all bets may be off.
As of this juncture, this reports in Der Spiegel does not appear to have gotten traction among the Usual Suspects in the MSM. Headline: “Greece Considers Exit from Euro Zone” (hat tip readers John M and Illya F).
SPIEGEL ONLINE has obtained information from German government sources knowledgeable of the situation in Athens indicating that Papandreou’s government is considering abandoning the euro and reintroducing its own currency.
Alarmed by Athens’ intentions, the European Commission has called a crisis meeting in Luxembourg on Friday night…
Sources told SPIEGEL ONLINE that Schäuble intends to seek to prevent Greece from leaving the euro zone if at all possible. He will take with him to the meeting in Luxembourg an internal paper prepared by the experts at his ministry warning of the possible dire consequences if Athens were to drop the euro.
“It would lead to a considerable devaluation of the new (Greek) domestic currency against the euro,” the paper states. According to German Finance Ministry estimates, the currency could lose as much as 50 percent of its value, leading to a drastic increase in Greek national debt. Schäuble’s staff have calculated that Greece’s national deficit would rise to 200 percent of gross domestic product after such a devaluation. “A debt restructuring would be inevitable,” his experts warn in the paper. In other words: Greece would go bankrupt.
It remains unclear whether it would even be legally possible for Greece to depart from the euro zone. Legal experts believe it would also be necessary for the country to split from the European Union entirely in order to abandon the common currency. At the same time, it is questionable whether other members of the currency union would actually refuse to accept a unilateral exit from the euro zone by the government in Athens.
Σχόλιο Yves here. 


So what will they do if Greece refuses to observe niceties and bolts anyhow? 
Send in tanks?
I’m curious as to what punishments might be visited on Greece if it chooses to exit.
 Iceland had a very rocky six months when its banking system failed but it is now on track for a solid recovery. This example cannot have been lost on Greece. Back to the story:
What is certain….is that the measure would have a disastrous impact on the European economy.
“The currency conversion would lead to capital flight,” they write. And Greece might see itself as forced to implement controls on the transfer of capital to stop the flight of funds out of the country. “This could not be reconciled with the fundamental freedoms instilled in the European internal market,” the paper states. In addition, the country would also be cut off from capital markets for years to come.
Σχόλιο Yves here


This “you’ll never borrow again” threat is greatly exaggerated. In fact, investors like borrowers who have cleaned up their balance sheets. That’s why Chapter 11 works. Argentina’s default and end of dollarization proved salutary, with the country now performing better on virtually every economic indicator than its Latin American peers. The big difference is that it did not have to recreate a stand-alone currency, which would be a huge operational hurdle for Greece. Back to the article:
In addition, the withdrawal of a country from the common currency union would “seriously damage faith in the functioning of the euro zone,” the document continues. International investors would be forced to consider the possibility that further euro-zone members could withdraw in the future. “That would lead to contagion in the euro zone,” the paper continues.
Moreover, should Athens turn its back on the common currency zone, it would have serious implications for the already wobbly banking sector, particularly in Greece itself. The change in currency “would consume the entire capital base of the banking system and the country’s banks would be abruptly insolvent.” Banks outside of Greece would suffer as well. “Credit institutions in Germany and elsewhere would be confronted with considerable losses on their outstanding debts,” the paper reads.
The European Central Bank (ECB) would also feel the effects. The Frankfurt-based institution would be forced to “write down a significant portion of its claims as irrecoverable.” In addition to its exposure to the banks, the ECB also owns large amounts of Greek state bonds, which it has purchased in recent months. Officials at the Finance Ministry estimate the total to be worth at least €40 billion ($58 billion) “Given its 27 percent share of ECB capital, Germany would bear the majority of the losses,” the paper reads.
The problem with some of this logic is that the Greek debt should already be written down severely. Most experts estimate losses in the range of 50% to 70%. So large losses exist but have not been recognized.
The interesting question is whether this threat by Greece is serious or mere posturing. We may find out sooner than many expect.

6 COMMENTS:

  • MyLessThanPrimeBeef says:

    Was there a story about a boy who cried, ‘It’s fine, no problem here,’ three times before he got eaten by the dragon, when doing otherwise would have alerted villagers to rush to his rescue?

  • Lurker says:

    Greece just wants some leverage to bargain for better terms on their debts. That’s all that’s going on IMO.
    No credible threat of leaving the EU.

  • bmeisen says:

    If Greece left I would immediately start planning a vacation there, assuming the exchange rate would heavily favor euro holders like me. And there might also be a boom for Greek agriculture because the prices in the EU for Greek exports can’t get much lower without disrupting their segments. I suspect they’ll stay about as high as they are now and the Greeks will party. I mean we now pay about 15 euros a kilo for organic Greek fish. I can’t imagine it dropping to 7.

  • F. Beard says:

    Yves here. This “you’ll never borrow again” threat is greatly exaggerated.
    Agreed. Furthermore, the ability to service debt is the ability to not borrow at all. When will governments realize this?


    “If the Nation can issue a dollar bond it can issue a dollar bill. 
    The element that makes the bond good makes the bill good also. The difference between the bond and the bill is that the bond lets the money broker collect twice the amount of the bond and an additional 20%. Whereas the currency, the honest sort provided by the Constitution pays nobody but those who contribute in some useful way. It is absurd to say our Country can issue bonds and cannot issue currency. Both are promises to pay, but one fattens the usurer and the other helps the People.” 

    Thomas Edison

    Furthermore, Greece should legalize private currencies to tempt its black market into the open and to provide a healthy check and balance on government spending. Who needs the discipline of a foreign central bank when Greece’s own private sector could provide that needed check and balance?

  • financial matters says:

    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/43801510-e10a-11de-af7a-00144feab49a.html?nclick_check=1
    12/08/2009
    Timebomb for the Euro
    Greek Debt Poses a Danger to Common Currency
    By Wolfgang Reuter
    A national bankruptcy in Greece would have a serious impact on Germany, where many banks have invested heavily in the high-yield Greek treasury bonds — after borrowing the money to buy the bonds from the European Central Bank (ECB) or other central banks at rates of 1-2 percent. Making money doesn’t get much easier — as long as the Greeks remain solvent.
    A London investment banker is betting on the continued decline of prices for Greek bonds in the short term, while simultaneously waiting for the right time to start buying the securities again. He jokes: “If someone has €1,000 in debt, he has a problem. If someone has €10 million in debt, his bank has a problem. And the bank, in this case, is Europe.”

  • attempter says:

    I’m not getting my hopes up. Unfortunately, I agree that it’s probably a bluff.
    But it’s a testament to how insane this world has gone that no amount of common sense or empirical experience seems to convince the citizenry of any of these prey countries (except Iceland, yet they too have only had a half-hearted response) that the Euro was a scam which is not in the interest of anyone but the banksters of Germany and France.
    There’s hysteria screaming, “Why would Greece do this?” But a rational person would ask, why didn’t they do it a long time ago? And they’re probably not serious about doing it now…



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