Greece Prepares To Sue Wall Street
by Tyler Durden on 05/16/2010 05:56 -0500
The only benefit of hitting rock bottom is you can’t really fall further. Which is precisely what has happened with Greece. The little country that started off the chain reaction that has already led to a currency and liquidity crisis, and made the solvency crisis in Europe all too tangible, by belonging to a monetary union it had no place in (a union which no reason to exist in the first place), is once again reminding the world of its existence, this time by G-Pap opening his mouth and inserted two whole legs in it. In an interview with CNN’s Fareed Zakaria to be aired today, G-Pap has threatened he may sue US banks for “contributing” to his country’s debt crisis. For those of you lacking in analogy skills, Greece is in the same shoes as a bankrupt debtor who wants to sue his creditors for daring to hike up his interest rate when the only means he has to roll his debt is by using another credit card (this one issued by US and European Taxpayers), even as bankruptcy is literally hours away. The Greek summation: that of a petulant 5 year old who has just broken dad’s favorite gadget: “We have made our mistakes,” Papandreou said. “We are living up to this responsibility. But at the same time, give us a chance. We’ll show you.” Now that would be amusing – after Greece destroyed its economy the first go round, we can’t wait to see what the country does for an encore. The only reason Greece is not bankrupt now is because even as its past mistakes have caught up with it and climaxed in a solvency and liquidity crisis unseen since the Lehman days, the country’s end would bring down all of Europe. If Greece would not have impaired French, German and UK banks, the country would have long been allowed to default. Yet diversion is always a good tactic: let’s bring the “speculators” into this yet again. After all it is unheard of in these turbulent Keynesian times for anyone, especially our own Fed Chairman, to own up to their endless mistakes. It is always, without exception, someone else’s fault.
Papandreou said the decision on whether to go after U.S. banks will be made after a Greek parliamentary investigation into the cause of the crisis.
“Greece will look into the past and see how things went,” Papandreou said. “There are similar investigations going on in other countries and in the United States. This is where I think, yes, the financial sector, I hear the words fraud and lack of transparency. So yes, yes, there is great responsibility here.”
In the days leading up to the May 10 announcement of a loan package worth almost $1 trillion to halt the spread of Greece’s fiscal woes, European Union regulators were examining whether speculators manipulated the prices of bonds and equities and contributed to the crisis.
The Committee of European Securities Regulators said on May 7 it was investigating “exceptional volatility” in the markets and would work with other regulators, including the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, as part of a coordinated clampdown.
European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet said May 6 that he was concerned about speculation in bond markets using credit default swaps. “By first buying the CDS and then trying to affect market sentiment by going short on the underlying bond, investors can make large profits,” he said.
In the CNN interview, Papandreou said many in the international community have engaged in “Greek bashing” and find it easy “to scapegoat Greece.” He said Greeks “are a hard-working people. We are a proud people.”
“We have made our mistakes,” Papandreou said. “We are living up to this responsibility. But at the same time, give us a chance. We’ll show you.”
Let’s assume Greece goes ahead and sues Wall Street – does that mean the country will be perpetually locked out of the capital markets? Or does Greece think that Piraeus Bank can place $10 billion in rolling over Bills every month?
The ridiculousness of G-Pap’s interview, which we will bring to you once it airs, is beyond commentary. Yes, just like Lehman bashing brought down that insolvent bank, just like Enron bashing brought down that particular house of off balance sheet cards, just like Argentina bashing contributed to countless episodes of sovereign default in the Latin American country… Too bad we had no more Madoff bashing when we had the chance: the final outcome may have been differed to some $60 billion worth if investors. On our end, Zero Hedge is doing what it can to contribute at least marginally to “Fed bashing” so when the final ponzi bubble blows up, we can proudly say it was indeed our “speculative” fault the biggest pyramid scheme has been toppled once Ben Bernanke starts making the scapegoating tours. Assuming, of course, anyone still cares about anything he has to say at that point.