After seven hours of deliberation, ISDA tonight reached a unanimous decision that the Greek bond swap represented a default, triggering CDS insurance totalling some $3.5bn.

It’s a bit hard to see how you argue uphill and down dale for that amount of time…and them emerge unanimous.

The Dow Jones newswire was reporting earlier this evening that ISDA felt its decision ‘could only be made once CACs are formally activated by Greece’.

Five hours to get to that?

Hmm. I wonder what any Slog reader – road sweeper, rodent capture operative, £18M bonus earner at Barclays, washed-up hack, mother of seven – truly thought the oft-expressed intention today by Greek authorities to activate CACs was likely not to turn into a formal activation. After all, Mr Venizelos was wearing a tie when he said he would force the remaining non-joiners into participation. Perhaps for the purposes of ISDA monitoring, Evangelo should don a dicky-bow and enunciate clearly, “Watch my lips Charles Dallara, I’m going to invoke CACs and force you misirable f**kers into accepting this deal”. Maybe that would do it.

At any rate, back then, it clearly hadn’t done it for Dallara himself. Earlier this afternoon, he told CNBC, “The voluntary, negotiated nature of this deal is notable.” Well hey Charlie, you know what? There’s 25 billion euros of pissed-off investors out there saying their lack of acquiescence is pretty damned notable too, because they got forced into a pen they didn’t wanna be in. And we didn’t even get to the foreign law guys yet.

Later still – what one might call mid-evening – BBC economics bod Mark Broad tweeted thus: ‘Still no announcement from ISDA as they are waiting for an official anno from Greek gov. Source says it could now be tomorrow am’

An official anno, eh? Were we talking anno domini here, or just a ‘no’? It looked like we were going to have to wait. The entire eurozone debt experience has, lets be clear about this, been one long series of waits while a varied collection of stakeholders found acceptable ways to stake their claims.

Time for a puerile parallel….

And there is breaking news coming in….yes, this is a very late flash, from the San Francisco Insurance & All Risks Solid Respectable Company Inc, and yes…it’s a clear statement of their position, dated April 19th 1906:

‘Following yesterday’s muted sub-crust disturbance in the San Francisco zone, the Global Earth Tremor & Live Ongoing Seismograph Translator (GETLOST) has ruled as follows: ‘At 29.6 on the Richter Scale, we can confirm that the resultant earthquake lies well outside our established guidelines of 4.5 – 9.6 in order to trigger a claim for damage. Getlost therefore rules that no applicable seismic event has taken place’.

Anyway, ISDA has at last recognised a credit event when it sees one. And just ten minutes ago at 21.10 GMT, a statement from these near-sighted folks said that they didn’t ‘see significant impact on markets from Greek default’.

Which probably explains why they reached the unanimous verdict they did. link to original article


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