The 10-year yield on Greek bonds leapt to 11.45% today. The negotiators in Brussels called it a wrap this afternoon. They’ll hold a time-consuming (but largely symbolic) conference call tomorrow, but the word back from Brussels – confirmed by both Greek sources and MSM media – is that there will no resumption of substantive talks until after Easter….and no deal on the reform structure and schedule – allegedly leading to the release of liquidity monies – until the end of April.
The ramifications of this are dire to say the least. For while it suits the splinteredEU/EC/ECB/Berlin/Frankfurt axis to put off further negative feelings about the euro, it drives Greece into a corner. But the loopy thing is, just by doing that, the aforementioned axis joins them in that heavily overpopulated corner. The fact that all Parties are involved in a pissing contest doesn’t make that corner any more attractive.
First and foremost, two maturing debt bonds and an IMF loan tranche come up for payment on 8th, 13th & 16th of April. The total involved here is €2.4bn.Second – and not unrelated in my view – as of tomorrow we will have thrown away 40 of the 122 days available to Greece under the February 20th agreement. That’s one third of the time available. While the Greece-crushing tendency will smile and say “Haha – we can say that no reforms have been instituted and therefore Syriza has failed the EU and its people”, this won’t stop the euro losing almost all its rapidly waning credibility as a currency…and bond yield spikes making certainly the Italian and probably the Spanish position untenable.
One symptom of the twisted and dead-end mentality among a squabbling EU axis is this sort of leak from “sources” within the Eurogroupe:
‘….the halt in negotiations is not a sign of rupture, but an indication of slow-moving progress in the discussions. Significant steps of progress were made, and the technical teams will continue to collect data in Athens…The constructive talks are ongoing since Friday, but we are not there yet, so this is why the talks should continue’.
And of course, they must go onandonandonandon. This is what the Americans call a filibuster. Except in this case, it’s a filibuster by folks who can’t agree on what the point of the filibuster might be.
Meanwhile, the ECB is (as predicted here earlier) making it clear with similar leaks that it is in its remit to wonder whether to continue drip-feeding the emergency funding it has been providing Greek banks since February. Danièle Nouy, head of the ECB’s supervisory board, warned that talks would have to be resolved quickly to stem the uncertainty over the country’s continued membership of the eurozone. Except of course that, they’re going slowly…and the ECB negotiators are part of the reason why. Aaah, the sweet smell of self-serving hypocrisy of a Spring evening.
“Time is of the essence — that means there is no time to lose so I think we need to continue working,” Angela Merkel told a press conference earlier in the day. But the Greek negotiators flew back to Athens this afternoon. Nothing much of any substance will now happen until next Tuesday. Time is indeed the central essence of all this, but when you analyse the different factions lined up against Greece, they resemble a waltz of the toreadors: slow, slow, quick-quick, slow.
The German Chancellor may say there is no time to lose, but the anti-Athens hawks won’t be happy until there is no time left to lose. And of course, the smarter players in Athens are of a similar bent. The game of three-card Brag continues.
Any number of family members can play this game, and the rules are simple: at the end of the game, whoever has the lesser problem wins. Greece may end up broke, but it is making friends to the East….where the potential for Mediterranean bases will profoundly worry those to the Far West. The Eurohawks may crush the Greek banking system…but if that results in a default within the eurozone – and sets off broadscale bank failures from Vienna to Valencia – who is then the victor? The only strong card Troika2 holds is electorate impatience and fear within Greek borders, producing plummeting support for the Syriza Government. And it seems clear to me that Antonikis from Kalamata is a Fifth Columnist hard at work fashioning the only way out for him on that basis.
Geopolitics eh – doncha love ‘em?
Not much, to be honest. I want Athens to win for the good of the rest of us, but I’m becoming bored with all the second-guessing. The taunting of Athens is nothing more than corporacratic bullying wrapped in the enigma of Greek penchants for self-subordination, the whole sealed with EU/US desperation to retain a hegemony that is unsustainable.
Even when it’s all over, Greeks will have to live with a Far Left Government they elected, yet don’t really like when the sun’s shining. And Europeans will be left with chaos…..overlain with a split vote for the Roublenimbi on the one hand, or the Dolleuro on the other.
I remain sure that from the chaos will arise smaller more manageable entities and the ultimate death of globalist mercantilism. But the neoliberal Nazis will have to be prised from the bunker by their fingernails in the meantime, and millions of innocent people will pay with their lives for the folly of it all. Those who wished only to ensure that every last second of the Time available should be strung out will find themselves being strung up. Nothing good ever comes of such revenge.