Why A Grexit Would Make Lehman Look Like Childs Play

Saturday, June 2, 2012
By Paul Martin

From Peter Tchir of TF Market Advisors

Maybe I’m wrong, but every time I look at the possibility of a Greek exit right now I see it spiraling out of control and dragging down the entire global economy. I hear and read the arguments of why it is controllable and they just don’t seem credible. They either link a Greek devaluation to other devaluations that have little, if anything in common. They also seem to ignore human nature and how the markets will likely respond. I think with planning and time, a Greek exit would be manageable but right now it would create chaos, first within Europe and then the globe.

The ECB, EFSF and IMF will take massive losses

The ECB has €50 billion of GGB bonds still on their books. Those would not get paid at par by Greece if this is an amicable breakup, but this is quickly heading to a pots and pans thrown in the kitchen sort of break-up. Why would Greece pay the ECB if they feel like the ECB drove them out? Don’t forget, not for a second, that most of the money Greece now gets goes to pay back the ECB and IMF. The EFSF is totally out of luck. The ECB might be able to offer something to a post drachma Greece, but the EFSF offers nothing. The IMF has more negotiating power, as their direct loans had more protection in the first place and they are likely to provide additional funds post exit, but quite simply Greece won’t be able to pay them in full on existing loans.

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