"It is easy to confuse what is with what ought to be, especially when what is has worked out in your favor."
- Tyrion Lannister

"Lannister. Baratheon. Stark. Tyrell. They're all just spokes on a wheel. This one's on top, then that's ones on top and on and on it spins, crushing those on the ground. I'm not going to stop the wheel. I'm going to break the wheel."

- Daenerys Targaryen


"The Lord of Light wants his enemies burned. The Drowned God wants them drowned. Why are all the gods such vicious cunts? Where's the God of Tits and Wine?"

- Tyrion Lannister


"The common people pray for rain, healthy children, and a summer that never ends. It is no matter to them if the high lords play their game of thrones, so long as they are left in peace. They never are."

- Jorah Mormont


"These bad people are what I'm good at. Out talking them. Out thinking them."

- Tyrion Lannister


"What happened? I think fundamentals were trumped by mechanics and, to a lesser extent, by demographics."

- Michael Barone

"If you want to know what God thinks of money, just look at the people he gave it to."
- Dorothy Parker

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Greek Deal - Monday and four months

Naked Capitalism is pessimistic

Yves Smith:

"“Moreover, Syriza has already shown a propensity to overpromise and underdeliver.”"

They've been in office three weeks!!!

Say Greece caved. We'll see if they're wrong again.

Greek Deal by Robert Waldmann


I am trying to understand what, if anything, was agreed by Greece and the rest of the EU yesterday. I’m not sure they even agreed to kick the can down the road.
I think Matt O’Brien wrote a very good explainer for wonkblog at the Washington Post (as usual — he is well worth following). His bottom line seems to be that, while the agreement presents itself as a Greek surrender, they haven’t conceded the key point.
Greece got Europe to concede that it “will, for the 2015 primary surplus target, take the economic circumstances of 2015 into account.” In other words, Greece won’t have to do the austerity it was supposed to this year.
However, the rest of Europe hasn’t conceded yet either, since they have not agreed to rollover any loans Liz Aderman and James Kanter report for the New York Times
On Monday, Greece must send its creditors a list of all the policy measures it plans to take over the next four months. If the measures are acceptable, European finance ministers could sign off on an extension of the bailout agreement on Tuesday.
So the result of the dramatic agreement is that Greece hasn’t promised further austerity in exchange for a bailout and the rest of Europe hasn’t promised a bailout. They have delayed for four more days deciding whether to delay for four more months the inevitable concession that Greece will not pay its foreign debts.

Frances Coppola:
Greece and the EU: a question of trust
"I have been mulling over the terms of the agreement between Greece and the Eurogoup. Initially, I thought that Greece had ended up with an appalling deal, getting almost none of its aims and losing control of EFSF funding for its banks. The retention of future primary surplus targets under the November 2012 agreement - only the target for this year is under review - seemed particularly harsh.
"But then I listened to Pierre Moscovici explaining the thinking behind the deal, and suddenly the penny dropped. We've all been missing the point. Holger Schmieding of Berenberg Bank was on the right lines - he commented recently that the real problem in the Greek negotiations was that trust had broken down. Indeed it has. But not recently. Trust in Greece broke down a long time ago."
While this deal isn't the best one, or the most moral one, it was likely the best political deal to be had. Syriza will need the four months to attempt a restructuring of its fiscal management - no government could implement a fiscal plan in a few weeks. And the apparent Schaueble plan was an implicit ultimatum: Syriza U-turn to the status quo, or deal with the capital flight that would start in earnest next week.
So all in all, given the political reality, this was likely the best possible outcome. I hope Syriza will find a way to build on this moment.

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