Real Greek Risk & Fake Cassandras


  • JPMorgan still warning portentously of Greece’s ‘Ides of March’
  • As for the rest of us, we’re almost ‘over it’ already, though no one thinks a default will be an easy option

JPMorgan has published a portentous note this morning.
It’s titled ‘Risk of Greek default and exit rises’.
Well maybe the risk is rising, especially given events over the last week.
Not to mention also that Greece has EUR14.4 billion worth of debt redemption payments due close enough to the fabled March 15th for headline writers [like me, I admit] to have a field day [the deadline is March 20th, actually].

Let’s be clear: without this assistance from official lenders and a restructuring of its debts, Athens will default on its payment.
Effectively, it would be treated by international markets as having gone bust.
On the other hand – take a look at the stock markets right now.
Most major stock markets are in the green.

Even if not by huge amounts; and even as chatter about a more serious delay of the bailout process hits the wires.
Greece’s potential scenarios are burned into the synapses of anyone who watches financial markets.
And many people who don’t are also more cognizant of Greece’s predicament than they’d like to be, given the saturation coverage of everything ‘sovereign debt crisis’ over the last couple of years.
Finally, the taboo of an exit from the euro zone amongst our leaders, broke some months ago.
EU leaders openly musing about Greece not being in the euro zone is almost de rigeur nowadays, having been something few would countenance publicly just half a year ago.
So let the penny drop to the ‘Cassandras’ amongst us – at least in terms of their disingenuousness.
Of course, we know, that ‘they’ know – privately, that we know, that they know. Etc.
A reminder that JPMorgan and others have massive bets against Greece and would profit big if Greece were judged to have defaulted.
Perspective rocks. But only ever so gently when it comes to markets nowadays!

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