Greek Capital Controls To Remain For Months As Germany Pushes For Bail-In Of Large Greek Depositors

Now Berlin’s Troika is gunning for the cash.

 

Two weeks ago we explained why Greek banks, which Greece no longer has any direct control over having handed over the keys to their operations to the ECB as part of Bailout #3’s terms, are a “strong sell” at any price: due to the collapse of the local economy as a result of the velocity of money plunging to zero thanks to capital controls which just had their 1 month anniversary, bank Non-Performing Loans, already at €100 billion (out of a total of €210 billion in loans), are rising at a pace as high as €1 billion per day (this was confirmed when the IMF boosted Greece’s liquidity needs by €25 billion in just two weeks), are rising at a pace unseen at any time in modern history.

Which means that any substantial attempt to bailout Greek banks would require a massive, new capital injection to restore confidence; however as we reported, a recapitalization of the Greek banks will hit at least shareholders and certain bondholders under a new set of European regulations—the Bank Recovery and Resolution Directive—enacted at the beginning of the year. And since Greek banks are woefully undercapitalized and there is already a danger of depositor bail-ins, all securities that are below the depositor claim in the cap structure will have to be impaired, as in wiped out.  Continue reading

ECB To Keep Greece On Hold Until Wednesday When Balyasny Sees Rioting Begin

As we have repeated since January, and certainly on numerous occasions over the weekend, at this point the only variable is what the ECB will do: will it give insolvent Greek banks more aid, or will it increase its ELA collateral haircut (or even withdraw it altogether), the ramifications of which action would have a dire impact on contagion within the rest of the periphery but most certainly on both the Greek financial system as well as Greek society which is now facing an indefinitely period of capital controls. Continue reading

Greece Contemplates Nuclear Options: May Print Euros, Launch Parallel Currency, Nationalize Banks

As we said earlier today, following today’s dramatic referendum result the Greeks may have burned all symbolic bridges with the Eurozone. However, there still is one key link: the insolvent Greek banks’ reliance on the ECB’s goodwill via the ELA. While we have explained countless times that even a modest ELA collateral haircut would lead to prompt depositor bail-ins, here is DB’s George Saravelos with a simplified version of the potential worst case for Greece in the coming days:

The ECB is scheduled to meet tomorrow morning to decide on ELA policy. An outright suspension would effectively put the banking system into immediate resolution and would be a step closer to Eurozone exit. All outstanding Greek bank ELA liquidity (and hence deposits) would become immediately due and payable to the Bank of Greece. The maintenance of ELA at the existing level is the most likely outcome, at least until the European political reaction has materialized. This will in any case materially increase the pressure on the economy in coming days.

All of which of course, is meant to suggest that there is no formal way to expel Greece from the Euro and only a slow (or not so slow) economic and financial collapse of Greece is what the Troika and ECB have left as a negotiating card.

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Greek turmoil set to shake global markets out of complacency as sell-off looms

A Greek exit from the euro is now a “base case” scenario for economists and is set to trigger a flight to safety for nervy investors

Financial markets were braced for their worst period of turmoil since the height of the eurozone crisis three years ago, after Greeks chose to overwhelmingly reject the bail-out terms of their creditors, throwing the country on a collision course with the eurozone.

The prolonged period of uncertainty is expected to roil European equities and see investors flock to safe haven assets such as US and German government bonds.

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Greek Banks To Run Out Of Physical Cash “In A Matter Of Days”

Over the past several weeks we’ve documented the acute cash crunch that’s crippled the Greek banking sector and ultimately brought the country to its knees.

As the crisis unfolded and Athens’ negotiations with creditors became increasingly contentious, Greek banks began to bleed cash. Eventually it became clear that the banks were relying entirely on the Eurosystem to meet outflows.

Meanwhile, banknotes in circulation surged, as cash usage jumped 44%, prompting Barclays to note that “the amount of banknotes in excess of the quota for Greece represents a liability of the BoG to the Eurosystem.” Essentially, we said, Greece was quietly printing billions of euros.

Now, with the ECB holding steady on the ELA cap and the banking system still hemorrhaging deposits despite the imposition of capital controls, Greek banks are running out of cash — literally. Continue reading

ECB Strikes Back: Threatens With Greek Deposit Haircut If And When ELA Found To Be “Illegal” On Wednesday

The threats are flying fast and furious now.

Moments after the WSJ quoted a Greek official as saying that Greece will not make its IMF bond payment, the ECB struck back when Bloomberg reported that the ECB would review the legality of Greek aid should there not be a deal, i.e., on July 1 post an IMF default. According to Austrian central bank Governor and ECB member, Ewald Nowotny, on Wednesday’s governing council meeting the central bank will decide whether it can continue to provide emergency support for Greece once current bailout program expires June 30, as the Wiener Zeitung originally reported. Continue reading

Forget Grexit, “Madame Frexit” Says France Is Next: French Presidential Frontrunner Wants Out Of “Failed” Euro

There has been some confusion why Germany and the Eurozone are so strict in negotiating with France and unwilling to concede even to the smallest of what they deem as outlandish Greek demands. The reason is not so much whether Spain or even Italy, both countries with soaring unemployment, a lost generation and a sweeping movement against “austerity”, follow with comparable demands should Europe concede to Tsipras, but France, where the frontrunner for the next president, the National Front’s Marine Le Pen, has just warned that not only is a Grexit inevitable, but that France would follow shortly.

Here it is worth reminding that one of the biggest European concerns with Greece is not so much its resolute attitude toward Greek demands which Europe can easily squash and force a regime change by cutting off ELA to Greek banks forcing a prompt and violent coup d’etat, but dealing with political parties who promise anything and everything just to be elected, in the process pushing aside Europe’s preferred technocrats who will do the bidding of Brussels without the smallest objection. Continue reading

Greece Capitulates: Tsipras Crosses “Red Line”, Will Accept Bailout Extension

We’ve long said that negotiations between Greece and its creditors are more a matter of politics than they are a matter of economics or finance.

From the troika’s perspective, breaking Greece and forcing PM Alexis Tsipras to concede to pension cuts and a VAT hike is paramount, and not necessarily because anyone believes these measures will put the perpetually indebted periphery country on a sustainable fiscal path, but because of the message such concessions would send to Syriza sympathizers in Spain and Portugal. In short, the troika cannot set a precedent of allowing debtor nations to obtain austerity concessions by threatening to expose the euro as dissoluble. Continue reading

“The Collateral Has Run Out” – JPM Warns ECB Will Use Greek “Nuclear Option” If No Monday Deal

In Athens on Friday, the ATM lines began to form in earnest.

Although estimates vary, Kathimerini, citing Greek banking officials, puts Friday’s deposit outflow at €1.7 billion. If true, that would mark a serious step up from the estimated €1.2 billion that left the banking system on Thursday and serves to underscore just how critical the ECB’s emergency decision to lift the ELA cap by €1.8 billion truly was. “Banks expressed relief following Frankfurt’s reaction, acknowledging that Friday could have ended very differently without a new cash injection,” the Greek daily said, adding that the ECB’s expectation of “a positive outcome in Monday’s meeting”, suggests ELA could be frozen if the stalemate remains after leaders convene the ad hoc summit. Bloomberg has more on the summit:

Dorothea Lambros stood outside an HSBC branch in central Athens on Friday afternoon, an envelope stuffed with cash in one hand and a 38,000 euro ($43,000) cashier’s check in the other.

She was a few minutes too late to make her deposit at the London-based bank. She was too scared to take her life-savings back to her Greek bank. She worried it wouldn’t survive the weekend.

“I don’t know what happens on Monday,” said Lambros, a 58-year-old government employee.

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ECB Gives Greek Banks Barely Enough Cash To Cover One Day’s Bank Run

https://i1.wp.com/www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2015/06/ELA%20Greek%206.19_1.jpg

 

Yesterday evening, after what had been a dramatic surge in the Greek bank run which has resulted in over €3 billion in cash withdrawn through Thursday night, the Greek central bank requested an emergency cash dispensation from the ECB under the country’s Emergency Liquidity Assistance program, just one day after the ECB granted the latest €1.1 billion expansion in the ELA. Rarlier today, in an unscheduled session, the ECB did as requested, however it granted Greece far less than the amount it sought, and according to MarketNews reports, the ECB gave Greece just €1.8 billion in addition funds. Continue reading

ECB raises emergency funding cap for Greek banks

Saved… for now.

 

The European Central Bank (ECB) has raised the funding cap on its Emergency Liquidity Assistance (ELA) for Greece’s banks, according to a CNBC source.

The decision, made in a conference call Friday and first reported by Reuters, followed a meeting of the euro zone’s finance ministers on Thursday, where the ability of the country’s lenders to open up for business next week was questioned.

It comes as a specter of a run on Greek banks is looming, after yet another round of failed rescue-for-reforms talks.

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Will The ECB Finally Use The Greek “Nuclear Option” This Wednesdsay?

This was not supposed to happen: by now the Greek insolvency “can” should have been kicked, and the Greek government, realizing the money has run out for both the government and the banking system, should have folded to Troika demands, and allow the Troika money to return repaying obligations to the Troika in exchange for more spending cuts.

Instead, the “game theoretical” approach of bluffing until the end, and beyond, has put both countries in a corner from which neither knows how to escape, and with the “final deal deadline” passing this weekend we now have quotes such as this from the EU:

  • OVERTVELDT: GIVING IN TO GREECE WOULD UNDERMINE EU CREDIBILITY

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Eurozone To Impose Capital Controls On Greece If No Deal By Weekend: German Press

It looks like we’re going to see a painful first shot fired at Greece if they can’t come up with a deal. What exactly will happen out of this is anyone’s guess, but here are three (but not limited to) possible scenarios while Germany’s Fourth Reich drops the hammer:

  • Greece capitulates and is brought to its knees and becomes a German vassal state like Cyprus. (40% chance)
  • Win-win situation for all is found with dual economy compromise. A dual economy with weaker EU nations on the periphery and two currencies as in Cuba. (40% chance)
  • Grexit with a following meldown of the world’s largest economy, the European Union. (20% chance — less likely due to high strategic importance and national security of Europe)

 

Just as we hinted earlier when we reported that the ECB may use the “nuclear option” on Wednesday and yank Greek ELA, here comes German Suddeutsche Zeiting [sic] with a report that Eurozone countries have reached a Greek emergency plan (yay)… which calls for the imposition of capital controls on Greece if no deal is concluded by the weekend (oh no). Continue reading

Greek Bank Deposits Bleeding Worsens in April

Deposits hit their lowest level since 2004

Deposit withdrawals from Greek lenders gathered pace in April, as a standoff between the country’s anti-austerity coalition and its creditors has renewed doubts about the country’s future in the euro area.

Deposits by households and businesses fell to to 133.7 billion euros ($146.7 billion) in April from 138.6 billion euros in March, a 3.6 percent monthly drop, and over €100 billion below the September 2009 peak, the Bank of Greece said today. The drop brings total outflows since the start of an election campaign which catapulted anti-bailout Syriza party to power, to 31 billion euros, or 18.8 percent of total deposits. Continue reading

“The Greek Endgame Is Here”: Probability Of IMF Default Now 70%, Says Deutsche Bank

As the farcical negotiations between Greece and its creditors unfold ahead of a June 5 IMF payment and as Alexis Tsipras is forced to spread false hope just to avoid a terminal bank run, a picture of the Greek endgame has emerged.

We’ve discussed the political implications of both an agreement or a Grexit and we’ve also taken an in-depth look at what a missed IMF payment means for the country’s EU creditors. On the political front, the troika is intent on sending a strong message to leftist political parties (such as Spain’s Podemos and Portugal’s “ascendant” socialists) that using the threat of a euro exit as a way to extract austerity concessions is not a viable negotiating strategy. What this amounts to is an attempt on the part of the “institutions” to subjugate the political process to economics. In terms of skipping a payment to the IMF — who, as a reminder, effectively paid itself earlier this month by allowing Greece to tap its SDR reserves to pay the bills — there are a number of cross acceleration concerns which you can review by referring to the following graphic: Continue reading