Friday, July 22, 2011

The Deal II

FT Alphaville has a go at interpreting the terms of the Greek debt settlement. Although it appears to be written in English, it might as well have been written in Greek--or Chinese. For instance:

Now, Greece itself funds the purchasing of the collateral. This is a highly significant point. Nomura’s Nick Firoozye calculated on Friday that around €38bn of collateral will be needed, and thus added to Greek gross debt. There are features in the offer which also reduce gross debt, in the discount bonds we’re about to get on to, and a separate bond buyback. But not by enough.

OOOK ... the Greek debt burden is alleviated by adding 38 billion to the Greek debt burden. Right. By comparison, the US debt ceiling negotiations look almost transparent.

UPDATE: Jean Quatremer, eschewing the financial intricacies, takes the optimistic view that a major political step has been taken toward a more federal EU. I'm not at all sure that this is correct, but only time will tell.

Quite a Yarn

This one's made for TV: the wife of a lesser light of the Right, Christian Honoré, thinks that Jean-François Copé has taken out a contract on her husband but wants to get rid of him even sooner so asks his bodyguard, who has become her copain, to find her a hired gun. He may (or may not) have asked his pal, who works for the DST, to do the job. But the woman still can't wait and plans to do it on her own. She gets cold feet, however, while lurking in the yard. Meanwhile, her husband has spotted a prowler and calls the cops, who arrest her. The three alleged co-conspirators are now in prison.

And my question is, Why does a guy who is only a municipal councilor in Valenton and a parliamentary assistant to a UMP senator get a bodyguard and an official car? I thought Sarko was trying to cut down on government expenses. Looks like a bit of fat in the budget to me.

Rogoff is not convinced

Ken Rogoff on the EU summit results:

Les dirigeants européens n'ont pas évoqué clairement le dispositif concernant le Portugal ou l'Irlande. Jusqu'où peut-on soutenir l'Italie ? Quel est l'avenir de l'euro ? Va-t-on créer une union fiscale ? Toutes ces questions sont sans réponse. Ce qui a été dit et fait n'est qu'un pas de plus, le minimum pour éviter un effondrement imminent.