Tag Archives: Christoforos Sardelis

They are still lying to us

There is a piece that the Guardian gave us less than 12 hours ago. The title ‘Greece ‘turning a page’ as Eurozone agrees deal to end financial crisis‘ should worry you. You are getting played! The article (at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jun/22/eurozone-greece-financial-crisis-deal) is giving a dangerous situation as it is downplayed on nearly every level. Now, to set the stage, we need to understand that government budgets are complex. No one is denying it. Yet, what is complex about: “Eurozone member states reached an agreement on the final elements of a plan to make its massive debt pile more manageable, ending an eight-year bailout programme“, can you tell me that? You see in the heart of this is ‘its massive debt pile more manageable‘, we all see that. Yet do we understand it?  €328 billion, the interest on that small sucker is well over €500 a second! The debt is around 180% of GDP, it was 178% last year. These are issues that matter, because it gives Greece no options. Then the Guardian gives us the bit that matters a lot more. You see, in part one we consider “The plan allows Greece to extend and defer repayments on part of its debt for another 10 years and gives Athens another €15bn (£13.2bn) in new credit. Tsakalotos said it marked “the end of the Greek crisis … I think Greece is turning a page.”“, so an option to get even MORE DEBT. When was that a good idea? Now consider that the interest on the current loan is €640 million a year, so how does raising the debt by 5% help? You see, we see the game played, because the next elections are 20 October 2019. This is the beginning of an election stunt and the Eurozone is happy to help only if the current government does what the Eurozone tells them to. How is that for an option?

The next pack of non-truths is given by PM Alexis Tsipras with “The prime minister, Alexis Tsipras, told a meeting of MPs: “Greece is once again becoming a normal country, regaining its political and financial independence.”” I hope you understand that financial independence will not happen until 2045. The debt is that severe. The banks are not willing to be soft any longer, when the access to the markets are given it will merely take one screw up, one act of short sighted stupidity and people all over Europe will rally to demand the barring of Greece from the markets for decades. So when we are presented within: “The plan allows Greece to extend and defer repayments on part of its debt for another 10 years and gives Athens another €15bn (£13.2bn) in new credit“, you see this is what the beginning of slave labour looks like, a debt that cannot be repaid, a setting where €15 billion is merely a smoke screen and the coming years when you think your life is getting better, the truth is merely that your options are taken away. That is how you enter into slave labour. And the Eurozone will be nice and humane about it, they will not call it slave labour, they will call it new zero hour contracts and with the definition “Any individual on a zero hours contract who is a ‘worker’ will be entitled to at least the National Minimum Wage, paid annual leave, rest breaks and protection from discrimination” and the Greeks will realise too late that this government AFTER its election will set the stage where because of the high debts the National Minimum Wage would optionally have to be lowered by 20%, until the debts are better dealt with. So there you are sitting on a terrace having your last pita gyros with an Ouzo realising that you can no longer afford to do that, your income got cut by 20%. The opposing party reacted to the credit buffer with ‘Kostis Hatzidakis said it reflected the lack of faith international creditors had in Athens’ ability to successfully return to capital markets.‘ And in this Kostis is right, the international markets have zero faith in their return, they rely on a small thing called mathematics and the clarity there is that the scales are not in the favour of the Greeks. The financial market is hailing the success, especially those making money of every trade, and until the money is gone, some parties on Wall Street will love the Greek, give parties in their honour. The parties behind this were shown in the NY Times last week (at https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/19/business/economy/greece-europe-bailout.html). Here we see “To play it safe, Greece won’t start selling bonds until well after it exits the bailout. Instead, the government, which is being advised by Paris-based Rothschild & Company, will pick a moment in the next two years when market conditions seem favourable. A cash buffer of up to €18 billion, funded by creditors, may help Greece secure the liquidity it needs in the meantime“, so now the credit makes a lot more sense, does it not? A credit to pay the bills until there is one more fish to cook for Wall Street ending the existence of Greece. Well, actually the Greek elected officials will do that all by themselves. Because it will be there choice (through whispers) that benefits could be gained through 10 year bonds giving 10 more years of relief. Yet those billions come at a cost, a 2% cost which goes to the traders, they will cash in millions at the expense of a few parties costing them mere thousands, after which they switch off their phones, walk away and it is no longer their problem. For them it was merely good business, the direct application of a mere fool and his money getting parted.

Yet, this is not the only part. In what I would regard to be a direct outright lie, we see the actions from Pierre Moscovici as we are treated to: “Greece had received €275bn in financial support from its international creditors over the past eight years and twice came perilously close to being kicked out of the Eurozone group, the EU commissioner, Pierre Moscovici, said, adding: “There have been enormous sacrifices. But at last Greece will be capable of moving on its own two feet.”“. This is what I personally see an outright lie! Let me explain why I think that this is as bad as such. The documentation gave us (I already published it before). It is a paper from 2009 from the ECB and I gave light to it in my article on July 1st 2015, yes, almost 3 years ago. The article was ‘Dress rehearsal (part 1)‘ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2015/07/01/dress-rehearsal-part-1/), the original paper is there at the end. It is called ‘Withdrawal and expulsion from the EU and EMU some reflections‘, a paper written by Phoebus Athanassiou. Here we see “The idea that the treaties should explicitly provide for a possibility of expulsion was discussed in the 2001-2003 Intergovernmental Conference responsible for drafting the ill-fated Constitutional Treaty, but was abandoned“, on page 32 it gives the premise that greed driven politicians did not consider that expulsion should be an option. In addition, the EU observer gives us in 2011 ““Neither exit nor expulsion from the euro area is possible, according to the Lisbon treaty under which participation in the euro area is irrevocable,” he added, referring to the European Union’s rule-book.” and there is May 2012, where we get “The Mechanics of Eurozone Withdrawal, It has frequently been stated that the EU Treaties contain no legal framework for a withdrawal from the Eurozone.  This is true and, indeed, the Treaties make it clear that the process of monetary union was intended to be “irreversible” and “irrevocable”“. The last we got from Locke Lord LLP, a Texas Lawfirm. So I now need to revert to my original Dutch Diplomatic self stating: ‘Moscovici, you stupid fuck! There is 9 years of documentation from people better educated than me stating that kicking out of the Eurozone was not an option in any way. So get a fucking grip on your stupidity and amend it or resign your post, your choice!‘ (Sorry, I needed to get that off my chest, I feel a little better now).

The final straw for my ego is found in the Guardian quote “But it means the left-led government in Athens will have to stick to austerity measures and reforms, including high budget surpluses, for more than 40 years. Adherence will be monitored quarterly“, when we consider that my setting was without the ‘discount’, the proven setting that the debt will be a 3G debt, it will push hardship on three generations. A setting I was able to prove with an abacus is now finally recognised by those less fortunate as they were not able to get basic calculus done. I am happy for me being correct, but not for the hardship that the next generation of Greeks face, they never had any choice in the matter, merely have to clean up after grandpa’s bad political choices, to them it is massively unfair.

The final part if given with: “At almost 180% of GDP, Greece is burdened with the highest debt load in Europe. The €320bn debt mountain is widely recognised as the single biggest obstacle to economic recovery. The International Monetary Fund had resolutely refused to sign up to the country’s latest bailout unless Eurozone creditors agreed to a restructuring that would ultimately make the debt sustainable“, most will not recognise the miswording that is used here. With ‘widely recognised as the single biggest obstacle to economic recovery‘, which is actually ‘Greece has no options to recover from a debt that high, not ever‘. Which leads to ‘International Monetary Fund had resolutely refused to sign up to the country’s latest bailout‘ and ‘make the debt sustainable‘, which needs to be read as: ‘the IMF cannot allow the support of a debt that cannot be paid off, lower it!‘, yet when is the setting for sustainable made? Making it longer by setting the €328 billion in three stages of 26 years each? Who will sign up for that? How many forward pushing bond programs will it require and we understand that among the banks (read: financial institutions), they are willing to do that as long as it is set in 25% profit stages, giving light to the fact that the additional pressure beyond the debt is the Greek population paying an additional €78 billion in sustainable bonus. If you’re Greek, would you want your child to inherit a €75 billion invoice at birth? That was what I predicted three years ago and I have been proven correctly and I have been conservative, when you consider the cost of the bonds, the interest paid to the people buying the bonds as well as the impact of devaluation of a nation that cannot fund its infrastructure. It is a mess and when you consider Forbes on 28th Jan 2017, where we see: “The IMF projects Greek debt will reach 170 percent of GDP by 2020 and 164 percent of GDP by 2022 but will rise thereafter, reaching around 275 percent of GDP by 2060” (at https://www.forbes.com/sites/timworstall/2017/01/28/amazingly-yes-the-imf-is-still-saying-that-the-greek-debt-problem-is-not-yet-solved), we see that they were off last year by close to 10%, so the prospect for Greece is even worse than the IMF predicted (I admit a slight overbearing assumption at present).

To illustrate that, I will revert to a source that I cannot vouch for, yet they give (at https://www.thenation.com/article/goldmans-greek-gambit/) “As a result, about 2 percent of Greece’s debt magically disappeared from its national accounts. Christoforos Sardelis, then head of Greece’s Public Debt Management Agency, later described the deal to Bloomberg Business as “a very sexy story between two sinners.” For its services, Goldman received a whopping 600 million euros ($793 million), according to Spyros Papanicolaou, who took over from Sardelis in 2005“, a fee closing that surpassed half a billion euros.

So in the end, the news, the papers the quotes, it will be up to you to decide how Greece is given a fair go, yet they themselves have mostly only themselves to blame. You see, in all this, how many Greek politicians went to prison? How many got their assets taken from them? Or are we all agreeing that there was no legal option? Now wonder if the legal options exist at present, if not. Then this is the bed of hardship that the Greeks made for Greece.

So, are the Greeks still being lied to? If that is so who exactly is presenting their version of the ‘facts’ to the Greeks?

 

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Feeding hungry wolves

You might think that this is another attempt to quell the hunger of paparazzi, which is always a dilemma we people face (famous people more often). They want their pound of flesh and they will have it. So when I stumbles upon ‘Greece crisis: Yanis Varoufakis admits ‘contingency plan’ for euro exit‘ this morning, I knew that a roasting would be in order. The article (at http://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/jul/27/greece-crisis-yanis-varoufakis-admits-contingency-plan-for-euro-exit). So when I read “The plan was denounced by Greek opposition parties, which in recent weeks have called for Varoufakis to be put on trial for treason” I knew I was onto something, in addition there is “the scheme was “reminiscent of a bad thriller.” The main opposition New Democracy party demanded that the government “come up with convincing answers for the Greek people … so that light can be shed on this dark narrative.”“. Now you know me, I consider Yanis Varoufakis to be a bit of a rock star (not a good one) and he played the limelight wrong, but in this case I am on HIS side.

How stupid can the Greeks get?

It was the job of Yanis Varoufakis to protect the financial future of Greece, because of the mistakes by the Greeks themselves, they are in a boatload of hurt and they will be in that position for three generations, that is, as long as they keep austerity. This is not something that was started by Yanis Varoufakis or Alexis Tsipras for that matter, they mismanaged an inherited bad situation. So in light of those accusing him of treason, I call them ‘the worst bloody idiots in the history of Greece!’ They get to live with that title for both this version of Greece as well as dethroning the idiots of ancient Greece because these people have just truly outdone themselves!

And as for these people who are shouting treason, why do we not hear that in regard of the following names? Yiannos Papantoniou and Nikos Christodoulakis former ministers of Finance as well as Konstantinos Simitis and Kostas Karamanlis both former prime ministers. Did they all conveniently forget that the found mismanaged budgets which they hid from the people of Greece and Goldman Sachs was eager to help them for the money it brought them? Yes, you all forgot about them didn’t you?

Now in addition we need to mention Christoforos Sardelis, former head of Greece’s Public Debt Management Agency, when we learn from the Business Insider “the loan was so confusing that even the Greece government had trouble understanding it and thought it was much cheaper than it actually was” (at http://www.businessinsider.com.au/the-secret-goldman-sachs-greece-deal-thats-described-as-a-very-sexy-story-between-two-sinners-2012-3), so Greece, let’s call it Monkey Mountain for now, gave the keys of what they no longer owned to the ‘Top Banana’ in all this (Christoforos Sardelis), to do something none of them understood, how is that not trialed in a Greek court? So after shaking hands smiles and autographs, Greece was due payment of 600 million euros ($793 million) more than the 2.8 billion euros it borrowed.

That comes down to almost 20%! I’ve had a 50% better rate on my Credit Card!

So, when I see the accusation towards Yanis Varoufakis, which was in my view the wrong man, at least he did what he did for ideological reasons (as far as I can tell), his focus was Greece! I never stated anything to the contrary in any of my articles!

In this path, there are still a few issues that are an issue, yet, let’s not forget that this was a plan conceived in the 11th hour as the dangers were very considerable that Greece could be cast out of the Euro (even though that was technically a legal impossibility). ““We were planning to create, surreptitiously, reserve accounts attached to every tax file number, without telling anyone, just to have this system in a function under wraps,” he says, adding that he had appointed a childhood friend to help him carry out the plan. “We were ready to get the green light from the PM when the banks closed”“, I understand the logic attached to this, but in that way, it also meant that the tax dodgers would have had an escape plan, in addition, the Greek 2047 Swiss Accounts (roughly) could walk away scot free, which is not entirely on the up an up here. Yet in the bulk of it all it was the millions of Greeks Yanis tried to protect (I hope), so explain to my how this was treason? The added fact that we see ‘We were ready to get the green light from the PM’ implies that it was based on government structure, so again, how is this treason?

So when we read the Tweet Yanis gave “So, I was going to ‘hijack’ Greek citizens’ tax numbers? Impressed by my defamers’ imagination”, I would tend to agree, because a step like that is impossible without both the tax system and every bank involved to open the doors to their system. It is not imagination, in my view it is basically a technical impossibility, because that many transfers would light the European financial system up like a Christmas tree, Yanis would literally have no place to run or too, or to hide for that matter.

There is one part I disagree with. The quote “Tsipras’s left-wing Syriza party is not only divided but bears little resemblance to the one he was catapulted into office with in January”. You see, Japan only had itself to blame, Tsipras is partially accountable, yet the debt, the massive result from a decade of mismanaged debt and a mismanaged tax system that spans decades, that part was inherited, they can look at previous national rulers, spokespersons and economic managers for that.

So, let’s remove the title ‘Monkey Mountain’ (now that the Top Banana has gone to sunny, luxurious Italy) and focus on Greece! You see Greece will be in a bad place for a very long time to come, it refuses to go after those who truly pushed Greece into generations of bad times. As the Greek population will have to settle for hunger and poverty, other players like Christoforos Sardelis, who is as far as I can tell at present, living in decent luxury in Italy where he works for Banca IMI, the investment banking unit of Italy’s Intesa Sanpaolo. The Greeks are looking in all the wrong places. Hiding the debt was not done by one person, it took several officials, the swap was really stupid but not illegal (Goldman Sachs does not do illegal things, it is very clever in making other people do stupid things). The issue is not yesterday, it is today and tomorrow. Greece needs to wake up and reform a system that cannot deal with the elements of today’s economy, the fact that Greece needs 86 billion just to make it to 2017 is clear evidence of that, the fact that it takes three generations to get the debt into focus is evidence of that and it will only work if debt relief is granted. Greece is no longer able to survive in the current climate, a fact that has been known for a long time and it had to be acted upon a long time before yesterday, but it was not. In all this the Greeks are now blaming the one person who (even though wrongly) tried to get a better deal for the Greeks, who tried any option to at least try to avoid that retirees would have ended up with 1 drachma to the Euro, because that would have been the result from ejection from the Euro (if the EEC could have pulled that off legally). So yes, I have hammered on Yanis Varoufakis (and Alexis Tsipras) in my previous blogs. In this case, there is an utter failure in my view to see where he acted wrongly.

There is one additional consideration to make. There is every chance that the plan started by Yanis Varoufakis needs to stay on hand, it might need almost immediate evolution and preparation should not seize. You see Greece is and remains the tinderbox for events that have been playing for a lot longer than anyone cares to ‘remember’. We might bash on certain Greeks (names I mentioned here), but Greece was not alone. Italy had done a similar thing. Now as both France and Italy represent 5 trillion in debt and the UK close to 1.8 trillion, the current status is that both France and the UK are still in a place where they could voluntarily leave the Euro. France is the initial ‘problem’ because what has been ignored for 2 years, what I feared would come is now almost a reality. At present Marine Le Pen is sitting on close to 40% of the prospective votes for the 2017 presidency, if she wins the Mayoral election of Calais (which is presently almost a certainty) and if she can achieve any decent improvement for Calais, the reality of her making a landslide victory in 2017 would become a mere matter of fact, in that light in 2017, the Socialist Party of François Hollande will face its biggest defeat in French history, they will be ten times worse off than the UK Labour Party currently is, so good luck with that. This is important, because Marine Le Pen could entice French National pride and walk out of the Euro, which would spark a similar thing in the UK at that point. Now we see the part that impacts Greece, when those two walk, Italy will have no option left the Euro will crumble and this plan, this approach by Yanis Varoufakis, this alternative plan would be the only option left for Greece and they would not have any time to implement it. So as ideas go, his alternative was not the worst for the people of Greece and there is a reasonable chance that when the Euro fails, this plan will safe that lives of millions of Greeks. So whomever shouted ‘treason’ against Yanis Varoufakis better be aware that this person himself could end up being roasted when my predictions come to pass.

The wolves are hungry, they want their pound of flesh and those in the game will sell out anyone that no longer seems to be a player in the international economy game.

I cannot and will not support that view!

 

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