Recent comments by Mary


When I was in grad school, my associate developed a habit which was to rise around 3AM, liberate herself from her convertible crib, and toddle to my room to put me to bed.

Happily, these days I clock into the plant until 11:30AM, and my associate packs herself off to school by 6:45AM.

re: "Germany's banks were Greece's enablers"

Dear Stooge,

While Wall Street’s handiwork in Europe has received little attention on this side of the Atlantic, it has been sharply criticized in Greece and in magazines like Der Spiegel  in Germany.
In 2008, Goldman helped the bank put the swap into a legal entity called Titlos. But the bank retained the bonds that Titlos issued, according to Dealogic, a financial research firm, for use as collateral to borrow even more from the European Central Bank.
Wall Street did not create Europe’s debt problem. But [US] bankers enabled Greece and others to borrow beyond their means, in deals that were perfectly legal. Few [EU] rules govern[ed] [before 2012] how nations can borrow the money they need for expenses like the military and health care.

Wall St. Helped to Mask Debt Fueling Europe’s Crisis  2010
(Locate information in this story about a "Fed" inquiry. Please.)
Goldman Sachs faces Fed inquiry over Greek crisis 2010
GS, int'l.

Stewart is usually spot on in his coverage/criticism/humor about economic affairs. But in this case, he’s funny but a bit off. Goldman has faced criticism in Europe for its role in a 2001 currency swap that helped mask the size of its debt and deficit numbers. But Greece is mostly responsible for Greece’s debt troubles. Read a terrific Journal story about the origins of the Greek debt crunch.

Jon Stewart Blames the Greek Crisis on Goldman Sachs 2011

Bloomberg is out with a telling report on how Goldman Sachs helped Greece set up a secret loan swap deal in 2001 that helped the country hide its debt levels in order to meet requirements to join the European Union.

Cross-currency swaps are contracts borrowers use to convert foreign currency debt into a domestic-currency obligation using the market exchange rate. As first reported in 2003, Goldman Sachs used a fictitious, historical exchange rate in the swaps to make about 2 percent of Greece’s debt disappear from its national accounts. To repay the 2.8 billion euros it borrowed from the bank, Greece entered into a separate swap contract tied to interest-rate swings.

Falling bond yields caused that bet to sour, and tweaks to the deal failed to prevent the debt from almost doubling in size by the time the swap was restructured in August 2005. [...] Eurostat said Greece didn’t report the Goldman Sachs transactions in 2008 when the agency told countries to restate their accounts. [...] The report Papanicolaou commissioned after taking over the agency showed the repayment formula meant that Greece would have to pay Goldman Sachs 400 million euros a year, he said. The coupon and the mark-to-market swings on the swap prompted George Alogoskoufis, then finance minister, to decide to restructure the deal again to limit losses, Papanicolaou said.

The Secret Goldman Sachs-Greece Deal That's Described As 'A Very Sexy Story Between Two Sinners' 2012

:: G-S, JPM, BlackRock Pigged &tc.

German Ottomans wut done it.
Varoufakis is coming.  2014

"We are all Greece" Pigged classic


We is born a poor, black child Pigged OINK
shaggy dress

< wipes tears >

[official trailer substitution says it all: "I'm black, and I'm proud. < wipes tears > love this flick. - ed.]

Happy goddam Black History Month, Greece
hit it, Odetta

< wipes tears >

I'm thinking Stournaras' days are numbered. Which is too bad. Watch for The Replacement any day now.

:: Ubn warned Pigged

Finance Minister.

ooo. boy.

I see nuttin but ONE TRILLION drachma bond yields.


Mr Varoufakis will meet his French counterpart Michel Sapin on Sunday before flying to the UK for a meeting with chancellor George Osborne. He may also meet investors in London, where Merrill Lynch and Deutsche Bank are trying to fix meetings.

hit it, Paul.

There is one Sea Bisquit.
Sea Bisquit is the TRUE MESSIAH.

alrighty then.
< wipes tears >
Moving on ... just how many deregulated markets for ELECTRICITY GENERATION AND TRANSMISSION are there, today, among the US states ... Yuan?

I'm kinda on the side of the vultures on this one


Have you taken Paul Singer into your heart? Pigged

(Earnings after Lazard, before Goldman-Sachs)


The Greek government has hired investment bank Lazard to advise it on managing sovereign debt in a sign that Syriza is serious about honouring its election pledge to restructure its debt pile—despite EU officials warning against it.


o, THAT is a keeper.
< wipes tears >
Varoufakis is coming.

RETSINA, bebes! The coup will be complete when retsina replaces Pepsi in babies' bottles ACROSS THE GLOBE.

I must agree with Mr Whiskey.

Yanis Varoufakis
How about a link?
HCN DB search, 2008-31 May 2012* results
[*] limit of site search facility; more instances after 31 May 2012 must be retrieved manually by reviewing individual comment histories.

:: cannot carry a thought from thread to thread Pigged

explaining in part why so many correspodents here rely on 50-year-old anecdotes to reason current pediatric vaccination schedules by basic reproduction number, denoted R0 Pigged ("communicability" of a virus) and ignore US legislation by state, governing public school system enforcement and personal indemnity.

A Measles Outbreak And Debate Over Parents Opting Out of Vaccines For Their Children , just 4 days ago
"aged 6 through 11 months"
Table 7-01. Recommended immunization schedule for ages 0–18 years—United States, 2013, just 13 days ago; identical to recommendation I for one received in 1999 when my child was born. That is, color-coded minimum coverage for the most virulent, "communicable" or infectious, disease known.

Full of __________.
"The Greek Foreign Ministry on Thursday issued a statement in response to a story published in the Financial Times describing alleged ties between newly appointed Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias (photo) and ultra-nationalist professor Aleksandr Dugin."
Foreign Ministry slams report on Kotzias ties with Russian ultra-nationalist
But wait. There's more.
"Nikos Kotzias would not say if Greece would back new measures against Moscow, after new premier Alexis Tsipras complained that an EU leaders’ statement on sanctions this week was issued without his consent."
Greece says seeking to 'prevent rift' between EU and Russia
"In addition, shortly before the elections, Panos Kammenos did not fail to intensify the anti-Semitic attitudes among his followers, saying that Jews in Greece are paying lower taxes compared to the other residents."
The first actions of the new government are leading Greece to a total disaster

This is good for prices in Sacramento, right?

I can dig up the earlier PIMCO guidance Pigged to NOT buy Greek bonds.
Meantime, this time ...
coupon to the moon, ergo yield, from here to foreseeable future. That's good for savers, right?

earbuds in your ears

Verboten. Anyways, oughta keep a thumb on the AGGREGATE pulse, ya know, chit-chat who it counts. I do like company sometimes.

hit it, Aretha

< sniff >
The correct locution is "break room," and I've no fucking idea who's got the remote for either of the four monitors. Two for scheduled play-offs, I've learned. Fox is NOT an option, though.
< wipes tears >
We at least got three local network affiliate day-part schedule AND TMZ. Soaps and N-list talk shows galore.

EUR:CHF, 1:1.0266 a/o 28 Jan 2015

Win8 lookin' like a "reasonable" store-o'-value.

You know that's right. Ibn steady pondering, what is the attraction of work at the plant for me?
(despite the pay-scale)

I CONFESS: I've never written a check or delivered a bag o' coin and bills to any alumni fund. Neither have I "tapped" the "social network."


but it's been a looooonnnngggg time.

You know that's right. Some HCN correspondents can't remember what they typed yesterday ... about Iceland "nationalizing" the banks, for example.

So yeah. As it happens, I was reminded today on my drive home from the plant of the effort administrators of my b-school made to "raise consciousness" of annual giving. I CONFESS: I staged a rudimentary, *.ppt "campaign driver" (with the assistance of a US-colleague, UBS employee, in data collection) to sell the benefits of the school's capital formation. Alumni charity is an alien concept in the UK.

Schools rake in record donations ... unequally LISTEN
(40% earmarked for financial aid; compare err, ahh, "competitive" institutions' ROI, given what you think you know about my outcome.)

And Ima tell you Harvard alumni have always been top producers.

:: transferable, non-transferable value Pigged

I've concluded, as quietly as it's been kept, the "Greek" alumni at UVA donate mega-bucks. The administration's remedial security strategy sop for nubiles-on-campus is, frankly, preposterous. George-Will-worthy.

FDR's new cabinet in '34

One instance when a picture is not worth a thousand words.
Many Harvard law grads, Chicago economists, and "Ivy" investment bankers (Schlesinger).
Hopkins and Wallace are notable exceptions. Does anyone remember Tugwell or Ickes Pigged ?

there will be concessions

Fair enough. The PSI-CAC "restructure" shaved, iirc, 60% of yield on EUR 195B a/o 2012. And I've already hinted (barring a colossal, unilateral diplomatic cropper by "Huey" --or-- more frightening, securitizations of "nationalized" assets by Yannis ...)
1. further extension of repayment period; 50 years was promoted back in 2012.
2. further extension of EFSF line of credit (ELA), mebe to 4Q in order to settled commercial bank reserves
3. but NO ESM loans. PS. I previously linked to an kathermini article, calculating Greek putative share of OMT "buyback" -- because it is just enough to cover social security debt.)

HCN correspondents have difficulty (because of certain medical conditions) apprehending that the ECB/EC has actually been protecting the Greek gov't from international infestors, given that "capitalism" is a sancrosanct principle of "democracy".

re: clown tent, int'l.

As he wrote Tuesday:

"The time to put up or shut up has, I have been told, arrived. My plan is to defy such advice. To continue blogging here even though it is normally considered irresponsible for a Finance Minister to indulge in such crass forms of communication."

Greece puts mind over money | OpEd

:: RUBBER MEETS ROAD Pigged < wipes tears >

The Greek government expressed displeasure earlier this week at the issuing of a statement by [SEASONAL] European Council President Donald Tusk [POLAND], which called for further sanctions to be imposed.
“They breached the EU’s rules and tried to present us with a fait accompli before we had even been sworn in,” said [Foreign Minister Nikos] Kotzias.

However, sources said that the Greek government is willing to discuss the content of any further action against Russia and was more upset about the process followed.

New Greek FM to address dispute with EU on Russian sanctions [same plot, new headline and later dateline. har]

Russia may lift food import ban from Greece if it quits EU - Russian agriculture minister  16 Jan 2014

:: "Cameron ENRAGED" VETO Pigged
"An imposition of further sanctions would require the agreement of all 28 EU member states so Greece could veto increased penalties." | Athens may veto further EU sanctions against Russia 
"Tsipras begins with remarkable demonstration of ... would you say, brinkmanship?"
Tsipras has a quarrel with Brussels over Ukraine

"Independent Greeks MP Rachil Makri, who joined SYRIZA as a candidate last week, had “put the cherry on the cake” by claiming that the Bank of Greece could “print” 100 billion euros."
SYRIZA launches its own web TV channel
"All 27 member states need to approve the budget, but Cameron says they must first agree to a 'proper control' of spending. "
UK threatens to veto EU budget 2012

< wipes tears >


[New Labor Minister Panos Skourletis] said the reinstatement of the minimum salary at 751 euros is the ministry’s central target, and that the implementation of the measure will be combined with a series of other policies that will facilitate the operation of enterprises and help them become sustainable, such as the restructuring of their debts to the tax authorities and social security funds.

Reinstatement of minimum monthly salary at 751 euros
:: SYRIZA Pigged
"He promised a non-taxable minimum income of 12,000 euro for all and assured that his government will seek responsibility from all who are on Lagarde-type lists."
The pre-election meeting of SYRIZA like a celebration Jan 22 2014
"Tsipras said that a prospective SYRIZA government would also immediately repeal a 22 percent reduction of the minimum wage, raising it to 751 euros per month again, and extend unemployment benefit to two years, rather than one."
Tsipras sets out SYRIZA's plan for rejecting memorandum 2012
Debts to Greek social security funds swell to 13.5 bln euros 17 Dec 2014; and Global gas price decline to bring local rate reduction of 20 pct, "[FORMER Environment, Energy and Climate Change Deputy Minister Makis Papageorgiou] said that there are ongoing negotiations between Azerbaijan and the European Commission’s competition authorities concerning the completion of the agreement for the transfer of the [GREEk] DESFA stake to Azeri state firm Socar."

re: "all the cards"

When one's playing Go Fish, that's not a winning hand.

HCN Classic Pigged JUBILEE edition

The Bank of England will start pumping newly created money into the economy today by buying £2 billion in gilts

UK treasury securities, ppl, not commercial paper.

as it embarks on "quantitative easing" in an effort to boost the economy.

UK Begins Quantitative Easing 11 March 2009

FACT CHECK Pigged "bless your heart"


"Given the dismal prospects for real economic activity and the sharp decline of inflation everywhere, the task of the monetary authorities in the US, the Eurozone and the UK is really rather easy: set the official policy rate at zero and engage in large-scale quantitative and qualitative easing."

So the drunk needs more booze eh? You do realize that he's puking up blood and his liver enzyme levels are off the charts, yes?

Anonymous wrote on Sun, 2/1/2009 - 5:38 pm

Torygraph for accurate reporting Pigged

The communication of the General Secretariat to Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras states, "The opinion of EU heads of state and government, which was published today, has been disseminated without observing the prescribed procedure for securing the consent of the member-states and in particular without ensuring the consent of Greece. In this context, we emphasize that the opinion is made without the consent of Greece. We have expressed our dissatisfaction with this approach both in a phone call of the Prime Minister with EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini, and to the competent authorities at the Permanent Representation of Greece to the European Union."
Asked about the position of Athens regarding the imposition of new sanctions against Moscow, [new Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias] replied, "It will be democratic."

Tsipras has a quarrel with Brussels over Ukraine

o, yes. Let us recall HCN skepticism way back when Pigged

Supplementary Appendix 1 in Ebola Virus Disease in West Africa — The First 9 Months of the Epidemic and Forward Projections in epidemic 

U.S. Estimates 1.4 Million Ebola Cases in Worst Scenario - Bloomberg

&tc with the colorful anthropological insights to superstition in "West Africa."

Thank you all for your contributions to ahh "pill" sales. I wish you the best of luck in your endeavors to promote JUBILEE. Again.

Because of austerity

International payments and credit attacks between banking institutions, revealing empty vaults, and an abrupt end to RE construction preceded Structural Adjustment Programming.

"She expressed the hope that his coalition government would 'further strengthen and deepen the traditionally good and deep friendship between our peoples.' "
Merkel wishes Tsipras 'strength and success'


"This year was no different, with 'Big Data' and 'Selfie' filling out the podium below 'Blackfacing'.
'Blackfacing' is Anglicism of the Year

:: code-switching Pigged

"The party, formed in early 2014, STORMED to prominence when it picked up five seats in the May 2014 European elections."
Podemos hails Syriza victory in Greece


"The government is due to release its updated official forecasts in April."
Spain could grow 2.5% in 2015: Economy minister

:: line of credit Pigged

" 'There is no doubt the Greek result, if politically managed by Greece and the European Union with realistic and flexible negotiations, favours the call for an end to the inflexibility we Italians have been making,' he said."
Syriza win to help Italy's push for EU flexibility


" Italy has the fourth largest share in Europe after France (3.5 million), the UK (2.9 million) and Germany (2.8 million). The United States leads the way, with 18 million people falling within the one percent bracket."
2.3m in Italy are in the rich 'one percent' club

:: mercantile Pigged

Pernille Skipper, a policy spokesman for the [RED-GREEN ALLIANCE] party, who was in Athens to support Syriza ahead of Sunday’s election, called on Denmark’s government to work with the new Greek government to help it renegotiate its crippling debt.
Denmark’s two leading parties on Monday dismissed proposals to renegotiate Greece’s debt.

Danish left hails Syriza 'Red Spring'


"A lot of people asked, ‘why are you doing this thing?’ and we told them, 'just to say thank you. Thank you for your hospitality. Thank you for your warm welcome.'”
Syrian refugees hand out free coffee to commuters

:: danish Pigged