Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Beware the Ides of March Plus 5

Beware the 20th of March. That's what investors and financial analysts are saying. Why the 20th? Because that's when Greece has to make a 14.4 billion euro bond payment, and the only way Greece can cough up such a staggering sum is if its European creditors provide it.

Which they may not do, even though a default by Greece could trigger credit default swap payments that could make some of the banks that wrote the debt insurance instruments insolvent, resulting in a financial meltdown that could be equal to or even bigger than the U.S. sub-prime mortgage collapse.

Or so it would seem, until one learns that the credit default swaps could end up being worthless. Click here to read about the derivatives that were supposed to make Greek debt a sure thing and the CDS-holding hedge funds that are nevertheless balking at agreeing to a restructuring of the debt.

The continuing crisis is complex, scary--and as clear as mud.