Comments on: Parsing banks’ exposure to Greece A slice of lime in the soda Sun, 26 Oct 2014 19:05:02 +0000 hourly 1 By: haraldo Mon, 20 Jun 2011 12:44:06 +0000 I don’t view these two data sets as inconsistent. (Chris Maresca- I think you are wrong)

The UBS number is the exposure that European banks have to Greek sovereign bonds.
The BIS data is the total exposure to the Greek public sector, banking sector and private sector.
So if you take the $57bn of direct exposure from France to Greece- (the way I read it) is that French institutions (of which some but not all will be banks) own $15bn of public sector debt, have $2bn exposure to banks and have $39bn of bank loans to the private sector in Greece.
Which ties in with 1. what french banks have publically declared as their govt bond holdings and 2. what we know about the size of the french owned greek banks balance sheets.

The big question is that when (if) Greece defaults, what happens to the private sector exposures. Given that these are being provisioned against over time, and a large amount is likely to be loans to companies with non greece revenue sources (shipping companies etc), I wouldn’t view these exposures themselves as being the problem, but rather the contagion effects.

Felix- I think you are reading the data wrong- ie the groupings- banks/ public sector/ private sector is Frances exposure to that sector in Greece NOT French banks/public sector exposure to Greece.

By: dWj Sun, 19 Jun 2011 14:12:43 +0000 I wonder how much of the ECB/IMF response has deliberately been to turn this into a “very, very slow trainwreck”, just to allow people to get prepared for it. I agree that that will make problems less — as you imply, most derivatives are short-term enough that a lot of those currently outstanding have been written since the Greek government first admitted to having been misstating numbers quite badly — though I imagine there are a few corporate entities that have been insolvent for three years and clinging to Greek debt exposure because they couldn’t afford, from an accounting and regulatory standpoint, to write it down. I hope there aren’t too many and they aren’t too big.

By: FifthDecade Sat, 18 Jun 2011 20:53:21 +0000 Apples and Pears. One adds Bank and Private debt together to look at the size of Government exposure; the other adds Private and Government debt together to separate out the Bank debt.

By: ChrisMaresca Sat, 18 Jun 2011 17:33:47 +0000 Give this data 394 I would say that UBS is completely wrong.

Total exposure is around $468bn, they apparently left off a zero….

By: GrandSupercycle Sat, 18 Jun 2011 15:41:12 +0000 My technical analysis indicators continue to warn of significant EURUSD / S&P500 weakness and USD strength.

In short, the EURUSD chart is very bearish.

By: FifthDecade Sat, 18 Jun 2011 15:01:00 +0000 For some reason I am reminded of the markets’ 1992 ejection of the UK from the ERM under Norman Lamont… as long as Lamont promised the pound would be supported, it was worth taking a bet against the currency. Seems like so long as everyone promises to support Greece, the same dynamic could apply.

The funny thing about debt is that when expressed as a percentage, you can halve your debt by doubling the size of your economy; the danger is that higher rates and austerity measures halve the size of the economy but leave the debt alone – which really means it increases as a percentage.

By: Greycap Sat, 18 Jun 2011 10:39:48 +0000 “$40 billion is not huge in terms of derivatives exposure”

That is true if you are confusing notional and exposure. It may even be true if you are confusing current exposure and potential future exposure. Not otherwise.

By: klhoughton Fri, 17 Jun 2011 22:18:53 +0000 You’re getting closer. In fact, your conclusion is denotatively correct. If the Irish government hadn’t made a CF of everything, a Greek default should be managed and manageable.

But they did, and it’s very difficult to argue–from a philosophical perspective, let alone a political one–that the countries that did much more correctly in the run-up to the “Little Depression” (as Dr. DeLong is now calling it) should suffer more than a country that was actually mismanaged.

Any haircut that Greek bondholders suffer is a starting point in the negotiations with the Irish and even the Spanish–both of whose RE bubbles were inflated in no small part by French and German banks whose knowledge of proper risk management practices appears to be on a par with Countrywide’s.

As I said a week or so ago, the correct move (for everyone, in the long term) when the ECB and EU started playing games with Greece would have been for Ireland to announce a haircut to its bondholders and let the market decide.

Sequence counts. Giving Greece a haircut sets a minimum level for what Spain and/or Ireland would expect. But it doesn’t set a maximum.

As I said, I blame the Irish. Had they not immediately Geithnerized their banks, we would be in wind-down phase right now. But given that they did, the negotiations should have started with the Most Solvent Country, not the one least able to deal with “austerity demands.”

There’s a reason FT headlines follow the same pattern: Day 1: Greece restructuring imminent. Day 2: Investors in Spain fear contagion effect of Greek restructuring. Day 3: Oops, They Did It Again.

Meanwhile, there are several French and German banks whose asset markings would make Vikram Pandit proud.