What is truth?

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With talk that Greek banks have hit their emergency lending limit with the ECB (which has prompted a teleconference this morning among ECB polcy-makers), it seems the newly-found position of negotiating strength for Greece (perhaps encouraged by China or Russia behind the scenes) has prompted more demands:

  • GREECE’S SYRIZA CHIEF ECONOMIST JOHN MILIOS PROPOSES OVERALL EURO ZONE DEBT OVERHANG REDUCTION BY ECB 
  • ECB COULD BUY ALL EURO ZONE DEBT MATURING IN 2016-2020 AND ALL INTEREST PAYMENTS-SYRIZA’S MILIOS
  • ECB WOULD FOOT THE BILL NOW, BUT BY 2040 IT WOULD BE ABLE TO ERASE ALL LOSSES THROUGH PROFIT RETENTION-MILIOS

Roughly translated – “Get back to work, Mr.Draghi” and monetize all of Europe’s debt. With negative net issuance (i.e. central banks already monetizing over 100% of 2015’s expected issuance) already here, this demand merely pushes the ‘independent’ monetary policymakers to enable more fiscal profligacy.

 

Greek bank liquidity running dry…

The ECB moved Greek banks onto ELA last week after it ended a waiver on the quality of the nation’s debt it accepts as collateral amid doubts that the newly elected government will conclude its aid program.

 

Greek banks have almost exhausted the 59.5 billion euros granted by the ECB, Skai Television reported yesterday, without saying how it got the information.

And so ECB policymakers are discussing what to do next… (as Reuters reports)

European Central Bank policymakers held a telephone conference on Thursday concerning the provision of Emergency Liquidity Assistance (ELA) to banks in Greece, two people familiar with the matter told Reuters.

 

The ECB has authorised Greece’s national central bank to provide the country’s lenders with some 60 billion euros ($68.08 billion) in ELA, people familiar with the matter have said, but this requires regular approval from the ECB’s Governing Council.

 

The ECB declined to comment, when asked about the telephone conference.

 

ELA provision is critical to the fate of Greece’s banks, and in turn the country’s fate, after the ECB cancelled its acceptance of Greek bonds in return for funding last week.

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The question is – does The ‘independent’ ECB play hard ball and squeeze Greek banks by withholding more funding to aid Eurogropup negotiations into Monday? For now, Greek bank bonds and stocks are notably higher (for what reason is anyone’s guess)…

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