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Greece May Not Complete All Asset Sales

By Reggie Middeleton

Here’s a surprise that many may not have expected, Bloomberg reports Greece May Not Complete All Asset Sales

Greece’s deputy finance minister, Pantelis Economou, said the country won’t manage to sell everything on its list of planned state-asset sales and real- estate developments. “We will sell a lot less than planned,” he told lawmakers yesterday, according to a transcript posted on the Parliament’s website.

Greece aims to raise 50 billion euros ($69 billion) through asset sales and property developments by the end of 2015, part of a package of fiscal measures demanded by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund in exchange for financial support. Parliament approved the measures in two votes at the end of last month…

“Selling state holdings to reduce Greece’s debt is a necessary condition to get what we are entitled to,” Economou told lawmakers. He added that eliminating tax evasion can “buy time” for Greece and help to meet revenue targets through 2015, according to the transcript.

The Finance Ministry announced the board of the agency that’s been set up to supervise the asset sales. The program includes plans to sell stakes in Public Power Corp SA (PPC) and gambling company Opap SA (OPAP), as well as Greece’s two biggest port operators and banks.

Now, here’s the kicker…

 Economou said there isn’t enough investor interest in the assets for sale as “credit default swaps and spreads are the kinds of thing they have their eyes on.” Concrete assets are “riskier,” he said.

Methinks Mr. Economou (what irony is there in an name???) may be missing the forest due to tree bark irritants in his corneas.There will be plenty of investor interest in hard asset sales if said hard asset sales were priced realisitically and with true price discovery enabled. The problem is that that’s just not the case. The proforma asset sales numbers proffered by the Greek government were ridiculously optimistic, and that was before said asset’s market prices tumbled off of a cliff the 2nd and 3rd times. As it stands now, CDS and are easier to price than Greek assets with cooked books. How cooked? Refrerence

  1. Once You Catch a Few EU Countries “Stretching the Truth”, Why Should You Trust the Rest?
  2. Lies, Damn Lies, and Sovereign Truths: Why the Euro is Destined to Collapse!

Now, let’s reference the biting piece that directly addressed and forecasted todays Greek asset sale problems over a year ago, Greece’s Circular Reasoning Challenge Moves From BoomBustBlog to the Mainstream

Full article and source :http://boombustblog.com/BoomBustBlog/Greek-Asset-Sales-Fall-Short-As-We-Virtually-Guaranteed-They-Would-In-Spring-2010.html

Greece Reports: “Circular Reasoning Works Because Circular Reasoning Works” – Or – Here Comes That Default!!!

For all of those who felt I was too bearish on the Euro region in 2009 and 2010, thus far nearly every proclamation that I have made has come to light or shown a direct path to doing so. I believe I was unequivocally clear in my assertion that Greece will default at least a year or so ago (even if said default would be marketed by some other name for the sake of political expediency). I would consider this a must read for anyone in the mainstream media reporting on this topic, or any investor/stakeholder who may fear the Grecian domino effect, even if you feel you have seen some aspects of it before.

Well, now its time to call Greece out on its perversely circular  reasoning being used to justify its alleged stance that it will not default. I read a humorously crafted ZeroHedge article this morning which immediately cause the following image to pop into mind…

For more on the origin of said circle, I first refer you to an article ran yesterday in Bloomberg:

Fitch Cuts Greece to B+, Says Voluntary Maturity Extension Is Default:

Greece’s credit rating was cut three levels by Fitch Ratings, which said that even a voluntary extension of its bond maturities being studied by European Union policy makers would be considered a default.

Fitch cut its rating to B+, four levels below investment grade, from BB+ and said that the country could face a further reduction in its creditworthiness. The yield on Greek 10-year bonds rose 57 basis points to 16.6 percent, more than twice the level of a year ago when Greece accepted an EU-led bailout.

“The rating downgrade reflects the scale of the challenge facing Greece in implementing a radical fiscal and structural reform program necessary to secure solvency of the state and the foundations for sustained economic recovery, Fitch said in an e- mailed statement.

“The B+ rating incorporates Fitch’s expectation that substantial new money will be provided to Greece by the EU and IMF and that Greek sovereign bonds will not be subject to a ‘soft restructuring’ or ‘re-profiling’ that would trigger a ’credit event’ and default rating,” Fitch said.

… “An extension of the maturity of existing bonds would be considered by Fitch to be a default event and Greece and its obligations would be rated accordingly,” Fitch said.

Even if Fitch or other rating companies determined that extending maturities constituted a default, the ruling wouldn’t necessarily trigger credit swaps insuring Greek debt. That decision may be made by the determinations committee of the International Swaps & Derivatives Association.

Yeah, Okay! I guess then maybe when they default it won’t really happen?

The country missed its target for last year, reporting a shortfall of 10.5 percent of gross domestic product, versus a goal of 9.4 percent.

The country missed every target for the last four years. For those who read BoomBustBlog, credibility is done, trust (or the lack thereof) is a wrap – Lies, Damn Lies, and Sovereign Truths: Why the Euro is Destined to Collapse!:

Let’s take a visual perusal of what I am talking about, focusing on those sovereign nations that I have covered thus far.

image005.png

Notice how dramatically off the market the IMF has been, skewered HEAVILY to the optimistic side. Now, notice how aggressively the IMF has downwardly revsied their forecasts to still end up widlly optimistic. image018.png

Ever since the beginning of this crisis, IMF estimates of government balance have been just as bad…

image013.png

The EU/EC has proven to be no better, and if anything is arguably worse!

image031.png

Revisions-R-US!

image044.png

and the EU on goverment balance??? Way, way, way off.

image040.png

If the IMF was wrong, what in the world does that make the EC/EU?

The EC forecasts have been just as bad, if not much, much worse in nearly all of the forecasting scenarios we presented. Hey, if you think tha’s bad, try taking a look at what the govenment of Greece has done with these fairy tale forecasts, as excerpted from the blog post Greek Crisis Is Over, Region Safe”, Prodi Says – I say Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire!

greek_debt_forecast.png

Think about it! With a .5% revisions, the EC was still 3 full points to the optimistic side on GDP, that puts the possibility of Greek government forecasts, which are much more optimistic than both the EU and the slightly more stringent but still mostly erroneous IMF numbers, being anywhere near realistic somewhere between zero and no way in hell (tartarus, hades, purgatory…).

Now, if the Greek government’s macroeconomic assumptions are overstated when compared with EU estimates, and the EU estimates are overstated when compared to the IMF estimates, and the IMF estimates are overstated when compared to reality…. Just who the hell can you trust these days??? Never fear, Reggie’s here. Download our “unbiased, non-captured, empirically driven” forecast of the REAL Greek economy – (subscribers only, click here to subscribe) Greece Public Finances Projections Greece Public Finances Projections 2010-03-15 11:33:27 694.35 Kb. Related banking research can be downloaded here:

Greek Reporter (hat tip to ZeroHedge) reports: Government Finalizes Privatization List

The Greek government will proceed with the acceleration of the privatization of state property and companies, setting a target of at least €15bn by 2015. [Reference the highlights of the BoomBustBlog subscription document below.]
The decisions are expected during the week, probably on Wednesday, at the meeting of the Biministerial Committee on Privatization. The government will finalize a list of companies and property for utilization, which will be presented by Prime Minister George Papandreou to the European leaders in Brussels.
Special Secretary for Privatization G. Christodoulakis and bank representatives have been preparing the content of the list at a meeting yesterday.
National Bank and London-based CC&C Advisors LTD have been assigned the task of financial servicing related to planning, monitoring, coordination and implementation of the restructuring and privatization program.
The Committee will have to approve the award of the of the utilization program to the qualified Greek banks, but also to the consultants who will carry each project.

Sources note that consultants for Athens International Airport have already appointed, while the proposed list includes:
The concession of ports and airports with long-term contracts
• The extension of concession period for Athens International Airport

• The sale of a stake of Public Gas Corporation
• The sale of a 49% stake of Casino Mont Parnes
• The privatization of state lotteries through concessions
• Finding a strategic investor in Hellenic Post
• The sale of a stake of OTE, Hellenic Defense Systems and Larko
• Renewal of OPAP’s licenses
• Licenses for online betting and “slots”
• The concession of Egnatia Odos
• The sale of TRAINOSE
The sale of state stakes in banks (Hellenic Postbank, ATEbank, Consignment and Loans Fund)
• The privatization of water supply companies (EYDAP, EYATH)

This is a tragic Greek comedy. Professional/institutional subscribers should reference the Greece Public Finances Projections Greece Public Finances Projections 2010-03-15 11:33:27 694.35 Kb in its entirety. For those who chose not to subscribe, I am posting excerpts from pages 5 and 6 from said document, don’t read this while eating or drinking for fear of spitting up your lunch!

Full article at source and is well worth the read : http://boombustblog.com/reggie-middleton/2011/05/23/greece-reports-circular-reasoning-works-because-circular-reasoning-works-or-here-comes-that-default/

Comment:

Comment:

This is an excellent article and Reggie is again on the button, all concerned citizens should take note! If only we had such indebt analyzes for the Irish financial situation ,it’s only a matter of time before Ireland will go down the same sorry road to default.

The True Cause Of The 2008 Market Crash……….

The True Cause Of The 2008 Market Crash Looks Like Its About To Rear Its Ugly Head Again, With A Vengeance

By Reggie Middleton

Summary: I said it! Bill Gross said it (and put his money where his mouth was by selling off all US treasuries)! Common sense says it… Central Bank manipulated interest rates are too low. They will rise. What happens when they rise during a supply glut of real estate, foreclosure issues and a slow economy??? Put it this way… What made the markets crash in 2008: unemployment, slow economy, snow… Or real estate prices getting in touch with reality?

As I sit back and contemplate the content and delivery style that would be best suited for my upcoming keynote speech at the ING Real Estate Valuation Conference in Amsterdam (this is my first presentation to a large group where English is not the primary language), I am bombarded with news bits and bytes that confirm what I’ve been modeling, warning, fearing and preparing for – for nearly 2 years. That is almost 23 months to the date. What is it, you ask? It is the market’s return to the adherence of fundamentals and global macro forces versus following the whims of the concerted efforts of central banks around the world to openly manipulate real asset, equity and bond markets on a global basis.

Really, sit back and think about it. Put some thought into figuring out how difficult it is to successfully manipulate real estate (commercial and residential), stock and bond markets in just one major country. Then give the same thought to how difficult it would be to do the same in nearly all of the developed nations who participated in this crisis. The mere attempt to do so has loaded them up with debt at a time of marginal if not negative GDP and economic upside, a disgruntled populace ripe to ripple from the causes of social unrest rising from the rife economic conditions that the aftermath of incessant bubble blowing has wrought, and last but not least – fundamentally overvalued investment markets.

Was it really worth it? Is it going to last? I believe, and am rather confident in this belief, that we will be FORCED to finish what was started in 2008 – and that is the (re)commencement of the down leg of a major asset cycle. We had several concurrent booms (real estate – both residential and commercial, credit, fixed income, and equity) and an incomplete bust that failed to totally let the air out of the bubble. To make matters substantially worse, governments (on a global basis, mind you) wasted the resources of their countries and taxpayers in an attempt to fight the markets and the normal economic cycle by both re-inflating said bubbles (all of them to some extent) while simultaneously indemnifying and pumping full of undeserved capital, the massive agents of leverage which initially were the conduits of the bubble blowing pressure. As a result of being the conduits, they were also the foci of the deleveraging forces that culminated in the bust. These agents, at least a very large portion of them, have proven themselves to be financially incompetent and undeserving to remain as an ongoing concern from an economic perspective. Their political and lobbying clout said otherwise, and they have siphoned capital and staying power from the public sector through regulatory capture and now the poison that was the over-leveraged, “new guard” FIRE sector has now infiltrated entire countries and sovereign nations.

Those who may not follow me may think this is naught but fancy prose on a down day in the markets. Well, I have been preaching this publicly since 2007 and before the markets broke. I have named, on an individual basis and months ahead of the event, those agents that should have fallen – and for the most part did fall if not for massive government intervention, ex. Bear Stearns, Lehman, GGP, Countrywide, WaMu, etc. – see Did Reggie Middleton, a Blogger at BoomBustBlog, Best Wall Streets Best of the Best?, and I am saying now that the last two years of faux, government/central bank “purchased” recovery is simply unsustainable while the majority of the underlying issues that caused 2008 to happen are still present, and most of them are worse now than they were back then.

The market collapse commenced in 2007, and gained momentum in 2008, maximizing its velocity and strength in the 1st quarter of 2009. This collapse was not the result of the indicators that we hear bandied about so often in the mainstream media. It was not borne from stagnating GDP, slow retail sales, lots of snow nor high unemployment. As a matter of fact, all of these factors were literally on fire in 2006 through 2007. The market collapsed because the overinflated real asset market had finally reached its peak. Since this overinflated market was financed primarily with debt, upon its deflation accelerated destruction of equity and capital commenced. Once you lose 10% of market value on a cash investment, you lose 10% of your equity as well. If you are levered 2x, that 10% market drop equated to a 20% wealth loss. 5% downpayment housing deals, equate to deeply negative equity values at a 10% market correction. So, if one were to sit back and realize that 125% LTV (or a negative 25% down) housing deals didn’t just exist, they were relatively plentiful by historical standards, and derivative structures allowed certain corporate players (ex. the monoline insurers) to employ 90x+ leverage, there is no wonder what happened when the housing market dropped 36% and the CRE market dropped 42%. Believe me, dear readers. They are not finished falling.

Then .GOV got into the bubble blowing business, and all of a sudden all is well…

Commercial real estate is literally close to its bubble highs. Hard to believe, but just glance at the chart.

With the US, much of Europe and major portions of Asia stuck in a liquidity trap borne from a developed reliance on unsustainably low and highly manipulated interest rates, the direction of yields really have no way to go but up. If I am correct in that plunging real assets brought upon the recession and associated market collapses, and manipulated interest rates worldwide have no where to go but up while said real asset prices have been artificially elevated at levels that defy the fundamentals, then what happens if when said rates break  the chains of their erstwhile wanna be masters and resume their march to the north?

Gross Dumping Treasuries Leads Managers Calling Three-Decade Rally’s End

“It’s not a question of dissing the United States or questioning the credit of the United States, but simply a maturity reflection,” Gross said. Treasurys are “mispriced relative to the inflationary environment and the growth we see ahead and there are better alternatives in order to capture yield.”

Gross primarily based his evaluation on the reduction in yields caused by the Federal Reserve’s buying of close to $2 trillion in Treasurys, with more slated before the second leg of the program—often called QE 2—comes to an end.

 

“When a trillion and a half dollars worth of annualized purchasing power disappears I simply question as to who will buy them and at what yield,” he said. “We’re suggesting at these yields it might be problematic.”

Anybody who has the least bit of doubt regarding this assertion needs to read this article immediately: As excerpted…

As you can see above, CRE drops in value whenever yields spike more than the + delta in NOI. Looking below, you can see that US CRE actually runs to the inverse of the 30 year Treasury.

That visual relationship is corroborated by running the statistical correlations…

The relationship is obvious and evident! In addition, we have been in a Goldilocks fantasy land for both interest rates and CRE for about 30 years. CRE culminated in the 2007 bubble pop, but was reblown by .gov policies and machinations. The same with rates. Ever hear of NEGATIVE interest rates where YOU have to PAY someone to LEND THEM MONEY!!!

So, BoomBustBloggers, where do YOU think rates are going to go from here? Up of Down???

Put simply, residential mortgages become less affordable leading to housing becoming less affordable. Cap rates skyrocket, save a commensurate increase in NOI, which I really don’t see happening in an era of rampant unemployment and stagnant economic growth.

What many may not realize is that the housing market and the CRE are inextricably linked. The 10 city Case Shiller index and the CoStar US Cap Rate Index have a startly -94% correlation. That’s as close to perfectly symmetrical as one can expect to get (lower cap rates mean higher prices, and vice versa, while higher Case Shiller numbers mean higher prices). If CRE and residential real estate are really that tightly correlated, then realize what we are in for in terms of residential real estate, besides higher interest rates.

In preparation for the ING conference, I have codified and modeled all of the various elements that I discuss on BoomBustBlog, namely the import and export of financial, economic and sovereign risk contagion. We adjust the pathways of apparent pure financial contagion and correlation with a plethora of real world factors.

Then we plugged them into our proprietary cross-exposure model, and then used global cap rate analysis to transform said risks into a spread over the risk free rate of each respective county, and finally plugged said figures into individual discounted NOI style models. I went into the process in a little more depth here: The Coming Interest Rate Volatility, Sovereign Contagion, Geo-political Unrest & Double-Dip Recessions: Here’s The Answer To Valuing Global Real Estate Through This Mess.

We back tested the results with regression analysis, and the accuracy of the results shocked even me – and I’m a pretty confident fellow…

It would appear that we are on to something here… That is, unless… You know, “This time is different!” I will go into this topic depth (and in English) in Amsterdam on April 8th. Anybody interested in attending should contact Jacob at the following link: www.seminar.ingref.com.

source:http://boombustblog.com/

Comment.

Lies, Damn Lies, and Sovereign Truths: Why the Euro is Destined to Collapse!

If this article goes viral around the web, I wouldn’t be surprised if the euro tanks and several European sovereign states’ spreads blow out. I have busted several of them in another of a long series of “creative” economic forecasting schemes to fudge the appearance of “austerity”. 

Well, its official (sort of). Greece, a Greek Crisis Is Over, Region Safe”, Prodi Says – I say Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire!member of the European Union, will probably join the ranks of countries like Latvia (where policies are limited by the choice of the currency regime), Iceland (where the crisis has resulted in a very heavy external debt burden), the Ukraine (which is still affected by financial and political fragility) and a bevy of third world and emerging market countries in distress from the (not very) esteemed club of IMF financial aid recipients. What does this portend for the Euro? Well, I have blogged earlier in the year that the Euro’s credibility is now highly suspect and those pundits who dared contemplate the Euro potentially replacing the dollar as the global reserve currency now see the folly of their ways. The chances of a break-up are significantly higher and quite realistic. Credit Agricole’s currency strategist puts it succinctly:

“If Greece goes with the IMF, that says something terrible about the political process within Europe,” said Stuart Bennett, a senior foreign-exchange strategist at Credit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank in London. “This undermines any confidence in the currency.”

Greece will probably end up defaulting on their debt, with or without the aid of the IMF, and they will probably have good company with several other EU members. I say so, and so does UBS Economist Donovan.

“I think it’s in an impossible situation,” said Donovan, who is based in London, in an interview with Bloomberg Radio today. “Europe has failed to clear its first serious hurdle. If Europe can’t solve a small problem like this, how on earth is it going to solve the larger problem, which is the euro doesn’t work. It’s a bad idea.”

How dare I make such a proclamation? Well, because I am telling the truth based upon facts and the many forecasts from the various sovereign nations are basically based upon lies, fiction and farce! As it is look at how the market is viewing the Greek tragedy:

European governments have yet to agree on how to fund any rescue for Greece, which says it will struggle to pay its debts at current market interest rates. While Prime Minister George Papandreou announced a 4.8 billion euro ($6.4 billion) austerity package on March 3, the extra yield that investors demand to hold Greek debt over German counterparts has since risen.

The spread was at 324 basis points today compared with 316 points at the start of the month. The euro fell 1 percent today to $1.3358, extending its decline this year to 6.7 percent.

I am willing to bet the “market” has not taken a strong, hard, objective look at those proposed austerity measures and uncovered the secrets that I am about to reveal. If they have, these spreads would have been blown out much wider. 

A German finance official said yesterday that both countries may agree to involve the IMF. Papandreou said March 19 that Greece, which needs to sell about 10 billion euros ($13.4 billion) of bonds in coming weeks, is a step away from not being able to borrow and may need to turn to the IMF if European aid isn’t forthcoming.

Europe’s fiscal crisis shows the need for the euro region to create a common fiscal policy, former U.K. Chancellor of the Exchequer Norman Lamont said in an interview in London today.

“That would be the logical step,” Lamont said. “I don’t think they are prepared to do that, and without doing that I think the euro is a contradiction, a currency without a state.”

Bingo! The man hit the point right on the head. There are too many chiefs and not enough Indians.

I want to visually and verbally demonstrate what an absolute joke European economic estimates have been throughout this crisis, and more importantly how politicians and sovereign states are interpreting this joke in such a way that can deliver a punch line that can most assuredly end in sever global recession, or worse. This document/blog post alone should serve to sink the Euro and blow out CDS spreads for several European sovereign. Why? Because the truth hurts and the truth is not what has been coming from European sovereign states as of late.

The IMF and the EU have been consistently and overtly optimistic from the very beginning of this crisis. Their numbers have been dramatically over the top on the super bright, this will end pretty, rosy scenario side – and that is after multiple revisions to the downside!!! We can visit the US concept of regulatory capture (see How Regulatory Capture Turns Doo Doo Deadly  and Lehman Brothers Dies While Getting Away with Murder: Regulatory Capture at its Best) for the EU, but due to time constraints we will save that topic for a later date. To make matters even worse, the sovereign states have taken these dramatically optimistic and proven unrealistic projections and have made even more optimistic and dramatically unrealistic projections on top of those in order to create the illusion of a workable “austerity” plan when in reality there is no way in hell the stated and published plans will come anywhere near reducing the debts and deficits as advertised – No Way in Hell (Hades/Tartarus/Anao/Uffern/Peklo/Niffliehem – just to cover some of the Euro states caught fudging the numbers)!

Let’s take a visual perusal of what I am talking about, focusing on those sovereign nations that I have covered thus far.


Notice how dramatically off the market the IMF has been, skewered HEAVILY to the optimistic side.  Now, notice how aggressively the IMF has downwardly revsied their forecasts to still end up widlly optimistic.

Ever since the beginning of this crisis, IMF estimates of government balance have been just as bad…


The EU/EC has proven to be no better, and if anything is arguably worse!

 
 

 

Revisions-R-US!


and the EU on goverment balance??? Way, way, way off. 


If the IMF was wrong, what in the world does that make the EC/EU?

The EC forecasts have been just as bad, if not much, much worse in nearly all of the forecasting scenarios we presented. Hey, if you think tha’s bad, try taking a look at what the govenment of Greece has done with these fairy tale forecasts, as excerpted from the blog post


Think about it! With a .5% revisions, the EC was still 3 full points to the optimistic side on GDP, that puts the possibility of Greek  government forecasts, which are much more optimistic than both the EU and the slightly more stringent but still mostly erroneous IMF numbers, being anywhere near realistic somewhere between zero and no way in hell (tartarus, hades, purgatory…).

Now, if the Greek government’s macroeconomic assumptions are overstated when compared with EU estimates, and the EU estimates are overstated when compared to the IMF estimates, and the IMF estimates are overstated when compared to reality…. Just who the hell can you trust these days???

 source link http://boombustblog.com/reggie-middleton/2010/03/14/qgreek-crisis-is-over-region-safeq-prodi-says-i-say-liar-liar-pants-on-fire/
 

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