Sunday, April 3, 2016

The IMF, Greece, and a Leak

It's an event that may.....or may not have occurred.....a meeting between Paul Thomsen (chief of the IMF Europe group) and Delia Velculescu (head of the IMF team in Greece).  It was done via phone or video-teleconferencing, and you are led to believe that someone in the background recorded the episode, transcribed it, and later....helped the WikiLeaks people get their hands on it.

This conversation has to deal with Greece which is not doing that great with it's bailout plan, which the Germans, the EU, and the IMF has been a part of.

The conversation reaches this point where the two IMF bosses agree that a manufactured event will occur by July (likely hitting a hot and miserable period weeks before in June), and Greece will be finally getting to a default point.

At that point, if you believe the conversation.....the Germans will be under intense pressure to force Greece into a corner and achieve what the IMF people want.....massive restructuring of their state budget program.  Then in the heat of this whole thing.....the vote in England will occur over them possibly leaving the EU.

This transcript got out yesterday, and the Greeks are pretty mad about the whole thing.  They assume it's completely true.  The IMF?  They won't confirm any of this is true OR false.

The heart of this matter?  It's a 86-billion Euro loan to Greece (100-billion dollars American).

You could also stir in the problem of austerity.  If you even whisper 'austerity' to a Greek.....they start going into fits and waving their hands around in the air.  They see it as a failure upon their nation and frankly.....they've suffered enough.

The IMF wants to force the EU and German hand on this whole thing....make Greece swallow the austerity pill and suffer for several years while the economy recovers.  In their mind, everything discussed by Greece so far.....just consumes the 86-billion Euro, and in a few years.....brings them back to the table for more money because they can't pay the debt back or recover.

A logical guy, without much known on Greece would ask 'what the heck is going on here'?

It's a country that you really ought to go and visit.  The landscape, the history, the culture, the food, and the charm will all captivate you.  Greeks, after the Singapore crowd, at least in my mind....are the nicest people in the world.

But for decades....they found tens of thousands of ways to avoid paying taxes, understate profit, spend government tax revenue recklessly, and make various expensive promises to the public to gain votes.  They've been mostly bankrupt for a decade....surviving all various loans and gimmicks.  The 2004 Athens Olympics was the last bit of effort to empty out the cash reserves and put them on a path to ruin.

From a personal view?  This leaked conversation leads me to think that a fair amount of economic weakness will be demonstrated against Germany and the EU within 120 days.  I'm not a rocket-scientist but I'd take a guess that stock markets around the world will take heat and lose at least three to five percent of their value.

As for Greece stopping this mess by knowing the over the leaked conversation?  How?  They aren't interested in any real cuts to their budget, or any austerity ideas.  So, they can be as angry as they desire....demanding various IMF people be fired or removed from this episode.....but obviously the IMF knows that there's a end-point and it's in July of 2016.

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