Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
how some banks and funds have apparently specifically bet on Greek debt (through CDSs) and have a vested interest in things happening with that debt (altough what exactly is not necessarily clear);
Oh, it's apparently worse than that!
According to Eurointelligence's translation of Der Spiegel's story: 'Greece's debt managers agreed a huge deal with the savvy bankers of US investment bank Goldman Sachs at the start of 2002. The deal involved so-called cross-currency swaps in which government debt issued in dollars and yen was swapped for euro debt for a certain period -- to be exchanged back into the original currencies at a later date.'


'But in the Greek case the US bankers devised a special kind of swap with fictional exchange rates. That enabled Greece to receive a far higher sum than  the actual euro market value of 10 billion dollars or yen. In that way Goldman Sachs secretly arranged additional credit of up to $1 billion [£642m] for the Greeks.'

This credit disguised as a swap didn't show up in the Greek debt statistics. The reporting rules at Eurostat -- the European Commission agency for statistics -- don't comprehensively record transactioins involving financial derivatives:'The Maastricht rules can be circumvented quite legally through swaps,' says a German derivatives dealer.

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Feb 11th, 2010 at 12:28:49 PM EST
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