Friday, March 05, 2010

Jawohl Mein Hauptbannfuhrer!

Word on the Street is that Germany will not lend Greece one cent - so says the German finance minister.
A snippet has reached me, however, that a " cash for asset" deal might be done.
You may recall that one of the other times the Banks got it completely wrong about sovereign debt, the only way to solve it was for the Banks to take over part of the infrastructure of the defaulting country. This was known as a menu, and would include eg the electric company for a $billion or so - things were much cheaper then.
Of course, this suited the defaulting countries perfectly. A year or two down the line the government would change, usually non-democratically,and the new government would re-nationalise whatever it had previously swapped. In the meantime, the taxpayers in the western banks had effectively paid the sovereign debt off, because it was written off by the banks on day 1, hence a fall in profits, hence no tax payable. Very neat whirligig.
So we are probably fast approaching a similar situation. A little bird tells me that Germany and Greece may be discussion the sale and leaseback of Corfu. In fact, this won't raise that much cash because Germans own most of Corfu ( along with Majorca, Crete etc etc) already.
What it does do, I think, is point out how far Germany's desire for " Lebensraum" has moved in the last 70 years or so.

After all, the last time they wanted a bit of space they didn't sign a cheque - they launched Barbarossa.
I have to say, I can't think that all the stunning blond girl's hearts will beat as fast for a chap signing an enormous cheque as for a Panzer Kommandant.
Mind you, you never know....

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