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Monday, April 27, 2015 8:55 PM

Sad News For Greece? Will Greece Kiss Troika's Ass?

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I am convinced the best thing for Greece is to tell the troika where to go. And recent events (at least until today) suggested Greece would do just that.

On the other hand, extreme sentiment is usually wrong. It may not be, it just usually is. So please consider the British betting site, William Hill.

Sentiment is so lopsided that the British betting site William Hill No Longer Accepts Bets On Greece.

"No player seems interested in betting that Greece remains in the euro zone until the end of the year."

Greek Capitulation?

Wow. Zero bets is mathematically as lopsided as it gets.

Meanwhile, please consider Tsipras Reshuffles Negotiating Team to Sideline Varoufakis.

Greece’s outspoken finance minister Yanis Varoufakis has been sidelined after three months of fruitless talks with international creditors to unlock €7.2bn in bailout funds, heartening investors and sparking a rally on the Athens stock market.

Eurozone officials said they were encouraged by the move by Alexis Tsipras, Greece’s prime minister, to overhaul his bailout negotiating team in the wake of an acrimonious meeting of eurozone finance ministers in Riga last week.

The shake-up comes as Athens faces questions over whether it can meet this month’s wage and pension bill of nearly €2bn as well as a €750m loan repayment due to the International Monetary Fund on May 12.

The Athens stock market rose nearly 4.4 per cent on the news and borrowing costs on Greece’s July 2017 bonds were down almost 4 percentage points from Friday’s close to 21 per cent. Yields on Greece’s benchmark 10-year bonds were down a full percentage point at 11.4 per cent.

The socialist opposition Pasok party said the government was “emasculating Mr Varoufakis . . . and attempting to send a message to the Europeans and the IMF indicating political will for an agreement”.

While Mr Varoufakis retained his position as finance minister, Euclid Tsakalotos, deputy foreign minister for economic affairs, was appointed coordinator of the new team. The Oxford-educated economist is close to Mr Tsipras and his appointment was seen as an attempt to shield the new team from Mr Varoufakis.

A government official insisted the finance minister would remain involved, heading a new “political negotiating team” and would remain “in the frame of collective decision-making and execution” by the leftwing Syriza-led government.
Negotiation Shuffle

Betting sites and reality are not exactly the same thing.

Yet, given the "negotiation shuffle" the odds Greece is willing to kiss the Troika's ass just moved up quite a bit, even without German Chancellor Angela Merkel injecting herself into the picture.

This is not a good development for Greece in my opinion.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

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