The political class and Central Banks are unable resolve debt issues in any meaningful way

Yesterday we assessed how elements of the financial media are either unbelievably lazy or completely complicit in helping to maintain the illusion of success for the Centralized powers (large governments and Central Banks).

Today we move on to addressing how the political class and Central Banks are unable resolve debt issues in any meaningful way.

Going into its financial crisis in 2009, Greece had a GDP of $341 billion. To put this into perspective, it’s roughly the size of the state of Maryland. Greek debt was roughly $370 billion that year, giving Greece a Debt to GDP ratio of about 108%.

It’s a strikingly small amount of money for a collective economy of nearly $18 trillion (the EU). Indeed, Greece contributes only 2% of the EU’s total GDP. And yet, the ECB working with the IMF has not been able to resolve Greece’s issues.

Let’s let that simmer for a bit…

A Central Bank, working with the IMF was unable to resolve a debt issue for a country that comprises less than 2% of the economy of which the Central Bank is in charge.

How is this possible?

First and foremost, the ECB had little if any interest in Greece’s well-being as an economy. For the ECB, the “Greek issue” was really more of a “large European bank issue.” In that regard, the ECB was focused on one thing.

That issue is collateral.

What is collateral?

Collateral is an underlying asset that is pledged when a party enters into a financial arrangement.  It is essentially a promise that should things go awry, you have some “thing” that is of value, which the other party can get access to in order to compensate them for their losses.

For large European banks, EU nation sovereign debt (such as Greek sovereign bonds) is the senior-most collateral backstopping hundreds of trillions of Euros worth of derivative trades.

This story has been completely ignored in the media. But if you read between the lines, you will begin to understand what really happened during the last two Greek bailouts.


1)   Before the second Greek bailout, the ECB swapped out all of its Greek sovereign bonds for new bonds that would not take a haircut.

2)   Some 80% of the bailout money went to EU banks that were Greek bondholders, not the Greek economy.

Regarding #1, going into the second Greek bailout, the ECB had been allowing European nations and banks to dump sovereign bonds onto its balance sheet in exchange for cash. This occurred via two schemes called LTRO 1 and LTRO 2, which were launched on December 2011 and February 2012 respectively.

Collectively, these moves resulted in EU financial entities and nations dumping over €1 trillion in sovereign bonds onto the ECB’s balance sheet.

Quite a bit of this was Greek debt, as everyone in Europe knew that Greece was totally bankrupt.

So, when the ECB swapped out its Greek bonds for new bonds that would not take a haircut during the second Greek bailout, the ECB was making sure that the Greek bonds on its balance sheet remained untouchable and as a result could still stand as high grade collateral for the banks that had lent them to the ECB.

So the ECB effectively allowed those banks that had dumped Greek sovereign bonds onto its balance sheet to avoid taking a loss… and not have to put up new collateral on their trade portfolios.

Which brings us to the other issue surrounding the second Greek bailout: the fact that 80% of the money went to EU banks that were Greek bondholders instead of the Greek economy.

Here again, the issue was about giving money to the banks that were using Greek bonds as collateral, to insure that they had enough capital on hand.

Piecing this together, it’s clear that the Greek situation actually had nothing to do with helping Greece. Forget about Greece’s debt issues, or protests, or even the political decisions… the real story was that the bailouts were all about insuring that the EU banks that were using Greek bonds as collateral were kept whole by any means possible.

This is why the ECB and the IMF failed to “fix” Greece. Indeed, the below chart makes it plain that all of the bailouts didn’t actually do anything to solve Greece’s debt problems: the country’s external debt has actually barely budged since 2010!


Note that after a brief dip in 2011-2012, Greece’s external debts rose right back to where they were in 2010 at the beginning of the debt crisis. Moreover, because Greek GDP dropped along with its debt levels in 2011-2012, the country’s Debt to GDP ratio has effectively flat-lined.


In short… neither of the first two bailouts actually solved ANYTHING for Greece from a debt perspective. Between this and the collateral discussion from earlier, the evidence is clear: the ECB has no interest in fixing Greece’s problems. Both bailouts were nothing but a backdoor means of funneling money to the large European banks using Greek debt as collateral on their derivatives trades!

Another Crisis is brewing. It’s already hit Greece and it will be spreading throughout the globe in the coming months. Smart investors are taking steps to prepare now, before it hits.

If you’ve yet to take action to prepare for this, we offer a FREE investment report called the Financial Crisis “Round Two” Survival Guide that outlines simple, easy to follow strategies you can use to not only protect your portfolio from it, but actually produce profits.

We are making 1,000 copies available for FREE the general public

We are currently down to the last 25.

To pick up yours, swing by….

Best Regards

Phoenix Capital Research



Disclaimer: The information contained on this website is for marketing purposes only. Nothing contained in this website is intended to be, nor shall it be construed as, investment advice by Phoenix Capital Research or any of its affiliates, nor is it to be relied upon in making any investment or other decision. Neither the information nor any opinion expressed on this website constitutes and offer to buy or sell any security or instrument or participate in any particular trading strategy. The information in the newsletter is not a complete description of the securities, markets or developments discussed. Information and opinions regarding individual securities do not mean that a security is recommended or suitable for a particular investor. Prior to making any investment decision, you are advised to consult with your broker, investment advisor or other appropriate tax or financial professional to determine the suitability of any investment. 

Opinions and estimates expressed on this website constitute Phoenix Capital Research's judgment as of the date appearing on the opinion or estimate and are subject to change without notice. This information may not reflect events occurring after the date or time of publication. Phoenix Capital Research is not obligated to continue to offer information or opinions regarding any security, instrument or service. 

Information has been obtained from sources considered reliable, but its accuracy and completeness are not guaranteed. Phoenix Capital Research and its officers, directors, employees, agents and/or affiliates may have executed, or may in the future execute, transactions in any of the securities or derivatives of any securities discussed on this email. 

Past performance is not necessarily a guide to future performance and is no guarantee of future results. Securities products are not FDIC insured, are not guaranteed by any bank and involve investment risk, including possible loss of entire value. Phoenix Capital Research, OmniSans Publishing LLC and Graham Summers shall not be responsible or have any liability for investment decisions based upon, or the results obtained from, the information provided. 

Phoenix Capital Research is not responsible for the content of other websites or emails to which this one may be linked and reserves the right to remove such links. OmniSans Publishing LLC and the Phoenix Capital Research Logo are registered trademarks of Phoenix Capital Research. Phoenix Capital Management, Inc.
What Happens When the Everything Bubble Bursts?
  • By trying to corner the bond market (risk-free rate)
  • the Fed has created a bubble in everything
  • Reserve your copy of our Executive Summary
  • To prepare for what's coming down the pike!