Category Archives: Juncker

29/6/15: Juncker to Greece: "say ‘yes’ regardless of what the question is"

Ok, folks. I never was a fan of Jean Claude Juncker, the [one of oh so many] European President.

But, honestly, where does one go from this:

Jean-Claude Juncker, the [EU] commission’s president: “I love you deeply - You shouldn’t commit suicide because you’re afraid of dying. You should say ‘yes’ regardless of what the question is.” A “no” vote in the referendum “will mean that Greece is saying no to Europe,” Mr. Juncker said.

Does anyone in Europe believe this to be a reasonable or functional basis for attempting to resolve the crisis? Irrespective of whether you take Greek side or creditors side (I can spot reasonable points on both ends of the argument), how can the above be construed as anything but a wholesale insult by a hopelessly out-of-touch-with-reality apparatchik?

There is really nothing one can add to this, other than convey a deep sense of basic, human, natural sense of horror...

11/6/15: What Markets Are Pricing in Greece-Troika ex-IMF Standoff

Head on collision warning 1: IMF has now left the 'political dialogue' room where Greece and Troika (pardon, Institutions) have been pretending to negotiate a pretence at a solution:

Which brings us to the markets.

CDS-implied probability of default for Greece is now at 82.04%, ahead of Ukraine:
But bond markets seem relatively cool:
Which suggests two things:

  1. Markets still anticipate a deal; but
  2. Markets also push down expected duration / longevity of the deal and, in case of the deal unraveling, they expect lower recovery rates.
This, amidst continued 'warnings' and 'dire warnings' and 'ultimatums' and 'take-it-or-leave' offers and the rest of warring rhetoric is not a good omen for the crisis resolution.

Even Jean-Claude 'The Rubber Chicken of European Politics' Junker seemed to have given his last push to this: and failed...

7/6/15: Another ‘friend’ bites the dust: Juncker on Greece

Despite all the warm and fuzzy feelings for Jean Claude Juncker's allegedly 'humanitarian' view of the Greek crisis, it is now apparent that Athens indeed does not have any friends left in the top echelons of European leadership. Per Reuters reports, Juncker's response to the Greek proposals for dealing with the crisis involved warning that "time was running out to conclude a debt deal to avert a damaging Greek default."

One has to wonder, though, what did Reuters mean (see full report here) by the reference to concluding 'a debt deal', since the Institutions (aka Troika) proposals last week included no deal on debt, as in none, nada, zilch. Only one proposal from last week covered the issue of debt - the Greek Government proposal that Juncker has rejected.

Of course, this is yet another iteration in the crazy game of chicken (or a game of crazy chicken) being played by the Institutions and Greece.

Not surprisingly, the EU dragged out its most 'happy to be seen as doing anything' leader, the EU Council President Donald Tusk, who went on to accuse the government of Greece of not playing fair with the lenders. Note: Poland, from which Tusk hails, did not lend Greece any funds (check the information here: and here:, though of course, Tusk speaks for Europe (or rather the European Council Presidency he holds).

Things are getting dense now, as we head into the second quarter of June and the jumbo payment to the IMF gets closer and closer and closer.