Thursday, 27 October 2011

"Language Arbitrage"?

From Economic Policy Journal:

Guess who got screwed in the 50% haircut?

Those who bought CDS insurance against such a haircut.

The bankster controlled International Swaps and Derivatives Association has ruled that the Greek 50% haircut was "voluntarily" accepted by bondholders so they are entitled to exactly ZERO based on their insurance against such a default.

Of course, this will have nothing to do with banksters not getting paid, if its required. Janet Tavakoli explains that the same thing occurred in 2001 when Argentina defaulted, CDS insurance holders in that default also ended up with zero, when JP Morgan refused to pay off.

But, when JP Morgan was on the other side of the transaction and bought CDS protection against a South Korean Bank, they changed the language of the standard contract so that they would get paid--and did so when the bank went down.

Tavakoli says its called "language arbitrage" by the banksters in the know. The standard contract is written in such a way that most won't get paid off. The top banksters know how the contract will be interpreted if a default occurs and tweak the contract so that they will remain protected. Cute.

Tavakoli's full take is here (Pdf).

1 comment:

Mark Wadsworth said...

same old same old.

Anybody who buys a risky asset like a Greek bond and then buys even flakier insurance deserves every penny he loses.

Logic says, you are better off sticking your money in the building society, you cannot outsmart the people who make the rules, and economics says, the cost of the insurance will usually wipe out the extra interest you were hoping to earn.