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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Does a Greek Default Threaten U.S. Banks ?

Hell yes, says Motley Fool Blogger imyoung, in the post Eurozone U.S.Bank Exposure - Take Two,  to the tune of about $37.B.

How much of that consists of CDS's-Credit Default Swaps, dubbed  'Weapons of Financial Mass Destruction'  by Warren Buffett--who knows ? And why should we care ?

Glad you asked.
...if Greece were to default, the direct losses would be 93.5% for European creditors and only 5% for US creditors but 56% of the default insurance pay outs would come from US banks and insurance companies and only 43% from European institutions. With a partial default, the CDS contracts do not become due. With a Greek default, they will have to be honored. Perhaps the Eurozone members’ ‘dithering’ and lack of alacrity to get Greece’s debt issue resolved to our governments satisfaction means the Eurozone members are secretly preparing for a Greek default. That choice would be easier on the taxpayers of the Eurozone, especially the Germans. For the average Greek, there will be no happy ending regardless of road taken.   
For Investopedia's background article on CDS, check out this link.

For info on European banks' exposure to Greek debt, check out this article in THE (UK) GUARDIAN.

For info on Canadian banks' exposure to Greek debt, check out this article in THE (TORONTO) STAR.

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