Saturday, March 03, 2012

ISDA Ignores CDS Trigger From Greek Default

There are no surprises in the transition from the rule of law to the rule of money.  Those who possess money decide how contract law will be interpreted and enforced.  The ISDA determined that Greece's debt exchange with forced principal cramdowns and term alterations does not constitute a default.  This gross misreading of CDS terms is purely intentional.  This will prove fortunate for some counterparties whose CDS payouts will not be triggered.

There is no need to wonder why some international financial leaders are supremely confident that Greece's bond swap will succeed.  They had little doubt that the ISDA would render a friendly decision.  There is little doubt that global financial elites will keep ignoring rules and laws they find inconvenient.

Consider how American policyholders would feel if insurance companies decided that this week's losses from storms and tornadoes did not constitute loss events.  The insurance companies, in a nation subject to the rule of law, would face class action lawsuits from aggrieved homeowners who would win big settlements.  In neofeudalism, the insurance companies would survive because the losses are limited to a small number of policyholders in politically unimportant areas.  The insurers would also be able to send goons to threaten any policyholders who complain.

The ISDA's decision is not far removed from something a king would do to a feudal subject just for sport.  Expect more lawlessness from financiers who pay to write laws.