Earlier today, we learned that, contrary to what Greek government officials had been implying for the better part of a week, Athens did not have enough money to make a €750 million payment to the IMF on Tuesday. Instead, Greeceborrowed most of the money (€650 million according to unnamed officials) from its IMF SDR reserves. This money must be paid back within 30 days. This effectively means that the IMF paid itself and it sets up a hilariously absurd scenario wherein assuming Greece manages to convince creditors to disburse a €7.2 billion tranche of aid later this month, the IMF will send money to Greece, who will send it right back to the IMF to replenish an IMF fund, which was drawn down by the IMF to pay itself back for money it loaned to Greece a long time ago. Put simply: Greece has taken circular funding schemes to a whole new level.
Meanwhile, the IMF is understandably fed up and according to El Mundo, the Fund will not participate in a new program for the Greeks, something which German FinMin Wolfgang Schaeuble indicated may be a dealbreaker when it comes to structuring another bailout for Athens.
The takeaway: it’s likely over. Greece lacks the cash to keep up the facade and the IMF lacks the political will to perpetuate the farce any further. This suggests that both Greece and the creditors formerly known as the “Troika” will need to resort to Plan B. There’s a problem with that however — namely that EU officials have gone out of their way to make it clear that there is no Plan B, because to admit that such a plan existed would be to admit that the euro is in fact dissoluble after all, something which is taboo in polite discussions among European politicians. Here is but one example, via Reuters:
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