ZeroHedge's new standard for publishing: "too good to check"
The hyperventilating ZeroHedge blog has got its mitts on what it calls a “smoking gun document”. The document purports to show that Greek PM George Papandreou turned down a twenty-billion-euro loan at favourable interest rates sometime back in February this year, and that this will somehow lead to Papandreou being forced to resign.
It doesn’t seem to bother ZeroHedge that “Hayman Private Equity” doesn’t turn up on Google (except for a couple of entries linked to commercial real estate investment). It doesn’t seem to bother them that the company’s listed email address goes to a domain owned by squatters. It doesn’t seem to bother them that a EUR-denominated loan’s being priced against LIBOR (the EUR equivalent is Euribor).
And they don’t seem to think it’s strange that a fund with US$30 billion to chuck around on loans (an amount that would make them easily one of the ten largest private equity groups in the world - so why has nobody ever heard of them?) would be run out of a serviced office. (The address and the fax number both match up with Regus’s serviced office facilities in Boston.)
For christ’s sake, it doesn’t even look legitimate. It looks like a bad MS Paint job. This is made of fail.
Update: Let’s be charitable to ZH for a moment and assume the documents are real. If they are, there’s one interesting possibility - it could be a Greek version of Australia’s Loans Affair of the mid-1970s.
In 1975, the government under Gough Whitlam tried to raise a ridiculously large amount of money (AUD$4 billion) to fund Australian mining development. But instead of tapping the bond markets like a non-crazy country, they went to some random commodities broker named Tirath Khemlani who claimed he could raise a chunk of Arab petrodollars - for a sizable fee, payable in advance.
Khemlani turned out to be a con-artist; the Whitlam government collapsed soon after when they lost control of the parliament.
Occam’s Razor says we’re still looking at a fake document. But hey, if ZeroHedge can speculate wildly on tenuous evidence, so can I.
Update update: The Papandreou papers are forgotten; now ZH is labeling France’s outright purchases of bonds “fascism”. What?