Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Chanos Turns Soft on the "Mother Country"

Fierce short-seller, James Chanos,  who is generally the tough guy when it comes to staring down corporate and government leaders has turned soft when it comes to his "Mother Country." Get a load of what he has to say about the out-of-control spending of the Greek government:
Greece is a different issue. We're not involved. We don't trade sovereign debt, we don't trade CDSes. You know I feel bad for my mother country in that they're going through a lot of austerity now and I actually think that the Prime Minister and his team are doing the right thing. I met with them recently, actually, in Washington [DC] and they gave a pretty rational response to a problem that they, quite frankly, inherited.
You know they came in and discovered the hole in the budget deficit and discovered a lot of the off balance sheet stuff that was not of their doing. And he's taking the politically unpopular step of extending the retirement age and cutting government wages not knowing if it's going to be enough and so far the market is pretty skeptical...
But he gets right back into bashing mode when he discusses the other PIIGS:
I think the Greek government is being more courageous than some of the other western-European governments who aren't addressing these issues and are going to be facing these same problems like Greece down the road. So Greece is a prelude to the problems that a lot of other countries will face that have made promises to their people without the ability to pay for them.

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