Beliefnet
Rod Dreher

Er, wow:

Bets by some of the same banks that helped Greece shroud its mounting debts may actually now be pushing the nation closer to the brink of financial ruin.
The police in Greece pushed back against demonstrators on Wednesday as unions staged a one-day general strike to protest austerity measures by the government to reduce its deficit.
Echoing the kind of trades that nearly toppled the American International Group, the increasingly popular insurance against the risk of a Greek default is making it harder for Athens to raise the money it needs to pay its bills, according to traders and money managers.
These contracts, known as credit-default swaps, effectively let banks and hedge funds wager on the financial equivalent of a four-alarm fire: a default by a company or, in the case of Greece, an entire country. If Greece reneges on its debts, traders who own these swaps stand to profit.

I know, I know, the banks didn’t hold a gun to the Greek government’s head and force it to borrow all that money. Still, this kind of behavior gives capitalism a bad name, and is likely to have serious repercussions for market regulation.

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