... it seems the rules of the game have changed.
Back when the world was simple and the banks were audacious enough to mark-to-market, a novice speculator like myself could use news of credit events to short banks before the losses were annouced. But even credit agency reps admit, this is no more...
"The recent credit crisis was over a few trillion in bad, mostly US, mortgage debts, with most of that at US banks. Greek debt is $350 billion, with about $270 billion of that spread among just three European countries and their banks. Make no mistake, a Greek default is another potential credit crisis in the making. As noted above, it is not just the writedown of Greek debt; it is the mark-to-market of other sovereign debt.
That would bankrupt the bulk of the European banking system, which is why it is unlikely to be allowed to happen. Just as the Fed (under Volker!) allowed US banks to mark up Latin American debt that had defaulted to its original loan value (and only slowly did they write it down; it took many years), I think the same thing will happen in Europe. Or the ECB will provide liquidity. Or there may be any of several other measures to keep things moving along. But real mark-to-market? Unlikely. "
So although the Greece bailout, Dubai default, and PIIGS bond auction failures all point to bank losses, a speculator will need to be very careful determining the course of action to protect their financial position.