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Can You Believe It’s Been Five Years Since That First Greek Bailout?

Happy 5 Year anniversary, first Greek bailout!
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Wasn't supposed to be happening because WE FIXED IT.

Do you, like the ECB, IMF and 80 million Germans, have a nagging grinding sense of déjà vu over this whole Greece thing? This awful feeling that, damnit, we’ve been here before and FIXED IT? But still it seems that nothing has been accomplished? If so, it’s probably because we have, and haven't.

When Europe and the International Monetary Fund first agreed to bail Greece out on May 2, 2010, the plan was to return Greece to growth and bond markets within three years.

Instead, after half a decade and €245 billion ($274 billion) in promised loans, the two sides have reached an impasse….

Without fresh aid, Greece faces default on its international debts in July, when heavy bond repayments loom, if not sooner….

“Our creditors are monsters. They want to get everything,” said Despina Preveredou, a retired doctor from Athens who voted for Syriza. Like many of the party’s supporters, she said she wants to see Mr. Tsipras stand his ground and resist harsh measures—and has full faith that he will.

Five Years After First Bailout, Greece Back on the Brink [WSJ]


By myself (Own work) [Copyrighted free use], via Wikimedia Commons

Greeks Too Numb To Celebrate Bailout End

Plus, it’s not like it’s really over or anything.

This Is Really Only The "Second" Greek Bailout?

If you're into Greece you've probably already read all about it and if you're not I can't make you. But in brief: Greece is fixed and we will NEVER HEAR ABOUT ANY PROBLEMS EVER AGAIN. In less brief: (1) Some folks stayed up all night and produced a statement. (2) Greece's private creditors will be offered the long-anticipated opportunity to voluntarily exchange their old bonds for new bonds, which will for the most part be the same as the old bonds except for minor differences including but not limited to a greatly extended maturity (to 2042), a 53.5% reduced face amount, and a 3.6% blended interest rate. (3) If they don't voluntarily exchange, which they will because - hilariously - they've already taken accounting writedowns (and also because I guess it's better than a disorderly default), private holders will get CAC'ed, which may or may not be as bad as it sounds, but in any case at least CDS will pay out, unless it doesn't. (4) Also the public sector will do various helpful, confusing things. (5) In exchange for this, Greece will enact horrible austerity, and because no one believes that Greece will actually do that, there will be escrow accounts and what Reuters ominously calls "permanent surveillance by an increased European presence on the ground." (6) Everyone is pretty sure we'll be doing this again in six months and, look, just fair warning, I will not be writing about it then, because feh. We haven't had a serious international bankruptcy, which this pretty much is, since I started paying attention to the financial markets, two months ago, so I mostly think about insolvency from a US bankruptcy law perspective. One thing that happens in bankruptcy is that, like, really really roughly speaking, the creditors stop being creditors and become the owners. This isn't always the case but the basic playbook of US bankruptcy law is:

Greeks Might Just Pull This Thing Out

"Some promising things have happened."