New Bailout Talks Delayed So Creditors Can Find A Secure Location Out Of View Of Greeks Who Hate Their Guts

The mission is proving difficult.
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Talks on tying up a new bailout deal for Greece failed to start on Friday as had been expected, with officials blaming security worries for delaying the negotiations with international creditors who are detested by many Greeks. Greek government officials had said this week that the talks on the third bailout program worth up to 86 billion euros ($94 billion) would start in Athens on Friday after negotiations had previously been held in Brussels - away from the public glare. But representatives of Greece's creditor institutions - the European Commission, the European Central Bank and IMF - said they could not begin until the right location was found, given the talks' sensitivity and the widespread public anger about austerity policies imposed under the first two bailouts. [Reuters]

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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:

Greece Doesn't Need You!

Greece doesn't need any of you! Greece's finance minister on Thursday denied a report citing the country's representative to the IMF as saying Athens would need a third bailout package. The euro weakened against the dollar on the report, which was later also denied by the official quoted in the article and came as international inspectors are mulling handing over the next tranche of Greece's second aid package. "The country's positions are formulated by the Prime Minister and the Finance Minister," Greek Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras told Reuters in response to the Dow Jones/Wall Street Journal report. The article quoted Thanos Catsambas, Alternate Executive Director at the IMF Executive Board representing Greece, as saying the country would need a third bailout from European creditors. It also reported Greece could not bridge a funding gap and had met only 22 percent of targets for the second bailout...Catsambas issued a statement saying the article included "at least three important inaccuracies". [Reuters]