Friday, March 9, 2012

Greek Restructuring a Relief, but No Panacea

Wall Street Journal
March 9, 2012

Greece said Friday it received the consent of enough of its creditors to push ahead with an historic €200 billion ($266 billion) debt restructuring that will provide fast relief for the debt-strapped nation, but isn't likely to end its epic financial problems.

The restructuring will cut some €100 billion from the face value of Greece's holdings. Yet, the country remains mired in a long recession; unemployment is at 21%; and even after the write-off, the debt level is well in excess of a year's economic output.

"Their problems are much greater than the solution that is in front of them," says Pawan Malik of Navigant Capital in London. "Greece's ability to come back to the market as a functioning and solvent sovereign is very doubtful."

Markets aren't hopeful, and that suggests that Greece may face another restructuring—one that could well hit taxpayers of the countries that have been its rescuers.


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