Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Greek Bond "Haircut" Appears Set

      While markets were disappointed earlier that it appears that there will be no finalized agreement, with no concrete numbers likely coming out of today's Euro summit, there is now some relief that it appears set that there will be a 50 percent writedown of Greek debt.

     The only question still in doubt in this regard is what to do with Greek's remaining 50 percent of bond debt( $284.9 billion dollars).

     "Indications are that the remainder will be divided into a cash sweetener, Greek Sovereign paper and paper from the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF), the name of the currency zone's bailout fund. The exact mix remains to be determined and remains a key point of debate."

     "Indications are that the deal on a writedown—or "haircut" in current parlance—bears no resemblance to the original 21 percent PSI haircut, but will remain voluntary, though this word's meaning is becoming increasingly fuzzy, sources said."

      50 percent is actually the number that realists had been asking for a long time-21 percent was not going to do it.

     As to the deal coming out of today's summit: "Prospects for a comprehensive deal to resolve the euro zone debt crisis at a summit on Wednesday had begun to look dim, with deep disagreement remaining on critical aspects of the potential agreement, including how to give the region's bailout fund greater firepower."

    "While there appears to be broad consensus on the need for around 110 billion euros ($150 billion) to be injected into the European banking system to help it withstand a potential Greek debt default and wider financial contagion, there is little clarity on either of the other two critical parts of the plan."

     "Aside from the Greek writedown, any agreement would hopefully involve scaling up the region's 440 billion euro EFSF."

     "European Union leaders will consider two methods for scaling up the EFSF, one by using it to offer guarantees to purchasers of new euro zone debt, and the other using part of its capacity to set up a special purpose investment vehicle that would attract money from sovereign wealth funds and other investors to buy debt."

     Or they could agree on both options. In any case there appears to be some progress here, though, as you expect with the EU, it is a slow progress.





  1. The market may have gotten ahead of itself a little with the rally last week. There is a long road ahead for Greece and Europe in general. There will be plenty of opportunities for this plan to fall off the rails in the coming months.

  2. Maybe. I won't pretend I can see with perfect foresight all the possible casuality of the deal.

    However the fact that they have agreed to a 50 percent writeoff of the bonds and to quadruple the EFSF has to be a very positive development.