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Greece needs plans for growth, not eurozone exit

Katsikas, Dimitris, (2012), ‘Greece needs plans for growth, not eurozone exit’,, 23 March. The second bail-out agreement for Greece has been hailed by the political elites in Europe and the parties of the Greek governing coalition as a historic achievement that paves the way for the country’s return to normalcy. Nonetheless, as soon as it was signed, a number of analysts criticised it as insufficient and predicted that in …Read More

The Logic and Fairness of Greece’s Program

Blanchard, Olivier, (2012), ‘The Logic and Fairness of Greece’s Program’,, 20 March. Some countries have been able to work down heavy public debt burdens. Those that were successful did it through sustained high growth. But in Greece’s case, it had become clear that high growth—let alone sustained high growth—was not going to come soon enough.   

What Is It About Greece?

Stevis, Matina, (2012), ‘What Is It About Greece?’,, 9 March. The Greek debt restructuring, now in its final stretch, is “being as closely watched as a U.S. presidential election,” a market participant quips. But, why, one might ask, are people prepared to put themselves through the process of memorizing acronyms, learning about complicated legal maneuvers and following what has been an exhausting process, if they’re not getting paid to do …Read More

The Threats to Greece’s Debt Deal

Stevis, Matina, (2012), ‘The Threats to Greece’s Debt Deal’,, 7 January. The process of imposing losses to private-sector holders of Greek debt–known as private-sector involvement or PSI–has dogged policy-makers for months. If the Greek finance minister is to be taken at his word, the first large-scale restructuring of sovereign debt of the euro area is nigh.

Greece: Quo vadis?

Darvas, Zsolt, (2011), ‘Greece: Quo vadis?’,, 17 September. German Vice-Chancellor and Economics Minister Philipp Rösler broke a long period of silence about a possible Greek default by saying that all ptions are to be considered.Several finance ministries in the eurozone started to assess its implications. The ‘troika’ — the delegation composed of the IMF, European Commission and European Central Bank officials — has recently left Athens without an agreement. …Read More

Debt Buybacks and Backdoor Restructurings: Can Greece Pull an Ecuador?

Levy-Yeyati, Eduardo, (2011), ‘Debt Buybacks and Backdoor Restructurings: Can Greece Pull an Ecuador?’,, 29 July. The latest European package includes, as a way to lighten Greece´s heavy debt burden, a debt buyback: the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) would lend the money for Greece to buy back its own bonds in the secondary market at a discount, imposing a loss on private creditors while avoiding an outright default.

A Greek Catch-22

Levy-Yeyati, Eduardo, (2011), ‘A Greek Catch-22‘,, 27 July. Desperate times bring desperate measures. The latest package to cope with Greece’s insolvency offers a bond buyback to lighten the country’s debt burden. In essence, this is a back-door debt restructuring: Europe’s bailout fund, the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) would lend the money for Greece to buy back its own debt in the secondary market at deep discounts, thereby imposing …Read More

Choices for Greece, All of Them Daunting

Cowen, Tyler, (2011), ‘Choices for Greece, All of Them Daunting’,, 10 July. Without outside help, Greece is probably insolvent right now. In evaluating the country’s prospects, it’s worth asking what it would take for Greece to pay all of its bills and what kind of damage we might expect along the way.The answers are to be found not only in statistics — like the debt-to-G.D.P. ratio, now running at …Read More

The Real Reboot Greece Needs

Tsoukalis, Loukas, (2011), ‘The Real Reboot Greece Needs’,, 22 June. Greece’s prime minister, George A. Papandreou, comfortably survived a confidence vote on Tuesday, momentarily stabilizing his fragile Socialist government and clearing the way for a fresh infusion of financial assistance from the European Union.But the country’s economic crisis, which began at the end of 2009 when the world belatedly realized that Greece’s fiscal and trade deficits were unsustainable, is …Read More

The ECB’s three mistakes in the Greek crisis

Frankel, Jeffrey, (2011), ‘The ECB’s three mistakes in the Greek crisis and how to get sovereign debt right in the future’,, 16 May. It is a year since Greece was bailed out by EU and IMF and there are many who label it a failure. This column says that while there is plenty of blame to go around, there were three big mistakes made by the European Central Bank. Number …Read More