May 31, 2011

Any Greek Restructuring Will Happen in Bullet Time

Garett Jones

Senior Research Fellow

As Greece prepares to adopt more austerity measures, the country could be helped by restructuring its debt, allowing the country to gain a healthier balance sheet and increase cash flow to the government.

If a Greek default happens, the Greek government, the EU, and the ECB will work together to create partial guarantees to banks and insurance companies so that they don't collapse when Greece defaults.  Any Greek restructuring will happen in bullet-time.

Additionally, the Bank of Ireland's recent decision to convert bonds into shares shows that it is politically possible for big banks to clean up their balance sheets without government bailouts.

Because governments have shown repeatedly that they have little urge to bail out shareholders, one dollar converted into equity is one dollar less support for bailouts.