Thursday, May 6, 2010

Will IMF debt be used to roll over old Greek debts?

Typically, when a firm is near bankruptcy, to attract new lending, it must offer to pay back the newest debt first, before it pays back other debt.  Otherwise, there is the risk that the new debt would be used to pay back the old debt, which would not help the new firm survive.  This is a type of moral hazard. 

It turns out that IMF is financing about 30% of the Greek Bailout; 40% of which is coming from US taxpayers. The issue is that the IMF debt would be used to pay back other Greek debt holders.
What that means is that US (and Canadian and British, etc.) tax payers will be giving money to Greece who will use a lot of it to roll over old bonds, letting European banks and funds reduce their exposure to Greece while tax-payers all over the world who fund the IMF assume that risk. And does anyone really think that Greece will pay that debt back? IMF debt should be senior and no bank should be allowed to roll over debt and reduce their exposure to Greek debt on the back of foreign tax-payers.
I don't think I signed on for that duty. Why should my tax money go to help European banks? This is just wrong on so many levels and there is nothing seemingly we can do. Oh, well. Thanks for listening.

1 comment:

  1. I'm concerned that this bailout will just sign Greece's doom. They will roll over their debt and merely dig themselves deeper as the latin american countries did when they were bailed out by the IMF in the past.