Friday, September 16, 2011

Steps for further debt negotiations with Greece

Here are some quick-and-dirty steps which would lead to progress in the debt negotiation with Greece.

Step 1: the EU insists that Greece requires her creditors to form a Steering Committee with which one can negotiate. This is the only way to keep creditors on the hook (which is a “must”!!!).

Step 2: Greece hires a top-expert in sovereign debt reschedulings (for instance William R. Rhodes) who can advise Greece about the proposals which she should make to her creditors (they must be realistic!).

Step 3: Greece negotiates with the Steering Committee. In this phase, governments must not play an active role (but they can/should pull strings behind the scenes). One possible proposal could be: reschedule 50% of the debt out to 30 years with capitalization of most of the interest.

Step 4: the EU forms a Negotiations Committee and announces its members. If someone outside this Committee then makes silly public comments, the markets will not become nervous. The Committee must always speak with one voice (the less they say, the better). When they speak to the public, they must speak with one voice! All statements must previously be approved by the Committee and special care must be taken with cautious formulations.

Step 5: when Greece has reached an agreement in principle with her creditors, both Greece and the Steering Committee go to the Negotiations Committee to negotiate with them the amount of public participation. One possible proposal: tax payers finance the budget deficit (including interest expense) but they will not finance the repayment of debt (this has to be rescheduled by the creditors). Furthermore, tax payers will no longer finance Greek capital flight.

Once they have specific results, they can present them to the public and markets will calm down quite quickly.

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