IMF Says Is Open To Delaying Greek Bailout Loan Repayments

Tyler Durden's picture

The soap opera begins early today (at least in the US), after the Irish Times reports that the IMF is open to delaying Greece's repayment of its international loans but believes a major restructuring of its debt would create untold problems in the euro zone, a senior IMF official said today. "Athens has made progress in tackling its debt crisis but cannot afford to relax the pace of reforms, Bob Traa, the International Monetary Fund's senior representative in Greece, told a banking conference. "If you want a debt restructuring that will really make a difference, it will need to be very large. Such a large debt restructuring would create untold problems not just in Greece, but also in the euro zone," Mr Traa said. But he did hint that the IMF was open to other solutions. "Stretching out payment terms, for instance in loans from euro area partners and the IMF, is a reasonable thing to think about because we have amortisation right at the end of the programme. This is a technical issue we can think about," he said." Unfortunately, as the rating agencies have made clear by now, such a move would be considered a technical default, and thus is unworkable as the very simple matter at the heart of the whole eurozone crisis is the forced marking of debt from mythical par levels (where the ECB has it) to market values (around half): a development which would lead to the insolvency of the ECB, something discussed minutes ago. All Europe wants is a phase transition that allows it to keep marking Greek bonds at par, and how this is achieved is irrelevant.

More from Irish Times:

Greece has already won an extension of the time it has to repay loans extended under last year's €110 billion rescue mounted by the EU and IMF.

Mr Traa did not say whether his comments referred only to Greece's official international lenders, or whether terms could also be stretched for debt held by commercial creditors.

Euro zone politicians, including German chancellor Angela Merkel, have made clear that private creditors must share some of the burden in a second rescue, which Greece agreed with the IMF, EU and European Central Bank last Friday.

The ECB strongly opposes cutting the overall value of Greek debt held privately, whereby creditors would receive less than the face value of government bonds when they matured.

However, it has signalled that it is open to the idea that creditors would agree "voluntarily" to buy new Greek bonds when old ones they hold mature, meaning that Athens would not have to produce the cash up front.

It is unclear whether private sector banks would sign up to such a deal, how much they would be prepared to contribute and whether ratings agencies would look on such a move as a default.

Economists fear that any Greek default would badly hurt banks, including those in Greece, which hold large amounts of bonds issued by the Athens government.

"The fate of the Greek sovereign and the banking system remain closely intertwined. We do not favour a sovereign restructuring scenario," Mr Traa said.

Greek banks are excluded from wholesale funding due to the country's crisis, and they rely on funding from the European Central Bank. But Mr Traa said this had to end eventually.

"The crisis has put Greek banks under a great deal of stress. The ECB's exceptional support needs to be unwound over time," he said.

Banks should increase further their capital cushions to help reduce markets' doubts.

And much more such fluff. Expect the ongoing barrage of conflicting news out of Europe in an attempt "to baffle them with bullshit" to continue.

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blindfaith's picture

grade on the curve

White.Star.Line's picture

IMF - saving overspent nations and underloved maids worldwide!

GetZeeGold's picture


IMF - International my ass....that would be the American taxpayer.


f16hoser's picture

Wish I could print money and force people/countries to take it. Then, charge interest and/or confiscate their assets. What a scam/ponzi!


P.s. Where's our Gold Bitchiz's

White.Star.Line's picture

If only others could see what a simple scam it is.
It just seems complicated due to its unprecedented scope of graft.

buzzsaw99's picture

Greece can't even manage their coupon payments, I guess they plan to roll the principal forever.

Greece, you're going to carry that weight. Carry that weight a long time...

Urban Redneck's picture

The US can't even manage it's coupon payments now, and since the Fed/ECB isn't an option- Geithner just skipped ahead a step to raiding the public pensions, which will actually be a side effect of a Greek default down the road.   The US also plans to roll the principal on its debt forever.

AnAnonymous's picture

Quite easy to understand why Europeans and US citizens want one of their own as the head of the IMF.

Anyone from somewhere else in the world could remember the good old IMF style and keep to it. No more sweet deals.


AUD's picture

marking of debt from mythical par levels

What, like UST's on the balance sheet of the Fed?

John McCloy's picture

Yup. As expected they do not really have an option. The Euro policy of " Pay us when you gots it" is about to become contagious. The only options are either leaving the Eurozone or restructuring are not acceptable. Now everyone can step up and take a bailout without any intention of paying it back simply to extend this farce another few years.
This money is never getting repaid. After the gathering in Greece they see austerity can only be bluffed. Free money for all.

Cdad's picture

"Pay us when you gots it" is about to become contagious.

Correct.  Credit Default Swaps and a counter intuitive rally in the USD [commencing at 11:30 est] should tell the real tale.  This Greek nonsense will no longer stick to the wall.  It's all way overdue for a close encounter with reality.

the not so mighty maximiza's picture

EU fuken die allready

viator's picture

Haircuts, baby. We're going to need a helleva boom.

buzzsaw99's picture

Restructuring would be inconvenient for the banks. They'd have to rejigger the entire tote board.

blindfaith's picture

If this 'not paying the pipper' continues, we may have a sit-down strike by those who have been doing 'the right thing' all along.

Bad presidents set the pace...bail out bad banks, bail out bad companies, bail out the boat on the backs of those who played by the rules.

The EU should pass a " NATIONAL SECURITY" directive as the US did...then you can do anything you want because it is in the national security.  Easy peeizy!

equity_momo's picture

The ECB could just print a trillion yo-yos , no?  Sure , the yoyo-US peso rate would drop to parity taking stocks down 35% and oil to 60 but surely thats what Benny and the Jets want. Fed can then continue with QE and print themselves up another 1.5 tril to keep the lights on in DC for another year.    

Sandy15's picture

Can I delay all my debt payments too? 

How insane are these elitist?.....  geez

web bot's picture

I think we need a visit from Timmah the Zodiac (Banzai7) to try to help out "dos liddle geep people".

three chord sloth's picture

Errr... stretching out the payments? Is that supposed to help?

Someone much smarter needs to explain this to me: How does pretending that their solvency crisis is just a liquidity crunch help things?

PeaBird's picture

All Europe wants is a phase transition that allows it to keep marking Greek bonds at par, and how this is achieved is irrelevant.

Isn't there a European equivalent to FASB 157? I was sure there was...

oogs66's picture

they will find a way to keep everything at exchange, even if Moody's called it a default, would not need to be marked at market value.  the new debt would just keep the same old par marks

Monedas's picture

John Maynard Keynes (of Tilton but never knighted) 1883 - 1946 English Econofuckmeister. Played a leading role in the establishment of the IMF. Broil in Hell ! No ice water for you ! Monedas 2011

Soap's picture

Greece just needs to tell the IMF strait up. "Look, we have morals. We would rather cheat you out of it, than steal it from you."

Mountainview's picture

The American taxpayer is over occupied with the US Treasury and can't even think about Greece!!!

AldoHux_IV's picture

These same economists and policymakers are looking at the situation ass backwards or perhaps only from the perspective of what serves them versus the economy.  A default would not be bad for the economy it would actually help in the long-term and clear out a burden which is preventing the economy from truly growing. It's not a problem of liquidity or funding, it's a problem of solvency relative to an unsustainable amount of debt-- wish these assholes could at least frame the problem correctly, but as ZH mentioned it may just be more fluff to confuse and INMHO irritate anyone with at least the same amount of logic a single cell organism possesses.

In the end, these policymakers want to perpetuate the slavery of debt and will do anything in their power to maintain it even if it means shooting themselves in the face.

espirit's picture

Uh, finance the interest payment?

Gotta love that deal.