Just the math, something Europe is unable to do:
- Greece has €350 billion in total debt including about €70 billion in Troika "post-petition" loans; these are untouched.
- Of the €280 billion, roughly €75 billion is held by the ECB: this, like the Troika loans, will be untouched.
- This leaves just ~€200 billion in actual debt to undergo a haircut.
- Apply a 50% haircut to this debt (ignoring the fact that of this about €35 billion is held by Greek pension funds, and once the realization that Greek pensions have been cut in half dawns upon the population, the result will be the biggest riots ever seen in Athens yet).
- Total debt to be cut: just about €100 billion.
- Hence, of the total €350 billion, just €100 billion is eliminated, most of it used to backstop and service Greek pension and retirement obligations
- €250, or the residual, of €350, the original, means 72%, or a 28% haircut.
- Greek GDP was €230 billion on December 31, 2010 and declining fast.
- And that is how a 50% haircut is "cut" almost in half