Saturday, May 28, 2011

Barron's Calls for a 50 Percent Haircut for Greece

It's time to cut in half the 327 billion that Greece owes sovereign bond holders in an orderly fashion and delay interest payments on the remaining debt.

That's the shock therapy Barron's is urging on the European Union, as more and more voices are coming to agree with Michael Darda, chief economist and chief market strategist of MKM Partners, Stamford, Connecticut, who says the policy of lending new money coupled with aggressive budgets cuts is failing in Europe.

In a new report, "Why Bailouts and Austerity Are Failing in the Euro Zone," Darda points out that despite the policy changes urged on the the PIIGS -- Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain, now plus now Belgium -- the spreads of sovereign debt in peripheral Europe against the core nations of Germany and France is rising above the levels where it stood a year ago.

The problem is particularly acute in Greece, which received a 110 billion bailout last year from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund.

Greece is proposing a new round of austerity measures that will likely further weaken the economy.

"Usually, Barron's staunchly advocates full repayment to bondholders," writes Vito J. Racanelli in the May 30 issue of Barron's.

"But the choice for Greece's bondholders, as we see it, is to accept 50 cents on the euro now -- or 30 cents or worse down the road."

See story here.

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