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That last bit is not an adequate description of Greece's position.

The Greek position will involve write-offs, so long as the Greek government remains of the view that the Thessaloníki Program is senior to the bonds of previous governments.

Permitting the other side of the table to pretend that this is not so is a costless concession: It is not the Greek government's job to teach the German parliament, or their voters, elementary arithmetic.

Which brings us to the salient point of all your examples: They are all limited to shuffling around impaired assets on various balance sheets. If you want to argue that all this accounting legerdemain actually matters, you need to show how they impacted, in whatever minor way, the actual fiscal stance of the government.

Because the difference between running a 1 % primary surplus to pay all of the interest on half your original foreign debt, versus running a 1 % primary surplus to pay half of the interest due on your full original foreign debt...

... is simply not a matter of very great consequence.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri Feb 13th, 2015 at 06:32:00 PM EST
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