Mar 10, 2012 1:08 AM GMT
Greece did it! The Hellenic Republic executed the highly controversial PSI or debt restructuring deal, getting 85.8% of holders of Greek-law governed bonds and 69% of foreign-law bonds to tender. All eyes will now fall on the ISDA as the Greek government uses collective action clauses (CACs) to force holders of bonds governed by domestic law to take the debt swap, potentially triggering credit default swaps (CDS).
While Greece hasn’t missed a bond payment yet, it has effectively defaulted by forcing a 74% haircut on those creditors that held out, as Fitch’s calculations in their recent downgrade of Greece’s sovereign rating to “selective default” show. The question of a Greek default may appear superfluous to some, given the country is relatively small and has been bailed out, but the resolution of the situation will set historical precedents that could take on massive importance if other peripherals, particularly Spain and Italy, face serious financing problems.