Aftershocks Seen From Greek Swap

Borrowing costs could surge for other indebted nations.

Greece’s day of reckoning with bondholders dawns with economists from Barclays Capital to Deutsche Bank AG concerned that the world’s largest debt restructuring will provoke aftershocks.

Eight months of negotiations reach a head with today’s deadline for private creditors to accept a bond swap aimed at writing off 106 billion euros ($140 billion) of Greek debt. The government vows to bind holdouts to the deal should participation fall short of its target.

Participation Goal

The government has set a 75 percent participation rate as the threshold for proceeding with the transaction, in which bondholders will receive new Greek government bonds and notes from the European Financial Stability Facility. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. analysts wrote on Feb. 28 that a voluntary participation rate meeting that target might allow Greece to proceed without making losses involuntary by enforcing so-called collective action clauses.

‘Game Changer’

“The actual use of a CAC would be a game changer beyond Greece’s borders,” he said. “It says ‘we can retroactively rewrite a contractual agreement.’ It’s one thing to threaten or cajole, but it’s another thing to do it,” Kotok said.

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