CIGI Paper No 33: Sovereign Debt Crisis Management: Lessons from the 2012 Greek Debt Restructuring
The 2012 Greek debt exchange was a watershed event in the euro area debt crisis. It generated fears of contagion and was viewed as a threat to the euro itself. There is a heated debate as to whether the debt restructuring should have taken place sooner. This paper argues that a deep haircut up front, under threat of legislative action, would have been seen as unnecessary and deeply coercive. But delaying the restructuring beyond mid-2011, when it became clear that Greece’s debt was unsustainable, was unjustified.