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Quite a lot to ponder really. Members of the IMF’s executive board were set to meet on Wednesday to discuss whether to approve lending to Cyprus, more or less behind closed doors.
But maybe not so much this time. It looks like Stockwatch in Cyprus has obtained a copy of the members’ comments on the Cypriot bailout — a rather high-level internal document to find its way to the public… and it makes for fascinating reading. Read more
Abuse of official secrecy. It’s been one of the more corrosive but — by definition — shadier aspects of the eurozone crisis.
It can take the form of a report on money-laundering in Cyprus. Or the opaque process by which Troika debt sustainability analyses are drawn up. Emergency liquidity assistance to banks, even. Read more
Well, this was fun while it lasted. Now what did it mean?
Click to enlarge the document capping a weird week in the pari passu saga:
Although looking back at it, was the unusual or just ahead of the curve? Read more
Nothing like taking the long view – such as this snapshot of Spanish, Portuguese and Italian 10 year paper, over 150 years. Click to enlarge
With its latest submission in this Court, the Republic of Argentina continues its long and consistent pattern of defaulting on its contractual obligations, defying the laws of the United States (which its contracts expressly invoked), and showing contempt for the courts to whose jurisdiction it unreservedly submitted. The government of Argentina plainly believes the rule of law does not apply to it…
Guess that’s a no, then. Read more
File under: Argentina’s battle with its holdouts and the effects thereof on pari passu clauses in sovereign bond contracts elsewhere in the world — with a special crossover to the changing legal status of official lenders in the eurozone crisis.
Spot the difference edition. Read more
In theory, there was no offer. “This is a proposal to judges, not an offer to vultures,” Argentina’s finance minister tweeted at the weekend.
For their part, the three judges of the US Second Circuit had ordered Argentina to tell them “how and when it proposes to make current those debt obligations on the original bonds that have gone unpaid over the last 11 years” (emphasis ours). It’s a last act in the battle that Argentina has been losing to stop restructured debt payments being linked to its defaulted bonds under the pari passu clause.
In practice, the 22-page letter that the government sent to the Second Circuit on Friday — containing “options” for holdouts to take payments “equitably and ratably” with bondholders who swallowed its 2010 debt restructuring, by getting restructured bonds in place of the original debt — pretty much was an offer.
Guess it pretty much comes down to the alternative ‘formula’ for paying its holdouts which Argentina will be making to the Second Circuit at the end of this week, then.
The court on Thursday denied the government’s separate request to have its pari passu case reheard ‘en banc‘ — that being when a full court hears your case, instead of a panel of judges (which is usual): Read more
Famous last words and all, but it is hard to see the fear flowing from Cyprus to the average depositor in a Spanish or Italian bank. Not in the short term. As for Lehman II, well, come off it.
After all, that’s probably partly why this inequitable tax on small depositors across Cypriot banks could be put on the Eurogroup negotiating table on Friday. The systemic danger is absent. Read more
A couple of years back, when Carmen Reinhart and Belen Sbrancia updated the concept whereby governments might deal with a problematic mountain of debt by confiscating the savings of their subjects, the discussion was all about the subtle, sleight of hand solutions that might be employed.
Artificially cheap rates of interest might be forced on the embattled sovereign’s debt, local banks might be obliged to buy mis-priced government paper, exchange controls may be erected, and so on. Ordinary people, it seemed, could be financially repressed without realising they were in fact the victims.
There was no discussion back then of outright expropriation or a “tax”, as insured (and uninsured) depositors at Cypriot banks are now being forced to bear. Read more
Some excerpts from a lawsuit filed by the Export-Import Bank of China (Taipei) against Grenada in a United States district court on March 4, 2013…
If you have been following the pari passu saga on ratable payment of sovereign debt — they tell their own story. (Click to enlarge all images.) Read more
In case you didn’t fancy ploughing through our 3,000+ words on NML v Argentina last week at the Second Circuit…
Barclays’ analysts have boiled down the next turning point in the pari passu saga into two paragraphs, in their March 5 note (irresistibly titled ‘Cram-down or sanctity of contract? Is there a way out?’): Read more
Click above to see the survey/competition being run by a German Green party MEP, Sven Giegold. Read more
Headline via the Harlan Ellison short story. “Timewise, it was jangle…”
What a week for the pari passu saga, and the fight to show that an order for Argentina to pay holdouts ‘ratably’ alongside its restructured sovereign debt is both over-reaching, and an unfair threat to third-party bondholders and banks.
Yep, FT Alphaville also went along to the oral argument before three judges of the Second Circuit in NML v Argentina on Wednesday, along with about 300 other people. A pretty crazy affair in itself, the hearing has now led to a follow-up order from the court, telling Argentina to give “precise terms” explaining how it would pay holdouts, and how it would obey any decision of the Second Circuit. Read more
We haven’t written up our full take on Wednesday’s (nuts) oral argument in NML v Argentina (sorry), though you should read this, just out from the Second Circuit on Friday…