Peterson Institute publications
The Peterson Institute for International Economics is a private, nonprofit, nonpartisan
research institution devoted to the study of international economic policy. More › ›
RSS News Feed Search

Working Paper 13-8

The Greek Debt Restructuring: An Autopsy

by Jeromin Zettelmeyer, Peterson Institute for International Economics
and Christoph Trebesch, University of Munich
and Mitu Gulati, Duke University

August 2013

View full document [pdf]


The Greek debt restructuring of 2012 stands out in the history of sovereign defaults. It achieved very large debt relief—over 50 percent of 2012 GDP—with minimal financial disruption, using a combination of new legal techniques, exceptionally large cash incentives, and official sector pressure on key creditors. But it did so at a cost. The timing and design of the restructuring left money on the table from the perspective of Greece, created a large risk for European taxpayers, and set precedents—particularly in its very generous treatment of holdout creditors—that are likely to make future debt restructurings in Europe more difficult.


RELATED LINKS

Testimony: European Banking Union: Current Outlook and Short-Term Choices February 26, 2014

Book: Responding to Financial Crisis: Lessons from Asia Then, the United States and Europe Now October 2013

Policy Brief 13-17: A Realistic Bridge Towards European Banking Union June 2013

Op-ed: Five Myths about the Euro Crisis September 7, 2012

Article: Why the Euro Will Survive: Completing the Continent's Half-Built House August 22, 2012

Testimony: Challenges of Europe's Fourfold Union August 1, 2012

Policy Brief 12-18: The Coming Resolution of the European Crisis: An Update June 2012

Book: Transatlantic Economic Challenges in an Era of Growing Multipolarity July 2012

Book: Resolving the European Debt Crisis March 2012

Policy Brief 12-20: Why a Breakup of the Euro Area Must Be Avoided: Lessons from Previous Breakups August 2012

Policy Brief 12-5: Interest Rate Shock and Sustainability of Italy's Sovereign Debt February 2012

Speech: Italy's Effect on the Global Economy February 9, 2012

Policy Brief 12-4: The European Crisis Deepens January 2012

Policy Brief 11-13: Europe on the Brink July 2011

Working Paper 11-2: Too Big to Fail: The Transatlantic Debate January 2011

Policy Brief 10-27: How Europe Can Muddle Through Its Crisis December 2010

Policy Brief 10-14: In Defense of Europe's Grand Bargain June 2010

Op-ed: The Follies of Federalism August 5, 2007

Book: Transforming the European Economy September 2004