Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
The debt-equity swap, IMO, is appropriate for legitimate debt. But that is not really the problem. The problem is counterfeit debt which is indistinguishable, except in the specifics of its origination, from legitimate debt and which is thoroughly mixed into legitimate debt. And the problem extends to the nature of the financial and regulatory system that facilitated the counterfeiting and the resultant size of that system.

Call me Javert if you will, but LLoyd Blankfein hardly qualifies as Jean Valjean, nor do very many of his colleagues and independent co-actors in our current, sordid spectacle. I do not think we can get beyond this until and unless we have confronted it as a society. In this way, what has occurred is comparable in monstrosity to other great crimes in our history. For purposes of social narrative, some of the most egregious must be prosecuted, some of the ill-gotten gains must be clawed back and some of the odious debt must be repudiated. Then it might be appropriate to deal with the rest via a debt to equity swap, as you propose. To make a debt-equity swap the only significant response would likely discredit the process.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Aug 21st, 2010 at 10:16:07 AM EST
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