Holders of Greek bonds out of luck
Do you own any Greek government bonds? I suggest you find another use for them - perhaps as napkins or scratch paper.
They are, as of today, about as valuable as a roll of Charmin:
Greece's credit rating was cut three steps by Moody's Investors Service, which said the European Union's rescue for the debt-laden nation will cause substantial losses for investors and amount to a default.
Greece's long-term foreign currency debt was downgraded to Ca, its second-lowest rating, from Caa1, the company said in a statement in London today. Moody's said it will reassess the risk profile of any outstanding or new securities issued by Greece after the debt exchange that's part of the new rescue plan has been completed.
"The combination of the announced EU program and the debt exchange proposals by major financial institutions imply that private creditors will experience substantial losses on their holding of Greek government bonds and this is something we need to reflect in the rating," Moody's senior analyst Sarah Carlson said in an interview.
EU leaders on July 21 reached an agreement on a second rescue package for Greece worth 159 billion euros ($223 billion) and strengthened the region's bailout mechanism to offer protection to other euro-region nations in a bid to stamp out contagion from the debt crisis. The plan for Greece includes 50 billion euros in contributions from private investors through bond exchanges and buybacks to cut Europe's biggest debt, a move the rating companies said constitutes a technical default.
According to the Bloomberg report, the big banks didn't make out as badly as the little guys stuck holding this worthless paper. Funny how the banks always manage to come out with barely a nick while the rest of investors are gouged.
Next up: Ireland and the path to default deliberately chosen by the government.