Sunday 24 September 2017

Our failure to burn the bondholders was wrong

Greeks reacted with a mix of vindication and outrage yesterday after the International Monetary Fund's admission that it erred in its handling of the country's bailout. Here in Ireland, we could be forgiven for feeling much the same but with rather less justification.

In the case of Greece, the IMF's admissions are long overdue. It has been quite clear for some time that the Washington-based fund badly misjudged the damage done to Greece's economy by the troika's spending cuts and tax hikes.

It is also clear that the Fund ignored its own standards to overestimate how much debt Greece could bear. The IMF now says it should have pushed harder and sooner for private lenders to take a "haircut" to reduce Greece's debt burden. With so many mistakes, an apology is long overdue.

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