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Doesn't This Seem Like Changing The Rules In The Middle Of The Game?

Written By Jhoni Saprol on Friday, July 22, 2011 | 6:39 AM

Say you're playing Monopoly with Joey, Timmy, Alice and Maria. Timmy's about to go bankrupt. If he does, then he'll take the soda with him when he leaves. We can't allow that! Here, let's change the rules so Timmy's mortgaged properties cost only half as much to get out of hock.

Uh oh! Alice is underwater on most of her properties! If she leaves, Joey will be impossible to live with because he's got a crush on her. Let's give Alice a no-interest loan from the bank!

Maria? Screw her. She's winning.

Megan McArdle sums up the latest (step 15 of a 33-step process* to save the Euro) within which is a paragraph that looks like nothing so much as our Monopoly game above.
Basically, both the Greek bonds owned by banks and insurers, and the loans Greece has received from the European stabilization fund, will have their terms extended as far as possible. The ratings agencies are going to call this a selective default (only the ratings of bonds which are part of the private debt swap will be affected), which for reasons that are not clear to me, is supposed to only last a few days before the debt swap actually starts to raise their credit rating. The European Central Bank will waive its rules against accepted defaulted collateral, so hopefully, the Greek banking system will not melt down. The austerity plan will go forward as previously outlined.
Well, we're glad that's settled! What do we want on our pizza? Is everyone good with pepperoni?

Come on, everyone! Europe is having a big party! Everyone's invited!

* - Or is it step 27 of a 46-step process?