- Greece threatens private investor holdouts from 'voluntary' bond swap
- Taliban and al-Qaeda reorganize, while Pakistan's army realigns with China
- Eastern Libya (Cyrenaica) declares semi-autonomy
Greece threatens private investor holdouts from 'voluntary' bond swap
It's been a puzzle to me why any private investor would participate in Greece's "voluntary" bond swap by the Wednesday midnight deadline, where they would lose 75% of their investment, since the "punishment" for not participating is that they would be forced to do so anyway by retroactive "collective action clauses" (CACs) imposed by the Greek government.
The answer to the puzzle has now been revealed. Greece’s Public Debt Management Agency (PDMA) issued a statement saying that the terms of the CACs would be much harsher than those of the voluntary bond swap, presumably costing the investors 80-85% of their investment (Could somebody please e-mail me with the definition of the word "voluntary"? I'm suddenly drawing a blank on what it's supposed to mean).
Greece's six biggest banks confirmed on Tuesday that they would take part in the voluntary bond swap, but several pension funds said that they would not. Greece is hoping that 66% of the outstanding eligible bonds will be offered; less than 66% means that the CACs can't be enforced, and there will likely be a disorderly default of Greek debt. Kathimerini
Taliban and al-Qaeda reorganize, while Pakistan's army realigns with China
The no-longer-secret peace talks between the U.S. and the Taliban have the given the Taliban a great deal of international prestige. According to one Taliban spokesman:
"After 10 years of jihad and steadfastness on the part of the Afghan people against the arrogant occupiers, the entire world is aware of the strength of the Afghan jihad and has accepted the reality of the situation in the Afghan arena. This has caused many countries in the world to desire contact with the Islamic Emirate and the political office of the Islamic Emirate. The Islamic Emirate will welcome the opening of its political offices in these countries and others, if this is approved."
The Taliban think of the peace talks as tactics aimed at getting the Taliban prisoners freed from the Guantanamo Bay prison and getting the Taliban commanders de-listed from the UN terror blacklist and the U.S. terror watchlist. the Pakistani military establishment, which is considered as the final arbiter of power in Islamabad, has been dictating the country's foreign policy aimed at ensuring Pakistan's strategic shift away from the U.S. and closer to China.
At the behest of the Pakistani military's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), some relatively independent Sunni terrorist groups -- the Afghanistan Taliban, the Haqqani network, the Pakistani Taliban (Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan or TTP) and other militant groups -- have announced the formation of the Shura Muraqba (coordination council). The objective is to end attacks on Pakistani civilians, and to concentrate efforts on defeating American forces. MEMRI
Eastern Libya (Cyrenaica) declares semi-autonomy
Since the end of the war and the death of former leader Muammar Gaddafi, Libya has been unable to form a unified government in Tripoli, with different militias and ethnic groups holding power in different regions, and even in different sections of Tripoli itself. The cradle of the anti-Gaddafi revolution was Cyrenaica (eastern Libya) or Barqa in Arabic, particularly Benghazi, and now Cyrenaica is taking the controversial step of declaring semi-autonomy from Tripoli, comparing it to the situation in America:
"We are not looking to split the country. We are not looking for division at all. Our target is to keep Libya united. We are hoping to run our region. ... We have the federal government, and we have the local government."
The move is particularly controversial, because most of Libya's oil reserves are located in Cyrenaica. CNN