“To enable lending to proceed when the IMF’s sustainability criteria were not met, its bureaucrats designed the “systemic risk waiver.” It was a model of circular reasoning that might well be taught to philosophy students. “Severe debt crises all carry the risks of systemic spillovers,” notes Schadler. The global financial system was deemed to be endangered if a debt payment was missed or a haircut imposed on bondholders, because “confidence” was threatened. Any haircut for bondholders might cause panic and “contagion.” So it doesn’t matter what IMF economists say regarding debt sustainability. The IMF is committed to preserving “confidence” at all costs – confidence that the troika will lend governments enough to pay their bondholders and speculators in full (but not pension funds). The systemic risk waiver means that no bondholder should lose. Labor and taxpayers must pay for the losses from risky loans, or else there will be “contagion.”


Michael Hudson, Killing the Host: How Financial Parasites and Debt Bondage Destroy the Global Economy
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Killing the Host: How Financial Parasites and Debt Bondage Destroy the Global Economy Killing the Host: How Financial Parasites and Debt Bondage Destroy the Global Economy by Michael Hudson
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