Greece Close to Debt Deal

    A pedestrian looks at an advertisement displaying Greek drachma currency notes outside the headquarters of Alpha Bank AE in Athens, Greece, on Monday, Jan. 16, 2012. The Greek government and its creditors return to the negotiating table this week to revive stalled talks on a debt swap as German Chancellor Angela Merkel places pressure on both sides to forge a deal. Photographer: Kostas Tsironis/Bloomberg via Getty Images

    Kostas Tsironis / Bloomberg-Getty Images

    Better late than never. Greece may finally be nearing an agreement with its private-sector creditors over how great a loss they would be willing to incur on their bond holdings. Anonymous officials involved in the talks said Saturday that bondholders have changed their tune about the interest rate that new Greek bonds would carry. They had previously desired an interest rate above 4 percent, but may now accept in interest rate as low as 3.6 percent. Greece is expected to require $39 billion over the next few months from the European Commission, the International Monetary Fund, and the European Central Bank, and a private-sector debt deal is seen as necessary in order for the organizations to justify the next bailout.

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