Goldman Sachs could be sued for helping hide Greece’s debts: Report

Athens, July 11 (IANS) If Greece follows the advice of a former Goldman Sachs banker, the global investment banking firm could face legal action for helping hide the European country’s debts through complex transactions, a media report said on Saturday.

Jaber George Jabbour, who formerly helped design the transactions known as “swaps”, has offered help to the Greek government in a formal letter saying that it could “right historical wrongs as part of (its) plan to reduce Greece’s debt”, British daily The Independent reported.

The Syrian-born banker, who advises indebted governments battling investment banks over expensive complex derivative trades that turned sour, has told the Greek government in a formal letter that it has a chance of clawing back some of the money it paid Goldman to secure its position in the eurozone.

Jabbour has in the past assisted Portugal in restructuring some complex trades, which later helped uncover a scandal that cost many senior political officials their jobs.

According to the daily, Goldman Sachs banker Antigone Loudiadis stitched the swaps together, which made about 2 percent of Greece’s debt disappear from its national accounts.

Goldman swapped debt issued by Greece in dollars and yen for euros which were priced at a historical exchange rate that made the debt look smaller than it actually was, the report added.

The country’s membership of the euro in 2001 gave it access to billions of easy credit which it was then incapable of paying back, leading to its current crisis.

Greece on Saturday was edging towards a last-minute deal with its creditors which will keep it from crashing out of the single currency zone.

The deal is based on fresh economic reform proposals submitted by Athens on Friday.

 

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