Has Greece hired restructuring advisers?
Euroweek’s Southpaw column starts off explosively:
A mandate advising Greece on a potential restructuring — understood to have been won by Lazard — is the highest profile piece of business going for bankers working for government clients.
This would seem to imply that Greece has been shopping around this mandate for some time now, and has already settled on Lazard as the bank it’s going to go with. It’s a smart choice: Lazard did a spectacular job recently in both Ecuador and Ivory Coast. But the mere decision to hire advisers sends the message to the market that default is more than just an option. Greece, it seems, is happy to spend serious money on high-priced bankers right now to work out whether and how to do it.
If anybody has the rest of the column — the bit behind the paywall — I’d love to see it. And if anybody sees Lazard’s Michele Lamarche spending a lot of time in Athens, I think we can assume she isn’t on holiday.