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Greece Takes Critical Step Toward Avoiding Bankruptcy

The important takeaway from this morning's news about Europe's financial mess:

It seems less likely that Greece will go bankrupt and more likely that it will get another international bailout that hopefully will shore up the nation's economy and prevent a domino-like tumble of other ailing European nations and the unsettling repercussions that could have for the U.S. economy.

As The Associated Press writes:

"Greece took a big step toward staving off an imminent bankruptcy after securing the support of the vast majority of its bondholders in a critical bond swap that should pave the way for its second massive international bailout."

That bailout from other eurozone nations and the International Monetary Fund is expected to total about $172 billion.

The Wall Street Journal sums up the news this way:

"Just over 80 percent of Greece's private-sector creditors had agreed by a Thursday evening deadline to turn in their bonds for new ones with less than half the face value, touching off a massive debt swap that marks a seminal moment in Europe's long-frustrated efforts to rescue its most financially vulnerable nation."

Or, as The Financial Times puts it (with a lede that's a bit dense for us non-economists):

"Greece was due to complete the largest ever sovereign debt restructuring on Friday as it prepared to squeeze out dissenting bondholders in a move likely to trigger a credit event."

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