from Risk Magazine
In November 2001, the Greek finance ministry’s public debt division made a public statement about its debt management strategy. It acknowledged that its debt was a ‘critical macroeconomic parameter’, and pledged to reduce debt servicing costs by means that included ‘the extensive use of derivatives’. Apparently, this was not enough for Brussels. In February 2002, the European Commission pointed out future deficit forecasts by Greece relied ‘primarily’ on achieving reductions in interest costs. It called for Greece to reduce its ‘very high’ debt ratio, and to provide ‘more detailed information on financial operations’.
Although Greece’s public debt division points out that it uses 18 derivatives counterparties, there is no doubt that the division, which is headed by Christopher Sardelis, has a particularly close relationship with Goldman Sachs. Indeed, the account has been handled personally at Goldman Sachs by Antigone Loudiadis, the London-based European head of sales for the firm’s fixed-income, currencies and commodities unit. Highly respected by other dealers, Loudiadis has enjoyed a successful career at Goldman, joining the firm’s partnership committee and attaining her present position in 2000. According to sources, by early 2002, Loudiadis and her team put together a deal aimed at alleviating Greece’s problem of debt ratios and high interest costs.