From a comprehensive econ paper about the Greek debt and austerity measures required by creditors (paper, page 14):
Ten years ago, writing in the wake of Argentina?s default on its public debt ? then the largest sovereign default in history, George Soros noted that creditors as a group have an interest in punishing such defaults:
?sovereign states do not provide any tangible security; the only security the lender has is the pain that the borrower will suffer if it defaults. That is why the private sector has been so strenuously opposed to any measure that would reduce the pain.?
I might add that it's also in creditor's best interest economically to make every possible effort to recover their principle and interest due... without regard to any pain & suffering it causes to those to whom they've extended credit ----- extended on their terms and charges which they defined according to risks (of default or non-timely payment) they alone had vested interest to assess.
It is important & relevant to recognize that creditor's attempts to collect are not only in their own best economic interests, but they also use the issue of non-payment to blame the borrower's failings (to act in a manner deemed best for the borrower --- so deemed of course by the creditor, but acts which are in fact solely in the creditors best interests) as cover for the fact that the real blame is directly & wholly that of the creditor's alone for their in risk assessment.
A couple of interesting artifacts are observed of the whole EU peripheral nation's debt crises:
- Nobody's yet blamed the creditors for the debacle by having used poor (overly optimistic) risk analysis, ... i.e. you "reap what you sow" so to speak.
- Risk taking, in the composite by financial institutions have by definition two sides to the results --- win some, lose some... thus on the whole by those same financial institutions their result of assessing risks should over the long term and on average net to zero gains if risks are accurately assessed. If risks on the whole are assessed to be either too conservative or too liberal, then completive financial forces (if at play) will force them back to the true risk. In either case the competitive forces risk assessments will balance those that are too far out of whack on either side of the true risk. One must therefore ask what the overall risk based gain/loss balance is for all risks taken over the same period of time by competing financial forces. Nobody has seen fit to do that or if it's been done, then it certainly hasn't been published. That such hasn't been published stands to reason since it's not in the financial business's interests to show their net of all risks taken over the same time --- it would either show
- they've made more than they've lost on their risks, hence diminish justifications for their outrage and "moralisms" publicly proclaimed about a given loss (i.e. Greece, for example) or
- they've lost more than they gained on the risks, hence show that their risk assessments are too liberal (too optimistic) and thus force reassessments of risk management or increased gov't regulations!!!! to limit risks of losses... guess which.
- they're risk assessments on balance and in the composite show near zero net gain / loss hence again diminishing any justification for their outrage at some borrowers defaulting... it's just part of the risk business... "win some, lose some"....nothing to get irate about, much less being unwilling to accept the losses gracefully.