In his July 6 op-ed column, “Will we let Ukraine die?,” Jackson Diehl inappropriately derided four respected investment firms who have been long-term supporters of Ukraine.
The Ad-hoc Committee of Bondholders to the Ukraine has invested in the country for more than 10 years, under successive governments, to help fund essential public services and infrastructure, and we well understand its challenges. The majority of the private debt in the region is held by mutual funds that invest on behalf of millions of working Americans and retirees.
Our committee has worked hard to deliver a restructuring proposal that deals with Ukraine’s primary financial problem, which involves short-term liquidity rather than unsustainable borrowings. We believe Ukraine’s financial troubles can be resolved for all parties without creditors immediately writing down the value of their bonds. We recently held constructive talks with Ukraine and International Monetary Fund officials and hope to continue that dialogue. Our proposal meets the IMF’s conditions for a successful debt restructuring, including offering nearly $16 billion in reduced payments over the next four years. That is on a par with the $17 billion of new loans offered to Ukraine by the IMF.
The committee’s approach gives Ukraine ample time to recover from its difficulties while retaining access to capital markets. This will help to ensure that its economy and private enterprises can weather the current storm.
Michael Hasenstab, San Mateo, Calif.
The writer, a bond portfolio manager with Franklin Templeton, is a member of the Ad-hoc Committee of Bondholders to the Ukraine.