Itching to Pull the Plug on Poland

Declaring default would be the ultimate financial weapon

The uneasy stalemate over Poland's struggle to repay even part of the $28 billion it owes Western banks passed another milestone last week, when Warsaw virtually completed interest payments on its 1981 debt, thereby paving the way for rescheduling last year's unpaid $2.4 billion in principal. Crisis-weary bankers gave a sigh of relief, and then started thinking about collecting the $10.4 billion in debt-service payments that Poland must make this year.

Other voices, however, are beginning to demand what to many bankers is unthinkable: declare Poland...

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