An Uneasy Vigil on Poland

Bankers can do little but wait and hope for payment

"If you get into anybody far enough," said failed-then-jailed Texas Wheeler-Dealer Billie Sol Estes two decades ago, "you've got yourself a partner." By that reasoning, Poland should have more partners than a square dancer on a Saturday night. So it does. Poland is in debt to world governments and banks by about $28 billion, but its external debt crisis has become an agonizing waiting game controlled largely by the debtor, Bank Handlowy, the foreign trade bank.

Next week, for example, $240 million in already...

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