Fears that Greek businesses may be unable to pay their euro-denominated debts intensified Thursday, when two big companies that sell policies to cover exporters against losses from businesses that don't pay their bills said they will stop insuring Greek transactions. The announcement signals increasing difficulties for Greek businesses to get trade credit, which is necessary to import goods and thus keep the nation's economy running, and is one of the latest -- and most dangerous -- developments in the country's chronic financial crisis. The situation is growing so dire, analysts have begun to wonder how exactly Greece will be able to keep the lights on if the current crisis and, more specifically, speculation about the country exiting the common euro currency union, keeps going on for much longer. People offering trade credit to Greece have been skittish in recent weeks as talks have intensified regarding a potential exit from the euro zone.
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World Bank President Robert Zoellick is calling for the issuiing of a supranational "euro bond" that would be backed by credit guarantees from stronger euro zone economies while providing cheaper funding to struggling ones. Calling his suggestion a "partial euro bond solution" based on the "Hamiltonian model" used by the first 13 U.S. states during the late 18 th century, Zoellick told the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday that the revenue from such bonds could be used to facilitate a "match between the length of reforms and the length of funding." "The idea is, you offer some support for reforming countries on the financing side, but you keep the pressure on so that the markets will continue to apply discipline, in this case to any debt over the 60 percent," Zoellick said Or you could use the ESM [European Stability Mechanism, Europe's continent-wide rescue fund] and have the ESM provide the support, and the ESM will fund itself with what are in effect euro bonds.