Apple call the iPad a magical device, and nothing better illustrates that than the role it played in potentially sort out Greece’s debt problems. Phillip Elmer-DeWitt reports for Apple 2.0 that when Bob Apfel, the head of Bondholder Communications Group, a company that specialises in bond management was faced with the logistical nightmare of connecting thousands of bondholders, he turned to iPads to solve the problem.
“I wanted to do something different,” Apfel says. “So I bought 100 iPads.”
The Apple tablets, equipped with a custom-made debt-restructuring app, were handed out to the leadership team, including representatives from the Finance Ministry, the Hellenic Exchange (the Greek equivalent of the NYSE), the Bank of Greece (their version of the Federal Reserve) and the three external banks that managed the deal, Deutsche Bank, HSBC and Lazard.
“I watched hundreds of millions of bonds being ‘slam dunked’ as these guys were running down the halls,” says Apfel. “Split-second decisions were made that couldn’t have been made without the data platform.”
“It was the largest financial transaction in the history of the world,” he added. “And we couldn’t have done it without the iPad.”
If that isn’t amazing nothing is, and if the Greeks get out of their crisis, it will be in part because of the use of 100 iPads. At the closing of the last deal on April 25, $270 billion in debt had gone down to $140 billion, something which could make the difference in the long run.