Mikhail Kasyanov was in London when he learned of his nomination as minister of finance. He was there to pledge no default and to seek a six-month delay from private creditors on about $850 million due to them on June 2. So far, no deal, and the two-week grace period in the loan agreement is passing by. Most of the money is owed on bonds issued two years ago as part of a negotiated restructuring of old Soviet debt, and therefore called “Interest Arrears Notes,” or IAN’s. As “The Economist” pointed out, English law, not Russian, governs the restructuring agreement, which includes an explicit waiver of sovereign immunity–in other words, the borrower (Vneshekonombank) can be sued in a English court. Some bondholders have threatened to do so. The market dislikes their chances of recovery, however. The bonds in question, which traded at about a 40 percent discount a year ago, are priced at a 90 percent discount now.