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Sovereign Debt Defaults

Here’s two posts (article plus update) by The Shocked Investor on Sovereign Debt Defaults.

Concerns Escalate On Sovereign Debt Defaults: Who Is Next?

A week ago we posted the list of countries [below] at risk of default or with very poor credit ratings. It turns out that concerns are seriously growing worldwide about sovereign debt.

The Financial Times reports today that following the disasters in Greece and Dubai indeed sovereign debt risk is emerging as a serious concern for senior bankers, risk consultants and auditors: "Bankers at some large institutions are discussing whether they need to make provisions for sovereign risks in the same way they now set aside reserves to cover losses from corporate or emerging market risks".

This all has to do not only with the seemingly isolated financial disasters (Greece, Dubai, although one can add Hungary, Ireland, Iceland, Japan, the U.K, and even the U.S, and several others – are these really isolated?), but with the loose monetary policy employed by some countries. Moody’s has warned that debt could be sold off in 2010 if central banks do not implement successful exit strategies from these loose monetary policies.

"Control Risks, a risk consultancy, has seen a big increase in mandates from insurance companies and other financial institutions seeking to understand the part politics plays in sovereign default risk".

A survey showed lower risks for eurozone countries given the likelihood of support by other member states, however, countries such as Kazakhstan, Ukraine, the Seychelles and Eritrea – are vulnerable to downgrades and default.

So we have money printing pushing markets up, and debts and disasters in the making. This is why I like straddes so much. Anything can happen.

Sovereign Debt Update: Europe At Great Risk

Here is a great follow-up on our article on sovereign debt risk. The Wall Street Journal has a map of the risks in Europe:

[Chart: Euro Zone Grapples With Debt Crisis, WSJ]

Says the WSJ article: "After two years of crashing banking systems and economic recession, the euro zone enters 2010 with a full-blown debt crisis. The European Commission warns that public finances in half of the 16 euro-zone nations are at high risk of becoming unsustainable".

"Half of the 16 euro-zone countries are deemed to be at "high risk" in terms of the sustainability of their public finances. See an overview of each country’s economic data. Governments will spend the next year and beyond balancing the urgent need to fix public-sector debt and deficits — without imperiling what appears to be a feeble economic recovery. Even the staunchest optimists in Brussels and Frankfurt see a rocky process, with rating firms poised for more downgrades and bond markets meting out daily judgment over how governments are doing".

Source:  Euro Zone Grapples With Debt Crisis, WSJ 

 

[Chart from The Top Countries At Risk of Default]

 


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