James Pethokoukis

Politics and policy from inside Washington

Who’s going to default?

May 21, 2009

Here are some numbers (via The Big Picture) on how investors in credit default swaps views the odds of sovereign debt default by various nations:

In response to the S&P move on the outlook for the sovereign credit rating of the UK, its 5 yr CDS has risen today to 82 bps from 72.5 bps yesterday and is at the highest level since May 6th. For comparison, Italy is at 90 bps up from 84 yesterday, Japan is at 50, unchanged, the US is at 37 bps vs 34, France is at 37 up from 31, and Germany is at 34.5 bps vs 31.

Me: Beyond the UK’s problems, I would note that the US and France are about the same. This says a lot about the rapid decline in the American fiscal position.

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