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« What Faith Are You? | Main | Dressing Up is Hard to Do »

March 15, 2009


Friedrich von Blowhard writes:

Dear Blowhards,

Who you gonna believe? The prez:

Obama Says Investors Can Be Fully Confident in U.S.

Or your own lyin’ eyes:

Cost to buy protection against U.S. government default surges



posted by Friedrich at March 15, 2009


Surely if the U.S. government defaults, then we're all doomed, including the institutions issuing credit default swaps for U.S. government debt. They'll be offering you protection against the world ending next.

Posted by: Susan T. on March 16, 2009 10:08 AM

According to the story, the rate for CDS on U.S. debt is now about 100 "basis points", equal to France and well below Britain (160). This suggests that despite everything, the U.S. is still in relatively good shape - or that other countries are even worse off.

One wonders what the rates are on other state debt: Japan, Germany, Canada, Korea, China, Switzerland, Italy?

These CDS instruments are insurance against default by the U.S. The other question to be asked is: What private institution, or even class of institution, could possibly pay off all the claims from such an event?

Posted by: Rich Rostrom on March 16, 2009 8:58 PM

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