Tower Private Advisors
- Warren Buffett
- Recession survey (more…)
Ever since the U.S. saw its debt downgraded to AA+ by S & P, market participants seem to have a metaphorical burr under the saddle over the fact that France retained its AAA rating–and had it reaffirmed. Most consider France to be on shakier ground. Credit Default Swaps seem to reflect the S & P view, although French 1-year CDSs are rising rapidly, as shown below. It seems there are rumors some of its banks may hold some toxic debt.
If this keeps up we might need to add an F to PIIGS, but PIFIGS doesn’t make much sense. Maybe we could just put a French accent on PIIGS and call them all PEEGS.
This is eerily reminiscent of what Bear Stearns and Lehman Bros. did before they blew up:
Exactly what rumors are they categorically denying? ‘Not sure, but the cost of insuring against a SocGen default is up by 10% today. I’m guessing the market’s speculating they own some toxic Italian or Spanish debt.
Still, what happened to Bear Stearns’ CDSs makes the chart above look positively tame:
Here’s a comparison of the action.