Jim’s Mailbox

Posted at 1:07 PM (CST) by & filed under Guild Investment, Jim's Mailbox.

Dear Jim,

Please note this Reuters memo from yesterday. Norway has the safest bonds while Germany is also safe.

Your pal,
Monty

Norway safest govt debt investment, Ecuador riskiest -study
Tuesday, December 16, 2008 2:14:06 AM (GMT-08:00)
Provided by: Reuters News

LONDON: The country least likely to default on its sovereign debt in the next five years is Norway and the country most likely to is Ecuador, according to a study by data provider CMA Datavision.

Using an "industry standard" model and its own credit default swap (CDS) pricing data, CMA Datavision says the cumulative probability of default (CPD) for Norway over the period is three percent, and 93 percent for Ecuador.

The United States’ CPD is six percent, making it the sixth most financially stable sovereign behind Norway, Japan, Germany, France and Finland.

Argentina, Ukraine, Pakistan and Venezuela all have a CPD of 80 percent or higher, according to the study.

The cost of insuring against governments defaulting on their debt has ballooned in recent months as the global economic downturn has forced them to announce heavy borrowing plans to pay for large-scale fiscal packages of spending and tax cuts.

The CDS rates on US, UK and most euro zone sovereign debt have hit record highs recently. Looking at CDS pricing in isolation, investors are paying more to insure against the UK government defaulting than McDonald’s.

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