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China’s debt/GDP ratio of 20-30% isn’t as attractive as it looks, writes Patrick Chovanec

Toss in contingent liabilities for the banks, local governments, and things like the railway system, and even optimists put the number at 90%. Pessimists put it at 200% or higher, Greek territory. Remember, Irish government finances were the envy of the world until its real estate boom went bust. In any case, “China’s fiscal resources are

Fitch: French rating at risk if crisis worsens

By Polya Lesova

LONDON (MarketWatch) — Fitch Ratings said on Wednesday that France’s triple-A credit rating would be at risk if a further intensification of the euro-zone crisis resulted in a much sharper economic downturn in France and a material increase in the risk of contingent liabilities. The ratings company also said that additional consolidation

Semi-annual OTC Derivatives Statistics (BIS)

(Extract from page 22 of BIS Quarterly Review, September 2011)

Stefan Avdijev

Recently, there has been a substantial amount of interest in the extent to which the category “guarantees extended” 1 of the BIS consolidated banking statistics on an ultimate risk basis could be used as a proxy for the credit default swap (CDS) exposures of

MOODY’S warns France

(Reuters) – Moody’s warned on Monday it may slap a negative outlook on France’s Aaa credit rating in the next three months if the costs for helping to bail out banks and other euro zone members stretch its budget too much.

The warning comes as European Union leaders are discussing measures to protect the region’s financial

One thing is certain: anyone calling for a prompt return of BAC to a $20/30/share price is certainly insane!

by ZH

Ten days ago Zero Hedge presented the idea of applying an Asbestos-type settlement to the neverending lawsuits against Bank of America which if continue at the current rate will result in the swift and brutal end of the massively undercapitalized bank by a thousand Rep and Warranty litigation cuts. Yesterday, we were happy

Off-balance sheet liabilities

by  JW n FL

“All other off-balance sheet liabilities. Report all significant types of off-balance sheet

liabilities not covered in other items of this schedule. Exclude all items which are required to

be reported as liabilities on the balance sheet of the Report of Condition (Schedule RC),

contingent liabilities arising in connection with litigation in

It looks like the IMF has finally gotten the memo, declaring in a blog post that government bonds are not the risk-free asset they once were.

The main implication being that sovereign paper now assumes the characteristics of a credit instrument – the price mainly reflects probability of default.

The blog post:

By José Viñals

The risk free nature of government bonds, one of the cornerstones of the global financial system, has come into question as the global crisis unfolds.

One thing is

First Greece, now Ireland: “Moody’s Investors Service has today downgraded Ireland’s foreign- and local-currency government bond ratings by five notches to Baa1 from Aa2. The outlook on the Baa1 rating is negative.”

Key drivers for the downgrade: the crystallization of bank related contingent liabilities; the increased uncertainty regarding the country’s economic outlook; and the decline in the Irish government’s financial strength. And just as the rally in the EURUSD was about to parabolic…

From Moody’s

Moody’s Investors Service has today downgraded Ireland’s foreign- and local-currency government bond