Europe CDS Update: All Wider

Tyler Durden's picture

Well what do you know: you can beat them, you can trash them, you can make them illegal, you can even leave them for dead. But at the end of the day all Credit Default Swaps do is tell the truth better than any career politician.


ITALY               507/517  +25    
SPAIN              387/397  +3                         
PORTUGAL     1015/1055 +16                         
IRELAND         700/730  0                                 
GREECE         56.5/59.5 -1                                                                                                            
BELGIUM         287/297  +13                               
FRANCE          180/184  +5                                
AUSTRIA         155/163  +3                               
UK                   86/90  +3                         
GERMANY         86/89  +3.5   

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
goldencross10's picture

Italy will be the next to fail, no doubt in my mind

topcallingtroll's picture

So it is expected that spain and portugal will stick to deficit reduction plans?

Ethics Gradient's picture

Germany = AAA at 86/89

France = AAA at 180/184


mccoyspace's picture

"All AAA are equal, but some AAA are more equal than others"

slaughterer's picture

France's AAA is dead man walking. 

CPL's picture

Wonder if it'll give up it's gold like Germany will this week.

Josephine29's picture

I guess Portugals numbers have been influenced heavily by this news today. These are the latest retail sales figures.

I also spotted some horrendous numbers on an annual comparison for Portugal at -6.2% and Spain at -5.8%. Portugal is looking ever more like Greece-lite, let us hope for her sake this trend does not continue.

rosex229's picture

Amazing how both the UK and Germany have no spread what-so-ever... then there's France

CosmicBuddha's picture

"But at the end of the day all Credit Default Swaps do is tell the truth better than any career politician."


CDS are the biggest lie of all. If there is a systemic failure then none of these "insurance" products will pay out a single cent since all those who have written them will be bankrupt. Allowing "insurance" products to be written without any financial backing to ensure that they are paid is the achilles heel which will destroy the current financial system. 

kridkrid's picture

No. Credit/debt money and fractional reserve banking is what does the system in. CDS is, in theory, a way to profit from the madness.

CosmicBuddha's picture

CDS is the detonator whilst debt money and FRB is the bomb - much like a thermonuclear bomb, a fission bomb is needed as a detonator to reach the massive temperatures required to initiate the fusion reaction.

mess nonster's picture

“Tools that transfer risk can also increase systemic risk if major counterparties fail to manage their exposures properly.”

-Ms. Blythe Masters, the inventor of the CDS, first used to hedge Exxon's exposure to the Prince William Sound oil spill, and apparent master of understatement

"Oh....shit! Ohhh, my head...."

-Captain Joe Hazelwood, hung-over master of the Exxon Valdez, and the unwitting reason for the global economic meltdown.

common_sense's picture

WHAT ABOUT USA?  Berlusconi has lots of friends in USA... USA still AAA ???   WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYyyyy??????

Any interest in USA to keep Papandreu in Greece and Berlusconi/Ruby in Italy ???  WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY????


Mercury's picture

 But at the end of the day all Credit Default Swaps do is tell the truth better than any career politician.

Is it a sad commentary on the human condition in the “developed” world that such an opaque and abstract contrivance (especially one that has recently demonstrated failure to deliver the goods) is the best thermometer of reality?


...or just a demonstration of how a relatively free and unfettered market produces accurate price discovery?

Archduke's picture

@tyler:  this is pedantic, but why is greece not at 5650/5950 like the others?

btw BBG CGGB1U5:IND isn't trading anymore (0%).

ZeroPower's picture

ITs pretty much redundant to quote CDS once you get into the stratosphere i.e. 2000bp+

Pts upfront are the convention now.

El Viejo's picture

The big question:
What is Goldman's exposure??

Snakeeyes's picture

Yup, and the Greek 1 yr is at 238.24%!

The Olive Oil Crisis Gets ... Oilier

YesWeKahn's picture

And you can print, you can fake a recovery, you can pump a stock market...

AndrewJackson's picture

Can we start reporting bond yields as oppose to cds? Clearly, after the greece 50% voluntary haircuts, these products can not be trusted to show a valid market. If I were to buy a cds right now, I would view it as an option on insurance rather than straight up insurance. Anyone trading these things has to keep in mind the probability of "voluntary haircuts" coming when coming up with a  value for them.

topcallingtroll's picture

Rating agencies are beholden to their payers.
Governments kowtow to their swing voters.

The market knew the size of the greek haircut six months ago.

Under the circumstances the markets truth telling and signaling functions have performed amazingly well, in spite of the constant lies from governments attempting to influence it.

tavit8's picture

Can someone please explain what these numbers represent? No need to explain how CDS works... thanks!

GREECE         56.5/59.5 -1

GERMANY         86/89  +3.5   

Archduke's picture

cost of protection (bps): 

The "spread" of a CDS is the annual amount the protection buyer must pay the protection seller over the length of the contract, expressed as a percentage of the notional amount. For example, if the CDS spread of Risky Corp is 50 basis points, or 0.5% (1 basis point = 0.01%), then an investor buying $10 million worth of protection from AAA-Bank must pay the bank $50,000 per year.


Archduke's picture


Currently single-name CDS trade on a "running spread" or "par spread" basis—the protection buyer pays for protection by making regular spread payments (premiums) to the protection seller until the contract matures or there is a credit event. So for example, if a 5-year CDS on $10 million notional is quoted at 100bps, the protection buyer will pay $100,000 a year (usually broken into quarterly payments). Crucially, no money is exchanged upfront—this is why CDS are leveraged bets.

Now the market is moving to trading on a "points upfront" basis. Contracts will have fixed coupons of either 100bps or 500bps, and upfront payments will be made at initiation to reflect the change in price. The amount paid upfront will equal the present value of the difference between the current market spread and the fixed coupon. So if a contract with a fixed coupon of 100bps is trading at 150bps, the protection buyer would make an upfront payment equal to the present value of the difference between 150bps and 100bps. If the market spread is lower than the fixed coupon, then the protection seller would have to pay the difference between the two spreads upfront.

The most popular index contracts (CDX and iTraxx) trade on a similar points upfront basis. Each index series has a fixed coupon (expressed as a spread) that's set when the series is launched, and when the market spread trades away from the fixed spread (known as the "deal spread"), the parties make an upfront payment equal to the present value of the difference between the two spreads.

tavit8's picture

Thx Archduke... but what exactly does 56.5/59.5 -1 mean for Greece?

Archduke's picture

I believe 5650/5950 is the indicative bid/ask spread in basis points while -1 is the change (in %?).

As to why there should be a spread:  that's no doubt a function of illiquidity and opacity.

Maybe some smart swaps trader here can explain how the spread is calculated and skewed?


see the following  (not that I endorse cnbc) .


tavit8's picture

So if i wanted to insure a 5 YR Greek bond until maturity I would have to pay 297.5% of par value in CDS premiums?? (59.5 CDS spread * 5 yrs)

Also, thanks for the link! I've been looking for free CDS spreads for a while now

Archduke's picture

yes, but you'd only get 56.5 /annum if you were selling protection.  though these are indicative "ideal" spreads

what you'd get would be dependent on volume (notional), your credit rating, and your relationship with your dealer.