Ireland And Portugal Resume Their Places Among Europe's Teetering Dominos

While all eyes are focused on Greece (and contagiously Spain), they have forgotten that two far weaker countries still exits - and combined have the power to do as much (if not more) damage than Spain. Portugal and Ireland have moved back into the Red-Zone of risk in Europe's credit markets. Ireland back over 700bps and Portugal back over 1200bps reflects both their idiosyncratic issues (that we have discussed at length) or the systemic issues (which we discussed most recently this morning here). In the case of Portugal, it appears the Dan Loeb trade (we said to fade it) is now being unwound en masse as the reality of the fundamental risks we discussed here seem to be realized. In the case of Ireland, not only is there a rising chance of a 'no' vote at the forthcoming referendum (discussed here) but as Deutsche Bank notes today, via Bloomberg, that Irish banks may face a further $5.1 billion capital call to cover loan losses as "A new, even modest, increase in capital requirements could deter sovereign investor participation and tip the balance in favor of the sovereign requiring a second loan program." Of course the CDS reflect not just the chance of these nations restructuring but also the probability of a EUR devaluation (since the instruments are denominated in USD) but still - we thought Ireland was the template for the success of austerity?

Ireland's risk is breaking out...

and via Citigroup:

"We believe a second program would be forthcoming if requested, probably initially without private sector involvement unless the Irish government itself insisted that PSI is needed, which is unlikely in our view," said Citigroup economists including Juergen Michels and Michael Saunders in a note. "With Ireland’s high government debt level and low potential growth, the risk of eventual government debt restructuring (PSI, Official Sector Involvement or both) also is likely to persist."

and Portugal is critical again...

and this was a disaster in the bond markets...

from our earlier note:

"All-in-all, Portugal remains totally unresolved as a nation mired in unsustainable debt, is likely to need a second bailout very soon and probably a restructuring and while bonds may appear to have rallied, this is entirely due to LTRO and Basis-trade effects and only the long-end (less affected by these technicals) reflects the considerably less sanguine state of this nation's future."


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