3 Mar 2012

Political pressure to prevent CDS on Greece to pay out?

The example of a minor Austrian bank demonstrates the potential fallout that can be expected if CDS sellers are required to pay out in case Greece is 'officially' (by the insider-dominated ISDA committee) declared to be in default. Kommunalkreditbank - already rescued by the Austrian government - could be required to pay out in the high hundreds of millions of Euros if it is required to pay out on the CDS contracts it has sold. One has to assume that the Austrian government - and quite a few others - are not too keen to see the ISDA committee to declare that a credit event means that CDS contracts have to be paid out. Who will be brave enough to sue the Committee? Don't expect any help from the regulators - they are in the pockets of politicians who probably snigger about the fact that the CDS market has been little less than a game like the many online games - a financial markets farmville.
"Since when is a country's defaulting on its debt not a credit event?" asks Alan Abelson (Barron's)

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