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Europe’s Debt Bomb


A fantastic graphic by Nelson SD. Schwartz at the New York Times:


  • If the PIIGS default, their inter-dependent obligations between the PIIGS countries total 369 billion dollars.
  • Spain holds 1/3rd of Portugals liabilities. Obviously a bailout is good for Spain.
  • From the above graphic: Britain owns $418 billion of PIIGS debt, Germany $686 billion and France a whopping $929 billion. Obviously the biggest beneficiary is France, which can’t understand why it should lose nearly a trillion dollars, nearly Germany and Britain added up. Though honestly $511 billion is just exposure to Italy.  Britain is too confused right now about who’s going to rule it. Germany’s pissed off, but when you stand to lose $686 billion you get slightly less pissed off.
  • The point the article makes is – and I think I agree –  a default will trigger serious problems in the other Euro states. Greece will hurt Portugal, which will hurt Spain, and then it gets reeely bad from there.
  • The bailout isn’t really a PIIGS bailout, when you see the above numbers. Who’s really getting saved?

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