Friday, 25 November 2011

Meanwhile in Eastern Europe: Step aside Italy! Hungary downgraded to junk

The financial ratings agency Moody's has proceeded today to downgrade the sovereign debt of Hungary to junk status (Ba1 with an negative outlook) down one notch. Competing rating agency S&P held its bazooka and kept the rating of Hungarian debt constant. The pressure on Hungary to seek a joint IMF/EU deal is mounting on the shoulders of Viktor Orban.

No rest for the wicked

After the failed German auction which left the Bundesbank with more than 35% of its bonds on the table, and which pushed up the yields to 2.28%. As the 10 year yields bunds are currently the benchmark rate for all European Debt and are perceived as a flight to quality, all other European debt goes down along with it.

Hungary is particularly gunned down by bond vigilantes, because of their refusal to accept IMF/EU emergency lending and because the relationship with the banking sector has not been the most fruitful one. Their 10 year yield shoot up to 9.56%, up 73 basis points.

The USD/HUF is still bleeding at the level of 235.75, up 13% since the beginning of the year. I take it that the Hungarian people don't want to add more debt to current public debt, but an IMF/EU accord at substantial lower rates (towards the 4-5% level) would certainly be appropriate.

What is your take on this ? What should the Hungarian government do to stop the bleeding ?

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