Saturday, October 9, 2010

S&P Projects 60% Of All Countries Will Be Junk-Rated By 2060, Sees Increasing "Tests To Social Cohesion"

When even S&P tells you that within 5 decades, nearly two-thirds of the world will be junk rated, you know it is time to close the history books on the current system. In a long-overdue analysis on the impact of demographics, titled, "Global Aging 2010: An Irreversible Truth", S&P analyst Marko Mrsnik, who made Greece's shitlist earlier this year for being the first to downgrade the country and set off the European scramble to launch a $1 trillion rescue package for the European dominoes, has come up with the first report that acknowledges that not only is the US and UK AAA rating not set in stone, but, far more surprisingly, is the admission that the current system is set on an unsustainable course. To wit:as the chart below suggests, S&P now expects that the number of countries rated "spec grade" to increase from 18% currently in a hypothetical sovereign ratings distribution, to over 60% by the late 2040s as deficit spending (and debt funding) explodes. Additionally, in a world attached to reality, the credit matrix would make the AAA sovereign rating history by 2030. Of course, this being S&P, the rating agency is terrified of actually confirming what everyone knows, and qualifies this as follows: "The hypothetical ratings should be regarded more appropriately as an illustration of the credit dimension and profile of the demographic challenge that governments face and not as an indication of expected credit performance." Alas, the real, non-hypothetical outcome will be far worse: As Mrsnik himself says later, "The challenges ahead are daunting for the vast majority of sovereigns covered in this survey, particularly in cases where market pressures are pushing policy makers to embrace budgetary consolidation simultaneously with structural reforms of pension and health-care systems. For some sovereigns, this may put the relationship between the state and electorate under strain and severely test social cohesion." Translation: war. (more)

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