Saturday, November 28, 2009

Dubai's Impact on Ireland (and Beyond)

Simon Johnson explains:

The credit default swap spreads for Irish banks have widened signficantly — even relative to HSBC, with its direct Dubai involvement. In part, this is hedge funds betting that others will want to insure against the rising risk of an Irish default, but what’s the connection?

The thinking is that a partial bailout – with creditor losses – for Dubai from Abu Dhabi implies something about how Ireland will be treated within the European Union (and the same reasoning is also more vaguely in the air for Greece).

This may make sense for three reasons.

If Dubai can effectively default or reschedule its debts without disrupting the global economy, then others can do the same.

If Abu Dhabi takes a tough line and doesn’t destabilize markets, others (e.g., the EU) will be tempted to do the same (i.e., for Ireland and Greece). “No more unconditional bailouts” is an appealing refrain in many capitals.

If the US supports some creditor losses for Dubai (e.g., because of its connections with Iran), this makes it easier to impose losses on creditors elsewhere (even perhaps where IMF programs are in place, such as Eastern Europe).

1 comment:

  1. Hi Robert.

    Am I mistaken?
    I thought legally Dubai world is on its obligation on the part of the government.