Spanish sovereign debt default

It now seems that Iceland has defaulted, apparently believing Russia will be foolish enough to attempt to protect what’s left of its cod against ETA trawlers from Bilbao. Spain is not going down that road, at least not yet, but one of the more-quoted papers on the subject (De Paoli, Hoggarth & Saporta, Cost of sovereign debt) informs us that it did so thirteen times between 1500 and 1900. I rather liked this Punch item on steps towards a more united Europe, dated September 1 1860:

SPAIN, put up by France and Austria, as a candidate for admission to the United European, has been blackballed by England, who declines to associate with an Uncertificated Insolvent. Spain is so frantic that she is half inclined to pay her debts, but will probably think twice over so rash an act.

The Dutch haven’t got any genuine armed forces, so they’re sending in the bailiffs to repossess office furniture from the Dutch Icesave, which has also done a runner.

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  1. Perfectly explaining the 54 billion in the national mattress, recent assurances that the world’s most solvent banks were, in fact, solvent, the 100 grand deposit guarantee, the 30 billion in case that doesn’t stop a bank run and… the resilience of property prices even when there’s no buyers.

  2. I’m slightly puzzled this evening. People I trust to a reasonable degree say that people they know are having problems taking cash out of certain regional banks, and that there’s been a flow of funds to German and other 100% guaranteed entities. But the offical news is still that our banks (including the Murcia caja) are the best in the world.

    I’ve been meaning to suggest to that nice Mr Butler that he dig up his trees, get in subsistence farmer refugees from the cities, and live like a feudal lord. If he doesn’t already.

  3. I don’t know the person to whom you are referring, but I can assure you that guarantee turns to 100% – like tomorrow-ish. That may not do the trick, either here or in Germany.

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