Sovereign Risk in Europe and the Euro Area

The IIEA and Law Society are running a seminar on April 26th on this topic  – details here.  Among the speakers is Lee Buchheit who was a leader in sovereign debt restructuring in the 1980s and 1990s and is currently representing Iceland in the Icesave dispute with the Dutch and UK governments.

Reminder:  Bob Aliber talk on financial crises in TCD tomorrow Friday, 12.30-2, Room 3051, Arts Block.

Update:  Aliber seminar will be held in IIIS seminar room, not Room 3051.

10 replies on “Sovereign Risk in Europe and the Euro Area”

For people without Bloomberg: CMA Markets provide a snapshot on CDS rates and the Cumulative Probability of Default over next 5 years (CPD). See:

For example, at 16:30 today, probability of default by Greece over next 5 years is 30%. Worse than Ukraine, Iraq, Dubai, Iceland, etc. In Ireland’s case its a 12% change. Worse than Italy, Spain, Czech Republic in Europe and in more exotic places worse than South Africa, Kazakhstan, or Panama.

They update the tables 3 times a day.

Even for people with a Bloomberg, the CPD may be a useful relative measure of sentiment at a point in time, but has no proven (or provable) predictive ability. It is no more prescient than a bookmaker’s odds, or a yield curve. In layman’s terms, it’s cobblers.

Strangely, the price providers to the latter processes don’t have any objection to their prices being made widely available for testing in the open market, with full price transparency. The CMA data and CDS data from other providers, however, is both hoarded and subject to a proprietary algorithmic process, before delayed release to the public. This delayed release is accompanied by a headline-oriented spin by CMA, who are involved in a market-share battle with rivals Markit.


* This seminar is jointly organised by the Institute of International and European Affairs (IIEA) and the EU & International Affairs Committee of the Law Society of Ireland
* It takes place on Monday, 26 April 2010 at 5.30pm at the IIEA, 8 North Great Georges Street, Dublin 1
* Attendance is free but registration is required
* To register, call (01) 874 67 56 or email

Economic warfare.

Clearly, the EU and its constituent municipal parts, are engaged in battle. But with whom? The taxpayers versus “fat cats” who lost control over management, who sold weapons of mass financial destruction? I know who will win, but in the meantime, capitalism is in doubt.

Those who lost control will lose billions. They were stupid and did not understand the potential of derivatives. Ultimately all laws, enforcing private property, are backed by force. Bankers who break the rules will be faced by bankers who could understand what was happeneing and who controlled their capital.

This group may even have invented derivatives …….. they will be operating through state structures and will annihilate those who left control to managers who may change sides. Individuals do not matter, for the bulk of us, we will have to muddle through until it is all sorted out.

Any one agree?


We regret to inform you that the Joint IIEA/Law Society seminar on “Sovereign Risk in Europe and the Eurozone”, which was due to take place on Monday 26th April at 5.30pm at the IIEA, has been postponed due to travel complications arising out of the ongoing flight restrictions.

This event has been rescheduled for Monday 14th June. Timing and other details will be confirmed closer to this new date.


Evening Seminar at the Institute of International and European Affairs

Date: Monday 14 June 2010

Time: 5.30pm – 7.30pm

Venue: IIEA, 8 North Great Georges Street, Dublin 1

About the Event:

At this rescheduled seminar, jointly hosted by the IIEA and the Law Society of Ireland’s EU & International Affairs Committee, an expert panel will evaluate the political context of the current crisis, its implications for the Euro, and its likely impact on the real economy.

About the Speakers:

Lee C. Buchheit is an internationally renowned US legal expert on sovereign debt issues. He currently serves as the chairman of the Icelandic government’s negotiating committee in the Icesave dispute between the Icelandic, British and Dutch governments.

Dietmar Hornung is the Vice-President and Senior Analyst of Moody’s Sovereign Risk Group. He is also the rating agency’s lead analyst on Ireland.

Ann Pettifor is the Executive Director of Advocacy International and a fellow of the UK’s New Economics Foundation. She is well known for her work on sovereign debt and international finance, including co-founding the Jubilee 2000 (Drop the Debt) campaign.

The seminar will be chaired by Dan O’Brien, former Europe Editor of the Economist Intelligence Unit and incoming Economics Editor of the Irish Times.

Further Information:

Attendance is free and open to the public but registration is required. To register, call (01) 874 6756 or email

This event is jointly hosted by the IIEA and the EU & International Affairs Committee of the Law Society of Ireland.

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