95% Chance One of The Big 2.8 Will File for Bankruptcy
According to UniCredit SpA [ via Bloomberg], one of America's three biggest automakers is almost certain to default within the next five years. Extrapolating from risk premiums on credit-default swaps, GM faces an 84 percent chance of default, while Ford is looking at "at least 75 percent risk." Jochen Felsenheimer, chief of credit strategy at UniCredit, says "The costs imply there is close to 100 percent probability that one of the big three will file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy." And there's little the D3 can do to prevent default if the overall economic climate doesn't improve– and soon. "There might be a default at any time.'' It's the Collateralized Debt Obligations (CDOs), stupid. A variant of the Structured Investment Vehicles that brought down the mortgage market, CDO's are securities that repackage pools of bonds, loans and credit-default swaps and divide their cash flow into notes of varying risk and returns, which are then sold to investors. Credit-default swaps on GM and Ford were included in more than 80 percent of CDOs created before they lost their investment-grade debt rankings in 2005, according to Standard & Poor's. Bottom line: if one of the domestics goes down, it's taking a whole lot of market with it. With GM paying $4.7m upfront plus $500,000 a year to secure each $10m in financing, it's not a question of if, but when.
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