Friday, May 08, 2009

"Political Risk Premium" for US Corporate Bonds

Well, there's a first time for everything. And this is the very first time I've seen this in print.

(From The Guardian/London):

Political risk is becoming a growing concern for investors in the United States as the government plays a larger and more controversial role in private enterprise because of the financial crisis.

State intervention in economic affairs is always closely watched by investors for what it means for their decisions on where to allocate money, although this is usually more of a worry in emerging markets than in developed economies

Yah, umnnnnhhhhh, 'emerging markets' are like Bangladesh, and Djibouti....

Investors concerned that politics could hurt them may demand a risk premium before they buy stocks or bonds or do a business deal. That could make the U.S. less competitive and money might flow elsewhere.

"There is a much larger political risk premium on investing in the United States than there has been in years," said Sean West, an analyst at Eurasia Group, a research and consulting firm that studies political risks.

"What we're seeing now in the United States is much more like what we see in emerging markets, where the government either by choice or as a result of circumstance is in a position to decide which companies or banks survive and which ones don't," he said. "These were almost unthinkable risks a year ago."


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