Posts Tagged

Sovereign debt

Bogotá's Business District

S&P, a global credit rating agency, recently downgraded Colombia’s credit rating to a non-investment grade, implying that Colombian government bonds are now high-risk financial assets. The downgrade hit the country amid a wave of mass unrest. For over a month, Colombians spanning all strata of society protested in large numbers. Sparked initially by opposition to a government-proposed tax reform, which President Ivan Duque soon retracted, protesters expressed diverse demands, including calling for the Duque administration to resign, a series of social and economic reforms, a thorough implementation of Colombia’s 2016 peace agreement, and an end to police brutality. Protesters thus have called for nothing less than a complete overhaul of Colombia’s political and economic system. The protests form part of …

Government debt is a burgeoning issue, but the solutions are thus far a damp squib. Despite claims otherwise, the debt crisis is not one that has been solved – not even partially. Recently, European leaders saluted an agreement on settling  part of Greece’s outstanding debt– largely by canceling it. Yet, European governments have merely found a way to roll debt over, with debt levels scheduled to increase further, at least until 2016. Interest rates on government bonds should increase correspondingly – hence the rating agencies’ downgrades. Unless we encounter solid growth throughout Europe, we are heading toward further turmoil. Far from attempting to be pessimistic, I solely seek to reflect on the reality of the situation and what it may entail for the future. What leaders haven’t …