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Spanish regional government solvency comes to the forefront [ClearOnMoney]
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Spanish regional government solvency comes to the forefront

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Commentary

Spanish regional government solvency comes to the forefront

23 Jul 2012 by Jim Fickett.

Although those incapable of dealing with complexity have often pointed out Spain's relatively low level of central government debt (compared, say, to Greece or Italy), it has been clear for nearly two years that the regional governments, which control an unusually large fraction of the nation's budget, also have dangerous debts and deficits (23-contagion_spain).

Today, as one of the regional governments let its current problems be known, this issue came back to the fore and, as a result, Spain's borrowing costs once again rose to a new record. From the Financial Times:

Spain’s borrowing costs rose dramatically on Monday as the prospect of the country’s regional governments asking for financial rescues amplified fears that Madrid may be forced to request an international sovereign bailout.

The country’s two-year bond yield saw its biggest one-day move since the eurozone debt crisis broke out in early 2010, jumping almost a percentage point at one stage to 6.74 per cent, the highest level since November 1996, before closing at 6.53 per cent. …

Yields … also set a fresh euro-era high on Spanish 10-year bonds, climbing as high as 7.56 per cent. …

The Valencia region formally requested help from the central government on Friday, but is expected to be followed by other regional governments, such as Catalonia, which has an economy the size of Portugal.