Friday, January 18, 2008

Default Odds

Bond insurers:

Jan. 18 (Bloomberg) -- MBIA Inc. and Ambac Financial Group Inc., the two biggest bond insurers, have a more than 70 percent chance of going bankrupt, credit-default swaps show.

Prices for contracts that pay investors if Armonk, New York- based MBIA can't meet its debt obligations imply a 71 percent chance the company will default in the next five years, according to a JPMorgan Chase & Co. valuation model. For New York-based Ambac, credit-default swaps show the odds are 73 percent.


The bond insurers place their AAA stamp on $2.4 trillion of debt sold by thousands of municipalities across the country, as well as subprime-mortgage securities. Losing those rankings may cost borrowers and investors as much as $200 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.