A CDS is a financial contract that protect the holder from loss of interest and principal if a given bond goes into default. CDS prices are often used as indicators of default risk. The higher the CDS price the greater the default risk (see here for more info).
The table below shows current 5-year credit default swap (CDS) prices for 44 countries. Countries are sorted by the least risky (lowest CDS prices) to most risky (highest CDS prices):
A few observations:
1. According to CDS prices, which have risen for nearly all countries in 2011, the world’s a much riskier place now than it was at the beginning of the year
2. The PIGS (Greece, Ireland, Portugal and Spain) have some of the highest default risks (no surprise there) but Italian CDS prices are right up there as well
3. Despite their less than glowing financial situations, CDS prices for the UK, the US and Japan are significantly lower than most Eurozone countries
4. Dubai default risk is up there with the PIGS and Italy but Abu Dhabi’s default risk is as low as Germany and the UK.