Monday, September 29, 2008

McDonald's versus the Treasury

TPS regular Thomas Johnson wrote in the comments of this post a wonderful observation that I had to bring to the forefront:
To insure a McDonald's bond, for instance, costs 28 basis points (i.e., 0.28% of the face value of the bond). Strangely, you can also buy CDS contracts on the ultimate risk-free asset: Treasury Bonds. Historically, Treasury CDSs have traded around 1 to 2 basis points. They closed Thursday at 25 basis points. Market participants believe that the US is only slightly less likely to default on its debt than McDonalds.

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