” (…) The IMF studied how credit default swap spreads react to a variety of economic indicators. Larger primary deficits (which exclude interest) lead to wider spreads, but only in the euro zone. More surprising, neither long-run deficits, long-run trends in pension and health care spending, nor long-run economic growth, had much impact. But near term growth did: weaker current-year growth was associated with notably wider spreads.
As Carlo Cottarelli and Laura Jaramillo of the IMF note in a related analysis, this is surprising. In theory, investors should see long-term growth as most important for solvency. The fact that instead they are focused so much on short term growth has troubling implications. Tighter fiscal policy, by hurting the near term growth outlook, could actually lead to wider, rather than narrower, spreads. (…)”
“Perverse austerity ” in The Economist