Cost of insuring against U.S. default rises to highest since 2009

May 11, 2023
FILE PHOTO: Illustration shows U.S. dollar banknotes

LONDON (Reuters) – The cost of insuring against a U.S. default rose to its highest since early 2009 on Thursday, in the latest sign of investor nerves over the debt ceiling standoff.

U.S. 5-year sovereign credit default swaps rose to 74 basis points, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence, up from 73 basis points at the previous close and the highest since March 2009.

U.S. President Joe Biden on Wednesday said a failure to quickly raise the $31.4 trillion debt ceiling could throw the economy into a recession and destroy thousands of jobs.

Donald Trump, who is currently leading the field for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, said the party should demand massive spending cuts, or let the U.S. default, playing down the consequences of such an event.

The yield on the one-month U.S. Treasury bill was up 18 basis points on Thursday at 5.705%, reflecting investor concern about the issue. That was shy of Wednesday’s peak of 5.811%, which was the highest stretching back to 2001, according to Refinitiv data. Yields move inversely to prices.

(Reporting by Harry Robertson; Editing by Amanda Cooper)