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September 19, 2011

Probability of default for Greece, Portugal, Ireland, Spain and Italy

The probability that Greece will default on its $345 billion in debt is near 100% according to credit default swap markets

After Greece, investors bet that Portugal would be the next member of the European Union to fall, with a default probability of 66%. For Ireland, that figure slips to 51%; the chances of Spain and Italy defaulting are 33% and 28% respectively, according to Markit.

These probabilities are calculated based on the current cost of buying protection over a period of years, typically five, versus the expected recovery rate.



Even if Greek and European officials can agree on deficit reduction measures, the bailout plans need to run a gauntlet of votes in 17 separate European parliaments.

Greece has only about €300 billion ($411 billion) in outstanding debt, believed to be mostly in the hands of European banks, adding all five countries' debt together comes to €2.8 trillion ($3.8 trillion).

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