Un anno di default di debiti sovrani?

MIAMI – Quando si parla di debito sovrano, il termine "default" è spesso frainteso. Quasi mai esso implica il rifiuto totale e permanente di tutto il debito; infatti, perfino alcuni titoli russi dell'epoca zarista erano stati alla fine (anche se solo in parte) rimborsati dopo la rivoluzione del 1917. Piuttosto, il mancato pagamento - un "default", secondo le agenzie di rating, quando coinvolge creditori privati - spinge in genere a una discussione sulla ristrutturazione del debito, che può comportare una proroga della scadenza, tagli nel pagamento della cedola o riduzione del valore nominale (i cosiddetti "haircut").

Se la storia è maestra di vita, tali discussioni potrebbero verificarsi anche nel 2016.

Come tanti altri aspetti dell'economia globale, l'accumulo del debito e il default tendono a verificarsi a cicli. Dal 1800, l'economia globale ha visto alternarsi parecchi di questi cicli, con la quota dei paesi indipendenti in fase di ristrutturazione nel corso di un anno che oscilla tra lo zero e il 50% (vedi grafico). Considerando che uno o due decenni di pausa di default non sono infrequenti, ogni periodo di tranquillità è stato regolarmente seguito da una nuova ondata di default.

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