We may have seen that spark. The world awoke this morning to the surprise news of the potential default by Dubai World.
As FT Alphaville puts it [emphasis mine]:
Dubai’s government stunned the debt markets on Wednesday by asking for a 6-month standstill on the debts of its flagship holding company Dubai World.
The shock move came just hours after the Government of Dubai raised $5bn via a bond issue, the proceeds of which traders had rather naively assumed would be used to pay back a loan issued by Nakheel, Dubai World’s property arm.
This may seem like a stupid and naïve question, but how can someone ask for a debt standstill just hours after raising a bond issue without some disclosure in the prospectus document?
Overnight the markets have moved from euphoria over the prospect of a V-shaped recovery to the despair over a potential sovereign default. Get ready for Extremistan.