Despite the official line that the Greek debt situation was unique, the chances of further debt restructurings in Europe are growing.
The bond markets seem to be preparing for a Greek-style debt reduction in Portugal. Portugal's 10-year bonds were trading at a 47 percent discount to face value on Friday. Its 10-year debt yields 13.71 percent. This is an improvement from January's record high of 18.29 percent, but still far from any level indicating confidence or sustainability. The bonds are rated "junk" by Moody's, S&P and Fitch.
Almost every news story on the situation in Portugal quotes a bond market participant proclaiming that the end is nigh.
“The market doesn’t believe that Greece is a unique case. Portugal is very similar ,” Matteo Regesta, a senior fixed-income strategist at BNP Paribas SA in London, tells Bloomberg.
Policy-makers are still in denial, however.
Last week, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Shaeuble described Greece as a "completely unique case." Bloomberg cites Vitor Constancio, ECB vice president and former Bank of Portugal governor, as saying that Portuguese austerity measures were on track — denying that the Greek restructuring would need to be repeated.
An editorial from Bloomberg more or less advocates a Greek-style orderly default and restructuring for Portugal:Page 1 of 3 | Next Page