With news of a “voluntary” haircut on Greek bonds of 50%, it’s time to look ahead to the next big trouble spots. By measure of 10-Year government bond yields, Portugal at 11.8%, Italy at 6.02%, and Spain at 5.51% (as compared to Germany at 2.18%), Portugal, Italy, and Spain clearly have critical issues.

Moreover, the economic data from Spain is continuously awful. For example Spain’s Unemployment “Unexpectedly” Rises to 21.52%

The number of unemployed persons increased by 144,700 in the third quarter, bringing the total number of unemployed amounted to 4,978,300 people, according to Labour Force Survey (EPA) released today by the National Statistics Institute (INE). Spain has not seen such a high unemployment rate since the fourth quarter of 1996.

Austerity measures and economic reforms in the “Club-Med” Euro states are much needed. However, the short and intermediate-term effect will not be good for sovereign debt yields, budget targets, or GDP.

Spain and Portugal are accidents waiting to happen (sooner rather than later), and judging from bond yields alone, it is safe to add Italy to that mix.

The euphoria of a “settlement” (that fixes nothing) in regards to the crisis in Greece will soon give way to the massive number of even larger problems elsewhere in the Eurozone.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock
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