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After years of bitter court battles with creditors, Argentina has defaulted on its debt, according to rating agency Standard & Poor’s. After failing to come to an agreement with creditors from its previous default in 2001, the country missed necessary bond payments on July 31, triggering the default announcement. As of publication, other organizations, most notably the rating agency Moody’s Investors Service and the International Swaps and Derivatives Association, a derivatives trade group, have yet to release public statements confirming the default.
Argentina is not the only country that has struggled, or even failed, to pay its debt in recent years. It is hardly the only country with a severely impaired credit rating either. Alongside Argentina, Moody’s currently lists 10 other countries with a rating of Caa1 or worse. A Caa1 rating is several notches below Ba1, which still carries substantial credit risk. Based on ratings from Moody’s Investors Service, these are the 11 countries at risk of default.
The countries with the lowest credit ratings significantly differ from one another. They span the globe, ranging from Greece and Ukraine in Europe, to Pakistan in Asia, to Ecuador, Venezuela, and Belize in the Americas.
These nations also suffer from vastly different problems. Some nations, such as Ukraine and Egypt, owe their recent downgrades to political conditions. Others, such as Belize and Ecuador, have actually been upgraded in recent years based on their improved financial positions.
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