Some $2.1 trillion of European company and bank debt matures in the next three years, raising "substantial refinancing risk", Standard & Poor's said on Tuesday.
With new bond issues at a virtual standstill after the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers, fears have intensified that companies will be unable to raise fresh debt to pay off maturing bonds, potentially pushing them into default.
"Funding pressures in Europe have escalated sharply since September as stress in the global financial system accelerated," S&P analysts said in a note.
"Given the soaring cost of capital the sizeable pipeline of debt coming due suggests substantial refinancing risk."
Emphasis added by me.
Never in my life did I ever think I'd be doing posts that mentioned trillions of dollars. I'm still stunned that a quadrillion has been mentioned.