Moody's Warns of 'Social Unrest' as Sovereign Debt Spirals

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In a sombre report on the outlook for next year, the credit rating agency raised the prospect that future tax rises and spending cuts could trigger social unrest in a range of countries from the developing to the developed world.

It said that in the coming years, evidence of social unrest and public tension may become just as important signs of whether a country will be able to adapt as traditional economic metrics. Signalling that a fiscal crisis remains a possibility for a leading economy, it said that 2010 would be a “tumultuous year for sovereign debt issuers”.

It added that the sheer quantity of debt to be raised by Britain and other leading nations would increase the risk of investor fright.

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