default risk

Definition

The possibility that a bond issuer will default, by failing to repay principal and interest in a timely manner. Bonds issued by the federal government, for the most part, are immune from default (if the government needs money it can just print more). Bonds issued by corporations are more likely to be defaulted on, since companies often go bankrupt. Municipalities occasionally default as well, although it is much less common. also called credit risk.

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