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Spain's Dangerous Waiting Game

Spain's delay in requesting a bailout doesn't look like a prudent bet.

The Spanish government (with an assist from the rest of Europe) has spent the last few weeks denying it is on the verge of asking for a bailout or even that the country needs a bailout at all. Given the underlying problems in the Spanish economy, the only way this could be at all credible is if the continent were on the verge of a surge of economic growth. 

As the International Monetary Fund pointed out this past week in its updated economic outlook, that is extraordinary unlikely. In fact, the IMF now sees an "alarmingly high" risk of a global slowdown in 2013. By holding out on accepting the help of the European Union, and by extension the European Central Bank, Spain is playing with fire and hoping the market's patience doesn't run out. It likely isn't a risk worth taking.