Iceland is reeling from the collapse of its banking system so it's no surprise that Credit Suisse considers the nation among the riskiest...

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Iceland is reeling from the collapse of its banking system so it’s no surprise that Credit Suisse considers the nation among the riskiest in which to invest.

The firm’s “country risk scorecard” ranks nations based on current account balance, net external debt and whether the country is a net importer or exporter of commodities, among other measures.

Iceland carries a top risk score of 229 among the 35 nations studied. The United States, meanwhile, got a higher risk score than several developing nations, including Brazil, India and China, due to its relatively high private-sector borrowing.

But the United States does rank as safer than the United Kingdom. The British were hurt by higher external debt levels.

Broken promises

How trustworthy is OPEC?

Hoping to prop up tumbling crude prices, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries recently pledged to cut oil production by 1.5 million barrels a day. OPEC’s history of following through on such promises, though, has been spotty over the past decade, according to Barclays analyst Costanza Jacazio.

In 2001, OPEC pledged to cut 4.9 million barrels per day; it ended up cutting just 4.4 million. In 2003, the gap was more pronounced: It pledged to cut 1.9 million barrels per day but cut just 249,000. Jacazio says the market seems to have little faith OPEC will follow through this time. But she thinks it might, as production outside the cartel looks relatively weak.

Power profit

Ho hum. Exxon Mobil (XOM) reported another record quarterly profit last week, enough to give a little more than $2 to every man, woman and child on Earth.

Its $14.83 billion profit from operations in the third quarter tops the $11.68 billion record it set in the previous quarter. For the trailing 12 months, Exxon Mobil has now earned $49.06 billion, up from $43.64 billion at the end of the second quarter. The figure puts Exxon Mobil just ahead of the 2007 gross domestic product of Luxembourg.

The Associated Press