Debt isn’t a sign of risk taking. Equity is. The reason Ford has lots of debt isn’t because risk-seeking shareholders demand that they leverage up. Risk-seeking shareholders buy unleveraged Tesla shares. The reason Ford has lots of debt is because a lot of investors want cash flow certainty, and Ford, with a large base of physical assets, can credibly provide it.
I am inclined to disagree. My thinking is that small changes in perception of the risk of debt have larger effects than small changes in the perception of the risk of equity. In 2000, people really changed their perception of dotcom stocks by a lot, and the economy experienced a minor blip. In 2007-2008, people revised their perception of the risk of mortgage securities, and all sorts of bad things happened.
If people revise up their perception of the risk of sovereign debt, I predict that this will lead to the greatest economic disruption of our lifetimes.