It is very hard not to see the finger of Mario Draghi on the pulse of today’s eurobond market
“You see dissa finger? You messa wid me, I takea dis finger and ram it up your ass” Now here’s a funny thing, missus. (All timings are GMT)
At 9:27 AM Spanish industrial production figures for February released, showing the appalling state of its economy, falling a monthly 3% vs. -2.5% in January.
At 9:48 AM in an €11B auction of Italian 12- and 3-month debt, bond yields leap upwards. The 1-year doubles to 2.84% from 1.405% in a previous sale in March, and 3-month paper zooms to 1.25% from 0.49%.
It’s looking pretty bloody out there. But there will be no help forthcoming from Mario Draghi’s ECB, right, because the bond-buying programme is at an end.
10:03 AM Yields on 10-year Italian and Spanish bonds suddenly plummet….by (respectively) 18 basis points and 14 basis points.
Apart from 15 minutes, nothing has happened, nothing has changed. No ClubMed miracle discovery of gold-plated uranium has come to light. And yet, in that same 15 minutes – when equally, no news of a nuclear attack on Berlin has broken – German yields, which had been dropping, suddenly zap up 15 points. (Which, on a total level of 1.79%, is some going).
Now you know why Merkel and Schauble were so bitterly pissed off when they realised how the politically adept Mario Draghi had turned their central bank into his ECB. You buy a little here, you sell a little there….and hey presto, eurozone bond spreads fall. On to the next stage….
12:00 noon, Germany sees very weak demand
at an auction of 10-year Bunds, undersold by € 1.13 bn. The debt needed a yield of 1.77% to achieve even that – much higher than the 1.64% DeutscheBunds were yielding yesterday
The sequel: Paul Donovan, deputy head of global economics at UBS AG, talked to Bloomberg soon afterwards
about the prospect of further European Central Bank intervention in the Spanish bond market.
This is just a little bit of empirical observation to back up the more sweeping global observations I made in today’s earlier post.
The moral of the story is – as I keep saying over and over again: the minute you are deep in debt (whoever you are) the banks have the upper hand. When the key bank is run by a former Goldman Sachs whizz-kid, they have that upper hand round your balls. Anna da big finger up your ass.