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Category Archives: Bond markets
By Martin Fluck | Published: September 6, 2012
The markets have been transfixed by the ECB’s plan for unlimited purchases of bonds - or outright monetary transactions, as they are to be called. But the ECB’s implicit deal with Germany, to link any bond purchases to the European rescue funds’ strict fiscal conditions, has tied its hands. Saving the euro now depends on proud nations like Spain and Italy being willing to kowtow to their new masters in Berlin. Judging by the mood of the Spanish people, it’s more likely that Spain will call Germany’s bluff and threaten to leave the euro forthwith, unless it is given unconditional support.
By Martin Fluck | Published: August 14, 2012
There’s an air of unreality in the financial markets right now. Discreetly, behind the scenes, various market actors are preparing for a collapse in the euro, even though no-one wants to publicly admit that the Germans are about to pull the plug on Greece, and probably the whole shebang. Similarly, investors are putting off reckoning with the day of reckoning by purposefully ignoring the signs of an impending global recession – in the belief that central banks will bail them out.
By Martin Fluck | Published: May 14, 2012
As the cost of a euro-zone break-up continues to rise exponentially, JPMorgan has concluded that Germany’s best option is to leave the euro. With German taxpayers outraged by the dangerous rise in credit risk resulting from a plethora of backdoor bail-out schemes, carrying on regardless now looks politically suicidal for Chancellor Merkel in the wake her party’s worst state election result in Nordrhein Westfallen since the second world war.
By Mart | Published: April 30, 2012
As Spain collapses into depression, its banks are holed below the waterline and sinking rapidly, because they are the only remaining buyers of Spain’s sovereign debt. The government, unable to provide state aid to its banks, is desperately bending over backwards to hide the true state of its financial sector.
By Martin Fluck | Published: April 20, 2012
Germany has been viewed as a safe haven by investors, until now. After all, its export sector has been booming. But investors are beginning to bet against Germany and its manufacturing firms, as a break-up of the euro-zone creeps ever closer. This is because the cost of failure for Germany is growing fast, and the Bundesbank may be trying to force the government’s hand before it digs itself a deeper hole.
By Martin Fluck | Published: August 6, 2011
The S&P might just have catastrophically damaged its credibility. The US Treasury has just issued this rebuttal of S&P's downgrade of US debt. As if the ratings agencies did not have enough trouble in Europe, they have now given the US government justifiable cause to shake up the present ratings system. This basic error in its calculations appears irresponsibly casual and unprofessional, at the worst possible time. The scapegoating of the ratings agencies in Europe may be ludicrous, but it's a fair bet that EU politicians are going to make capital out of this. If S&P's downgrade was motivated by a desire to make up for its shortcomings during the credit bubble, it has seriously miscalculated.
By Martin Fluck | Published: July 10, 2011
The war the EU has declared on the ratings agencies shows why investors should not underestimate its determination to scapegoat “Anglo-Saxon” speculators for the sovereign debt crisis, and reduce “excessive profits” in the financial sector. Even if it means cutting off the EU's nose to spite its face.
By Martin Fluck | Published: November 16, 2010
Expect currency debasement and inflation is what the US can expect if it maintains its present course, warn 23 economists and political analysts in an open letter to the Wall Street Journal, on 15 November. This nicely summarises the differences between the Fed and the opponents of its quantitative easing programme.
By Martin Fluck | Published: October 18, 2010
A lot has already been written about the risk to municipal bond holders in the U.S., as a growing number of states face severe fiscal problems. But local government debt is an even bigger threat in Europe - where it could force governments to assume the debt, putting further pressure on sovereign bond spreads.
By Martin Fluck | Published: October 10, 2010
A rare column arguing that the peripheral countries of the monetary bloc should simply leave the eurozone by decree, has been published in the Institutional Investor. Vincent J. Truglia, Managing Director of Global Economic Research at Granite Springs Asset Management, writes that the flawed structure of the eurozone - which was built for political rather than economic reasons - leaves only two questions: 1) How do you handle the shrinking or dismantling of the Eurozone? and 2) What is the timing of such changes? As the tensions tearing the euro apart will only grow, it's likely that we'll see a lot more articles like this one in the future.