Italy bond spreads signal renewed concern

October 20, 2011

Spreads between Italian and German government debt are blowing out heading into a European Union summit on Sunday that investors are hoping will come up with some action to address the continent’s sovereign debt crisis. Spreads between 10-year Italian government debt and German bonds of the same maturity widened to 398 basis points on Thursday, making for the biggest gap since at least the fourth quarter of 1996, according to Reuters data.

from The Great Debate:

A free lunch for America

By J. Bradford DeLong
September 30, 2011

By J. Bradford DeLong
The opinions expressed are his own.

Former US Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers had a good line at the International Monetary Fund meetings this year: governments, he said, are trying to treat a broken ankle when the patient is facing organ failure. Summers was criticizing Europe’s focus on the second-order issue of Greece while far graver imbalances – between the EU’s north and south, and between reckless banks’ creditors and governments that failed to regulate properly – worsen with each passing day.

Don’t fight the Turkish central bank

August 18, 2011

Stop fighting the Turkish central bank. Since a shock interest rate cut earlier this month, the front end of Turkey’s bond yield curve has collapsed over 80 basis points, with two-year yields hitting seven-month lows of 7.84 percent. The curve is flattening as the 10-year sector starts feeling the heat as well. Whether it reflects investors’ faith in the central bank’s ability to safeguard economic growth while bringing down a record wide current account gap is another matter altogether. Bond investors have in fact been uneasy with the central bank’s experiments, fearing that overly loose monetary policy will cause an inflation shock down the road. But with more rate cuts clearly on the cards, investors are finding that Turkish rates, especially at the front end, are too attractive to miss. Especially as the central bank is shoring up the lira with daily dollar sales.

Historic downgrade: U.S. loses AAA

August 6, 2011

Standard & Poor’s on Friday downgraded the United States’ prized credit rating, a move that is likely to compound recent instability in financial markets. Here is S&P’s statement explaining the decision:

Italy suddenly looks “peripheral”

August 3, 2011

Italy is the latest victim of market contagion in Europe’s ongoing debt crisis. The country has one of the largest public debts in the world, making investors worried it could be the next domino to fall given poor economic growth and domestic political tensions.

from Global Investing:

Jean-Claude Trichet, EM c.bankers’ new friend

February 2, 2011

What a friend emerging central bankers have in Jean-Claude Trichet. Last month the ECB boss stopped euro bears in their tracks by unexpectedly signalling concern over inflation in the euro zone. Since then the euro has pushed steadily higher  -- against the dollar of course, but also against emerging currencies. The bet now is that interest rates -- and the yield on euro investments -- will start rising some time this year, possibly as early as this summer.

Banking on a Portuguese bailout?

November 30, 2010

portgualprotest.jpgReuters polls of economists over the last few weeks have come up with some pretty firm conclusions about both Ireland and Portugal needing a bailout from the European Union.

from Global Investing:

Solar activities and market cycles

November 29, 2010

Can nature's cycles enrich our finance and market theories?

Market predictions based on the alignment of the sun, moon and the earth and other cycles could help investors stay disciplined and profit in economic storms, says Daniel Shaffer, CEO of Shaffer Asset Management.

from Jeremy Gaunt:

And the investor survey says…

August 31, 2010

Reuters asset allocation polls for August are out. They show very little change from July, which suggests investors are still cautious and uncertain about what is happening.

ECB’s Stark takes aim at euro bears, rating agencies

June 11, 2010
Reuters/Ralph Orlowski

Reuters/Ralph Orlowski

Top European Central Bank policymaker Juergen Stark took aim at investors and ratings agencies for playing up worries about the future of the euro zone, accusing credit agencies of irresponsible behaviour and saying there was “no alternative” to the single currency.