A Strike against Merkel Bonds; COMMENT

Daily Mail (London), November 24, 2011 | Go to article overview

A Strike against Merkel Bonds; COMMENT


Byline: ALEX BRUMMER City Editor

THE failure of the German bond auction is an ominous signal for the future of the eurozone. If the debt of the anchor economy of the single currency is seen by global investors as tainted, there is little point in Brussels or anyone else preparing the way for the European Central Bank to issue single currency bonds.

Just [euro]3.889bn of a [euro]6bn ten-year bond issue was sold at an auction yesterday, leaving 35pc in the hands of the government.

It is usual for the Berlin authorities to hang onto a small proportion of newly issued bonds for market smoothing purposes.

As important as the failure to sell was the run-up in yields of existing bonds to above 2pc.

The impact of the misfiring auction was felt right through the eurozone with yields rising across the region and the single currency tumbling one per cent against the dollar.

The colossal leadership breakdown in Europe, which has failed to deliver anything like a big bazooka capable of rescuing nations in difficulty or the banking system, reflects badly on Germany. Chancellor Angela Merkel clearly felt she could see off the speculators and push ahead with her goals of greater fiscal and political union before fixing the holes in the boat.

It has been a grave miscalculation and now the tide is turning against Germany itself.

A measure of Europe's capacity for self-harm is provided by the inability of two core eurozone countries, Belgium and France, to deliver on the rescue of one crossborder failing bank, Dexia. …

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