Mario Monti upset the Italian credit markets as he announced his early resignation over the weekend. In an apparent fit of rage after Silvio Berlusconi (aka Captain Viagra) pulled his political support from the sitting prime minister, Mario Monti headed off to the opera in Milan and apparently he was the fat lady that sang. It was a Wagner Opera that Mr. Monti saw so it seems that the political drama playing out in Rome is going to be a long, drawn out affair. I believe that the present Italian PM played a political gambit by announcing his early resignation in an effort to reveal the markets lack of support for the return of Berlusconi. As the Italian bond markets sold off and yields on 10- and TWO-YEAR NOTES increased by more than 25 basis points. It seems that there is little support from the financial markets for a return to the buffoonery of a Berlusconi-led government.
Posts Tagged ‘Monti’
For the almost three years that NOTES has been published, I tried to make it clear why the subtext of NFU was that 2+2=5. The idea of the math being so obviously incorrect was a direct reference from Dostoyevsky’s short story Notes From Underground in which the great Slav nationalist rails against the rationalists of the day. My use of the 2+2=5 reference is an attack on the rationalists of today, otherwise known as those dependent on sophisticated models to offer explanations for all the answers to questions in the realm of social science–economics of course being the main target. I bring this up as a reflection on the most recent stress tests of the Spanish Banks for if those literalists who think that the math in the Dostoyevsky story is wrong, then the math in the Spanish stress tests should cause one’s eyes to glaze over.
All eyes are on Europe: And I am not talking about the wide, wide world of sports. It seems that the European financial situation has “worsened” as the Spanish yields exploded on Friday sending the Euro stock markets into a sizable selloff. Remember the outcome of the June 29-30 meeting of the Euro policymakers? All the EUROCRATS were celebrating the victory of PRIME MINISTERS RAJOY AND MONTI‘s victory over the IRON CHANCELLOR, Frau Merkel. It now seems that the victory was PYRRHIC as the markets are now testing the resolve of the ECB, EU FIN MINS and, ultimately, the IMF. As with any TROIKA, if all the horses are not pulling together the wagon is very unstable.
The loser in Brussels was … FRANCE. The markets were giddy as they drank deep from the KOOL AID spring of separating BANK AND SOVEREIGN SOLVENCY … did this really occur? It is far too early to tell. For all the “PUNDITS” it seems that Chancellor Merkel has capitulated to the needs of Spain and Italy as France cheered on the brinkmanship of Mario Monti. The French, led by President Hollande, has now ended the 50-year-old policy of Gaullism as France will no longer be deemed a responsible partner for Germany as being the mainstay of Europe.
The new autocratic regime in Italy has agreed to a ramped up AUSTERITY BUDGET in which an extra 30 BILLION EUROS will have to be found and then cut from the public arena. Being that Mario Monti was the Eurocrats’ choice to head the Italian government, it seems that PM MONTI is only concerned about meeting the desires of the powers that insisted on his taking the reins of governance. ITALIAN BOND FUTURES staged a very impressive rally as the BTP (10-year note) dropped 71 basis points to close under 6%. Also, the 2/10 year curve in Italy also steepened to +52 basis points from Friday’s close of +38 points. Spain and the other PERIPHERALS also performed well and the FRENCH/GERMAN 10-year differential closed at a mere 92 basis points. As the BTP futures rallied 500+ points, the EURO actually underperformed and by the close the EURO currency was basically unchanged .