Talk still cheap – ECB writes the check again

Lots of talk, particularly from Germany about the ECB not writing the check, due to (errant) inflation concerns.

But to no avail. In fact, with the Rubicon crossing decision to haircut Greek bonds 50% for the private sector’s holdings, expect the check writing to continue to intensify.

And expect economies to continue to slow under the pressure of continuing austerity demands that also work to make their deficits higher.

From today’s headlines:

Italian Bonds Advance as ECB Purchases Debt; French, Belgian Spreads Widen
A Successor, Picked by a Tainted Hand
EU Lowers Euro-Region Growth Forecasts
Italy’s Senate Speeds Austerity Vote
Merkel’s Party May Adopt Euro-Exit Clause in Platform, CDU’s Barthle Says
Greek President to Meet Party Leaders as Unity Aim in Disarray

Italian Bonds Advance as ECB Purchases Debt; French, Belgian Spreads Widen

By Paul Dobson

November 10 (Bloomberg) — Italian government bonds rose as the European Central Bank was said to purchase the securities and after the nation sold the maximum amount of one-year bills on offer at an auction.

The advance pushed the yield on 10-year securities below 7 percent. Italy’s senate is set to vote tomorrow on a package of austerity measures designed to clear the way for establishing a new government and restore confidence in Europe’s second-biggest debtor. The nation sold 5 billion euros ($6.8 billion) of bills at an average yield of 6.087 percent, up from 3.570 percent on similar-maturity securities sold last month.

“Together with reported ECB buying, this auction result should support further Italy outperformance,” said Luca Jellinek, head of European interest-rate strategy at Credit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank in London.

The yield on two-year Italian government notes slid 55 basis points to 6.66 percent at 9:43 a.m. London time. The 2.25 percent securities due November 2013 rose 0.915, or 9.15 euros per 1,000-euro face amount, to 92.205.

The ECB bought Italian government bonds, according to five people familiar with the transactions, who declined to be identified because the deals are confidential. It also bought Spanish securities, two of the people added. The ECB was not immediately available for comment when contacted by telephone.

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