Social and Political
PIGS is short for Portugal, Ireland and Italy, Greece, and Spain. With Italy at this moment under fire Greece and the others look downright stable. The big question is pending now is will the Euro survive and if not want, what effect it will have in the US if it collapses.. Big, you can bet on it.
Pain returns to Spain as yields jump
Spain was in danger of resuming its place at the forefront of the European debt crisis Monday as banks sought to trim exposure to sovereign debt, economists and strategists said.
Italy on brink as 10-year bond yield tops 7%
FRANKFURT (MarketWatch) — Investors dumped Italian government bonds on Wednesday, leaving the nation in danger of being shut out of credit markets and underlining fears that European authorities remain unprepared to take on the sovereign-debt crisis, threatening the survival of the euro currency.
The yield on benchmark 10-year Italian government bonds IT:10YR_ITA -0.48% was seen at 7.07% in recent trades, according to FactSet Research, up 67 basis points from Tuesday and above the 7% level viewed as a crucial threshold. The yield spiked to more than 7.4% in earlier activity.
Italy Is Now the Biggest Story in the World - Kevin Drum
Well, that was quick. When I wrote about Italy's unsustainable bond yields on Monday, rates stood at about 6.8 percent, just below the Oh Shit threshold of 7 percent that's unanimously believed to spell certain doom. Above that point, even higher yields aren't enough to attract buyers, Europe's main clearinghouse will start to require higher collateral for Italian bonds used in repo trades, and traders will start panic selling, which would send rates spiraling even higher. That kind of panic is self-fueling, and once it starts it can destroy its target within days. And now it's started:
Greek lawmakers break with PM over bailout - Michael Birnbaum
ATHENS — Opposition from within Prime Minister George Papandreou’s governing party may derail his proposal for a national bailout referendum, which has halted the flow of European aid to Greece and endangered its participation in the euro zone.
Finance minister Evangelos Venizelos on Thursday condemned Papandreou’s demand that the European bailout package be presented to Greek voters for approval.
A Conversation About Greece - Kevin Drum
Are the Greeks crazy?
No, they're just at the end of their tether. Europe is asking them to adopt more austerity than they're willing to bear.
Okay, but they're spending too much money. Surely they know they have to cut back?
Sure, but the deals on offer are pretty unattractive. Europe wants to forgive half of Greece's debt and put them on a brutal austerity plan. The problem is that this is unrealistic. Greece would be broke even if all its debt were forgiven, and if their economy tanks they'll be even broker.
But that's the prospect they're being offered: a little bit of debt forgiveness and a lot of austerity.
Iceland Took Another Approach To Their Debt Crisis
Author Greg Palast and Dylan Ratigan the role of Goldman Sachs in the Greek economic crisis.