In the past few days, European peripheral spreads have once again taken to widening both in absolute terms and relative to Bunds. The culprit: the ECB's permabid for insolvent debt has plunged from €2.7 billion to €603 million in the past week: this represents the lowest amount of bonds purchased by the ECB since the beginning of November. And without the backstop of wanton ECB buying sure enough the sellers emerge. Total debt holdings in the ECB's SMP program are now €72.5 billion. Incidentally one country which is certainly not benefiting from Jean Claude Trichet's largess with his bank's money is France, whose CDS earlier today hit an all time wide of over 100 bps on completely unfounded rumors that the country may be downgraded by one or more rating agencies. At this point expect to see the chart below yoyo in direct correlation to just how steep the sell off of European bonds may have been in the prior week.