When last week Italian bonds threatened to plunge every single day (to levels seen earlier today, when the spread between the 10 Year BTP and the Bund has soared to 490 bps), many speculated that the ECB intervened every single day, and occasionally two or even three times daily. Now we have confirmation that in his first week on the job, Mario Draghi is already well on route to undoing everything that his predecessor did previously: his first action as head of the ECB was a surprise lowering of rates, and now he has bought double the amount that the ECB purchased in the prior several weeks, and the most since September 16. Altogether the ECB has monetized, granted with sterilization for now until of course Europe's banks end up being unable to sterilize these purchases and the ECB ends up holding the full unsterilized bag, a whopping €188 billion since its inception in May 2010. Of this, €110 billion has been dedicated exclusively to Spain and Italy, or rather, just Italy. This is in three short months. Good luck to the ECB as its winds down its SMP program, as mandated by Germany, and the EFSF is supposed to commence buying Italian paper in the open market.
Italy Calls ECB's Bluff As Mario Draghi Is Forced To Double Italian Bond Purchases, Take Total To €110 Billion
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