Emmet Oliver: Get your act together or the bond markets will do it for you
They've been called vultures, bond vigilantes and speculators and when they act together, they've been described as resembling a carnivorous wolf pack.
But the sovereign bond market, as witnessed dramatically this week in Italy, is doing the job that we once employed politicians to do -- to keep countries' budgetary affairs in order.
If bond investors had not sold off Italian government debt so aggressively in the past fortnight, Europe would still be stuck with Silvio Berlusconi as head of a dysfunctional Italian government. Italy would have no hope of addressing a debt to GDP ratio of over 100pc, which has persisted since the 1990s.