Friday 15 December 2017

Seamus Coffey: Only the unlimited balance sheet of the ECB has the necessary firepower to solve this crisis

THE eurozone dominoes are lined up and seem set to fall. Greece has been hopelessly propped up for nearly two years now and the latest EU summit in Brussels tried to let it fall gently without harming other countries that looked like they could topple with it. This has failed.

In the past week Italy has come under enormous pressure and its ten-year government bonds yields have finished above 7pc on two occasions. Yesterday saw these doubts spread further with rises in the yields of Spain, Belgium and also France. Over the past six weeks the French ten-year yield has increased from 2.5pc to 3.7pc.

This is still well clear of the danger zone but the trend is heading in that direction. Similarly, Belgium has also seen a rise from 3.6pc to 4.9pc. More worryingly, Spanish yields have gone from from 4.0pc to 6.3pc since the start of October and are once again approaching the 7pc level. German ten-year yields are 1.8pc, just as they were six weeks ago.

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