Bottom line- The ECB continues to ‘do what it takes.’ They are in no case ‘resource constrained.’ It’s entirely a political decision. And with the troubled nations complying with the terms and conditions dictated by the ECB I see no reason they won’t continue.
ECB Steps Up Its Bond Buys Amid Worries
(WSJ) The ECB has spent more than €61 billion ($79.58 billion) since May on government bonds. The ECB said it spent €323 million on government bonds last week, up from €237 million the previous week and its highest level since mid-August. On Monday, yields spreads between Irish and German 10-year bonds exceeded four percentage points, a record, and more than double the spread that existed on May 10 when the ECB started buying government debt. Portuguese yield spreads also hit a record Monday, at more than four percentage points above safer German equivalents. That spread was just 1.89 percentage points on May 10. Greek spreads are near highs at more than nine percentage points above German government bonds. Ireland plans to auction €1 billion to €1.5 billion in bonds Tuesday. Portugal is due to tap the debt markets Wednesday with a €750 million to €1 billion offering.
They’re still too timid. 5-year bond spread between Greece and Italy is still high at 882. Considering they have a similar debt-to-GDP profile, it seems the markets continue to be extremely distorted.
If you believe the ECB is serious and means business, then buy Greek gov and short Italy as a hedge. The market doesn’t seem to think so.