Thursday, December 16, 2010

A Little EuroDebt Factoid

Dig this.
Portugal held its last debt auction of the year on Wednesday, selling 500 million euros of three-month treasury bills, but at a punitively high yield of 3.4 percent. Last month it sold the same amount at 1.8 percent.
Two things jump out at me on this one.
  • The interest Portugal is paying on its debt has doubled in the past month. Not year, month.

  • Portugal is issuing three month bonds. That means those 500 million euros of debt will have to be resold this coming April, right about the time Spain should be slipping into obvious fiscal crisis. This bond issuance only bought them three months of breathing space.
The leaders of Portugal probably aren't so stupid that they can't see what's happening. To me, it looks like they've lost control of the situation and a 3-month reprieve is the best they can do.

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