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A United States of Europe is coming - via a revamped EFSF - whether we like it or not

The crunch time is here again. Zarky and Merkel agreed the terms of the Greek Bailout 2.0 last night. During the course of the day we will find out more of the details as the other eurozone countries have to be presented with the results of the negotiation where France had to convince Merkel of what in practice may be political suicide. It's about legacy of Merkel, not re-election.

As usual the plans were circulated by the European Commission yesterday evening, where all owners of Greek bonds that come due in the next eight years will be urged to swap their holdings for new bonds that do not mature for another 30 years. The silly bank tax, a 0.0025 per cent levy on all assets held by eurozone banks, was scrapped as Merkel won the skirmish against Sarkozy.

Pre vacances End of Semester CRISIS in Brussels


Kohl a marqué l'histoire en sacrifiant le mark sur l'autel de l'Europe.


Merkel va-t-elle laisser son nom com fossoyeur de l'€ ?




11 July 2011 Statement by the Eurogroup

"Ministers reaffirmed their absolute commitment to safeguard financial stability in the euro area. To this end, Ministers stand ready to adopt further measures that will improve the euro area's systemic capacity to resist contagion risk, including enhancing the flexibility and the scope of the EFSF, lengthening the maturities of the loans and lowering the interest rates, including through a collateral arrangement where appropriate.

ECB - Lorenzo Bini Smaghi: Private sector involvement: From (good) theory to (bad) practice

Speech by Lorenzo Bini Smaghi, Member of the Executive Board of the ECB,
at the Reinventing Bretton Woods Committee
Berlin, 6 June 2011

The title of this first session of the conference is: “Policy responses within countries and inside the eurozone since 2010: an appraisal”. The topic is very broad and I cannot cover it in such a short time span unless I am selective and focus on some specific issues.

Euro-Zone Ministers Stall on Bailout Details

Euro-zone finance ministers reached no agreement Monday on precisely how the bloc's 17 members will share the burden of enlarging bailout funds, and put off discussions until next week.

But despite the unresolved details, markets reacted warmly to Saturday morning's announcement of a pact to expand the euro zone's current bailout capacity. In trading Monday, the prices of Spanish, Portuguese and Greek bonds jumped, bringing down their interest rates and reflecting improved investor confidence.

ECB wants to unload its PIIGS debt to EFSF

During the crisis, the European Central Bank began buying up bonds from debt-ridden countries like Greece. Now the bank wants to transfer responsibility for those securities to the EU's euro rescue fund EFSF.


European leaders could hold a special summit in early March to discuss the euro and to push for a comprehensive reform package

European leaders could hold a special summit in early March to discuss the euro and to push for a comprehensive reform package in the euro zone, euro zone government sources said today. It was not clear whether the summit being considered would involve leaders of euro zone countries or the whole European Union, said the sources quoted by Reuters. Holding such an event could counter allegations of a lack of urgency among European leaders, who meet next Friday to talk about energy but are not currently scheduled to take decisions on measures to resolve the euro crisis until a summit in late March.

Eurocrats in Davos give further details to the future of the European Financial Stability Facility

(28 January 2011) Euro-zone governments will increase the lending capacity of their bailout fund and make it more flexible, but governments won't raise its current €440 billion in guarantees, European Economics Commissioner Olli Rehn said in an interview Thursday.

New revelations of the EFSF set-up - Eurostat makes a decision

(27 January 2011) The EU Statistical Agency Eurostat, made a decision today. In that announcement, Eurostat decided that the funds raised in the framework of the European Financial Stability Facility must be recorded in the gross government debt of the euro area Member States participating in a support operation, in proportion to their share of the guarantee given. EFSF with initial capital of 30 million euros is not considered a financial institution in Luxembourg and therefore not regulated by the local PSF regulation. For making loans it uses the technical assistance of other institutions, notably the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the Finanzagentur (the German public debt agency). EU has yet to decide if there shall be a European Debt Agency, but that is currently too political to be practical, ask Merkel. EIB did not dare to take care of the crisis fund themselves, hence creating this SPV called EFSF. Without raising an eyebrowe Eurostat considers that the EFSF is an accounting and treasury tool acting exclusively on behalf of the Eurozone Member States and under their total control.

EFSF first bond issue - 43 Billion Euros of Orders From 500 Investors

(25 January 2011) The debut bond from the European Financial Stability Facility has attracted 43 billion euros ($58 billion), of orders to help fund Ireland’s bailout, allowing it to pay a lower interest rate, with price guidance at the tight end of the initial range and order books more than eight times oversubscribed. The EFSF’s 5 billion euros of five-year notes attracted orders from about 500 investors, according to insiders of the sale. 

Final price guidance on the €5 billion ($6.82 billion) bond maturing in July 2016 was set at six basis points over midswaps, one of the banks running the sale said Tuesday. This is at the tight end of initial price guidance set between six and eight basis points over midswaps. The midswap rate is the standard by which new bonds denominated in euros are measured. The benchmark rate is derived from the cost of swapping fixed- and floating-rate interest payments.

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