Some time ago I predicted that we might see 6.5-7% yields on Irish Government paper by the year end. Well, that was before the latest 50bps drop in the ECB rate (March 11), implying that at 5.80% today we are in the territory of 6.00-6.10% already if compared with the situation before March 11th.
What is even more telling is that I was right on March 10 when I priced 10-year bonds in the range of 5.7%-5.9% (here).
Lastly, it is worth looking at the volume of issue - €700mln... sunflower seeds for the public sector - at current rate of spending, Brian^2+Mary are going to get through this amount in less than 4 days and 1 hour 30 minutes. NTMA is better start issuing new paper weekly at that rate of spend! Or maybe they should pick up a phone and dial Leinster House, asking to stop the madness of bleeding the taxpayers and companies to feed the beast of our public sector and start cutting fat. Showing the markets that Ireland's Government is not just a public sector unions' crony and is capable of getting its fiscal policy under control just might bring down the cost of borrowing.
Update: the media is singing praise for yesterday's issue, but hold on: they say we raised €1bn, in reality, we raised only €700mln in 10-year paper and €300mln in 3-year paper. You don't have to be genius to see that the 3-year stuff is going to mature before the expiration of the 2013 deadline for putting our finances in order. So in effect, we kicked €300mln worth of a problem into the scoring zone... This is equivalent to a drug addict's miraculous 'recovery' reports when the chap simply stashed some powder for a quick hit in a couple of hours time. Some success.
More details from NTMA itself: for the 10-year bond, lowest price 89.46 at yield of 5.818%, weighted average yield 5.808%. Pricey stuff this is and wait until the mini-budget shows the rest of the world that Cowen has no intention of seriously tackling the deficit - where will we be next time we shove pile of debt into pre-2013 maturity?
And you don't have to be a genius to recognize that if the state completes one 'successful' auction like the one yesterday per month, NTMA will have, by the end of 2009:
- raised maximum of €10bn, while we need €15bn just to stay afloat this year;
- pushed some €7bn (€3bn in monthly auctions, plus €4bn in February sale) in new debt into 2011;
- reached €63.5bn national debt level (up from €52.5bn as of the end of February); and
- forced Ireland Inc even further away from meeting its commitment to the European Commission of getting under 3% budget deficit limit by 2013.