I speculated after last auction results were announced by the NTMA that extraordinary level of cover (x5.4) on 4 year bonds issue looked strange and that ECB buying might be the case. To remind you - NTMA sold €500mln of 4-year bonds. It now appears that the ECB did indeed engage in potentially substantial buying of Irish bonds. If so, such buying cold have
- pushed other purchasers out of the shorter term paper into 10 year bonds; and/or
- pushed yields on both shorter and longer term paper down.
All in, we are clearly now in the yields zone where the markets are happy to watch us lean on ECB, the ECB is happy to watch us skip one-legged across budgetary deficit that keeps opening up wider and wider. Clearly, such an equilibrium is unlikely to be stable. Expect some fireworks once markets come back to full swing a week from now.