“Spain Requests Bailout On September 14″ – Goldman’s Definitive Post-Mortem On Europe’s Third Bond Buying Attempt [Zerohedge]

Yesterday, when Bloomberg leaked every single detail of today’s ECB announcement, which thus means today’s conference was not a surprise at all, yet the market sure would like to make itself believe it was, we noted that everything that was leaked, and today confirmed, came from a Goldman memorandum issued hours before. Simply said everything that happens at the ECB gets its marching orders somewhere within the tentacular empire headquartered at 200 West. Which is why when it comes to the definitive summary of what “happened” today, we go to the firm that pre-ordained today’s events weeks ago. Goldman Sachs.Perhaps the most important part is this: “September 13-14: Spain to make formal request for EFSF support at the Eurogroup meeting. With a large (and uncovered) redemption looming at the end of October (and under pressure from other Euro area governments), we expect Spain to move towards seeking support.” In other words, Rajoy has one more week before he is sacked and the Spanish festivities begin.

From Goldman’s Dirk Schumacher

ECB meeting: Introducing the OMT

The announcements made at today’s ECB press conference were broadly in line with our expectations. An overwhelming majority of the Governing Council agreed to “address severe distortions in government bond markets, which originate from, in particular, unfounded fears on the part of investors of the reversibility of the Euro”. We view the ECB’s determination to provide a “fully effective backstop” as credible and, while we will only learn over time the practicalities of implementation (such as the range of yields the ECB deems consistent with an ‘irreversible Euro’ and thus will tolerate), today’s decision has nonetheless reduced tail risks in peripheral countries, at least in the shorter term. This should buy peripheral economies time to implement the consolidation and reforms needed to provide fundamentals consistent with continued Euro participation.

Details of the OMT

In order to qualify for the new Outright Monetary Transactions (OMT) program, countries will need to be participating in either a full or precautionary EFSF/ESM programme and accept the implied conditionality. IMF involvement will be sought in this context and the IMF has meanwhile released a press statement “strongly welcoming” the ECB’s decision, saying that it would cooperate with the ECB “within our framework”. Failure to fulfil the conditions established in the programme would lead the ECB to cease purchases. Existing programme countries can also qualify for the OMT “if they have regained bond market access”. What this means in practice (i.e., will it be necessary to issue a certain volume in order to prove that there is market access?) remains to be seen.

Purchases will concentrate on bonds with a maturity from one to three years, and will be fully sterilised. The ECB is already sterilising the purchases made under the SMP through weekly reverse tenders. These tenders drain the amount of money from the banking system that the ECB spent on buying peripheral bonds. The specifics of how OMT purchases will be sterilised have not been announced, but our base case is that they would take place in the same manner. The ECB will demonstrate greater transparency in publishing the magnitude, duration and country composition of the debt holdings accumulated under the OMT.


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