Greece’s hourglass is running out of sand as officials scramble to turn it over again. As pressure continues to be brought upon Greek politicians to agree to more budget cuts before they get more bailout money and a PSI agreement remains elusive however close the parties continue to say they are to a deal, the Greek 1 yr yield is rising above 500%. The 14.5b euro bond that matures on March 20th, which is the focus of everyone, is down almost 2 pts to .38 on the euro. The euro is lower in response and while Portuguese yields are moving higher in sympathy, Italian and Spanish yields are mostly lower. The amount of money deposited at the ECB overnight rose to a 2 1/2 week at 511b euros and it’s the 2nd largest amount on record. European banks thus seem more interested in prefunding their 2012 debt maturities as they also shrink their balance sheets, rather than fund business lending growth. Germany factory orders were better than expected in Dec.
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