Daily Archives: August 2, 2011

Spanish and Italian 10-year bond yields are heading for 6.5 per cent, and it looks bad for the eurozone and IMF’s attempt to build a firewall round Greece.

Two competing explanations: 1. the private sector writedown in Greece wasn’t big enough to restore sustainability, and investors are worrying about the eurozone’s willingness to take tough decisions. 2. even a limited writedown has got investors worried about setting a precedent. Read more

Why does it take months of wrangling before the UN Security Council issues a condemnation of the Syrian regime’s violence against civilians? Five months of violence, days of shelling of Hama and other cities, and more than 1,500 deaths and the council cannot agree the most simple of resolutions.

The draft that has been on the table for months is not about imposing sanctions, let alone opening the door to military intervention. Read more

By the time this column is published I will be on holiday in France, and the US might finally have stepped back from the abyss of debt default.

Viewed from Europe, the American financial uproar is baffling. It is not just the entirely avoidable nature of the crisis. It is also its timing. The entire European political calendar is constructed around the idea that nothing ever happens – or should be allowed to happen – in August.