Listen, League leader and proud xenophobe Matteo Salvini is no fan of "lo spread", ok?
"Lo spread,'' is the somewhat derisive term Italians use to refer to the BTP-Bund yield differential, which Salvini likes to imagine is an actual living, breathing, animate thing that is capable of conspiring against Italy's populists.
As absurd as that characterization is, he's not entirely wrong. After all, investor psychology helps dictate "lo spread" and investors are people capable of having a sense of purpose. Sometimes, that "purpose" is speculation aimed at kicking vulnerable assets while they're down.
But as I was at pains to explain to Salvini back in May, the ECB has spent trillions attempting to keep "lo spread" and other measures of periphery risk contained over the past several years. So if there is a "conspiracy" here, it's aimed at supporting Italian assets, not undermining them. In other words, the market has been hamstrung in its capacity to punish fiscal profligacy in the periphery post-2012 because "whatever it takes" and Europe's subsequent plunge down the QE rabbit hole effectively relegated real price discovery to the dustbin of history.
Of course you can point
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