The Eurozone crisis has spiced the once dormant government debt markets and has put bond traders in the spotlight.
According to Reuters, government bond traders are the “exhausted new stars of financial markets” as the securities they sell have become a chief indicator of Eurozone countries’ economic health.
In the past, government bond traders took a backseat to private debt traders, who were generating huge profits due to the boom in mortgage-backed debt instruments.
Yet since the onset of the crisis, investors are far choosier because they believe wealthy European countries can now default on their debt. As a result the gap between the highest and lowest yielding Euro bonds — those of Germany and Greece — has widened from a quarter of a percentage point to 17 per cent.
Carl Norrey oversees government bond trading in Europe, the Middle East and Africa as head of rates securities at JPMorgan. He told Reuters:
“We’re no longer seen as second class citizens when compared to credit. We’re as much at the forefront of helping clients successfully navigate one of the toughest markets in a generation.”
In the past, reliable investors financed Europe’s fiscal excess, but now traders actually need to time their sales to get the best price from smaller, more volatile markets. There’s a general emphasis shift from investing in Euro debt on the whole to investing in specific countries.
This is pretty much further proof that Michael Lewis is a genius. He anticipated this shift in the market’s attention in Boomerang, his 2011 book about the Euro crisis.
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