The yield on a US 10-year bond is about 2.72%.
The yield on an Italian 10-year bond is considerably higher, at 3.61%.
That huge gap would seem to make sense. After all, Italy has a massive amount of debt, doesn’t control its own currency, and its government is ridiculously unstable.
But investors are rapidly abandoning the idea that any European country will default. That story is fading into the past.
The new story is that Europe has Japan-like economic characteristics; that growth and inflation are falling, and that the ECB isn’t doing much about it. Furthermore, Italy is seen as being an exceptionally problematic country economically, with characteristics much worse than the US’. If you completely took credit risk off the table, Italy should probably have lower borrowing costs than the US based on the fundamentals of their respective economies.
So watch this spread. It’s already narrowed a ton. If the US economy accelerates, and interest rates rise, and Italy continues to sink deeper into the muck, it would not be surprising to see Italy borrow at a lower level than the US at some point in the not-so distant future.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.