Must-Read News for 11/7/2011 – Italy Yield Surge Sets Berlusconi on Bailout Path
“Italy’s record bond yields are sending the nation down the same path taken by Greece, Portugal and Ireland in the days before they were forced to seek rescues.
Italy’s 10-year notes traded above 5.5 percent for 40 days before breaching the 6 percent mark on Oct. 28 and reaching as much as 6.68 percent today. The bailed-out nations followed a similar trajectory, consistently averaging above 6 percent for about a month before crossing the 6.5 percent barrier. After that, it took an average of 16 days for yields to pass the unsustainable 7 percent level.”
“Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s majority is unraveling before a key parliamentary vote tomorrow, with allies pressuring him to step down as Italy’s borrowing costs surged to euro-era records.
Giuliano Ferrara, editor of newspaper Il Foglio and a former Berlusconi spokesman, reported today that the premier may step down within hours and push for early elections.”
“But Reed is equally apocalyptic about the consequences of failing to pursue his ballot-measure plan, much of which he argues is legally beyond question. He wants the city to formally declare a fiscal emergency to strengthen its case. But he concedes that courts may strike half the $60 million in savings he hopes his measure would deliver next year, when the city faces an 11th straight deficit, which could climb to $115 million.
“It’s a risk we have to take,” Reed said. “We’re talking about fiscal insolvency.””
“Retirement trust funds created to cover billions of dollars in medical costs for unionized workers and their families are running short, forcing the funds to cut costs, trim benefits, and ask retirees and companies to pony up more cash.
The biggest such fund—a trio of United Auto Worker trusts covering benefits for more than 820,000 people, including Detroit auto-maker retirees and their dependents—is underfunded by nearly $20 billion, according to trust documents filed with the U.S. Labor Department last month.”