All eyes were on the results of the European Union summit. Thankfully, the long talks about what to do about the continuing debt problems were fruitful.
Germany finally gave in and agreed to participate in eurozone bonds—with the caveat that other countries will have to comply with its terms. This will allow other European countries to borrow at lower interest rates—exactly what they needed.
Also helping the market was a statement issued from the E.U. Summit that called for speeding up plans to create a single banking supervisor, who would have the authority to recapitalize banks and head off any future banking crises. Both the bond and stock markets in Europe rallied on this news because the call for a single banking regulator to deal with troubled capital at banks represented a big shift for the eurozone and appeared to be a start of a grand bargain between Germany and troubled eurozone members. The next step would be eurozone bonds and eventually a fiscal union. We will see how far the eurozone gets on creating a more unified fiscal union, but for now, the markets liked the idea of creating a single banking supervisor.
Of course, a banking supervisor and eurozone bonds are longer-term solutions, so in the near-term, Germany insisted that Italy and Spain seek aid for now from the $550 billion European Financial Stability Fund. The combination of short- and long-term solutions has given investors and analysts hope that the debt crisis in Europe will resolved with more Band-Aids before a better permanent solution can be found.
Of course, don’t expect this to blow over anytime soon. The debate over Germany’s caveat — the terms of the new eurozone bonds — will likely go on for months, especially since Germany is in a feisty mood and has no intention of compromising on its demands that other eurozone members learn to “pay up” and become more fiscally responsible.
But in the meantime, this is a very positive for the market and represents a huge breath of fresh air for the market.