The euro zone’s terrible mistake | Felix Salmon

The FT is reporting today that the new fiscal rules for the EU “include a commitment not to force private sector bondholders to take losses on any future eurozone bail-outs”……The immediate result of this plan is that everybody will rush into the highest-yielding bonds in Europe, which is exactly what seems to have happened today……In order for markets to work, lenders need to suffer when they make bad lending decisions. If the Europeans didn’t learn from Ireland, couldn’t they at least learn from the Fed’s much-criticized decision to pay off all AIG creditors at 100 cents on the dollar? Blanket guarantees at par are pretty much always a really bad idea — and this one, if it comes to pass, will be the biggest one yet.

via The euro zone’s terrible mistake | Felix Salmon.

Colin Twiggs: ~ More evidence of moral hazard: giving bond-holders an effective put against the EU. Perhaps a partial guarantee (e.g. 90 percent) would be more effective in containing moral hazard as the bond-holder still has some skin in the game.