“Yeah, sure they are environmentally friendly.. says so on the plastic wrapper.”
The glorious march forward of the correct thinking European superstate takes another great leap forward this morning with the launch of the first socially targeted bonds under the most intelligently designed SURE programme. All credit to the diligent double-plus-good Eurocrats of Brussels for their foresight in launching this epoch defining issue!
The EU will issue its first 10 and 20-year SURE bonds this morning. Officially the €100 bln programme is to finance “the social needs of EU Member States following the coronavirus pandemic and its consequences.” The SURE Programme is part of a larger €750 bln Recovery bond binge cooked up between the EU and ECB to solve Europe’s growth issues in the wake of the virus. The SURE Programme will run till the Recovery Bonds kick in next year with over 200 bln issuance expected.
[ZH: As Bloomberg reports, social bonds are defined by funding for projects that help society, such as improving social welfare or serving disadvantaged populations. They are the “perfect financial response” to the shock that welfare systems experienced from the pandemic, according to a report by Maia Godemer, a research analyst for green and sustainable finance at BNEF.]
I shall avoid obvious cynicism… but… it’s difficult to keep a straight face at the way these bonds are being marketed as “social bonds” by the EU and its bankers to smokescreen what they really achieve.
Today’s bonds will be priced with a negative yield, but investors will lap them up because they are slightly less of a negative yield than Bunds, and they expect the EU bonds will tighten in price as the ECB drives European rate ever lower into the sub-zero zone to create the recovery and inflation that has thus far eluded them. (A policy that has achieved nothing the last 5 years.. but, hey, keep trying..)
“I was expecting a three-digit book but not quite this high,” said Jan von Gerich, chief strategist at Nordea Bank Abp.
“These bonds were clearly eagerly awaited,