Stocks strong this morning with the bond and mortgage markets trading lower in price and higher in yield. French President Francois Hollande led a revolt against Germany’s austerity-first doctrine for combating the financial crisis, winning easier aid terms for Spain and Italy in an effort to reshape the balance of power in Europe. At the 19th European summit since the crisis broke out, Hollande pushed through the concessions by threatening to delay endorsement of a deficit-reduction treaty that German Chancellor Angela Merkel touted as one of her signature achievements. Euro leaders agreed to let the permanent bailout fund pour money into Spanish banks directly, instead of channeling it via the Spanish government. Direct recapitalizations will be possible once Europe sets up a single banking supervisor, possibly as early as 2013. Spanish and Italian bonds surged after euro-area leaders expanded steps to stem the debt crisis by easing repayment rules for emergency loans to Spain’s banks and relaxing conditions on potential help for Italy. Given past non-performances when EU summits were held, this one is being considered some kind of success.
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