German Of The Day: Null

That means zero. Nothing. Nada.

Zero

And zero is what you get if you purchase the world’s first 30-year bond featuring – zero income. Not much of an outcome there. What a steal. In more ways than one.

Germany Regrets Size of Bond That Pays Nothing as Auction Flops – The world’s first 30-year bond featuring zero income struggled to find buyers, prompting Germany’s debt agency to admit the sale may have been “too large.”

The nation failed to meet a 2-billion-euro target ($2.2 billion) for the auction of notes maturing in 2050, signaling that negative yields across Europe may finally be taking their toll on demand. It’s another sign that the global bond rally may be coming to a halt now that more than $16 trillion of securities have negative yields.

“The broader conclusion is that this is an ominous sign for cash bonds.”

Money For Nothing

But no chicks for free.

Debt

Speaking of debt… Here’s the state of the state today, folks. If you’re not one of us, if you’re the German government, for example, you can actually make money with your debt.

The German state profited from incurring more debt in the first half of this year, a newspaper report showed on Monday.

State bonds issued with negative interest rates flushed around 1.5 billion euros ($1.68 billion) into federal coffers, as total interest spending dropped from 9.7 to seven billion, the “Bild” daily reported.

German government bonds with a maturity of up to 10 years currently carry a negative interest rate, which means investors, who would traditionally expect a return on their investment, actually pay to own them.

I Got Your Trading Partner For You Right Here, Pal

For the first time in 40 years US-Amerika has now surpassed France as Germany’s most important trading partner.

Trading Partner

Of course now everybody is trying to figure out who to blame for this and how to fix it.

One theory goes that the policy of low interest rates and the government bonds buyback program by European Central Bank president Mario Draghi has devalued the euro and made selling in other parts of the world a whole lot easier. I’ll “buy” that. Hardy, har, har.

Erstmals seit vier Jahrzehnten haben die USA Frankreich als wichtigsten Handelspartner Deutschlands abgelöst. 2015 seien Waren im Wert von 173,2 Milliarden Euro zwischen Deutschland und den Vereinigten Staaten gehandelt worden.

Ultra-Safe German Government Debt?

It’s good to be the king. Isn’t it?

King

More than half of all German government debt with more than one year maturity is now trading negative.

Investors have been warned of dangers of holding German government debt, as unprecedented central bank easing sends the country’s 10-year borrowing costs towards zero.

“If you look at bunds in anything other than the shortest possible timescale, the risk becomes very clear.”

It’s Good To Be In A Crisis

Money is like water (or maybe like beer). It has to go somewhere. And 40 billion euros just made its way to Germany.

Crisis

While fear has driven money away from Greece and Spain and co, making the government cost of repaying debt in these countries seem prohibitive, in Germany it has been quite different. Fear has boosted Germany coffers…

One thing is for sure, putting it in Greek bonds is risky. Spanish, Italian and Portuguese bonds don’t seem much safer either. But German bonds, in contrast, feel as safe as a safe house in a land with no crime. In fact so safe are German government bonds or bunds, perceived to be, that there have been times when the yields on some of them have been negative.

So actually, Germany has done rather well out of fear created by the euro crisis – or should that be the other way around – a euro crisis created by fear?