More worries about Europe - specifically a German government-bond auction that attracted surprisingly weak demand. We're talking Germany, not Greece. Not that Germany's financial condition is in any real danger - just that the possibility of a total euro collapse is becoming part of the conversation. From the WSJ:
The declines were driven by worrying developments in Europe, where demand at Germany's auction of new 10-year government bonds was surprisingly weak, bringing the euro zone's debt fears closer to the core of the region. The disappointing demand lifted yields on Spanish and French government bonds as well. The European Central Bank again bought Italian and Spanish bonds as confidence wavered. Also hurting bond-market sentiment were reports Belgium can't pay its agreed share of the planned rescue of the Belgian-French bank Dexia, which is seen as placing more risk at the door of the French treasury and adding another threat to the country's triple-A credit rating. Belgian and French officials denied they are renegotiating the dismantling of Dexia.
The Dow finished down 236 points, or a little over 2 percent, to 11,257. That's about a six-week low. Amazingly, the European debt crisis never came up during last night's Republican debate. Not a single question! Kevin Drum sighs:
The entire continent is on the verge of imploding, and possibly taking us down with them, and Wolf Blitzer doesn't care. And at the end, when the candidates got a freebie question to talk about any issue they felt wasn't getting enough attention, no mention of Europe again. It's just baffling.
Actually, it's not baffling at all. These folks operate in their own little world, where the primary objective is to demonize the usual suspects - President Obama, undocumented workers, anyone with a graduate degree, etc. Europe is simply too complicated and uncertain to engage.