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The Eurozone crisis has been in retreat since the introduction of the European Central Bank’s (ECB) three-year long-term refinancing operations (LTROs) in late December 2011.

Eurozone Crisis: In the Eye of the Storm

At the European Council Meeting in early March, journalists who cover the crisis fretted that boredom loomed. The current lull does not indicate that the Eurozone is in the clear, but rather it is simply in the eye of the storm, and more drama inevitably awaits. Extend and pretend So far, there are three key mechanisms the troika — the European Commission, International Monetary Fund (IMF) and ECB — has employed to buy time for the Eurozone’s weaker countries to regain competitiveness and return to growth.

Each of these could fail over the next few years, prompting a renewed intensification of the crisis. The first of the Eurozone’s time-buying mechanisms is the bailout programs that have been provided to Greece, Portugal and Ireland. Figure 1: Ten-year government bond yields Source: Bloomberg. Like this: Felix Salmon. The Big Picture. ZeroHedge.