Is there no end to how much he loves us? Michael Hasenstab, the 40-year-old global bond titan, has now taken to the social networks to sing Ireland's praises.
In a set of short videos posted on YouTube and promoted on Twitter by his investment firm Franklin Templeton, Hasenstab – nicknamed "The Man Who Bought Ireland", enthuses greatly about us.
By buying €10 billion in bonds, Hasenstab did more than any other investor to create enough demand for Irish debt to allow us to exit the bailout. His fund in turn has made a fortune from its gamble, so the tricolour-waving is not so surprising. Our survival, it seems, is now a central plank in Franklin Templeton’s sales pitch to potential investors.
"Ireland recently exited the troika. They have now re-accessed the market. In fact, earlier this year they did an international bond issuance when they had over $20 billion worth of demand in one single day for an investment in Ireland for a 10-year government bond," Hasenstab says on YouTube. "It just goes to show how things change. Two years ago when no one was buying, we stepped in. Now everyone is buying. We will step in when other people are panicking."
In another video, he says: “Our view on the euro zone for quite some time is that Armageddon won’t happen. The euro zone is very troubled, there are a lot of policy complications, there is a lack of co-ordination, but at the end of the day the ECB will print a tremendous amount of money to prevent Armageddon.”
Growth, he warns, will be "very weak", and he expects the ECB will be "incredibly accommodative", leading to the euro weakening against the dollar. "The opportunity in Europe though is really on the periphery in central and eastern Europe. Countries like Hungary and Poland which have competitive labour markets, low taxes, higher growth and are really tied to the German export machine present a lot of investment opportunities . . ."
Just as with Ireland, he feels the ECB won’t let these economies fail. More money to be made.