While, for now, depositors at Austria's Hypo-Alde-Adria-Bank (nationalized in 2009) have not had assets confiscated, Austrian authorities are shifting in an unusual (scary precedent-setting) direction. Amid the resignation of the bank's CEO, the government is taking aim at 'speculators' who dared to buy the bank's bonds below par - and made money therefore on the back of the taxpayer. "What financial markets expect is not always what you want politically," Austria's finance minister warned, "if someone buys today at a lower price, saying ‘shortly, I’ll get 100 back,’ that’s what’s agitating the people."It seems Europe has a new template.
More detail at the link above.
So as I read it if one buys the bonds of a failing institution at discount upon the announcement of
government backing you will now be targeted for making that profit. Why then buy the bond. Why bid at all, and yet it is bids that drive the price back up. Another case of Ready, Shoot, Aim.