It seems that hope still springs eternal and this is what has accounted for the impressive rebounds in markets over the past week and reflect how much investors want to believe that the panacea for years of economic mismanagement is only relatively a heartbeat away. Since the end of 2011, markets have managed to rally by around 10% during the first quarter of 2012 before giving back much of the gain in the second. Similarly, since the start of June, markets have generally recovered to a broadly comparable degree, by between 8% and 13%. After all the volatility, at the end of July in local currency terms the S&P 500 Index stands a net 10% up year-to-date, the Hang Seng +7.1%, the FTSE 100 +2.2%, the DAX +14.9% but Spain’s IBEX down 20.6%. In comparison, after a strong 14% rise in Q1, the gold price now stands just 3.8% up year-to-date.