Well, of course, Gordon Gekko was a figment of some Hollywood writer's imagination - and a very good figment he was, too! So he's not really telling us to do the counter-intuitive and buy government bonds (IOUs) from the Italian and Spanish governments, but some of those clever rascals in the global dealing rooms are. And when you consider their argument, you have to admit that they are really very shrewd. It is based on the idea that although Europe is 'walking wounded', nevertheless, there are some major countries within it who are simply too big to fail! Italy and Spain - and France - are definitely in that category. Were any of them to go broke or leave the euro area it would lead to a spectacular financial train crash of the sort that none of the European leaders would wish to be involved - especially the only one who counts - Madame Merkel. She has just won her election and is likely to go into coalition with a party even more pro-European than her (which is hard to envisage) and there is no way she will allow a serious threat to the euro currency to erupt given that German industry depends on it. So, say these latter-day Gekkos, if you want somewhere safe to put your money - BUY Italian and/or Spanish bonds!
Er, as it happens, I have a couple of 'em sitting round here, very nice condition, one owner, good as new, going cheap - I'm a fool to myself really - but I like you so if you wanted them I'd be happy to oblige - er, 'readies', of course, don't want that 'orrible George Osborne involved, do we? (Sorry, just couldn't avoid the chance to, er, 'run my lines', as it were!)