Rumours started sweeping across trading desks last month that the Agence France Tresor (AFT) was behind a sudden spike in demand for French Treasury 30-year swaps. The agency, which handles France's public debt and treasury management, is no stranger to the swaps market, having instigated a swaps programme in 2001, but had been absent from the market since 2002. Now, so the rumour went, the AFT was back.
The whispers were strenuously denied by the agency. "As we have said repeatedly to the ma