One year ago, the 10 year bund yielded 1.93%. After the recent furious back-up in rates, they are down 6 bps today to 1.62%. Rates peaked at 1.71% on Jan. 30 (Thursday). The precipitant appears to be more turmoil, but nothing major yet, in both Italy and Spain.
If rates can correct down so much so quickly with limited cause without coming close to year-ago rates, then I think the amazing bond bull market remains in force and will not be easy to overturn-- though of course it's quite possible. I also think that ultimately, the U.S. rate structure can equal that of Germany on the downside, even if rates are negative when judged against current inflation. After all, you can lose nominal capital in stocks, as well as losing ground to inflation. This fact appears of little interest to today's stock traders, however.
The least-advertised fact the media has fed to John Q. Public is how many capital gains bond traders have made the last several years, and in fact in much of the past three+ decades.