“Yesterday, the credibility of the euro won, yesterday the future won, yesterday, the European Union won,” declared Spanish PM Mariano Rajoy after asking for a bailout over the weekend before fiercely opposing it.
Rajoy dared not call the bailout “the bailout” and by referring to it as a “line of credit” he wasn’t the only one injecting delusion into bank bailouts but rather opened new vistas for it - Spanish economy minister mentioned that as a “line of credit” the 100 billion Euros will not be part of the deficit.
Few hundred miles to the north, at the big bank confab in Copenhagen, Institute of International Finance (IFF) figures were self-congratulating themselves on the “success” of the Greek debt “restructuring” noting that this big bank advocacy group achieved a 100 billion Euros in debt forgiveness, success worthy of a pursuit of a bigger role in any future debt restructuring deals for themselves.
Of course, Greek restructuring was so successful that now Athens want the debt deal restructured… and so may Ireland, Portugal…
Nor is it clear whether 100 billion Euros is the bazooka that will eliminate the Spanish financial stench or simply deodorize it.
Then who gets the cash is also murky as the government already took over some banks while it is forcing others to merge, a process that looks to be planned as it goes along.
… and what about pricing the bank “assets” when the loan market is affected by the escalating unemployment and falling GDP while the value of the underlying collateral of the loan is, in some cases, nearly impossible to ascertain because people are not buying real estate in Spain.
Then bond people are already worried that bailout funding will push over senior bondholders back in the claims line because, according to European Stability Mechanism, if money comes from ESM, bondholders are automatically subordinated… which brings us to the issue of “subordination credit event” that some in the market are already questioning whether CDS will get triggered.
On the other hand, it is worth pondering whether it is worth it to pump in so much cash into banks that are not even systemic or would it be more prudent to simply let them go.
“The unhealthy banks should be brought down or some banks should be possible to chop up. There must be a possibility to restructure the banking sector because it doesn’t make sense to recapitalize banks which are not capable of running,” notes Finnish Prime MinisterJyrki Katainensaid.
… or is there a more devious plan here! more notably, that propping up the banks is systemic, not to the banking sector, but to the government.
“The system … is the Spanish government bails out Spanish banks, and Spanish banks bail out the Spanish government,” Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz said.
So we’ll see what happens when two drowning men pull on each others’ hand thinking that the other guy will save him.