‘Liability Driven Investment’ or ‘LDI’ is both a nonsense and a truism, and is now a byword for a disaster in the UK financial system. Here is what happened. As…
More taxation, more banking supervision, more bail-in than bail-out, more banking malpractice… This month newsletter summarizes the trends that are leading the banking world.
While Ireland may exit its bailout program at the end of this year, Greece is far from getting out of it. Around 10 to 11 billion euros ($13.1-14.4 billion) from the second half of 2014 will be needed to keep it going next year and in 2015. This will be the Third Act of the economic tragedy unfolding in Greece. Jeroen Dijsselbloem, Dutch Finance Minister, confirmed to the European Parliament that “as far as the potential need for a third program for Greece is concerned, it’s clear that despite recent progress, Greece’s troubles will not have been completely resolved by 2014”.
“There will have to be another program in Greece,” German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble said bluntly on August 20th. The two previous bail-outs amounted to about 240 billion euros but that was not enough. According to the International Monetary Fund, one the Troika member, the estimated uncovered funding needed by Greece for 2014-2015 may amount to 10.9 billion euros.
Leaders, institutions and markets are all looking for guidance to get out of the present crisis. Government confidence is at stake, institutions’ credibility is jeopardized and banking is close to fraud and collusion.
European Union finance ministers failed to reach a deal last week on this controversial issue. Germany and France are at odds about costs distribution. The Banking Union is at stake since this law on rescuing and closing banks in the EU is a key point. The problem is to know who is going to decide what will happen to a failing bank and who will pay for it.
The European Commission’s forecasts are gloomy: a 0.1% decrease of European GDP in 2013 as a 0.4% decrease for the Eurozone. It seems that, one after the other, all the member states are collapsing and get trapped into economical disarray. The European Commission gives more time for France and Netherlands to reduce their deficits, but Slovenia is on the edge of explosion while Cyprus, Spain and Italy are very far from recovering. Europe has become the “Sick Man of the World”.
Bumpy springtime for the ECB: no recovery, another major blunder and more regulation. Times ahead are becoming increasingly hard as more EU countries are in trouble, new regulations are being introduced and banking and sovereign borrowing are difficult.
This is an unexpected outcome of the Cypriot “bail out – bail in”. The fact that the Cypriot Government is now able to control money transfers and cash withdrawals is a threat for the European market. Can it still be called a free market if restrictions are applied on the ability to move money? Isn’t it also a denial of property rights?
The Cypriot crisis has enthroned Germany has the leading European country. European economics are likely to be German driven from now on. Thus, fiscal profligacy or faulty business models are considered to have caused the recent crisis and the German cure to this is clear: austerity and structural reforms must be enforced. Cyprus was first on the list.