Peter Lundgreen via Caixin| What should be deeply worrying about the growing banking crisis in Italy is the origin of the non-performing loans. One significant sector is retail and wholesale, meaning it’s a widespread problem. A severe banking crisis is a shock for any economy and will, in many cases, hamper economic growth. This is the risk that Italy and the Eurozone are facing.
Italy is threatening us with another time bomb. The country’s banks have 360 billion euros of doubtful loans and the EU (that is to say the sinister Eurogroup), as intelligent as ever, is pressuring for the bail-in rules, to which ultraliberal & co are so addicted, to be implemented by the book.
For once, BBVA chairman’s words have been a kind of premonition. Last week, when he said rather desperately that “negative interest rates are killing us,” he was not referring to Popular. But the fact remains that a few days later, the bank with Angel Ron at the helm announced a capital hike for 2.5 billion euros, slightly less than half of its stock market value. The aim of the operation is to offset the impact of future regulatory requirements and the shortfall related to the “floor clauses,” calculated at nearly 4.7 billion euros.
In Sober Look, Marcello Minenna gives us a clue about a possible new breach in the euro’s structure. A few years ago (2011-2012), when the euro was going through its worst time, one of the consequences was that the central banks in the peripheral countries increased their debt position with TARGET2.
The demise of Abengoa, the Spanish engineering and renewable energy firm, would have been a massive blow for its creditor banks. So the government and the banks have been working on a solution since the company entered pre-insolvency proceedings. The deal agreed this week hands over the majority of Abengoa’s capital to its creditors.
MADRID | The Corner | The ECB’s non-conventional measures, the banking restructuration and the adaptation to the new regulation make 2015 a crucial year. According to experts at Morgan Stanley, the many stories about restructuration, dividends and regulatory changes will allow to differentiate the performance of the different assets.
MADRID | By Alberto Vigil at Barclays | The ABS purchases by the European Central Bank will not work basically because it is necessary for a regulatory change that does not penalise (in capital terms) either banks or insurance companies who have those securities. That is, if the ECB’s intention is to increase the amount of credit in the real economy, then it should have two specific goals: first, spreading the risk that banks assume when they provide credit; second, reducing banks’ costs of financing.
MADRID | The Corner | Supply and demand conditions for Eurozone credit generation are improving – this is clearly reflected in the ECB’s latest Bank Lending Survey – but the way towards a full normalisation is still long. We believe that reduced bank funding costs might support, but will not aggressively accelerate, the recovery in credit growth.
MADRID | By Raimundo Poveda | Those who are interested in banking policy are doomed to learn some new term day in, day out. GLAC (i.e. “gone-concern loss-absorbing capacity”) is the capacity to absorb the losses of an unfeasible bank. Let us recall that the banking regulation declares a bank “unfeasible” not when it collapses but when it fails to comply with the minimum capital requirements –even if its financial assets are positive.