Friday, October 28, 2011

Quelle Surprise! Europe is not really saved (Naked Capitalism)


Grand European Rescue Already Starting to Come Unglued?

This site has had plenty of company in expressing doubts about the latest episode in the continuing “save the banks, devil take the hindmost” Eurodrama. The same issues came up over and over: too small size of rescue fund, heavy reliance on smoke and gimmickry to get it even to that size, insufficient relief to the Greek economy (the haircuts will apply to only a portion of the bonds), no assurance that enough banks will go along with the “voluntary” rescue, and way way too many details left to be sorted out.
But it is a particularly bad sign to see disagreement within the officialdom about the just-annnounced deal. The Telegraph (hat tip reader Jim Haygood) reports that the Bundesbank, which has considerable influence on the ECB, is trash talking a critical part of the pact:
Hours after an all-night summit of euro governments ended, flaws began to emerge in a package that was billed as a “grand and comprehensive” solution to the European debt crisis.
The concerns were led by Germany’s powerful central bank, which expressed fears that a plan to leverage a €440 billion eurozone rescue fund to amass a “fire power” of €1 trillion, or £880 billion, resembled the risky finance methods that triggered the crisis in 2008.
EU leaders are expected to sanction the establishment of a so-called special purpose investment vehicle, or SPIV, to be set up in the coming weeks. It is aimed at attracting investment from countries such as China and Brazil.
Jens Weidmann, the president of the Bundesbank and a member of the European Central Bank, sounded the alarm over the plan to “leverage” the fund by a factor of four to five times without putting any new money into the pot.

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