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Angela Merkel consigns Ireland, Portugal and Spain to their fate

Angela Merkel consigns Ireland, Portugal and Spain to their fate

Germany has had enough. Any eurozone state that spends its way into a debt crisis or cannot adapt to a monetary union set for Northern rhythms will face “orderly” bankruptcy.

By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard
Published: 5:37PM GMT 31 Oct 2010

Angela Merkel needs a treaty change to prevent the German constitutional court from blocking the bail-out fund as a breach of the EU law

Bondholders will discover burden-sharing. Debt relief will be enforced, either by interest holidays or haircuts on the value of the bonds. Investors will pay the price for failing to grasp the mechanical and obvious point that currency unions do not eliminate risk: they switch it from exchange risk to default risk.

What were investors thinking when they bought Greek 10-year bonds at 26 basis points over Bunds in 2007, below the spread between British Columbia and Quebec?

 “We must keep in mind the feelings of our people, who have a justified desire to see that private investors are also on the hook, and not just taxpayers,” said German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Or in the words of Bundesbank chief Axel Weber: “Next time there is a problem, (bondholders) should be part of the solution rather than part of the problem. So far the only ones who have paid for the solution are the taxpayers.”

These were the terms imposed by Germany at Friday’s EU summit as the Quid Pro Quo for the creation of a permanent rescue fund in 2013. A treaty change will be rammed through under Article 48 of the Lisbon Treaty, a trick that circumvents the need for full ratification. Eurosceptics can feel vindicated in warning that this “escalator” clause would soon be exploited for unchecked treaty-creep.

Mrs Merkel needs a treaty change to prevent the German constitutional court from blocking the bail-out fund as a breach of EU law, and a treaty change is what she will get. “This will strengthen my position with the Karlsruhe court,” she admitted openly.

One might argue that bondholders should have been punished for their errors long ago. The stench of moral hazard has been sickening, on both sides of the Atlantic. An orderly bankruptcy along lines routinely engineered by the International Monetary Fund is exactly what Greece needs. It makes no sense to push Greece further into a debt compound spiral by raising public debt from 115pc of GDP at the outset of the “rescue” to 150pc at the end of the ordeal.

If you strip out the humbug, the Greek package allows banks and funds to shift roughly €150bn of liabilities onto EU governments, or the European Central Bank, or the IMF. Greek citizens are being subjected to the full pain of austerity under false pretences, without being offered the cure of debt relief.

It is in reality a bail-out for investors. There is a touch of cruelty in this. Needless to say, the Greek Left has noticed. A socialist dissident from the “anti-Memorandum” bloc (ie anti EU-IMF) is likely to win the Athens region in coming elections.

Note too that the ruling socialists have fallen to 25pc in the Portuguese polls, while the Communists and hard-left Bloco are together up to 18pc. Ain’t seen nothing, you might say.

Yet opening the door to bondholder haircuts at this delicate juncture – with spreads reaching fresh records in Ireland last week, and Portugal struggling to pass a budget – is to toss a hand-grenade into the eurozone periphery.

We now know that that ECB’s Jean-Claude Trichet warned EU leaders on Thursday night that it was dangerous to stir up this hornets’ nest, and moreover that the politicians did not understand what they were unleashing. He was slammed down acrimoniously by French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who later denied that he lost his temper.

“Mr Trichet expressed a number of reserves. There was a debate, there is always a debate, but the European Council took its decision,” he said.

“It is wrong to say I was irritated. You can reproach heads of state for all kinds of things in a democracy, but I don’t think you can reproach them for not being aware of the seriousness of the situation,” he snorted.

Mr Sarkozy was not going to let his Brussels `triomphe’ slip away after stitching up EU affairs once again in a pre-emptive deal with Germany and imposing his will. The notion that the Franco-German axis still runs Europe is potent politics in France, even if the decisions actually reached are often of little value or – as in this case – ill-advised. Such is the chemistry of EU summits, where mad things happen.

Spain’s premier Jose-Luis Zapatero knew he had been mugged. “We need to listen carefully to what the head of the ECB says about the rescue mechanism. Great care is called for because this message is risky,” he said.

Eurozone sovereign states must issue €915bn in new bonds next year, according the UBS, either to roll over debt or to cover very big deficits – though it is hard to outdo Ireland’s deficit of 32pc of GDP in 2009. Yet investors have just been told in blunt terms to charge a hefty risk premium on any peripheral debt that expires after 2013, with great confusion over what happens even before that date. Can any investor be sure what the terms will be if Ireland or Portugal needs to access the EU’s bail-out fund next week, or next month, or next year? Are haircuts already de rigueur?

A study by Giada Giani at Citigroup entitled Bondholders Moving Back Home said data from the second quarter reveals a sharp drop in foreign ownership of debt from Greece (-14pc), Portugal (-12pc), Spain (-8pc), and Ireland (-5pc).

Local banks have stepped into the breach, borrowing cheaply from the ECB to buy their own state debt at higher yields in a `carry trade’ that concentrates risk. These four countries account for the lion’s share of the €448bn in ECB funding for banks (Spain €98bn, Greece €94bn). Frankfurt is propping up this unstable edifice. Mr Trichet may well fret.

A strong case can be made that Spain has decoupled from other PIGS in pain, though the deficit will still be 6pc next year, and the economy is at serious risk of a double-dip recession as wage cuts and higher taxes bite in earnest. But none are safe yet.

An ominous pattern has emerged across much of the eurozone periphery: tax revenue keeps falling short of what was hoped. Austerity measures are eating deeper into the economy than expected, forcing further fiscal cuts. It goes too far to call this a self-feeding spiral, but such policies test political patience to snapping point.

There is little that these nations can do in the short-run as EMU members. They cannot offset fiscal tightening with full monetary stimulus or a weaker exchange rate – as Britain can. All they do can is soldier on, sell family silver to the Chinese and Gulf Arabs, beg the ECB to join the currency war to bring down the euro, and pray that the fragile global recovery does not sputter out.

Chancellor Merkel is ultimately correct. A mechanism for sovereign defaults is entirely healthy. Had it been in place long ago, EMU would have been stronger. The proper timing for this was at the Maastricht Treaty, or Amsterdam, or at the latest Nice, but in those days the EU elites were still arrogantly dismissive about the implications of a currency union. To wait until now borders on careless.

source http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/comment/ambroseevans_pritchard/8100412/Angela-Merkel-consigns-Ireland-Portugal-and-Spain-to-their-fate.html

Comment :

Angela you are forgetting it was the reckless lending practices of the Deutsche Bank to the Irish Banks and in particular to Anglo Irish Bank in the first place that got us into this mess.

The German Banks were guilty of breaching their own criteria and their own rules and regulations for the fast buck, they became gamblers’ and they are lucky that the Irish Government is full spineless traitors

Who have sold out their own people to these casino bondholders .If this was the US they would be told go take a swim up the Mississippi and don’t come back.

Just one word about the latest change to the treaty of Lisbon there will have to be a referendum here in Ireland to ratified this change and the Irish government will now try to Wesel out of this necessity so we have a Ramond Crotty situation all over again! See http://thepressnet.com/2010/11/01/a-tribute-to-mr-raymond-crotty/

Bank of Ireland and accounting gimmickry

Bank of Ireland announced that €2.1bn of formerly NAMA-bound loans would not be going to NAMA. Where are they going, if anywhere? Why are they not going to NAMA? Is this a further contraction in NAMA’s performing loan portfolio (BoI have had the best performing loans thus far evidenced by their top of class 36% average weighted haircuts on Tranches 1 and 2). It is interesting that the EU Decision on BoI’s future which was made in July 2010 has not yet been made public more than two months later. BoI emerged from yesterday’s statements as the only healthy NAMA Participating Institution in the sense that it doesn’t need additional capital. Has some jiggery pokery gone on with the €2.1bn of formerly NAMA-bound loans to enable BoI to meet its PCAR requirements?

Full article here http://namawinelake.wordpress.com/author/namawinelake/

German war reparations

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It took Germany 90 years to pay off 25 billion in war reparations for the First World War.
The US gulf will need 20$ Billion to clean it up .

Ireland is now been saddled with debts of 36.5 billion and that’s just Anglo Irish Bank plus the other banks another 14 billion a nice round 50,000,000,000:00
How long will it take for this little country to pay off this private debt?
Cowen and Lenihan will go down in history as the most incompetent politicians in Irish History and the leaders of the opposition parties coming in close behind.
This country needs competent men and woman in the dail and not selfish leaches sucking our country dry.

Brian Lenihan’s statement this morning.

New NAMA adjustments

1. Loans of less than €20m not being transferred now .

2. NAMA debtors to drop from 1500 to 850

3. NAMA to abandon tranches, replaced with one remaining tranche per Participating Institution (PI – AIB, Anglo, BoI, EBS, INBS) Irish Nationwide Building Society

4. Anglo tranche to be transferred by end of October 2010

5. Loan-by-loan due diligence to continue

6. EU consulted and advised – (But it got EU  approval ?)

7. Loss of sub-€20m loans to reduce NAMA portfolio from €80bn at par value to €73.4bn

8. A 67% haircut expected on remaining Anglo tranche of €19bn (remaining Anglo tranche of €19bn plus T1+2 = €35bn and Anglo was supposed to be selling loans and sub €20m loans are now excluded – is €19bn right?)

9. Large increases in estimates of haircuts remaining tranches – Anglo 67%, AIB 60%, BoI 42%, EBS 60%, INBS – not shown (why?)

source http://namawinelake.wordpress.com/author/namawinelake/

Anglo Irish Bank is dragging us all down!

 
Wednesday, September 29 · 12:30pm – 2:30pm

Location St Stephen’s Green


Created By

More Info The Right To Work Campaign will be joining the Irish Trade Union Congress protest at the Dail on Wed September 29th- we will be marching from Anglo Irish Bank at 12 noon and then joining the Congress protest at the Dail at 12.30pm.Sept 29th is the 1st day back for the Dail and is also the 2nd anniversary of the banking guarantee.The 23 Billion we gave Anglo Irish Bank is enough to employ everyone on the Live Register for 3 years on 33,000 a year!Get this government out!
No more Anglo Irish Bailouts!
We want jobs and services!
Stop the Cuts!For leaflets and posters contact 0872604143Let’s make this a real focus for all the anger out there against this incompetent government!

 

Comment:

 As a non-aligned and  advocate for the middle ground and free enterprise I strongly believe that the support the government is giving this corrupt and clearly bankrupt private Bank in not the responsibility of the Irish Taxpayers and I also firmly believe that the Irish government has created a fatal disaster for the country by bailing out their friends .One has to now ask questions why this disastrous course was ever taken .This stinks to high heaven and fraud is written all over this action by lenihan and Cowen  .

This must stop now and criminal charges must be brought against the architects of this national disaster.

The Full story has still to come out from the Allied Irish Banks and Bank of Ireland again I call on them to come clean on their derivatives positions.

I intend to go to this demonstration to-morrow as

 I believe we in the middle ground should be seen and on the ground and we need to become vocal otherwise we will be left behind nobody else will fight our cause and our cause is the peoples cause.

Now more than ever we need to stand united against this blatant attack on our democracy by the political elite and their cronies.

PS 

Anybody in Wicklow looking for a lift contact me at e-mail provided before 10.30  29.09.2010

 

 

 

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Place you’r bets on Bank Of Ireland

 

A few months ago, I said that  Bank of Ireland share price would fall  to 55 cent  and even lower down to the 20’s . Any of my followers that took heed of my advice will now be nursing huge profits

Bank in April I warned that the rights issue was a complete rip off and the Government went ahead and purchased 575.6 million shares at €1.80 each. So at this mornings prices we the taxpayers have sustained loss again of 70 % = 402.92 million Euros in 5 months

In any other business these incompetent baboons Lenihan and Cowen  would be kicked out of office  ,Truly monkeys wouldn’t do any worse!

As for the distressed shareholders I afraid there is more bad news on the way .Bank of Ireland I believe ,Is harboring derivatives, and the news  cannot be  good . Anglo and Allied Irish Bank are also in the dog house and nothing will change the direction of the shares until the full facts are known and I don’t mean the banks telling us fibs we need to have an independent audit done on their derivatives trades of which I believe we are looking at 150billion at least in losses

In other words all the banks are insolvent and we are on course for a final showdown with the IMF having to step in and save the day

Shareholders get rid of the toilet paper you are holding.

http://thepressnet.com/2010/04/29/aib-shares-worth-0-60-cent/

http://thepressnet.com/2010/05/20/ponzi-scheme-warning/

http://thepressnet.com/2010/04/26/%e2%80%9cthis-is-a-blatant-attempt-to-rob-existing-shareholders-of-the-merger-holding-of-the-carcass-that-is-bank-of-ireland%e2%80%9d/

http://thepressnet.com/2010/08/11/bank-of-ireland-posts-huge-losses/

Lenihan logic: heads you win and tails you win for the bondholders

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Irish Finance Minister Demonstrates that he doesn’t believe in Capitalism
By The Fundamental Analyst, on September 24th, 2010
Here again we see another case of those that embraced capitalism on the way up, shudder at the consequences when things go the other way. Take the latest comments from the Irish Finance Minister, from Reuters:
Irish finmin says no chance banks, govt will default
DUBLIN, Sept 22 (Reuters) – It is unthinkable that Ireland or its banks would default on senior debt, Finance Minister Brian Lenihan said on Wednesday.
Opposition politicians and some media commentators have called on Lenihan to force bondholders in Anglo Irish Bank [ANGIB.UL] to take some of the hit for the nationalised lender’s massive losses, which are a major burden on the exchequer.
“It’s unthinkable that Ireland would default on senior debt or that Ireland’s banks would default on senior debt,” Lenihan told Reuters in parliament.
“Ireland is not prepared to be some kind of social experiment for bank default.”
Why is it unthinkable? I’m not up to date with the extent of Anglo Irish Bank’s problems, but if the losses are big enough to eat through all subordinated debt then senior debt is next in line, simple. This is what happens in a restructuring, equity holders get taken out and bondholders take a haircut. Maybe the losses aren’t that big that senior bondholders need to take their lumps, but even so, to make a blanket statement such as the Irish FM has made demonstrates that he is firmly of the belief that bondholders aren’t responsible for their mistakes and that capitalism should be suspended when things go pear-shaped.
 
Comment:
There you have it once again Lenihan is way out of touch with the norms of capitalism
Its all about risk that’s why bondholders get to demand such high interest payments because there taking a gamble and if things go pair shaped they go and take a bath
Lenihan has a logic of heads you win and tails you win for the bondholders and they love him for it!
Maybe it would be better if Lenihan was in charge,”lets shift Cowen “me thinks the bondholders might be thinking”!

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