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Cutting Ireland’s Rating

by Reggie Middleton
So, S&P finally gets around to Cutting Ireland’s Rating on the Cost of Bank Support, as reported by CNBC:
Ireland’s financial headache worsened on Wednesday after Standard & Poor’s cut its credit rating in a move criticized by the country’s debt management agency.
The premium investors demand to hold Ireland’s 10-year bonds over German bunds has been steadily widening in the past few weeks and remained elevated at 327 basis points on Wednesday.
The spread finished at 330 bps on Tuesday, its highest level since the Greek financial crisis broke in May.
Brenda Kelly, an analyst at CMC Markets, said she expected Irish borrowing costs to climb on the back of S&P’s move.
“I think we are going to have to an awful lot more in interest payments,” she said.
Although Ireland has raised virtually all of the 20 billion euros of long-term debt targeted for 2010, S&P’s move may make it more difficult for the country’s banks to extend the maturity of their funding later this year and eventually wean themselves off a state guarantee on their debt.
S&P cut Ireland’s long-term rating by one notch to ‘AA-’, the fourth highest investment grade, and assigned the country a negative outlook late on Tuesday saying the cost to the government of supporting the financial sector had increased significantly.
Rating agencies have been steadily hacking away at Ireland’s credit rating and S&P’s is now on a par with Fitch and one notch below Moody’s, which cut its rating to Aa2 last month.
S&P said it expects Ireland will need to spend 90 billion euros to support its banking system, up from its prior estimate of 80 billion euros including capital used to improve the solvency of financial institutions and losses taken from loans the government acquired from banks.
Ireland’s budget deficit ballooned to 14 percent of gross domestic product, the highest in Europe, last year due to the cost of propping up nationalized lender Anglo Irish ANGIB.UL and it could climb higher if Dublin injects an additional 10.05 billion euros into the bank…
I’m not going to say I told you so, but I did throw some pretty strong hints…
On April 29th, I was quite blatant in stating “Beware of the Potential Irish Ponzi Scheme!”, urging my susbscribers to review the Irish Bank Strategy Note and the Ireland public finances projections that I made available earlier that month. You see, unlike many of the pundits in Europe who state that Ireland has moved beyond the worst of its problems and is an example of how austerity should work, I believe that Ireland is in very, very big trouble and I outlined the reasoning behind such in my very first posts on the Pan-European Sovereign Debt Crisis.

At the very beginning of the year, I visually illustrated how bad off Ireland was, with considerably more that 6% of its GDP being mired in bank NPAs (non-performing assets). This number is quite conservative, for my research team only canvassed the larger banks in Ireland – you can rest assured that the smaller ones contain a similar (if not greater) proportion of NPAs to total assets. Add to this the fact that these banks are probably overstating assets and understating liabilities and you can probably throw another 150 basis points on top of the figures above and still be a tad bit conservative.
As a matter of fact, I went further into the topic in mid-April with Many Institutions Believe Ireland To Be A Model of Austerity Implementation But the Facts Beg to Differ! where I showed that Ireland is heavily leveraged into the problems of the PIIGS group faced. A picture (and/or graph is worth a thousand words! From the afore-linked post…
So if Ireland is really that bad off, what’s up with that tall stalk next to it in the bank NPA chart at the beginning of the post? Oh, those are the guys (and gals) who lent Ireland all of that money, and Ireland’s issues are probably a significant portion of those NPAs you see towering over that of Ireland. I am not picking on Ireland and the UK, for much of Europe suffers from similar anathema,.
It is not as if no one could see the Euro-bank issues coming. In January of 2009, I explained to readers that the real estate bust in Spain could not be avoided by the banks and there will be a time when the piper comes a callin’ This, of course, will be subsidized by the Spanish state,. This didn’t just start with Greece,
So what does it all mean?
Well, from my point of view, things rarely happen in a vacuum. Many European nations are over leveraged, overbanked, highly indebted, social powder kegs literally and economically sitting right next to each other. Lord forbid someone inadvertently lights a match! Whether that match is of financial or economic origin a very unpleasant domino effect will ensure.

Reggie’s analyzes is spot on and a must read for all serious citizens who want to get the real facts on our countries financial situation and not the spin coming from an increasingly out of touch government

Lies, Damn Lies, and Sovereign Truths: Why the Euro is Destined to Collapse!

If this article goes viral around the web, I wouldn’t be surprised if the euro tanks and several European sovereign states’ spreads blow out. I have busted several of them in another of a long series of “creative” economic forecasting schemes to fudge the appearance of “austerity”. 

Well, its official (sort of). Greece, a Greek Crisis Is Over, Region Safe”, Prodi Says – I say Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire!member of the European Union, will probably join the ranks of countries like Latvia (where policies are limited by the choice of the currency regime), Iceland (where the crisis has resulted in a very heavy external debt burden), the Ukraine (which is still affected by financial and political fragility) and a bevy of third world and emerging market countries in distress from the (not very) esteemed club of IMF financial aid recipients. What does this portend for the Euro? Well, I have blogged earlier in the year that the Euro’s credibility is now highly suspect and those pundits who dared contemplate the Euro potentially replacing the dollar as the global reserve currency now see the folly of their ways. The chances of a break-up are significantly higher and quite realistic. Credit Agricole’s currency strategist puts it succinctly:

“If Greece goes with the IMF, that says something terrible about the political process within Europe,” said Stuart Bennett, a senior foreign-exchange strategist at Credit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank in London. “This undermines any confidence in the currency.”

Greece will probably end up defaulting on their debt, with or without the aid of the IMF, and they will probably have good company with several other EU members. I say so, and so does UBS Economist Donovan.

“I think it’s in an impossible situation,” said Donovan, who is based in London, in an interview with Bloomberg Radio today. “Europe has failed to clear its first serious hurdle. If Europe can’t solve a small problem like this, how on earth is it going to solve the larger problem, which is the euro doesn’t work. It’s a bad idea.”

How dare I make such a proclamation? Well, because I am telling the truth based upon facts and the many forecasts from the various sovereign nations are basically based upon lies, fiction and farce! As it is look at how the market is viewing the Greek tragedy:

European governments have yet to agree on how to fund any rescue for Greece, which says it will struggle to pay its debts at current market interest rates. While Prime Minister George Papandreou announced a 4.8 billion euro ($6.4 billion) austerity package on March 3, the extra yield that investors demand to hold Greek debt over German counterparts has since risen.

The spread was at 324 basis points today compared with 316 points at the start of the month. The euro fell 1 percent today to $1.3358, extending its decline this year to 6.7 percent.

I am willing to bet the “market” has not taken a strong, hard, objective look at those proposed austerity measures and uncovered the secrets that I am about to reveal. If they have, these spreads would have been blown out much wider. 

A German finance official said yesterday that both countries may agree to involve the IMF. Papandreou said March 19 that Greece, which needs to sell about 10 billion euros ($13.4 billion) of bonds in coming weeks, is a step away from not being able to borrow and may need to turn to the IMF if European aid isn’t forthcoming.

Europe’s fiscal crisis shows the need for the euro region to create a common fiscal policy, former U.K. Chancellor of the Exchequer Norman Lamont said in an interview in London today.

“That would be the logical step,” Lamont said. “I don’t think they are prepared to do that, and without doing that I think the euro is a contradiction, a currency without a state.”

Bingo! The man hit the point right on the head. There are too many chiefs and not enough Indians.

I want to visually and verbally demonstrate what an absolute joke European economic estimates have been throughout this crisis, and more importantly how politicians and sovereign states are interpreting this joke in such a way that can deliver a punch line that can most assuredly end in sever global recession, or worse. This document/blog post alone should serve to sink the Euro and blow out CDS spreads for several European sovereign. Why? Because the truth hurts and the truth is not what has been coming from European sovereign states as of late.

The IMF and the EU have been consistently and overtly optimistic from the very beginning of this crisis. Their numbers have been dramatically over the top on the super bright, this will end pretty, rosy scenario side – and that is after multiple revisions to the downside!!! We can visit the US concept of regulatory capture (see How Regulatory Capture Turns Doo Doo Deadly  and Lehman Brothers Dies While Getting Away with Murder: Regulatory Capture at its Best) for the EU, but due to time constraints we will save that topic for a later date. To make matters even worse, the sovereign states have taken these dramatically optimistic and proven unrealistic projections and have made even more optimistic and dramatically unrealistic projections on top of those in order to create the illusion of a workable “austerity” plan when in reality there is no way in hell the stated and published plans will come anywhere near reducing the debts and deficits as advertised – No Way in Hell (Hades/Tartarus/Anao/Uffern/Peklo/Niffliehem – just to cover some of the Euro states caught fudging the numbers)!

Let’s take a visual perusal of what I am talking about, focusing on those sovereign nations that I have covered thus far.


Notice how dramatically off the market the IMF has been, skewered HEAVILY to the optimistic side.  Now, notice how aggressively the IMF has downwardly revsied their forecasts to still end up widlly optimistic.

Ever since the beginning of this crisis, IMF estimates of government balance have been just as bad…


The EU/EC has proven to be no better, and if anything is arguably worse!

 
 

 

Revisions-R-US!


and the EU on goverment balance??? Way, way, way off. 


If the IMF was wrong, what in the world does that make the EC/EU?

The EC forecasts have been just as bad, if not much, much worse in nearly all of the forecasting scenarios we presented. Hey, if you think tha’s bad, try taking a look at what the govenment of Greece has done with these fairy tale forecasts, as excerpted from the blog post


Think about it! With a .5% revisions, the EC was still 3 full points to the optimistic side on GDP, that puts the possibility of Greek  government forecasts, which are much more optimistic than both the EU and the slightly more stringent but still mostly erroneous IMF numbers, being anywhere near realistic somewhere between zero and no way in hell (tartarus, hades, purgatory…).

Now, if the Greek government’s macroeconomic assumptions are overstated when compared with EU estimates, and the EU estimates are overstated when compared to the IMF estimates, and the IMF estimates are overstated when compared to reality…. Just who the hell can you trust these days???

 source link http://boombustblog.com/reggie-middleton/2010/03/14/qgreek-crisis-is-over-region-safeq-prodi-says-i-say-liar-liar-pants-on-fire/
 

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