Greece is the sideshow, a warm-up act. Spain is the main event, the country that will have a huge impact on the future of the euro and on whether a new governance system will be put in place to control euro-zone members' budgets. The pain in Spain will fall, well, just about everywhere. That's why key figures from the world's financial institutions converged on Madrid late last week.
Spain matters because its economy is the euro zone's fourth largest, four times larger than Greece's. In the words of Goldman Sachs economists, if Spain were to experience a real financial fiasco, "the degree of cross-border financial exposure for the entities based in the larger euro-area economies would multiply dramatically." Spain's banks are already frozen out of interbank loan and capital markets, and are now the European Central Bank's largest customer. Last month they borrowed €85.6 billion ($105.9 billion) from the lender of last resort, up from €74.6 billion in April. Spain's banks account for roughly 10% of the euro zone banking system, but account for 16% of all net euro-zone loans. Next stop, the €440 billion European Financial Stability Facility, created by the euro zone powers-that-be as part of a €750 billion rescue package aimed at reassuring markets that there will be no defaults.
The need for a bailout is hotly denied by all of the players in this financial drama. A U.S. Treasury delegation joined International Monetary Fund head Dominique Strauss-Kahn in Madrid to meet with Spanish Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero and key government officials in what was represented as a rather routine, long-scheduled affair to discuss growth prospects over the next decade. European Council president Herman Van Rompuy stressed the "normality" of the meeting. No emergency measure was even discussed. Speculators and others circulating rumors that the EFSF is preparing a €250 billion rescue package are tilting at windmills.
Adéu a Nihil Obstat | Hola a The Catalan AnalystDesprés de 13 anys d'escriure en aquest bloc pràcticament sense interrumpció, avui el dono per clausurat. Això no vol dir que m'hagi jubilat de la xarxa, sinó que he passat el relleu a un altra bloc que segueix la mateixa línia del Nihil Obstat. Es tracta del bloc The Catalan Analyst i del compte de Twitter del mateix nom: @CatalanAnalyst Us recomano que els seguiu.
Moltes gràcies a tots per haver-me seguit amb tanta fidelitat durant tots aquests anys.
dilluns, 21 de juny de 2010
WSJ: “Grècia és el teloner, Espanya l'espectacle principal"
Publicado por NO a les 11:38 a. m.