A EFSF Leverage Increases German Guarantee

Oktober 24, 2011

There is a lot of talk going on the EFSF increasing its firepower by leveraging up the current total notional of 440 billion Euro. The politicians in Germany try sell this to the people by emphasizing that Germany’s stake in the guarantee will stay at 211 billion and that the German government will not increase this in any case.

Many commentators both in the media and blogs argued that, while the notional of the guarantee stay the same, the risk increases proportional to the leverage. I agree, but I would like to point out additionally that the notional of the German stake will also increase. Not explicitly in the contracts of course, but implicitly. Just like the countries, with the notable exception of Iceland, quickly guaranteed all debts of their banking system as soon insolvency was threatening, the countries will also ride to help the EFSF if it has solvency problems.

A leveraged EFSF will be the central pillar of the European debt pyramid. It seems virtually impossible to me that Europe will ever let it default. But preventing the EFSF default means putting more money on the table. Either now or later. Politician just choose later, because it circumvents the inconvenient tour de parliaments.

Common Misconceptions on Eurobonds

August 23, 2011

Hans-Werner Sinn, sitzend

Sinn Targets Eurobonds. Image via Wikipedia

There are many common misconceptions on Eurobonds out there. I was going to compile a list, but the German economic newspaper Handelsblatt did me the favor of having them all in one article – however not identified as such.

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How to make Eurobonds work

August 16, 2011

The Lisbon Treaty formalised Jean-Claude Junck...

Junker, "My Name is Bond, Eurobond". Image via Wikipedia

The political pressure on Germany and other surplus countries within the Eurozone to introduce Eurobonds is constantly increasing. I’m not a big fan of Eurobonds without further political integration, but given the problems of the deficit countries, I fear we may not have the time to introduce a common democratic European government to orderly introduce Eurobonds. As I write this, Angela Merkel and Sarkozy just pleaded for a common European Economic Government. As Merkel’s CDU always cited this too as a prerequisite to the introduction of Eurobonds, I guess that the chances that we actually will get Eurobonds are increased, despite Merkel saying otherwise.

So the question addressed in this post is: Can Eurobonds work without further political integration and thus without creating a „transfer union“. Yes, that is possible.

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Top 10 List of Countries‘ CDS-Speads as of 5th of August 2011

August 7, 2011

While people are awaiting a market massacre following the USA downgrade to AA+ by S&P, I felt it’s about time to update my regular list of country risk premiums.

  • While tomorrow everyone will surely watch the CDS spread of the USA, on Friday there was no mayor movement before closing. Compared with a month ago (8th of July 2011), it widened only 1BP. So either the downgrade did leak or it left the markets completely unimpressed. I’d guess the later.
  • Once again strong increases took place in the Eurozone countries, with especially worrying increases for Cyprus (the spread more than doubled to 809BP), Spain (+40% to 414BP), and Italy (+66% to 373BP).
  • Nearly all other Eurozone countries saw also widening spreads, most worryingly France and Belgium were reminded that nobody is untouchable in this crisis. The only Euro members with narrowing spreads were Greece, Portugal and Ireland that profited from the recent bailout, but stayed at pathological levels. The savings in funding costs for these countries was rather small, so I wonder if the bailout was in the interest of the European people as it likely increased the average funding costs across all countries.
  • Some non-Euro countries like Sweden and Poland also saw widening spreads. Probably due to significant exposures to the Eurozone in their banking systems and because they will be hit by a recession in Europe.

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Eurozone Summit Draft – Mein Kommentar

Juli 22, 2011

Der Entwurf eines Beschlusses (PDF) für die Lösung der Probleme der Eurozone wurde geleaked. Oder wahrscheinlicher: Wurde von interessierten Parteien durchgestochen, um die Stimmung zu beeinflussen und die Reaktionen zu testen. Wie dem auch sei, hier mein Eindruck:
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Top-10 der Staatspleiten: Ausgabe 08.07.2011

Juli 10, 2011

Die Eurokrise scheint sich dem Endspiel zu nähern, denn Italiens Risikoprämie steigt gegenüber Mitte Juni nochmal um 30%. Dabei stieg sie in der Vorperiode schon um 26%. Da ist es an der Zeit die regelmäßige Liste der Staatsbankrottrisiken zu aktualisieren.
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Top10 Staatspleite-Risiko vom 06.05.2010: Nicht nur Griechenland

Mai 6, 2010

PIIGS ist die hipste Buchstaben-Kombo der Tage. Ständig liest man von Ansteckung und Schuldenkrisen. Ein Blick auf die Zahlen zeigt ein anderes Bild.
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