Euro la la Land Let’s party on with the ECB as it pretends its banks are not bust (again)

Tom Winnifrith Sunday 19 January 2014


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With the European Central Bank (ECB) the comedy never stops. You and I know that a material number of European banks and financial institutions are bust. Even a total Euro loon like Michael Heseltine does not, I suspect, stash any of his millions with Greek, Spanish, or Italian banks these days. But the ECB wants us all to think differently and with its 2014 stress tests is going to prove it. Oh yes. 

Let me first take you back to October 23rd of last year when the ECB tried to reassure those of us who have our doubts about some of the banks in the PIIGS nations by saying that it in 2014 it would use “stricter” rules than before when testing the balance sheets of the Eurozone banks. There was a firm pledge to insist that all banks could show a capital ratio of 8%. How very prudent Mr Draghi.

Now wind forward to this week and the ECB is now saying (according to Bloomberg) that the Capital Requirement when it runs the balance sheets through a recession stress test will be 6%, i.e. the same as in 2013. Stricter? Er... perhaps not after all. But it means that the ECB will be able to show that nearly every bank is solvent even in a recession scenario and so we can all sleep safely in our beds. Stop worrying little people everything is okay.

And it gets better. 

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About Tom Winnifrith
Tom Winnifrith is the editor of When he is not harvesting olives in Greece, he is (planning to) raise goats in Wales.
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