Responding to the bank stress tests

Written by Searching Finance Monday, 18 July 2011 16:22
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In a new paper, Graham Bishop spells out the details of why this crisis can only be resolved by an act of political vision and courage that converts fear into confidence. The summary is below.

You can get the full paper here .


The EU’s bank stress tests have proved one thing beyond all reasonable doubt: on the central scenario, the EU’s banks are in good shape. Even on the “adverse” scenario, the general problems appear quite manageable – until the rampant fears about sovereign defaults are factored in. This is no longer a banking crisis – it is blindingly obvious that there is a full-scale confidence crisis in the debts of some sovereign states who are also the implied guarantors of their banks. If the state is not in trouble, neither are the banks headquartered there. Conversely, if the banks are required to deal with the default of their government (often their largest debtor), then a downward spiral in economic activity is inevitable and imminent.

At the low point of the 1930’s US depression, Roosevelt said:” "the only thing we have to fear is fear itself". The Eurozone does not have to fall to such a low. At this vital moment, its leaders must show the same visionary capacity as Roosevelt: take a bold political step and grant massive, but conditional, loans that eliminate the risk of sovereign defaults for those states that have already had their economic policies scrutinised and agreed by the Eurogroup. Spirits will rise, yields will fall, banks can lend, consumers consume and industrialists invest.

Last modified on Tuesday, 19 July 2011 08:48

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