Spain is planning a state bail-out of Bankia, the country’s third biggest bank by assets, in a move likely to involve the injection of billions of euros of public money into the troubled lender.Liar, Liar Pants on Fire
In an abrupt reversal of policy, the Spanish government, which had previously insisted that no additional state money would be needed to clean up the country’s banking sector, confirmed that an intervention was being prepared.
Some bankers and analysts have argued that BFA, Bankia’s parent company which controls the listed entity and houses the combined group’s worst quality assets, needs significantly more capital.
BFA said last week it had renegotiated €9.9bn of assets last year to avoid them being classified as bad loans, equivalent to 5 per cent of the bank’s €188bn loan book.
One adviser to Spanish banks and government agencies said that if the amount Madrid injected into Bankia was not sufficient, and did not involve a much improved management of its bad assets, then the plan risked achieving little.
“Just injecting capital would be the equivalent of rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic,” the person said. “I think Spain has not admitted to itself just how weak some of its banks actually are and how serious the situation is.”
- No one in their right mind believed Bankia did not need a bailout.
- No one in their right mind now believes Bankia only needs €7bn-€10bn now
- No one in their right mind believes the Spanish banking system is solvent
The only way Spain will not need a bailout is if it tells the Troika to go to hell, defaults on foreign-held bond, then exits the eurozone. Moreover, that is exactly what Spain should do, right now.
Spain will eventually exit the eurozone anyway, so the sooner the better. Sadly, the Spanish government is highly likely to rape its citizens with higher VAT taxes and bank bailouts in foolish attempts to prevent the inevitable, just as Greece has done.
Wasting €7bn-€10bn of taxpayer money, followed by double or triple that when the bailout proves to be insufficient is just plain stupid. Unfortunately, stupidity is rampant.
Mike "Mish" Shedlock
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