S&P on Europe: Still Hopeless
- Joshua M Brown
- December 23rd, 2011
And thank god, because my screensaver and desktop wallpaper motif is various European financial capital cities in ruins, I've got like bare-breasted Valkyries, winged and in full armor, swooping down and beheading Euro bankers with swords as they flee through streets rimmed with burning buildings. It's so friggin' epic, you guys.
Anyway, the ratings agencies are highly unimpressed with the recent Bazooka announced by the ECB and other policy actions in the E-Zone...
The half a trillion euros the European Central Bank pumped into the financial system buys hard-hit banks valuable time but will not in itself protect them from threatened rating downgrades, one of Standard and Poor's top executives said.
The ratings firm put almost the entire euro zone and some of its biggest banks, including Deutsche Bank, BNP Paribas, Societe Generale and UniCredit, on a downgrade warning this month.
In a telephone interview with Reuters on Friday, S&P's Managing Director of its Financial Institutions division, Scott Bugie, said this week's unprecedented injection of three-year loans by the ECB was a positive step.
But it would not solve the banks' key problem of carrying too much debt.
"The move in itself will not lead to any improvement in (banks') credit ratings," Bugie said.
Of course, we all know that the following are inexorable:
1. debt levels remain unchanged
2. Euro recession is borderline inevitable as austerity kicks in
3. You don't end a 3 decade binge of fiscal profligacy and entitlement-palooza with a two year period of punishment
So carry on.
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The Reformed Broker is a blog about financial markets and the economy. Joshua Brown is a New York City-based investment advisor for high net worth individuals, charitable foundations, retirement plans and corporations... More.