‘The Higher They Climb,The Harder They Fall’*

*’Quanto mais alto se sobe, maior é a queda’

… Under such a plan, assuming the EFSF contributes €400bn, the total bail-out resources would be about €2,000bn. Higher leverage, a lower first loss piece of, say, 10 per cent, would increase available funds to €4,000bn. …

The EFSF does not have €440bn. After existing commitments to Greece, Ireland and Portugal, its theoretical resources are at best about €250bn, …
The EFSF must borrow money from the markets, relying on its own CDO-like structure, backed by a cash first loss cushion and guarantees from eurozone countries. …
The ECB, the provider of protected debt, has capital of about €5bn, supporting about €140bn in bonds issued by beleaguered eurozone nations, purchased as part of market operations to reduce their borrowing costs. … While the eurozone central banking system has capital of about €80bn that could be available to support the ECB’s operations, this adds to the incremental leverage under such a plan.

The circular nature of the idea is surreal. Highly leveraged vehicles, in part backed by weakened nations such as Spain and Italy, would undertake the “rescue” of the same countries and their banks. This would be akin to an entity selling insurance against its own default. This would only work if all commitments were fully backed by real cash and savings, which of course nobody actually has.

Super-charged eurozone fund won’t solve crisis (*)
By Satyajit Das, September 28, 2011, Financial Times

(*) Fundo da eurozona sobrealimentado não resolverá a crise – mas aumentará exponencialmente o desastre quando falhar.


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