Europe on the Edge of a Full-Scale Financial Blowout
July 11, 2016 (EIRNS)—The trans-Atlantic press is full of coverage of the Deutsche Bank and Italian banking crises, underscoring the importance of Lyndon LaRouche’s intervention, calling for a one-time bailout of Germany to prevent chaos in Europe, but based on the need for major changes in the banking system, to push credits into the real economy and shut down the derivatives and other speculative bubbles.
Russia Today picks up on David Folkerts-Landau’s interview with Welt am Sonntag, in which the chief economist of Deutsche Bank (DB) called for an emergency 150-billion-euro bailout, and also cites statements from Lorenzo Bini Smaghi, chairman of Société Générale, warning that the Italian banking crisis can spread to all of the EU. DB stocks are down 48 percent over the past 12 months, Société Générale stock is down 63 percent, and the Bloomberg Europe index of 500 banks and financial service firms is down 33 percent, reaching a seven-year low. A timeline in the Bloomberg article is titled “The Epic Collapse of Deutsche Bank,” which makes clear that the European banking system is now, immediately, on the edge of a crash.
RT also picks up on a recent, signed op-ed by George Soros, declaring that the collapse of the EU has become “almost inevitable” since the Brexit vote.
“The catastrophic scenario that many feared has materialized, making the disintegration of the EU practically irreversible,” he wrote for Project Syndicate (which he heavily funds). He added that the financial collapse in the UK following Brexit is the worst in three decades. “The very survival of the European project” is on the line in the negotiations of how Brexit will occur. RT coverage noted that Marine LePen met with French President Hollande and pressed for a referendum on “Frexit,” but was rebuffed.
Reuters also gave extensive coverage to the Folkerts-Landau interview. Cityam, an online financial publication, noted that Italian banks are holding €360 billion of non-performing debt, with shares in all the major Italian banks and other Mediterranean banks—Unicredit, Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena, Banco Popolare and Intesa San Paolo (Portugal)—down 25% since the vote for Brexit. Michael Hewson of CMC Markets UK was quoted, “If Italy goes under then it will take the rest of Europe with it.”
The Street headlined back on July 5 “Deutsche Bank to Initiate the Next Financial Crisis? Stock Could Be Headed to Zero.” The article cited parallels to Lehman Brothers, showing DB in far worse shape than Lehman was at the end. The International Monetary Fund warned that the greatest spillover from DB will hit France, the United Kingdom, and the United States, which
“have the highest degree of outward spillovers as measured by the average percentage of capital loss of other banking systems due to banking sector shock in the source country.”
A Wall Street Journal chart cited by The Street shows the bank-to-bank connections of DB. DB is leveraged more than 40:1, far worse than Lehman’s 31:1 at the time of its collapse; and its current derivatives portfolio is $72.8 trillion, 13% of all global outstanding derivatives.
“If the domino effect does occur, Germany with its GDP of $4 trillion or the EU with a GDP of $18 trillion will not be in a position to gain control over it.”
New Europe online headlines, “Why Deutsche Bank is the most dangerous bank in the world,” asking what the price would be for the German government to bail it out, versus the consequences of letting it blow out with systemic implications.
Bloomberg also warned that the London real estate market is crashing and this is another consequence of Brexit. Standard Life Investments announced that as of today, it will suspend its UK Real Estate fund, to ward off investors demanding their money back. This is already triggering contagion, with several other big real estate investors announcing similar freezes on clients’ funds, and others announcing simply that they are pulling out of existing deals for prime London real estate projects.
Taken together, the conditions of Italy, Deutsche Bank, and the London real estate market are more than sufficient to blow up the entire trans-Atlantic financial sector. It is precisely because of this already-onrushing crisis that emergency actions, precisely along the lines demanded by LaRouche, must be enacted immediately.