Jul 24

Moody’s Changes Aaa-Rated Germany, Netherlands, Luxembourg Outlook To Negative (ZeroHedge, July 23, 2012):

In a first for Moody’s, the rating agency, traditionally about a month after Egan Jones (whose rationale and burdensharing text was virtually copied by Moody’s: here and here), has decided to cut Europe’s untouchable core, while still at Aaa, to Outlook negative, in the process implicitly downgrading Germany, Netherlands and Luxembourg, and putting them in line with Austria and France which have been on a negative outlook since February 13, 2012.The only good news goes to Finland, whose outlook is kept at stable for one simple reason: the country’s attempts to collateralize its European bailout exposure, a move which will now be copied by all the suddenly more precarious core European countries.

From the report:

Moody’s changes  the outlook to negative on Germany, Netherlands, Luxembourg and affirms Finland’s Aaa stable rating

London, 23 July 2012 — Moody’s Investors Service has today revised to negative from stable the outlooks on the Aaa sovereign ratings of Germany, the Netherlands and Luxembourg. In addition, Moody’s has also affirmed Finland’s Aaa rating and stable outlook.

All four sovereigns are adversely affected by the following two euro-area-wide developments:

1.) The rising uncertainty regarding the outcome of the euro area debt crisis given the current policy framework, and the increased susceptibility to event risk stemming from the increased likelihood of Greece’s exit from the euro area, including the broader impact that such an event would have on euro area members, particularly Spain and Italy.

2.) Even if such an event is avoided, there is an increasing likelihood that greater collective support for other euro area sovereigns, most notably Spain and Italy, will be required. Given the greater ability to absorb the costs associated with this support, this burden will likely fall most heavily on more highly rated member states if the euro area is to be preserved in its current form.

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Aug 23


YouTube Added: 22.08.2011

Wall Street Aristocracy Got $1.2 Trillion in Fed’s Secret Loans (Bloomberg, Aug 22, 2011):

Citigroup Inc. (C) and Bank of America Corp. (BAC) were the reigning champions of finance in 2006 as home prices peaked, leading the 10 biggest U.S. banks and brokerage firms to their best year ever with $104 billion of profits.

By 2008, the housing market’s collapse forced those companies to take more than six times as much, $669 billion, in emergency loans from the U.S. Federal Reserve. The loans dwarfed the $160 billion in public bailouts the top 10 got from the U.S. Treasury, yet until now the full amounts have remained secret.

Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke’s unprecedented effort to keep the economy from plunging into depression included lending banks and other companies as much as $1.2 trillion of public money, about the same amount U.S. homeowners currently owe on 6.5 million delinquent and foreclosed mortgages. The largest borrower, Morgan Stanley (MS), got as much as $107.3 billion, while Citigroup took $99.5 billion and Bank of America $91.4 billion, according to a Bloomberg News compilation of data obtained through Freedom of Information Act requests, months of litigation and an act of Congress.

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Nov 01

billionaire-wilbur-ross-us-is-in-the-beginning-of-a-huge-crash-in-commercial-real-estate

Oct. 30 (Bloomberg) — Billionaire investor Wilbur L. Ross Jr., said today the U.S. is in the beginning of a “huge crash in commercial real estate.”

“All of the components of real estate value are going in the wrong direction simultaneously,” said Ross, one of nine money managers participating in a government program to remove toxic assets from bank balance sheets. “Occupancy rates are going down. Rent rates are going down and the capitalization rate — the return that investors are demanding to buy a property — are going up.”

U.S. commercial property sales are forecast to fall to the lowest in almost two decades as the industry endures its worst slump since the savings and loan crisis of the early 1990s, according to property research firm Real Capital Analytics Inc. The Moody’s/REAL Commercial Property Price Indices already have fallen almost 41 percent since October 2007, Moody’s Investors Service said Oct. 19.

Billionaire George Soros, speaking today at a lecture organized by the Central European University in Budapest, said a “bloodletting” may be coming for leveraged buyouts and commercial real estate.

“The American consumer will no longer be able to serve as the motor for the world economy,” said Soros, 79.

His comments came in the same week that Capmark Financial Group Inc. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection after originating $60 billion in commercial property loans in 2006 and 2007.

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May 28

hypo-real-estate

BERLIN — Germany’s financial regulator warned of serious problems at Hypo Real Estate Holding AG six months before the lender was rescued in a massive bailout, but the regulator lacked powers to act and the government ignored its warnings, according to documents viewed by The Wall Street Journal.

The documents — brought to light in preparation for parliamentary committee hearings Thursday to examine the government’s handling of Hypo’s bailout — are likely to prove politically charged ahead of national elections in September.

For months, Germany has lectured the U.S. and others on the need for stricter regulation of financial markets, holding itself up as a model. The German parliament probe into the €102 billion ($142.6 billion) rescue of Munich-based Hypo, however, suggests Germany struggled as much as the U.S. or Britain to control the risks the country’s banks were taking.

hypo-real-estate

Hypo’s funding problems and huge losses on complex securities make it the worst of Germany’s problem banks, though it is one of many. German banks could face total losses in the current financial crisis of €200 billion to €300 billion, according to several estimates, of which only around €100 billion has been written down.

Spokesmen for Hypo and the Deutsche Bundesbank, Germany’s central bank, declined to comment.

Overall, banks in Western Europe could lose about $1.4 trillion in this crisis, more than expected losses in the U.S. banking system, according to the International Monetary Fund.

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Jan 17

FRANKFURT, Jan 17 (Reuters) – Major German banks have so far written off only around a quarter of the nearly 300 billion euros ($397.7 billion) in toxic U.S. assets on their books, Der Spiegel magazine reported, citing a survey of 20 big lenders.

That means banks face more huge losses as they mark down the value of U.S. assets backed by mortgages and student loans, the magazine said on Saturday, reporting on a study prepared for the government by the Bundesbank and markets regulator BaFin.

German article:
Deutsche Banken sitzen auf Giftpapieren in Milliardenhöhe
(Spiegel Online)

The finance ministry in Berlin assumes that the entire German banking sector is carrying around 1 trillion euros of risky assets on its books, the magazine said.

A spokeman for the Finance Ministry said it believed banks still had “significant amounts” of risky assets but declined to confirm the figures in the report.

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Nov 04

The French state has threatened to seize control of the country’s banks and fire top staff unless they do their part to stabilise the economy by stepping up lending to companies in need.

“The banks have got to open up credit to business: they have the means to do it,” said prime minister Francois Fillon, accusing lenders of hoarding cash. “We don’t think the banks are stepping up to task as necessary. We can withdraw the credit that we have extended to them under the state’s contract with the banks, and that will put them in difficulty. At that moment the question arises whether we should take an equity stake, change their managers, and assume control over their strategy.”

Speaking on French television, he warned: “Broadly speaking, we’ll be able to judge over the next 10 days whether they are playing the game as they should, or not.”

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Oct 06

Credit Crisis Widens


Sam Farhood, left, and James Denaro work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange prior to the Opening Bell in New York, on Oct. 6, 2008. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg News

Oct. 6 (Bloomberg) — Stocks tumbled around the world, the euro fell the most against the yen since its debut and oil dropped below $90 a barrel as the yearlong credit market seizure caused bank bailouts to spread. Government bonds rallied.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index retreated 5.9 percent, extending the worst weekly slump since 2001, as concern slower global growth will curb demand for commodities sent Alcoa Inc. and U.S. Steel Corp. down more than 7 percent. The MSCI Emerging Markets Index headed for its biggest loss in at least two decades and exchanges in Russia and Brazil halted trading. Europe’s Dow Jones Stoxx 600 Index had its steepest decline since 1987.

Today’s plunge erased about $2.5 trillion from global equities after the German government was forced to bail out Hypo Real Estate Holding AG, overshadowing the $700 billion U.S. Treasury plan to revive credit markets. The euro weakened 6 percent against the yen, the most since 1999.

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Oct 05


Chancellor Angela Merkel and Finance Minister Peer Steinbrück announcing their plan for Hypo Real Estate in Berlin on Sunday. (Pool photo by Rainer Jensen)

FRANKFURT: As German leaders and bankers worked feverishly to rescue a lender considered too big to fail, the government announced Sunday that it would guarantee all private savings accounts in Germany – worth about €500 billion – in an effort to reinforce increasingly shaky confidence in the financial system.

Officials in Berlin were frantically trying to salvage a €35 billion, or $48 billion, bailout devised just a week ago for Hypo Real Estate, a major German property lender based in Munich and member of the benchmark stock index, after commercial banks withdrew their support, fearing greater losses.

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Oct 05

Another top European bank is on the brink of collapse after a consortium of German financial institutions withdrew from a state-led rescue plan agreed two days ago.


Hypo Real Estate is the fifth German bank to be bailed out because of the credit crunch Photo: AP

Hypo Real Estate (HRE), the second largest mortgage lender in Germany, said the 35 billion euro (£27.3 billion) bail-out fell apart on Saturday.

The news is a fresh blow for the global financial system struggling to master an unprecedented crisis of confidence.

Hypo Real Estate was the fifth German bank to be bailed out in the wake of the credit market turmoil stemming from America.

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Oct 05


Nicolas Sarkozy (C) flanked by Angela Merkel (L) and Gordon Brown

PARIS (AFP) – The leaders of Europe’s four main economic powers vowed to protect fragile banks in their fight against the global credit crisis as the biggest rescue in German financial history collapsed.

France, Germany, Britain and Italy put on a united front, promising a more coordinated approach to the credit crunch, although Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel insisted states would mainly act individually.

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