Bank Failure Spreading but We Keep Pretending

Let’s see, the trajectory of impending bank failure here:

2011 – eight banks failed the “test,” with a shortfall of 2.5-billion Euros.

2014 – twenty-five banks failed the “test.” with a shortfall of 24.6-billion Euros.

Crashing Europe Graphic

From “25 EU banks fail ‘stress test’, exposing $31bn shortfall.”

Nearly one in five leading European banks have failed the stress test conducted by the European Central Bank, which revealed a $31.2 billion (€24.6 billion) capital gap in 25 banks showing they’re not ready to withstand a three-year recession.

The results of the EU-wide stress test were reported on Sunday by the European Banking Authority (EAB) and the European Central Bank (ECB).

With nine banks failing the test, Italy represented more than €10 billion of the capital shortfall. Other balance sheets that weren’t up to snuff were three banks in Greece, three in Cyprus, two in Slovenia, two in Belgium, and one each in Austria, Germany, France, Spain, Portugal and Ireland.

Of the total 25 banks that failed the test, 12 have since come up with the necessary additional capital to pass. The other 13 have two weeks to submit a blueprint of how they plan to boost their capital, to be presented to the ECB for approval in early November. Approved banks will then have nine months to fix their capital holes.

The main goal of the stress test was to identify which banks need to boost core equity capital out of the 123 top lenders. The assessment weight a lender’s key risks, including liquidity, leverage and funding, as well as asset quality and the ability of banks’ balance sheet to resist stress scenarios.

But the world economy is stable and getting better all the time, because banks get much deeper into trouble during good times, don’t ya know?

[See also, “New European Central Bank Policy: Not Even Ben Bernanke Was This Insane.”]

Of course, this is Europe; who cares about Europe? Um, have you checked how many U.S. banks are highly invested in the paper of European banks and nations? Yep, when Europe goes down (when, not if!), the U.S. banking system will go right down with it. And the Federal Reserve will trumpet another “global financial emergency” that requires strong-arm robbery of American taxpayers.

2017-2020 remains my window for the fireworks to begin in earnest. It could be sooner, but… usually I’m a little early.