Sunday, October 5, 2008


La prensa de hoy destaca el resultado de la reunión del G-4 (Alemania, Francia, Italia y Reino Unido): no habrá plan de rescate en Europa sino solo "acción concertada" ad hoc.

Wolgang Münchau explica detalladamente por qué esta solución es equivocada y por qué coloca a Europa en una situación sumamente peligrosa.Sería lamentable que el tiempo diera en breve la razón a él y a quienes han destacado la importancia de un plan conjunto.

Este es un resumen de su juicio:

"The Europeans are of course right in their overall ambition not to allow systemically important banks to fail. They are also right in their scepticism about their ability to distinguish between illiquidity and insolvency during an emergency. But I fear we are still well short of a strategy. We might be lucky, and scrape through what could well become the most dangerous month of the crisis so far. If, for example, the credit default swap market were to blow up in the next couple of weeks – a non-trivial probability – we have no plan.


The US plan failed to address the problem of an undercapitalised banking sector. That issue is even more important in Europe where many banks have an extremely weak capital base, with leverage ratios of 50 or more.

Europe does therefore not need any bail-out plan, but a plan that specifically addresses the capitalisation problem. Concretely, three things are needed: the first and most important is money. A sum of €300bn will not cover the EU in a worst-case scenario, but it is a sensible number to start with; secondly, you need a semi-permanent crisis committee empowered to take decisions; and finally you need a strategy to apply symmetrically and based on clear rules about when to recapitalise, and when not.


For Europe, this is more than just a banking crisis. Unlike in the US, it could develop into a monetary regime crisis. A systemic banking crisis is one of those few conceivable shocks with the potential to destroy Europe’s monetary union. The enthusiasm for creating a single currency was unfortunately never matched by an equal enthusiasm to provide the correspondingly effective institutions to handle financial crises. Most of the time, it does not matter. But it matters now. For that reason alone, the case for a European rescue plan is overwhelming."

"Una crisis bancaria sistémica es uno de los pocos shocks imaginables con el potencial de destruir la Unión Monetaria Europea".Se puede ser más duro, pero no más claro.

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