In continuation to game theory references, given we recently touched on the subject in our conversation "Agree to Disagree", we thought this time around we would make a reference to the prisoners' dilemna. After all, in Europe, it is all about game theory, given than many pundits are arguing whether Germany will cooperate or not in resolving the on-going European woes, pledging its balance sheet in the process.
For now every European politicians in Europe seem to "Agree to Disagree", it looks to us increasingly probable that the outcome could be different to what is expected from Germany. The outcome for the European project is going to be rather binary. It is either "Federalism" or break-up. In fact it is Germany who has always pushed for more integration, more "Federalism". In September 1994 both Karls Lamers and Wolfgang Schauble from the CDU presented their project of accelerated integration to France. It entailed a faster integration within the European Union for Germany, France, Belgium, Luxembourg and Holland. France at the time was under "Cohabitation", Socialist French President Mitterrand had as Prime Minister Edouard Balladur from the opposing party, having lost ruling majority in the parliamentary elections leading to a political stand-off which lasted for two years. The European game is therefore in the political French camp. President François Hollande having garnered a strong political support in the recent parliamentary elections, it will be interesting to watch if French politicians will indeed accept to lose their powers for the collective good, or, if they decide to cling on their individual mandates and powers and a "Federal Europe" will not happen. Will the French surrender again? We dare to ask, staying politically correct in our conversation ("Cheese-eating surrender monkeys", being a derogatory description of French people that was coined in 1995 by Ken Keeler, then-writer for the television series The Simpsons).
"The Swiss Parliament consists of two houses: the Council of States which has 46 representatives (two from each canton and one from each half-canton) who are elected under a system determined by each canton, and the National Council, which consists of 200 members who are elected under a system of proportional representation, depending on the population of each canton. Members of both houses serve for 4 years. When both houses are in joint session, they are known collectively as the Federal Assembly. Through referendums, citizens may challenge any law passed by parliament and through initiatives, introduce amendments to the federal constitution, thus making Switzerland a direct democracy.
The Swiss cantons also have a permanent constitutional status and, in comparison with the situation in other countries, a high degree of independence. Under the Federal Constitution, all 26 cantons are equal in status (pari-passu...). Each canton has its own constitution, and its own parliament, government and courts. Switzerland also boasts, in similar fashion to the US, a Federal Supreme Court.
But we ramble again, erring on the political side. Time for our credit overview, revisiting our pet subject of bond tenders and the ongoing issues in the peripherals, particularly in Spain, given we recently received the results for the Spanish Bank Recapitalisation independent estimate and 62 billion is the number.
The current European bond picture with Spanish and Italian yields on the rise again - source Bloomberg:
As Societe Generale clearly indicated in their recent global research alert, the markets have indeed lost confidence in Spain:
Unfortunately, Spanish property market and bank restructuring go hand in hand and as many pundits have indicated, Spanish property bubble and deleveraging has yet to start effectively as indicated by the below graph from Societe Generale:
The Spanish Test Assumptions:
The Stress Test Property Assumptions may not be aggressive enough - source Bloomberg:
The results from the independent audit, the Spanish Assumptions at least looks credible for retail, for corporate less so, according to Bloomberg:
Another issue with the results from the Spanish Test Assumptions comes from the GDP worst case scenario retained no lower than 2009 experience as shown by Bloomberg:
We do not want to be seen as party spoilers, but as we posited in relation to the numerous EBA (European Banking Association) test for financial institutions, no test, no stress, no stress, no test...
No wonder Spanish Financial CDS has been on widening trend - source CMA:
From this similar Societe Generale note, higher loan delinquencies and low industrial production are the main risks:
"Risk 1: Spanish loan delinquencies, back to the 90s
-Spanish bank delinquent loans increased again to 8.72% in April, from 8.37% in March, thereby reaching an 18-year high. This trend is likely to
persist as unemployment and bankruptcies continue to rise.
-Acceleration in number of delinquent loans means Spanish banks are likely to suffer from increasingly larger losses in the future
-Report carried out by two consulting firms estimates Spanish banks' capital shortfall at up to 62bn euros.
Risk 2: European industry deteriorates
-Eurozone industrial production fell 2.3% compared to the same month last year, driven down by the southern Europe countries.
-If the Eurozone fails to undertake the necessary structural reforms, the northern European countries could get drawn into southern Europe’s downward spiral.
-In contrast, US industry has remained quite resilient since the beginning of the year, with total industrial production in May up 4.7 percent yoy."
Moving on to our pet subject of subordinated bond tenders, as at some point, as we argued recently (Peripheral Banks, Kneecap Recap), losses will have to be taken, it is all going Dutch, Dutch auction that is. While ailing Portuguese bank BCP (Banco Comercial Português) announced on the 20th of June a bond tender relating to mortgage backed securities, BBVA bought back some asset-backed bonds too on 26 senior and 25 mezzanine portions of bonds backed by consumer loans, mortgages and business loans, with prices ranging from 46 to 95%. All part of "liability" management exercises to raise some capital and strengthen the capital base, meaning more pain for bondholders in the process.
While the 62 billion being the estimated amount earmarked by independent consultants Oliver Wyman and Roland Berger, burden sharing is currently being considered with the European Union in respect to a 100 billion euro rescue package for the Spanish financial system.
We wrote in October 2011 relating to bond tenders and the move towards debt to equity swap:
"We expected others to follow suit and given the difficulty for the weaker players in the peripheral space to access capital at a reasonable rate, as well as needing to boost their core Tier 1 capital base, it was of no surprise to see Portuguese bank Banco Espirito Santo following French bank BPCE in tendering some of its subordinated debt on the 18th of October, but this time around, we have a debt to equity swap."
If it could be of any solace to European Banking woes, the new capital regime for US Banks will as well trigger at some point some "liability" management exercises namely bond tenders as indicated by CreditSights in their note - US Banks - The New Capital Regime - Bonjour Basel - 24th of June 2012:
On a final note Money Markets wager ECB will cut deposit rate as indicated by a recent Bloomberg Chart of the day: