Bob Cropf

European Banks & Bailouts

In 1 on April 8, 2009 at 7:39 AM

As unpopular as bailing banks out is in the US, at least we can bail them out. Europe may be pushing for tighter regulation of the financial markets, but they have bank issues that are much more problematic than ours if you make the assumption that regulation might prevent or mitigate most crises, but it is never 100% insurance against any crisis.

We have banks that have a balance sheet of 10-15% of GDP. The biggest banks total somewhere near 50% of GDP if I have my figure straight. There are individual European banks with balance sheets 200-600% GDP of their respective country. Iceland’s banks had balance sheets totaling over 1000% of GDP – it is no wonder the country went bankrupt.

The Financial Times has very interesting graphic.

-kc

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