Caution: This Had Better Not Be True
larry_kudlow Larry Kudlow
Sources tell me Italy has to restructure bonds.Deposit run on Italian banks.EU will have to mount Tarp rescue.Big stress on interbank loans.
My understanding is that Larry later (on the air) said these were "rumors", although there is no later tweet I can find on the subject (there's only one in his timeline after this, and it has nothing to do with banks.)
Let's make sure we understand what's at stake here: If this is true then the ECB and Italy had better put a stop to it right now. Like before Europe opens. This means that if the "rumor" is false the banking authorities need to get on the air right now and refute it with hard facts, not platitudes and denials.
If there is a deposit run on Italian banks that is not immediately stemmed it will result in a severe and probably intractable liquidity crisis that will (1) shut down lending in Italy and (2) result in one or more of the involved banks blowing up as it goes under regulatory capital minimums - or worse, simply runs out of liquid funds period.
The Euro zone has no meaningful way to deal with this. Forbidding transfers out will simply make the panic worse in that it will confirm that the bank(s) involved can't cover withdrawals. Doing nothing is unacceptable as well. And if these institutions blow up, we're going to get a replay of Creditanstalt and all of its knock-on effects, right here, right now.
I do not normally reprint rumors at all, as they tend to be very destructive, but this is a special case because the risks, if the rumor is correct, are exceedingly high. I'm sure you thought the 500 point loss on the DOW today was horrifying, never mind the 60 handles on the S&P 500 that came off and the 105 (!) on the Nadaq 100.
Here's a hint: Those are small numbers if a major bank in Italy blows up in an uncontained fashion.
I have no idea if this is real or not. But we've seen, according to Bloomberg, $2 trillion come off stock market valuations in the last ten days.
Ham-handed "interventions" have made the situation worse instead of better. We're now sitting in an extreme oversold condition that unfortunately leave us with a binary outcome: Either a rip-your-face-off rally is imminent, or we're looking at an all-on collapse. One policy mistake at this juncture, or even failure to provide a (reasonable and believable) answer to these sorts of rumors could trigger the collapse option.
That happens, America goes down too. And you can't do squat about it.
Please let it be true and let the whole freaking corrupt system BLOW UP unexpectedly... so the bastards in power lose their shirts since it wasn't planned.... Please?
As for Creditanstalt referred in the article...
The Creditanstalt (sometimes Credit-Anstalt or CA) was an Austrian bank. The Creditanstalt was based in Vienna, founded 1855 as K. k. priv. Österreichische Credit-Anstalt für Handel und Gewerbe (approximately translated as: Imperial royal privileged Austrian Credit-Institute for Commerce and Industry) by the Rothschild family. It declared bankruptcy on May 11, 1931. It has been said that this event resulted in a global financial crisis and ultimately the bank failures of the Great Depression.
Italy's banks could be our modern Creditanstalt.
This is gonna be fun.