Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Indications from around the world show that the global depression is deepening. Here is a roundup giving the pulse of developments:
- Eastern Europe is tanking, and Moody's is warning that Eastern Europe's troubles could spell disaster for banks in Western Europe
- Indeed, the Telegraph paints a stark picture of the potential effects of Eastern Europe's meltdown:
If mishandled by the world policy establishment, this debacle is big enough to shatter the fragile banking systems of Western Europe and set off round two of our financial Götterdämmerung.
Austria's finance minister Josef Pröll made frantic efforts last week to put together a €150bn rescue for the ex-Soviet bloc. Well he might. His banks have lent €230bn to the region, equal to 70pc of Austria's GDP.
"A failure rate of 10pc would lead to the collapse of the Austrian financial sector," reported Der Standard in Vienna. Unfortunately, that is about to happen.
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) says bad debts will top 10pc and may reach 20pc. The Vienna press said Bank Austria and its Italian owner Unicredit face a "monetary Stalingrad" in the East.
- Danske bank is saying that Central and Eastern European countries are "melting down"
- American banks may be insolvent, but Nouriel Roubini says that European banks may be in even worse shape than their U.S. counterparts
- China's much-touted recovery looks to be a mirage. It has now come out that many of the loans being given out were sham transactions just for show, and that a lot of China's stimulus package went to boosting the stock market, not real economic recovery
- Japan - which economists had predicted might ride out the crisis better than most - is tanking
- Huge moves are apparently being made in the forex and futures markets which do not bode well for economic stability
- The Leap2020 forecasters say that governments have not learned anything from the crisis, and are now predicting the collapse of nations and many currencies as a result of the financial crisis and the countries' failure to stabilize the economy