29 Apr 2014

London - what would be effect of 'Brexit'?

When senior banking figures warn that London's position as preeminent financial centre would be at risk from any British exit from the EU must be taken seriously. But at the same time one should not overlook the other side of the argument. Language and legal traditions aside the first question that comes to mind is the following: where would all the banks that are supposed to leave move to? A battle royal would ensue between the obvious candidates, Frankfurt and Paris. But some banks might also consider Amsterdam or Brussels, and the main European banks might find it unnecessary to maintain a major location outside their home country. If it ever comes to the question of 'Brexit' the main deciding factor might well be what the regulatory and tax regimes look like in the UK and the various possible alternatives inside the EU.

4 Apr 2014

Absurd Asset Quality Review

Every bank is bust if all depositors want their money back at the same time - unless a thorough reform (which we support) has mandated a strict maturity match (Disregarded by the Solons in Brussels, Frankfurt etc). It is also always possible to find a scenario that results in a bank failing a stress test - how about a Mega Earthquake in Yellowstone? an escalation of the Ukraine conflict or a nuclear exchange somewhere else? So to employ 25 Deloitte staffers to check more than half (which half?) of all loans at Austria's Raiffeisen Landesbank Oberoesterreich (12/13 Balance Sheet € 40 Bio) seems to be an expensive waste of money. The depositors/borrowers/equity owners have to pay the hefty fee of € 4.5 Mio for this extravaganza. It remains to be seen how 'expert' the Deloitte people are. Can we assume that they are banking experts? or just box tickers? Will these commissars really be able to properly assess each and every borrower? Are they just recent school leavers and Deloitte charges full whack for their (questionable) services? Was there a proper tender process when the contract was given to Deloitte? As the team will stay at RLB for a full five (!) months each of the 25 will be charged to the bank at a fee of approx. € 40,000 per month (!!). Talking of overpaid bankers! Now multiply all these shenanigans by a massive number - the same game is being played all over Europe, without a single citizen having had a chance to have a say - and you can see what massive amount of wealth destruction is being conducted at the behest of unelected politicians and their minions in the regulatory and central banking institutions. And the taxpayer is still not off the hook when the next disaster hits the financial industry!