Sunday, May 01, 2011

Intrepid Germany to the rescue of Intrepid Germany

From the "Like, Duh-uh" department at The Economist
Is Germany bailing out euro-area countries to save its own banks? (no, it's the puppies and rainbows)

If the euro zone were an old-fashioned family, Germany would be the stern father telling his wayward children to go to bed early and not to spend all their pocket money at once. It has resisted efforts to ease the conditions attached to the bail-outs of Greece and Ireland, and is insisting that Portugal (...) also gets licked into shape

Sovereign defaults would entail much more than just a haircut on German banks’ government-bond exposures. It could easily lead to a slew of bank defaults—and corporate ones, too. German banks are owed twice as much by banks in the three bailed-out countries as they are by governments. 

(...)compared with the potential costs of full-blown default, the amounts that Germany and other countries are likely to put into the three bail-out packages look like excellent value (...). The rescuers need not be quite so sanctimonious.

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