Major mistrust of European banks continues. Since the ECB will not publish banks needing emergency cash, all banks might be considered suspect. Then again, it’s hard to keep stories quiet, and most know which banks have received emergency funding.
Regardless, the run continues as Lloyd’s of London Pulls Euro Bank Deposits
Lloyd’s of London, concerned European governments may be unable to support lenders in a worsening debt crisis, has pulled deposits in some peripheral economies as the European Central Bank provided dollars to one euro-area institution.
“There are a lot of banks who, because of the uncertainty around Europe, the market has stopped using to place deposits with,” Luke Savage, finance director of the world’s oldest insurance market, said today in a phone interview. “If you’re worried the government itself might be at risk, then you’re certainly worried the banks could be taken down with them.”
The ECB today allotted $500 million to one bidder in a regular seven-day liquidity-providing operation at a fixed rate of 1.07 percent. Last week, the Frankfurt-based ECB loaned $575 million to two euro-area banks, the first time financial institutions had requested the currency since Aug. 17. The ECB doesn’t identify the banks it lends to.
Today’s loan “is the rolling-over of previous lending of dollars and isn’t very significant,” said Christoph Rieger, head of fixed-income strategy at Commerzbank AG in Frankfurt. “The three-month dollar lending offered by the central banks is taking the edge off this problem to some degree.”
The premium European banks pay to borrow in dollars through the swaps market is close to the highest level in almost three years. The cost of converting euro-based payments into dollars, as measured by the one-year cross-currency basis swap, was 95.6 basis points below the euro interbank offered rate, or Euribor, at 11:13 a.m. in Frankfurt, indicating a premium to buy the dollar. It widened to as much as 112.5 basis points earlier this month, the most since Dec. 2, 2008, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Siemens Pulls €500 Million from Société Générale or Crédit Agricole
The €500 Million rollover is to support Société Générale or Crédit Agricole, highly likely the former. Société Générale share prices have crashed by 70% since February.
In a shocking representation of just how bad things are in Europe, the FT reports that major European industrial concern Siemens, pulled €500 million form a large French bank, which is not BNP and leaves just [SocGen|Credit Agricole] and deposited the money straight to the ECB. The implications of this are quite stunning, as it means that even European companies now refuse to work directly with their own banks, and somehow the ECB has become a direct lender/cash holder of only resort to private non-financial institutions! As Bloomberg reports further on the FT story, in total, Siemens has deposited between 4 billion euros and 6 billion euros, mostly through one-week deposits, with the ECB, FT says, cites the person. It isn’t clear from which bank Siemens withdrew its deposits, per the FT… but it is hardly difficult to figure out. BNP Paribas isn’t the bank involved, FT reports, cites unidentified person familiar with the bank. This story should be having far more impact on the EURUSD than any rumors about Greece lying it will fire all of its public workers only to make sure Eurobanks can survive one more day.
There is no reason to trust European banks and that is exactly what Lloyd’s of London and Siemens have decided.
Mike “Mish” Shedlock
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