from Rogue Money:
Last week, Reuters issued a report which shows that quantitative easing has never stopped for the four major central banks, and that they are printing over $1 trillion every six months in new liquidity to support their markets. And incredibly, what began as programs to purchase non-performing toxic debt from financial institutions has morphed into both direct equity buying, and now with the ECB, the purchasing of corporate debt.
So with so much stimulus money being printed now, and over the past eight years, how is it possible that banks, particularly in Europe, can be so insolvent and once again be on the cusp of collapse?
Perhaps because of the fact that once they knew central banks would never let them fail, and bail them out of every mistake and fraud they did, they simply kept speculating on risk and never even bothered to use the cheap money to correct the problems that endangered them in the first place.
Europe’s top financial institutions are teetering on the edge of collapse as access to high quality debt products have created a liquidity freeze rendering many institutions near insolvent according to the European Union stress test that assesses each bank’s ability to withstand the shock of a global economic slowdown.
The Bank of England rushed in to reassure global markets that UK lenders remain in a strong position to weather global financial shocks, but the rest of Europe may be in for more than its fair share of turbulence.
The European Banking Authority (EBA), an EU institution, coordinated the test of 51 lenders from across the bloc expressed concern in the wake of the test noting that most of Europe’s banks are not properly situated to withstand a major market event.
Coming in with one of the worst stress test results was perhaps the most systematically important financial institution in Europe, Deutsche Bank. The financial institution saw a 98% plunge in its annual profits sparking concern that it may be the Lehman Brothers of 2016 creating a domino effect infecting the assets of the global financial system.
However, as bad as the news has been for Deutsche Bank, the prize for the most vulnerable financial institution in Europe went to Italian lender Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena (BMPS), the world’s oldest bank. BMPS is reportedly loaded with toxic loans and mortgages and in the event of an economic downturn the institution’s capital ratio would dip into negative territory – or bankruptcy.
— Sputnik News
The EU banking ‘stress tests’ which were published on Friday showed what most analysts already knew… that Deutsche Bank was insolvent and that most Italian banks were themselves on the threshold of bankruptcy. So what begs the question then is, why has the European Central Bank been fighting hard to keep from stepping in to re-capitalize both of these institutions, which could feasibly collapse the entire European financial system? And why have they instead been focusing more on either buying stocks, or aiding private companies through the purchasing of their corporate debt?
Because the central banks do not want to admit just how bad their monetary systems actually are, and that their policies have been abject failures.
After the close on Friday, the European Banking Authority did what it does every other year: it released the results of what it calls a “stress test” which is simply an annual exercise in boosting confidence. Case in point, the 2016 edition did not even “test” for Europe’s two biggest threats, namely negative interest rates or “Brexit.” It also did not test any banks from Greece or Portugal, knowing well what the results would have been. However, in order to retain some credibility, the same test which in previous years passed such failed institution as Dexia, Bankia and Novo Banco, had to fail one bank, and this year the honors fell to Italy’s Monte Paschi.
In late 2015, the European Commission (EC) forced every member state to pass legislation calling for financial institutions that are revealed to be insolvent to use bail-in methods for re-capitalization, with taxpayer funded government bailouts no longer being allowed. This then took the European Central Bank off the hook for following its core mandates of being the lender of last resort, and opened the door for the EC to use bank failures as a means to institute austerity on member nations within the union, and especially on the Southern portion of the continent.
In fact, all one has to do is look at last month’s actions by the ECB, who announced they were no longer lending money to both Spain and Portugal because they did not adjust their budgets to reflect cuts in pensions and other austerity mandates.
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