Roubini: tudi Slovenija med PIIGS

Po številnih ostalih mednarodnih opozorilih je tudi Nouriel Roubini Slovenijo uvrstil med države PIIGS, ki se ne morejo izviti iz hudičevega kroga med gospodarsko, bančno in javno-finančno krizo:

Seven member states—Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Spain, Cyprus, Slovenia and Italy—are now deep in trouble and struggling to cope with a vicious circle of economic, sovereign and banking crisis. Progressive balkanization of banking systems and of public debt markets is still sharpening the negative loop between the sovereign and the banks.

Osnovni problem teh držav je, da bančna kriza za seboj v brezno vleče celotne države, saj reševanje bank pomeni previsoko breme za javne finance posameznih držav. Rešitev za izhod iz teh težav je bila podana na zadnjem vrhu držav evroskupine. Nakazana rešitev, da lahko sklad ESM neposredno dokapitalizira banke ter pogovori o oblikovanju bančne unije, gre v pravo smer. Vendar bo, kot trdi tudi Roubini, to rešitev izjemno težko – politično – doseči:

  • The EU Council summit on June 28-29 was initially perceived as a success. Among the achievements: Joint EZ-wide supervision of banks has been tentatively assigned to the ECB; the ESM will be allowed to directly recapitalize European banks (once the ECB becomes the supervisor), to break the vicious circle between sovereign and banking risk; private investors’ concerns about their subordination to official-sector claims have been assuaged by clarifying that EFSF (and then ESM) funds lent to the sovereign to recap Spanish banks will be pari passu relative to private claims; a process has been established for lowering Ireland’s sovereign risk, deriving from its government’s assumption of banking system losses, by converting some of those debt claims into equity claims; the introduction of “flexible use” of the ESM and EFSF to purchase bonds of distressed countries in both primary and secondary markets, subject to very little conditionality.
  • However, Spanish and Italian spreads have now risen back to their recent highs and equity market gains in those countries have reversed as optimism about the summit (and the recent ECB easing) has evaporated. The summit’s main achievements were not as positive as they first appeared as a lot of uncertainty remains on the timing, terms and effectiveness of the measures agreed upon. Moreover, additional policies and institutions crucial to fully resolving the crisis have not been agreed upon.
  • These include: An agreement on a true growth compact to jump-start EZ growth; an EZ-wide deposit-insurance scheme (a key element of a banking union); a resolution regime for insolvent banks that is properly funded and that includes rules to bail-in unsecured creditors of banks to reduce the fiscal costs of bank bailouts; a fiscal union with debt mutualization and elements of a transfer union; more official resources/firewalls (given ESM/EFSF resources are limited); agreement on the crucial role that the ECB needs to play to help resolve the crisis; greater clarity on the relative seniority and subordination of private and public claims on distressed sovereigns; and political union.
  • Given the persistent stress on Italian and Spanish spreads, debt mutualization and/or debt monetization is necessary to avoid a bad outcome for these two economies (i.e., a loss of market access and unsustainable debt dynamics as a result of refinancing risk and excessively high spreads). Germany and the rest of the core are resisting debt mutualization, and the only conditions that make it acceptable to the core—credible and massive loss of national fiscal sovereignty—are likely to be unacceptable to the EZ periphery; it is also likely to be unenforceable among sovereign states. The only Eurobond (E-bond) proposal that is truly incentive-compatible—and superior to the German-based idea of a European Redemption Fund (ERF)—is that of Eurobills, short-term bills in limited supply (up to 10% of GDP of the country issuing them) that are with joint and several liability. But, for political reasons, Germany and the rest of the core cannot accept even this proposal.
  • The ECB opposes debt monetization given legal and institutional constraints; the only condition under which it would temporarily undertake it—or undertake related policies to backstop Italian and Spanish public debt—is as a “bridge” to a credible plan to achieve, in due time, a fiscal union with debt mutualization. This bridge could be unsterilized or sterilized (as in the case of SMP). However, even this idea is not widely supported by most ECB Governing Council members. Since debt mutualization is thus far unlikely, the ECB is unlikely to act in such a way unless, in an emergency, debt markets become truly disorderly.

Ker nekatere ključne države, kot je Nemčija, nočejo pristati na delitev bremen dolgov, so sicer možne bypass rešitve, ki bi bodisi ESM spremenile v banko, ki se lahko financira pri ECB ali če bi ECB neformalno financirala ESM:

  • In the absence of debt mutualization or debt monetization, proposals to leverage the ESM/EFSF via a direct and indirect role for the ECB (turning the ESM into a bank and allowing it to repo its purchases of sovereign bonds with the ECB; or the Italian proposal for a first-loss insurance scheme) are also likely to be rejected by the ECB and/or Germany.
  • However, some EZ policy makers believe there is still a chance that, if the framework for a banking union is implemented (but sovereign spreads remain high), the ECB may independently be willing to backstop Spain and Italy if market pressures continue. I.e., the ECB could leverage the ESM informally rather than formally—the ECB may act to backstop these two sovereigns even if debt mutualization is not agreed on as long a credible plan for a banking union is implemented, but is not sufficient to reduce sovereign refinancing risks. Whether this is likely remains open to discussion as the ECB has not given any signal that it is likely to act in that way.
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