Opcije ECB glede Grčije

Na današnjem sestanku ima svet ECB na voljo več opcij, kaj narediti glede zagotavljanja likvidnosti grškim bankam po preteku obstoječega programa pomoči (30. junij 2015). Lahko (1) zgolj ne poveča limita za izredno likvidnostno pomoč (ELA), (2) lahko ukine ELA, (3) lahko zahteva višja zavarovanja v zameno za likvidnostna sredstva bankam, (4) lahko zahteva zmanjšanje izpostavljenosti bank do državnih kratkoročnih obveznic, ali pa (5) lahko celo poveča ELA. Prve tri opcije pomenijo zaostritev finančne krize, nelikvidnost bank in zaprtje bank ter uvedbo kapitalskih kontrol. Četrta opcija pomeni zaostritev likvidnostne krize vlade, ki več ne bo sposobna izplačevati plač in pokojnin. Zadnja, peta opcija pa je zgolj teoretična, saj je v nasprotju z lastnimi pravili ter v nasprotju z interpretacijami pogodbe o EU. te opcije so spodaj bolj detaljno obdelane.

Za katero opcijo se bo odločila ECB? Glede na dosedanje izkušnje z ECB in če je že padla politična odločitev o izstopu Grčije iz evra, se bo ECB odločila za zaostritev likvidnostnih pogojev (torej za opcije 2, 3 in 4). Če evropski voditelji politične odločitve o grškem izstopu še niso sprejeli, pa je verjetno, da ECB danes ne bo naredila ničesar (opcija 1) in s tem dala prostor pogajalcem za možnost dogovora v naslednjih dneh.

Update:

ECB danes ni spremenila limita glede ELA (opcija 1), kar pomeni, da je dala Grčiji najmanj teden dni časa, da doseže sporazum s trojko glede programa pomoči. Hkrati je priporočila grški centralni banki naj preuči možnost uvedbe kapitalskih kontrol. Glede na velik odliv depozitov v zadnjih dneh to najbrž pomeni, da bodo banke jutri omejile dvige gotovine in prenose denarja.

Na drugi strani je Evropska komisija objavila zadnjo verzijo svojega predloga sporazuma, ki je zdaj na mizi za nova pogajanja. Iz obojega sledi, da bodo v naslednjih dneh v ozadju potekala intenzivna pogajanja glede sporazuma.

Refusing to Expand ELA for Greek banks

The ECB could decide that some or all Greek lenders will remain solvent for a while longer and so allow them to continue to access ELA.

The country’s current bailout package runs until June 30 and the government’s debt payment to the International Monetary Fund is due the same day. However improbable, that technically leaves space for a last-minute agreement with creditors.

In practical terms, even with ELA at its current total, the government might still be forced to order bank holidays and capital controls to prevent a bank run as customers see a last chance to remove their cash.

Ending ELA for Greek banks

While the ECB’s bank-supervision arm, the Single Supervisory Mechanism, is responsible for assessing the solvency of lenders, the final decision is made by the Governing Council. Should it say Greek banks are insolvent, it would have to end ELA.

Such a decision would mean banks would be unable to provide cash to their depositors on demand. They would probably have to keep their doors shut on Monday and the Greek government would be forced to impose capital controls.

Tightening collateral requirements

While the ECB insists that the Greek central bank impose discounts on the collateral it accepts against ELA, to protect against losses, those so-called haircuts haven’t changed throughout the recent crisis.

Should the ECB decide to increase the haircuts to reflect the increased probability that banks won’t repay the cash, that would effectively limit their access to ELA and potentially lead to capital controls.

Barclays Plc calculates that banks could access another 29 billion euros of aid based on their collateral and on the assumption that current haircuts, which aren’t public, average about 48 percent. Should the haircuts be raised to 60 percent, it estimates the collateral buffer would be wiped out.

The ECB could also tighten collateral requirements by deciding that some assets are no longer eligible because of their quality.

Reducing the t-bill limit

Greek banks hold about 9 billion euros of short-term treasury bills which they typically roll over and which are critical to allowing the government to pay bills such as pensions.

While the ECB’s supervisory arm has already warned Greek banks not to increase their exposure to t-bills, the ECB could now push them to reduce their holdings to free up liquidity. The consequence would be to starve the government of funds, increasing the risk of a sovereign default and financial collapse.

Easing ELA terms

The Governing Council could ease any of the above conditions to allow banks to stay afloat in an attempt to prevent a widespread financial crisis.

Should it do so, it would attract accusations of breaking it own rules, undermining its own credibility and, in the worst case, break European Union law that bans central-bank financing of governments.

Vir: Ekathemerini

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