The recent green shoots emerging out of the euro zone economy could look a little more leafy on Thursday when data is likely to show a long-awaited recovery in private bank lending is starting to pick up pace.
The European Central Bank holds its monthly policy meeting and after launching a range of new measures in June it’s a racing certainty that nothing will happen this time. However, ECB President Mario Draghi has plenty of scope to move markets and minds in his news conference.
The Slovenian government is poised to publish the results of an external audit of its banks, which will say how much cash the government must inject to keep them afloat. We’ve heard from sources that the euro zone member needs as much as 5 billion euros to recapitalize largely state-owned banks.
EU finance ministers succeeded last night where they failed last Friday and reached agreement on how to share the costs of future bank failures, with shareholders, bondholders and depositors holding more than 100,000 euros all in the firing line in a bid to keep taxpayers off the hook.
Italy comes to the market with a five- and 10-year bond auction today and, continuing the early year theme, yields are expected to fall with demand healthy. It could raise up to 6.5 billion euros. A sale of six-month paper on Tuesday was snapped up at a yield of just 0.73 percent. Not only is the bond market unfazed by next month’s Italian elections, which could yet produce a chaotic aftermath, neither is it bothered by the scandal enveloping the world’s oldest bank, Monte dei Paschi, which is deepening by the day.
Big news over the weekend was the world’s banks being given an extra four years to build up their cash piles, and given more flexibility about what assets they can throw into the pot. This is a serious loosening of the previously planned regime and could have a significant effect on banks’ willingness to lend and therefore the wider economy.
The trillion euros lent out by the European Central Bank for three years at a rock bottom interest rates were supposed to do two things – throw a comfort blanket around Europe’s wobbly banks and pump money into moribund economies. Some new data from struggling Spain confirms that while there may be a bit of a case for the former, the latter is still falling short.
MacroScope is pleased to post the following from guest blogger James Carrick. Carrick is economist at UK fund firm Legal & General Investment Management. He says here old patterns of lending are unlikely to return and that this means slow growth in developed countries.