Wednesday, June 13, 2012

OT: Egan Jones Downgrades Spain to CCC+, Lower than Uganda (Which Has B Rating), While Greeks Stock Up Non-Perishable Food

From Zero Hedge (6/13/2012):

And so, the little rating agency that could, just gave Spain the triple hooks, downgrading the country from B to CCC+, negative outlook. As a reminder, the Uganda credit rating is B: it sure is no Spain.
From EJ:

Synopsis: KINGDOM OF SPAIN EJR Sen Rating(Curr/Prj) CCC+/ CC Rating Analysis - 6/13/12 EJR CP Rating: C Debt: EUR805.9B EJR's 1 yr. Default Probability: 18.0% Spain continues to be weakened by high funding costs (6.75% for 10yr today), the gov. deficit of 9.6%, an estimated decline in GDP of 1.7% (per the Economy Ministry), the 24.4% unemployment, the IIF's recent estimate of additional bank loan losses up to EUR260B, and possible depositor withdrawals. Over the past four fiscal years, that is from 2008 to 2011, Spain's GDP declined from EUR1.09 trillion to EUR1.07 trillion. Meanwhile, its debt mushroomed from EUR519B to EUR806B. With the EUR100B infusion for Spain's banks, the debt to GDP will rise to 90% plus future additions for the government deficit, support for its regions and additional support for its banks. Social benefits are a major problem; while payments to the govt have been down EUR 3B (2008 to 2011), payments from the government have been up EUR 29B). As a result, Spain is short about EUR50B per year for social payments, EUR35+B per year for interest, and an additional EUR 30B for asset growth; hence the EUR110+B per annum increase in debt. As we expected, Spain requested support for its banking sector and will probably need cash for weaker provinces. Assets of Spain's largest two banks exceed its GDP. We are slipping our rating to " CCC+ " ; watch for more requests for support from the banks and money creation.

Just the reminder that the Greek election is on Sunday, June 17, and people are withdrawing money from the banks at a furious pace ($1 billion, or about 800 million euros per day). As CNBC reports, they are stocking up on non-perishable food:

...New Democracy has been telling voters they must choose between the euro or the drachma, while Syriza promises to end the austerity measures imposed by Greece's international lenders, such as salary and pension cuts, that have driven many Greeks into abject poverty.

Fears that Greece will collapse financially and leave the euro have slowly drained Greek banks over the last two years. Central bank figures show that deposits shrank by about 17 percent, or 35.4 billion euros ($44.4 billion) in 2011 and stood 165.9 billion euros ($208.1 billion) at end-April.

Bankers said the pace was picking up ahead of the vote, with combined daily deposit outflows from the major banks at 500-800 million euros ($625 million to $1 billion) over the past few days, and 10-30 million euros ($12-36 million) at smaller banks.

"This includes cash withdrawals, wire transfers and investments into money market funds, German Bonds, U.S. Treasuries and EIB bonds," said one banker, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Retailers said consumers were stocking up on non-perishable food while almost all other goods were seeing a huge drop in sales as cash-strapped Greeks have no money to spare in the country's fifth year of recession.

"People are terrified by the prospect of returning to the drachma and some believe it's good to fill their cupboard with food products," said Vassilis Korkidis, head of the ESEE retail federation.

"It's over the top, we must not panic. Filling the cupboard with food doesn't mean we will escape the crisis," he said.


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