As part of the July stress tests results, which "promised to restore faith in Europe’s banks by assessing all of their finances in the same way" Deutsche Bank’s result was boosted by a "special concession" agreed to by Mario Draghi: DB's results included the $4 billion in proceeds from selling its stake in Chinese lender Hua Xia even though the deal had not been done by the end of 2015, the official cut-off point for transactions to be included.
While the entire nation was transfixed on last night's latest, and most scandalous yet "debate", in which there was little actual debating and a lot of talking points and character assassination attempts, index futures were little changed throughout Sunday's 90 minutes event, suggesting that no clear winner had emerged on either side.
The global economic recovery would still leave about a quarter of banks in developed countries too weak to support further growth and susceptible to future shocks. This means that banks controlling about $12 trillion of assets would remain vulnerable during a rosy economic environment marked by faster economic activity, rising interest rates and declining defaults
European regulators expect Italian bank Monte dei Paschi di Siena will have to turn to the government for support, Reuters reports, although Rome would strongly resist such a move if bondholders suffered losses.
Overnight Deutsche Bank's consumer banking chief and member of its 10-member management board, Christian Sewing, told Bild that the German bank's board should discuss scrapping bonuses for top executives for a second year after Germany’s largest bank put dividend payments on hold. And since slashing bonuses tends to leave a bitter taste in the mouths of shareholders, Sewing tried to spin the recent speculation about the bank, telling Bild its "condition is significantly better than it seems."
Distortions in financial markets keep growing, as central banks all over the world are desperately intensifying monetary pumping. What is currently happening in various bond markets as a result of this and other interventions is simply jaw-dropping insanity. It is not so much that it defies rational explanation – in fact, all of these moves can be explained. What makes the situation so troubling is the fact that investors seem to be oblivious to the enormous risks they are taking. They are sitting on a powder keg.
After the ECB concluded its latest annual stress test, which as expected found no problems with Europe's largest banks, yesterday in an unexpected outcome, German economic research institute ZEW found that Deutsche Bank had the highest potential capital shortfall, as much as €19 billion in a study of 51 European banks using U.S. Federal Reserve stress test methods. The capital gap is greater than DB's entire market cap.
If the goal of the EBA Stress Tests was to reassure investors and regain confidence that 'all is well' in Europe's increasingly fragile and systemically interconnected banking system, then it has utterly failed. The broadest European bank stock index is now down 7% from the post-stress-test spike highs, Italian banks are at record lows and being halted (despite Renzi's promises), Commerzbank is struggling with capital raise chatter, and Deutsche Bank and Credit Suisse are tumbling after being booted from the Stoxx 50.
For a few minutes at the open, mainstream business media persuaded itself that the EU stress tests had proved that everything was fine in Europe's banking system again. But very quickly, things went south with Italian banks - the center of the storm - reversing gains and then extending losses with Unicredit now down 8% (after being up 4%).