Egan-Jones Downgrades Spain To CC From CC+
While nobody else dares to junk Spain, yet, for fear of the gates of hell opening up and swallowing them whole, here comes Egan Jones, which downgraded Spain from CC+ to CC, with an outlook of C.
Hoover-esque. Spain's has unemployment near 25% and yet the govt is proposing tax increases and a raiding of social security funds in an effort to rein-in its budget deficit. (The deficit was 4.77% for the first 8 months.) The rub is whether Spain will be able to cut enough to obtain EU support (probably) and whether there will be an eventual haircut for current debtholders (probably). Catalonia, Valencia and other regions will probably need $20B of aid, the sen. debtholders of the weak banks will be forced to take losses, and there might be some sharing of losses among all banks. An estimated decline in GDP of 1.7% (per the Economy Ministry), the IIF's recent estimate of addl bank loan losses up to EUR260B, and depositor flight hurt. From 2008 to 2011, Spain's debt jumped from EUR436B to EUR735B while its GDP declined from EUR1.09T to EUR1.07T.
Social benefits are a prob; while pmts to the govt have been more or less flat over the past four years (up EUR 3B), payments from the govt. have been up EUR 45B. As a result, Spain is short about EUR50B per year for social payments, EUR20B per year for interest, and an addl EUR 20B for asset growth; hence the EUR90B per annum increase in debt. Spain will inevitably be faced with addl pmts to support a portion its banking sector and for its weaker provinces. Assets of Spain's largest two banks exceed its GDP. We are downgrading our rating to "CC".