Been a while since we had some amusement out of the Bazooko Circus known as Europe, which for the past month has gone completely dormant, not because "it is fixed" but because, just like in Japan where the JPY has plunged on expectations of an action by the BOJ, so Europe has continued to benefit from the threat of the latest and greatest proposed ECB intervention: the OMT, which on one hand keeps the vigilantes in check, but on the other delays any painful reforms even as the underlying Spanish economy continues to deteriorate without any real structural reforms: something which a surge in rates would promptly precipitate (and once expectations turn to reality, it's all over: just see the recent QE3 and QE4 attempts by the Fed). So speaking of Spain, today's recap sentence of the day goes to Reuters' Julien Toyer with the following: "Spanish lender Bankia will wipe out 350,000 shareholders, many of them small savers with little knowledge of financial markets, after it emerged it had a negative value of 4.2 billion euros." Now if only the Spanish wipe out ended with Bankia's shareholders...
The measure, which will hit shareholders who were encouraged by aggressive marketing tactics to invest in the company, is seen as vital if the nationalised bank is to be refloated.
A source close to the Bank of Spain said Bankia would receive 18 billion euros of European money by Friday and launch a capital increase in the first half of January when current shareholders will lose practically their entire investment.
Under the European Union plan to prop up Spain's banking sector, shareholders must be the first in the queue to suffer losses. This has already been the case in Ireland where shareholders in Anglo Irish Bank were left with nothing.
"Are we looking into leaving shareholders with something? Yes. How much? That's too soon to say. Will it be very little? For sure," said the source on condition of anonymity.
"But that will be purely symbolic. I can assure you they will lose up to the shirt on their back."
Bankia shareholders today; Spanish bondholders tomorrow... at least according to the brains behind the ongoing slow motion trainwreck European restructuring Lee Buccheit.