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ECB To Launch EU-Wide Audit Of Bank's Balance Sheets

Tyler Durden's picture


France and Italy are fighting against ambitious plans by the ECB to basically 'externally audit' 140 banks across the EU representing 80% of Europe's banking assets. The implementation of the project (by the head of financial stability at the central bank) appears to have two main drivers. First, to understand which banks' balance sheets are inhibiting lending (and why); and second, to ensure there is clarification on taxpayer-funded bailouts versus shareholders and depositors taking losses first. As Zeit reports, it seems the ECB appears to be questioning the reliability of the banks own figures.

Via Zeit (via Google Translate),

The European Central Bank (ECB) is working on a strong kick to overcome the crisis. It goes to the timely information in a rehabilitation center to European banks, whose balance sheet problems inhibit lending.


With the implementation of the project was Ignazio Angeloni commissioned, head of financial stability at the central bank. The timing is already set. From the autumn of the monetary authorities will illuminate along with the national supervisory authorities, the balance sheets of major financial institutions in the euro zone. There is a total of around 140 banks, which together cover about 80 percent of the market.


The ECB teams are already formed to examine the books as required directly into the banks. Thus, at the end come out reliable figures, is the intention of the central bank also independent consultants - to be on board - Wirtschaftsprüer or investment companies.




Results are expected by early next year. If they are present, to use a stress test to examine how well the banks cope with a renewed economic slump. Financial institutions that can not even fill possible gaps capital should be recapitalized by the Member States. If they are not able to lift the renovation alone, they can access loans from the ESM bailout fund to fall back.


The risk should not alone bear the taxpayers: Even shareholders, creditors and customers of the affected banks will be first used to cover the losses.


Whether the ambitious timetable can be adhered to, is not clear. Especially France and Italy, reportedly to fight against it, to have their banks by external auditors. The ECB could see forced to look not as accurate when examining the balance sheets, because there is still no European resolution authority for banks are.


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Wed, 06/05/2013 - 09:49 | 3626052 kliguy38
kliguy38's picture


Wed, 06/05/2013 - 09:53 | 3626071 Groundhog Day
Groundhog Day's picture

Under the guise of an Audit, the ECB is actually identifying all the large depositors and setting up excel speadsheets.  When the time comes to cyprus aka corzine the savers of europe and make them into investors, they'll be able to do it cleanly and swiftly.

Corzined Europeans

Wed, 06/05/2013 - 09:54 | 3626079 Popo
Popo's picture

So a basic audit of balance sheets wasn't involved in the so-called "Stress tests"?

What exactly were they testing?

Wed, 06/05/2013 - 10:00 | 3626102 Momauguin Joe
Momauguin Joe's picture

Circle jerking...

Wed, 06/05/2013 - 10:26 | 3626170 lakecity55
lakecity55's picture

We all know this ends in war, dead people, and wealth(ier) banksters.

Long PMs and stocked Bunkerz!

Wed, 06/05/2013 - 11:00 | 3626290 Its_the_economy...
Its_the_economy_stupid's picture


Knowing who the connected depositors and shareholders and bondholders are will allow pre-bail in "notification" of connected bagholders so an early exit can be arranged.

Wed, 06/05/2013 - 10:23 | 3626161 smacker
smacker's picture


Their skill at lying thru their teeth with a straight face?

Wed, 06/05/2013 - 10:32 | 3626197 YC2
YC2's picture


Wed, 06/05/2013 - 11:43 | 3626438 Urban Redneck
Urban Redneck's picture

The need to identify the sacrificial lambs for when the CBs sit down and negotiate who lives and who dies.

Wed, 06/05/2013 - 12:19 | 3626539 falak pema
falak pema's picture

what  were they stress testing ?

If the banksta lies were less consequential than the CB printing press promises taken at face value as economic truths.

If monetary sleight of hand could make structural deficits of debt mountain into hard assets by a stroke of a pen. Now that there is no growth in Eurozone they all know this game is running out of time and dribbling into 100% new money recycling to maintain banks; not sustain the economy. Asymptotes are like icebergs. You can't rebound off them like Superman. 


Wed, 06/05/2013 - 12:47 | 3626634 Cacete de Ouro
Cacete de Ouro's picture

Given that gold and gold receivables comprise a large percentage of central banks' international reserves, surely the audit should check and publish whether the gold actually exists or whether its on 'deposit' with the bank of nova scotia or barclays etc, or swappped out in a gold swap.

O wait, I forgot that this would be 'highly market sensitive' information and that the IMF bodss were bullied by the ECB, Bank of England, Bundesbank, Banque de France, FRBNY, US Treasury and BIS into caving in and endorsing the gold and gold receivables shenanigans...We wouldn't want anyone to see the extent of this deception now would we.

So the compliant beancounters will be told, nothing to see, you see the balance sheet should say gold and gold receivables, look the IMF said so..

Wed, 06/05/2013 - 12:52 | 3626663 Cacete de Ouro
Cacete de Ouro's picture

Sorry, I thought they were stress test auditing central banks' balance my naive then.....naive!.:)

This obviously never would happen in public...

Wed, 06/05/2013 - 10:03 | 3626104 astoriajoe
astoriajoe's picture

That seems like it exactly. They do it over the weekend and have time to spare for Octoberfest beers in September.

Oh the knock-on effects. The great reset, financed by muppet depositors. Someone post that kermit graphic, please.

Separately, in this week's Economist:

Towards the End of Poverty is the cover. Seems to me, in Europe, Poverty is just getting started.

Wed, 06/05/2013 - 10:13 | 3626136 Temporalist
Temporalist's picture

I hear it's never been easier to apply for a student loan...

Wed, 06/05/2013 - 15:52 | 3627378 Quantum Nucleonics
Quantum Nucleonics's picture

We should probably differentiate between getting Cyprused and getting Corzined.  The former is when your government skims it to cover said government's funding issues.  The later is when the politically connected head of your bank (or other financial institution) transfers your deposit to the bank of one of his politically well conneted buddies after taking a sizable chunk for himself.

Neither is particularly pleasurable for the depositor, and I suppose being both Cyprused and Corzined even less so.

Wed, 06/05/2013 - 09:54 | 3626077 freewolf7
freewolf7's picture

Parallel process, i.e., we learned how to lie from you, boss.

Wed, 06/05/2013 - 10:03 | 3626106 bank guy in Brussels
bank guy in Brussels's picture

Yes it is funny

But something is really up here

Partly it may be the tug-of-war between Mario Draghi and the ECB and Angela Merkel, who is trying to keep everything in Europe on hold till the German election

Mario may be posturing to get Merkel to agree to a deal ... if she gets re-elected - with Mario's help in keeping things afloat till then - then after she gets re-elected, she agrees to print money like a post-Keynesian whore ... in order to reverse the collapse of the Southern part of Europe

There are signs of this already in the 180-degree turn in the remarks of cranky and ornery German finance minister Schäuble ... things in southern Europe are so bad it is on the verge of blowing up the German banks and Germany itself, and Schäuble is talking like he wants to print

Article above speaks of deposit confiscation like in Cyprus

Good question is whether Mario Draghi went along with that in Cyprus, or was totally opposed to it along with Ben Bernanke, as Jim Sinclair says ... Sinclair believes the Cyprus confiscation, pushed by Lagarde, is the reason Ben Bernanke cancelled going to Jackson Hole and indicated he would not seek another term at the Fed

If there is another deposit confiscation in Europe, like Cyprus, but in a different country, Europe and its banks will totally implode ... Lehman Brothers x 5 and maybe the global economy as well

People halfway believe the shite that Cyprus was 'unique', but a 2nd confiscation will blow everything sky-high, as Mish likes to say

Mario Draghi is a wily one, and this threat to expose the dirty linen of the EU banks - including Deutsche Bank with its world-class-leading 75 trillion of derivatives as ZeroHedge has documented - is very likely a well-planned chess move by Mario

Wed, 06/05/2013 - 10:22 | 3626155 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

What a sad a pathetic country we have become when we have to strap a hog trough to our necks, because we are too lazy to lift a peice of horse meat to our mouths.

Wed, 06/05/2013 - 10:28 | 3626183 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

I'll bitchslap the first moron I see wearing one.

Wed, 06/05/2013 - 10:53 | 3626259 reload
reload's picture

Is that REAL ....were thise pictures released on April 1st?

I am fucking shocked - what type of person polled my market research firms would have given them belief this was a winner.

Burger King is revolting anyway, I would need to be very drunk to eat one. Having one strapped to my neck would make me puke.

Wed, 06/05/2013 - 11:04 | 3626303 BigJim
BigJim's picture

I particularly like the shot showing a man giving CPR wearing one.

Flip her over, amigo... 

Wed, 06/05/2013 - 14:57 | 3627195 Non Passaran
Non Passaran's picture

BS! They taste okay.

Probably not the healthiest meal, but who cares. As long as you don't eat it all the time...

Wed, 06/05/2013 - 10:56 | 3626268 shovelhead
shovelhead's picture


design fail.

True hands free means the burger must rotate and advance closer to the mouth as the diameter is diminished.

A simple single ram function may be too abrupt for many consumers....

Wed, 06/05/2013 - 11:14 | 3626338 Nue
Nue's picture

What's wrong with that? All beasts of burden have feed bags.

Wed, 06/05/2013 - 23:39 | 3628623 not applicable
not applicable's picture

As the last picture (with the woman driving so that her hands are on the steering wheel and not the burger) illustrates:     another revolting idea in the name of security

Wed, 06/05/2013 - 09:51 | 3626060 orangegeek
orangegeek's picture

Who gives a flying fuck?


Euro banks were stress tested years ago - everything AOK!!!


These fucking assholes just diddle the numbers and then spew it to the media to let the lemmings know that their life savings is in good hands.



Wed, 06/05/2013 - 09:52 | 3626068 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture



Wed, 06/05/2013 - 10:08 | 3626127 DeadFred
DeadFred's picture

Because everyone around here knows you're not fine.

Just joking, have a nice day.

Wed, 06/05/2013 - 09:57 | 3626085 Bearwagon
Bearwagon's picture

You don't mean these two lemmings, do you? ;-)

(Translation: The first two lemmings. One say's: "You first", the other one answers: "No, you first!")

Wed, 06/05/2013 - 09:51 | 3626062 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

I don't see it...

Wed, 06/05/2013 - 09:51 | 3626063 sodbuster
sodbuster's picture

You mean there MAY be NO sta-bil-a-tee????

Wed, 06/05/2013 - 09:57 | 3626082 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture





coloured... also racisme...

toned.... also racisme...

non white.... WRONG! HE'S HALF WHITE!



Wed, 06/05/2013 - 09:51 | 3626064 Bearwagon
Bearwagon's picture

The picture should possibly look more like this:

Wed, 06/05/2013 - 09:52 | 3626067 Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill's picture

Bankers lying,


Wed, 06/05/2013 - 09:53 | 3626069 gdogus erectus
gdogus erectus's picture

ECB.  Couldn't they find a better actor for this skit?

Wed, 06/05/2013 - 10:02 | 3626109 GolfHatesMe
GolfHatesMe's picture

Like Bill Murray as Ned Ryerson?

Wed, 06/05/2013 - 09:53 | 3626070 gdogus erectus
gdogus erectus's picture

Double post.  I'm two for two this morning.

Wed, 06/05/2013 - 09:53 | 3626073 EscapeKey
EscapeKey's picture

Dexia and Bankia will no doubt receive doubleplusgood ratings.

Wed, 06/05/2013 - 10:11 | 3626133 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

Right now they are on doublesecret probation.

Wed, 06/05/2013 - 10:32 | 3626193 hmmmstrange
hmmmstrange's picture

It's got to be pretty bad if you are trying to swap assets with Dexia or Bankia. Their phones are ringing off the hook.

Wed, 06/05/2013 - 09:53 | 3626074 aleph0
aleph0's picture

ROTFLMAO .... and who's going to Audit the Auditors ?

... "AA"  still around ?

EUSSR :  Dig a hole  ;  Fill it in ;  Repeat


Wed, 06/05/2013 - 09:53 | 3626075 the not so migh...
the not so mighty maximiza's picture

this might indicate someting is about to happen, they are trying to look proavtive, like it matters now

Wed, 06/05/2013 - 09:55 | 3626080 Dollar Bill Hiccup
Dollar Bill Hiccup's picture

The banks will get an "A" because they are all highly stressed ...

Wed, 06/05/2013 - 09:57 | 3626083 keninla
keninla's picture


"ECB appears to be questioning the reliability of the banks own figures."


No shit!!!!  How can you trust any institution anymore. They all lie.


Remember this:

"The information in this report is taken from sources believed to be reliable; however, the Commodity Exchange, Inc. disclaims all liability whatsoever with regard to its accuracy or completeness. This report is produced for information purposes only."

Wed, 06/05/2013 - 10:22 | 3626158 lakecity55
lakecity55's picture

"The information in this so we can later pay out in fiat and not get litigated."

Wed, 06/05/2013 - 09:56 | 3626086 aleph0
aleph0's picture

BK is BK .... no matter hw many times you "do" the books.

Wed, 06/05/2013 - 09:56 | 3626087 MaxMax
MaxMax's picture

Early next year!  Well, I guess that will kick the can down the road for another 6 months to a year.  Give me a break!  Like they would ever say anything negative to the public about the banks balance sheets.  Stupid show.

Wed, 06/05/2013 - 09:57 | 3626090 smacker
smacker's picture


Yeahbut ... will the ECB attempt to mark-to-market the banks' balance sheets? And then order the results to be published? Methinks not. That would surely create complete hell and bring down 80% of EU banks thru insolvency.

Wed, 06/05/2013 - 10:01 | 3626105 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

Exactly, do you mind if I have a look at the underlying assets and collateral motherfucker?

Wed, 06/05/2013 - 10:07 | 3626123 Bearwagon
Bearwagon's picture

No, we won't mind if you have a look or two at our snickers-wrapper! Do go on! ;-)

Wed, 06/05/2013 - 09:58 | 3626092 TheGermanGuy
TheGermanGuy's picture

And once they see, how really fucked up those balance sheets are, the Cyprus template will be applied big scale.

Wed, 06/05/2013 - 10:00 | 3626101 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

This is stupid, the answer is simple, just look at how much monetization has occured.  They bailed the fuckers out with printed money, how much money did you fuckers print?  There's your fucking answer!

Wed, 06/05/2013 - 10:05 | 3626108 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

These people are a freaking joke. Why are they not lending? Because they have a bunch of useless mark to fantasy fucking shit on their books you clowns!

Wed, 06/05/2013 - 10:10 | 3626132 Precious
Precious's picture


Wed, 06/05/2013 - 10:18 | 3626142 Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill's picture

Not quite.Might ust be the starting point.

That could just be the cashflow required to stop bankruptcy without dealing with

the underlyong  insolvency itself.

Wed, 06/05/2013 - 10:20 | 3626111 lakecity55
lakecity55's picture

haha, i bet the audit results will be too embarrassing to show to anyone.

Wed, 06/05/2013 - 10:05 | 3626119 ekm
ekm's picture

This is a freaking joke.

Forget about banks' numbers, but are you telling me that people believe that ECB published are reliable?

Wed, 06/05/2013 - 10:08 | 3626126 fonzannoon
fonzannoon's picture

we shot past joke a long time ago. 

Wed, 06/05/2013 - 10:22 | 3626157 pods
pods's picture

To mix movies up, I think we are only a few parsecs from plaid.


Wed, 06/05/2013 - 10:06 | 3626121 sudzee
sudzee's picture

A lot of time and expense could be saved with a phone call to Reggie M.

Wed, 06/05/2013 - 10:06 | 3626122 fonzannoon
fonzannoon's picture

funny shit this QE rally attempt.

Wed, 06/05/2013 - 10:07 | 3626124 apberusdisvet
apberusdisvet's picture


USD devaluation and bail-ins will occur upon the introduction of the new $100 in October; great illuminati symbolism with the golden inkwell, btw

Wed, 06/05/2013 - 10:19 | 3626146 lakecity55
lakecity55's picture

Yeah, what's with that?

There have been lots of stories on the Way Out websites lately about the mysterious new Ben Franklin.

Anybody have the facts?

Wed, 06/05/2013 - 11:05 | 3626304 shovelhead
shovelhead's picture

They have secret disappearing ink for the 0's that will activate with an RF signal.

Wed, 06/05/2013 - 10:25 | 3626167 Eagle Keeper
Eagle Keeper's picture

Maybe they will start printing new $100 bills that have time sensitive ink. After 6 months a zero will dissappear. After a year 2 zeros will dissappear. That will encourage the sheep to spend!

Wed, 06/05/2013 - 11:26 | 3626378 shovelhead
shovelhead's picture

Great minds...

Wed, 06/05/2013 - 10:08 | 3626128 yogibear
yogibear's picture

It doesn't matter because they aways pass.

Another dog and pony show for the muppets.

"The best way to rob a bank is to own one."

Extract all the reserves and ship offshoore and bankrupt the bank. Then claim you need an immediate bailout or FDIC in the US.  Rinse and repeat.

Wed, 06/05/2013 - 10:13 | 3626137 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

We are going on five years of groundhog day and the muppets keep falling for it.

Wed, 06/05/2013 - 10:17 | 3626139 OpTwoMistic
OpTwoMistic's picture

Why only 80%.  The rest on double secret probation.

Wed, 06/05/2013 - 10:18 | 3626140 lakecity55
lakecity55's picture

Bill, salesman at EU Office Supply, Ltd:

"Jim, what's this order  from Brussels for 50 imperial gallons of white out?"

Wed, 06/05/2013 - 10:18 | 3626143 youngman
youngman's picture

This is just to get some vig moving around...payoffs will flow....Swiss bank accounts need filling....just politicians at work

Wed, 06/05/2013 - 10:22 | 3626159 OpTwoMistic
OpTwoMistic's picture

What is an external audit?  Opinon poll of the sheep?

Wed, 06/05/2013 - 10:27 | 3626178 debtor of last ...
debtor of last resort's picture

But but, when depositors get a haircut, the banks assets will decline also?

Wed, 06/05/2013 - 11:25 | 3626377 Toolshed
Toolshed's picture

You are mistaken. They plan to turn deposits, which are liabilities to them and assets to you, into assets for them and ZERO for you. Cyprus is not a template!!!

I mean really, isn't it time to declare open hunting season on all bankers and politicians?

Wed, 06/05/2013 - 12:40 | 3626605 debtor of last ...
debtor of last resort's picture

You are 100% correct. Hunting season, do i need a license?

Wed, 06/05/2013 - 10:38 | 3626212 Tombstone
Tombstone's picture

Oh, here we go...another stressless stress test designed to mask the truth.  Betcha it all comes out looking fine and peachy.  No worries here mate.

Wed, 06/05/2013 - 10:40 | 3626215 hmmmstrange
hmmmstrange's picture

We need a designated day to stress test the worlds banks. I'd like to propose we call it "Cyprus Banking day". We get 99% of the worlds population to pull all of their cash out of the banks. That should account for 5% of the total deposits. Then the next day we deposit the money in the banks that are left standing.

Wed, 06/05/2013 - 11:21 | 3626324 shovelhead
shovelhead's picture

Can the safe at Moe's Bar hold that much cash?

Wed, 06/05/2013 - 14:49 | 3627154 Non Passaran
Non Passaran's picture

How about the day before (for Cyprus Banking Day; the day to to pull the money)? :-)

Wed, 06/05/2013 - 10:46 | 3626242 williambanzai7
williambanzai7's picture

This is what happens when stress tests are designed for propaganda as opposed to trying to understand precisely where the shit is hidden.

Wed, 06/05/2013 - 11:00 | 3626293 q99x2
q99x2's picture

The value of FRAUD is priceless. You can't audit magic.

Wed, 06/05/2013 - 11:21 | 3626360 Kirk2NCC1701
Kirk2NCC1701's picture

It's a bit late, isn't it?  CYA?  Long mattresses_with_money_boxes.

Wed, 06/05/2013 - 11:24 | 3626375 Fix-ItSilly
Fix-ItSilly's picture

This is but a power play - for an unelected ECB to usurp the power of elected national governments.  The article also misses the European age demographic impact.  Just as in the United States,  it is more likely that demand for loans is lower, not that the supply.  Retiring baby boomers either don't need the loans or European banks can recognize poor credit risks (just as the ECB wants them to).

Wed, 06/05/2013 - 12:11 | 3626510 Bunga Bunga
Bunga Bunga's picture

Get over it, they are just making a little bit of noise so that sheeple think this is a real test, but it will be a dog and pony show again.

Wed, 06/05/2013 - 12:15 | 3626526 supermaxedout
supermaxedout's picture

That is going to be fun.

An ECB led EU wide audit is going to show the interconnections of the banking system. Not just  the EU is then exposed.  I think this is going to pull more than 50% of all the hidden shit and bad risks (bets turned sour but) of the Western banking system into the light.

Go Mario Dragonkiller go, go go go

Wed, 06/05/2013 - 12:24 | 3626553 zrussell
zrussell's picture

It's all about Basel III.

Wed, 06/05/2013 - 12:24 | 3626554 zrussell
zrussell's picture

It's all about Basel III.

Wed, 06/05/2013 - 13:51 | 3626930 Nue
Nue's picture

That ones report that will never be made Public. Hell I wouldn't be suprised if the team that puts it together aren't all found to have died in a plane crash afterwards. 

Wed, 06/05/2013 - 14:04 | 3626977 Joebloinvestor
Joebloinvestor's picture

They are trying to get a handle on how much they can sieze.

Wed, 06/05/2013 - 14:05 | 3626982 mberry8870
mberry8870's picture

At which point when said "audit" is done they will do nothing, or prepare a better lie. Just saying.

Wed, 06/05/2013 - 14:10 | 3626998 Crazed Weevil
Crazed Weevil's picture

But God forbid anyone trying to the audit the EUs books...

Wed, 06/05/2013 - 14:27 | 3627068 WTFUD
WTFUD's picture

Slag pimps one and all! I know, low brow and not very technical but underlying fundamentals cannot mask this fact.

Wed, 06/05/2013 - 14:30 | 3627081 bluskyes
bluskyes's picture

Just preparations for a defense of "plausible deniability" when they are all hunted down, and hauled in front of a citizen's tribunal. I think their defence will look rather weak, when staring down hoards of angry citizens with torches, and pitch forks.

I predict that rope sales will start to rise soon.

Wed, 06/05/2013 - 14:58 | 3627198 jesusonline
jesusonline's picture
IMF to Admit Mistakes on Greece Bailout

BRUSSELS—The International Monetary Fund is set to admit to major missteps over the past three years in its handling of the bailout of Greece, the first spark in a debt crisis that spread across Europe.

In an internal document marked "strictly confidential," the IMF said it badly underestimated the damage that its prescriptions of austerity would do to Greece's economy, which has been mired in recession for years.

But the fund also stressed that the response to the crisis, coordinated with the European Union, bought time to limit the fallout for the rest of the 17-nation euro area.

The IMF said that it bent its own rules to make Greece's burgeoning debt seem sustainable and that, in retrospect, the country failed on three of the four IMF criteria to qualify for assistance.

A version of the document, prepared by IMF staff and seen by The Wall Street Journal, was expected to be released publicly by the Washington-based fund on Thursday.

Over the last three years, a number of senior IMF figures, including the current managing director Christine Lagarde, have repeatedly said that the country's debt level was "sustainable"—likely to be repaid in full and on time.

But the document described the uncertainties around the Greek rescue as "so significant that staff was unable to vouch that public debt was sustainable with a high probability."

The IMF also said that it was too optimistic about the Greek government's prospects for a return to market financing and its political ability to implement the conditions of its rescue program.

Wed, 06/05/2013 - 15:56 | 3627392 Quantum Nucleonics
Quantum Nucleonics's picture

Someone ought to give Mr. Angeloni a security detail, lest he shortly be found floating in the Seine along with his audit idea.

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