Note the following sequence of events, bolded numbers, and dates:
- Bank Of Spain Formally Nationalizes Bankia, Says Insolvent Bank Is "Solvent", Adds There Is No Cause For Concern, Zero Hedge, May 9
- Spain is taking over Bankia by converting its 4.5 billion euros of preferred shares in the group’s parent company into ordinary shares, BusinessWeek, May 21
- Spain said on Wednesday its rescue of problem lender Bankia would cost at least 9 billion euros ($11 billion), as the government tries to clean up a banking system that threatens to drag the country deeper into the euro zone crisis, Reuters, May 23
- Bankia SA will have to ask the Spanish government for more than 15 billion euros as part of its effort to restore its financial health, state-owned news agency EFE reported Thursday, citing financial sources, Dow Jones, May 24
Hopefully we aren't the only ones to notice how the bailout cost has oddly doubled almost on a daily basis.
Which is to be expected: After all, recall that The Bankia group, was formed in late 2010 following a merger of seven insolvent savings banks led by Caja Madrid, which has the most exposure to Spanish real estate among the nation’s banks. The pro forma company then, under the guise of newfound solvency, turned to the stock market to raise capital after parking its worst real estate assets in the parent company. This worked for just over a year. Then Bankia itself blew up.
Essentially, Spain tried to do what the US did - consolidate a bunch of insolvent companies with some deposits, into a larger one - a desperate attempt to create a TBTF - diluting the bad assets among the constituent subsidiaries.
The problem, however, is that the impaired liabilities continued growing as the Spanish housing sector has not stopped deteriorating and in fact has become increasingly more distressed. At the same time, occasional deposit runs have exhausted the liability side of the bank, causing company cash to fly out of the door, and subsequently impairing equity forcing the sovereign to pump ever more money into this lost cause.
This, to anyone who has even rudimentary understanding of finance, is a Vicious Cash Outflow Cycle 101, where capital outflows beget more capital outflows, unless a credible backstop steps in and restores confidence. Otherwise bank runs not only accelerate but they spread to all even solvent entities.
Sadly, what the Spanish government and the Bank of Spain have demonstrated, is that despite all the rhetoric, capital flight has not only stopped, it is accelerating.
Yes: the bank run is on, and is getting worse, despite what the press may be promising. Proof - just look at the bullets above. It is a virtual certainty that in the next few days we will see total Bankia "bailout costs" rise more and more, until the truth becomes self-evident to even the most financially unsophisticated soon to be ex-depositor. Sadly, we are also fairly confident this is not limited to Bankia as more of the harebrained Cajas consolidation schemes from 2010 blow up one by one.
Yet we don't want to leave off on a pessimistic note. Instead, we go back to our post from July 28, in which we reported on something rather amusing. To wit:
We were pretty much speechless when we read this - it sure puts guarantees by Noyer, Trichet and all the other bureaumonkeys that the ECB does not accept just any collateral in perspective. From Presseurop.eu: "The most expensive footballer in history may now be used to guarantee the solvency of a Spanish bank. “Ronaldo in the bailout fund,” headlines Süddeutsche Zeitung. The daily reports that the Bankia group of savings banks, which financed Real Madrid’s acquisition of the Portuguese player, is now seeking to borrow funds from the European Central Bank. In response to the ECB’s demand for guarantees, Bankia are putting up… Ronaldo and the Brazilian Kaka, who also plays for the Madrid football club. In 2009, Real borrowed 76.5 million euros to pay transfer fees of 100 millions euros to Manchester United, and 60 million to Milan AC."
“Could we see a situation in which the ECB seizes one of the players?“ wonders the Munich daily. “In theory, it is possible. Bankia would first have to become insolvent. Thereafter, Real would have to default on its loans, which are secured by advertising and television revenues. It goes without saying that Real Madrid is in debt to the tune of several million euros. However, in Spain football clubs have a history of obtaining publicly funded bailouts — just like the country’s banks.”
This is beyond even The Onion's (and even Zero Hedge's) level of sarcasm.
There is nothing that can be added to this insanity. Furthermore, the fact that the "collateral" most likely has a virulent case of Paris Hiltonitis which will infect all the other worthless collateral, likely leading to the latest and greatest reality TV show, only adds to the complete farce that the global ponzi scheme has now become.
So... Is it time for Bankia to claim its "collateral" (even if as we morbidly predicted, and were right again, it infected all of Bankia's other collateral with "Hiltonitis")? Or has Cristiano Ronaldo also been rehypothecated on several other occasions, and not a single bank has any idea who has actual claim to the "Ronaldo" title?