It is rather amazing what one finds when a company which previously had allegedly posted a profit of €41 million, somehow becomes insolvent, needs a nationalization to avoid a full out liquidation, and gets bailed out by the state. One of the first things one finds is that the profit pitched to that particular class of gullible idiots, known as shareholders, was an outright lie. And yes, on that one very rare occasion when an auditor refuses to sign off on a bank's financials, in this case Deloitte, run far, and run fast. Instead what one finds is a massive loss. From Reuters: "BFA, the parent group of nationalized Spanish bank Bankia said on Monday it had restated its 2011 results to reflect a 3.3 billion euro loss, rather than a 41 million euro profit, following a bailout from the state. In a statement to the stock exchange regulator, BFA said the restated loss reflected a review of its loan portfolios and capital needs after a new audit and as part of the clean-up plan implemented by the government." Well, duh, something "new" better be reflected, or else the general public may just get the impression that banks are merely pulling numbers out of their glutes, that the entire balance sheet, income and cash flow statements are just a jumble of utter BS, and that keeping one's deposits in a system predicated on lies and fraud may not be the smartest thing. But no: that would imply one is inciting a bank run, and that is frowned upon by the very same government which does everything in its power to facilitate just the data manipulation that magically results in a profitable bank being on the verge of liquidation.
But that's not all. According to Spain's Expansion, the total loss could be far worse, more than double the just reported, to a total of €7 billion. Google translated:
Following a meeting of more than four hours, the board of directors of the entity on Monday approved the restated financial statements. Bankia matrix provided only consolidated data for the year 2011, yielding a loss of 3.318 million euros. However, individual losses would amount to 7,000 million BFA, according to financial sources.
The consolidated balance sheet losses gave the fruit of Bankia own numbers, which on Friday announced that it obtained a negative result of 2.979 million in 2011. In previous accounts, unaudited, BFA had lost 439 million in individual accounts, while recognized in consolidated profit of 41 million.
The red numbers are mainly due to the development of fair value of the share itself has BFA Bankia (52% in December 2011).
Indicatively, the move from a profit to a €7 billion loss, in a US context, is roughly the same as if US bank holding company X were to go from being profitable to posting a nearly $100 billion loss. Overnight. But only after the FDIC was invited to backstop the firm's suddenly underwater hundreds of billions in deposits.
Luckily, there is always only one cockroach (ahem JP Morgan prop desk), and we are absolutely confident the €7 billion total loss, when officially announced will be the final one. Just as the final bailout bill of €19 billion will not be topped. Or was that €25 billion?
And nobody will need a European bailout. Ever.