If anyone is surprised that things in Europe will get massively surreal before this is all over, we suggest finding another thread. In the meantime, for the latest example of the utter chaos and "make it up as we go along" we go to the ECB which has just, in very polite terms, warned Belgium that its bailout-cum-nationalization plan may not be quite feasible. From Bloomberg: "The European Central Bank advised Belgium not to backstop Dexia SA’s interbank deposits and to avoid providing guarantees on debt maturing within three months because it risks interfering with the central bank’s monetary policy." Reading between the lines here, it means that the ECB is effectively telling national governments to not try and become their own central banks under the ECB's umbrella, which would likely result in not only in various sovereign downgrades (that is guaranteed) but in loss of conviction in the European Central Bank, something which the insolvent European continent and the insolvent hedge fund in its core, aka Jean-Claude Trichet Capital et Cie. which holds hundreds of billions of Greek bonds at par, can certainly not avoid. It gets better: "The ECB also said the planned debt guarantees for Dexia may last as long as 20 years, which is inconsistent with European Union guidelines for national support measures to be temporary in nature, according to a statement published on the Frankfurt- based central bank’s website and dated Oct. 13. Belgium sought the ECB’s opinion on draft legislation that would grant state guarantees on Dexia loans." Oops: the ECB may have just scuttled the currently envisioned Dexia bailout plan. Oh well, just like with the Greek 50% bond haircut, so here to it is now back to the drawing board.
More from Bloomberg:
Guarantees on interbank deposits “could entail substantial distortion in the various national segments of the euro-area money market by potentially increasing short-term debt issuance activity across member states,” the ECB said in the statement.
“It could also affect the transmission of monetary policy decisions.”
For those who may have already forgotten last weekend's key event, now largley forgotten and priced in, "Dexia obtained a pledge from the governments of France, Belgium and Luxembourg last week to backstop as much as 90 billion euros ($125 billion) of interbank and bond funding with maturities of as much as 10 years until 2021. The French-Belgian municipal lender, which is being broken up after concern over its European sovereign debt holdings caused short-term funding to evaporate, sought state guarantees to finance long-term assets including 95 billion euros of bonds with an average maturity of almost 13 years at the end of June."
And the ECB just said that this whole plan may be against the Eurozon'e charter.
Good work guys. One can be 100% certain the rating agencies are following this with great interest.