SocGen's Albert Edwards On Spain: "A Bailout Will Solve Nothing"

Tyler Durden's picture

SocGen's Albert Edwards reflects that we have a lot to learn from Japan's Lost Decade as a prequel to the current chaos the global macro-economy is undergoing. Drawing on work by Peter Tasker, Edwards notes the similar-to-current-Euro-thinking consensus view in Japan was that their banks were at the center of the economic woes and hence bank recaps were the turning point. Critically Tasker and Edwards disagreed, as "although the banking sector was indeed damaging the economy via a credit crunch, the banks were not the problem but a symptom of the problem: the true problem was deflation and the lack of stimulative policies. Indeed, Japanese banks did not start underperforming the overall market until 1997 as they became the victims of the economic weakness; they were not the origin of that malaise. And so it is in the eurozone. The Spanish banking sector is a victim of deflationary policies enacted at the behest of German economic orthodoxy. A bailout will solve nothing."

Edwards notes the lesson from Japan was that:

...overly focusing on the banks as "the problem" is misguided and until or unless deeply deflationary policies are altered, the Spanish banks will be back for another bailout before too long.

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PrintingPress's picture

Bailouts solve political elections

CommunityStandard's picture

They are popular in Europe because someone else (Germany) is paying for it. Bailouts are very unpopular in America. Yet the politicians that voted for them stay in office.......

Sudden Debt's picture

. President Dumbo, 2008-2012 & 2012-2047

OttoMBMP's picture

Yeah, Albert, it's all Germany's fault.
Right or wrong - when I can blame Germany, I do it, right, Albert?
The Spanish banks' situation is due to German enforced austerity??!
How this austerity looks like has been shown in a nice chart here on ZH recently...
(I agree: Germany shouldn't have anything to say about Spanish fiscal policy, it shouldn't have anything to pay either!!!)

Hey, Albert, have you had lunch with François Hollande recently?
(Austerity is sooo bad. We need debt financed "growth"?) Hey, I used to like your articles. Are these socialists blackmailing you or something? Just asking....

mkkby's picture

Damn those Germans.  Don't they know their purpose in life is to be mommy and daddy for all the socialists who refuse to do anything for themselves?  They should be grateful to work hard and raise their retirement age, so fat worthless neighbors can sit on their asses.

arsenal009's picture

Germany benefits by being able to export their products to the rest of the eurozone on the cheap.  If Germany doesn't want this benefit, they can always leave the Euro...

WhiteNight123129's picture

Here is what France needs, not a wishy-washy Hollande but a Clemenceau because of anti-imperialist, anti-colonialist views and his unbreakable spirit during WWI, mixed up with Charles de Gaulle for his fondness for the Gold standard. Germany should feel free to go on the Deutsche Mark.


jeff montanye's picture

clem seemed a little imperial toward germany in 1919 and, a generation later, his countrymen and women and children had reason to regret it.  or as keynes said, he saw european history as a perpetual prizefight.  and clem apparently made sure his prophesy was self-fulfilling.

TrainWreck1's picture

An ordinary bailout will solve nothing.

What we need is a SUPER-bailout.

Greenie's picture

A super-enema would be far more effective

The Navigator's picture

Super Bailout = Super Enema = SHTF......same result

resurger's picture

They need to print a Quad

battle axe's picture

If you have deflation, then the only thing to do is print your way out of it, come on boys we need more paper......sarc

resurger's picture

Axe this is teh sequence :

1- Print

2- Algo Glitch

3- Print

4- HFT Pump

5- Repeat


Abraxas's picture

What I need is a super-spike in PMs (this time with the juniors following the move).

Broccoli's picture

Deflation is sooooooo terrible. The bankers collateral goes to shit, but the people get richer in purchasing power. Can't have that. The game must be stacked against the people to continue.

PhilB's picture

What did you expect from a guy at Soc Gen? French banks are next in line for a bailout after Italy. While deflation in Japan certainly played a part in not taxing enough the average citizen to finance the malinvestment of the corporate and banking sector, to think that this is the heart of the problem in Europe is simply ridiculous. The banks are leveraged up the wazoo. They desperately need capital and must write off or depreciate over time a large amount of loans. The issue with ALL the banks globally is that their business model simply doesnt work if you pay Outrageous bonuses and can no longer depend on Outrageous leverage and risk taking. ROE on banks will collapse to pre-90s levels despite the mischievous efforts of Outreageous CEOs like Jamie Dimon.

Solon the Destroyer's picture

I wonder how long it will take SocGen to figure out Deflation itself is a symptom of a far greater structural problem

Matt's picture

These guys are right. If everyone has massive stimulus, the banks will do well and will not need bailouts. The sovereigns, on the other hand ...

skohiu's picture

"A Bailout Will Solve Nothing"

Captain Obvious statment of the day

Element's picture

"There will be NO MORE bailouts!"

- Barry


TrainWreck1's picture

so entering Jamie Dimon in the 'Dinner with Barack' contest was all for naught?

Benjamin Glutton's picture

I believe he meant we have facilities in place at the Federal Reserve to adequately recapitalize systemically important institutions without the need for such nasty public displays as congressional votes.

resurger's picture

Charlie Bravo Kilo Charlie - 135 is now Airbone.

carbonmutant's picture

What most retail investors have been slow to grasp is that all voting and democracy has become irrelevant because all sovereign governments are now subordinate to the banks.

Solvency of existing governments is irrelevant because Banking liquidity has the highest priority.
the 300000000th percent's picture

What slavery uh i mean a bailout wont solve anything?? Do you mean to tell me a bunch of broke ass countries lending each other borrowed money wont help any of them??

Skateboarder's picture

So have we come to the stage where even bailouts have been devalued? That's fun.

SeattleBruce's picture

Totally - as Tyler pointed out the other day, the half life of the Spailout was about 2 hours...

BlueStreet's picture

A bailout might get us to next spring where we can live this whole charade over again.  We paid to see the show, enough with the previews.





disabledvet's picture

"it still has to work." and I ABSOLUTELY agree with this article (now. Steep learning curve folks. SORRY!) it appears to be failing but we won't know until Greece "ejects from the euro zone" and "see what happens as a consequence." sorry to keep you on pins and needles folks but I haven't a clue. Should be interesting to see if anyone does actually. My money is still on the military for "where mind martians deploy green men follow."

Dr. Engali's picture

We all know where this is heading. Just start printing and get it over with.

disabledvet's picture

You mean "start building and start something."

web bot's picture

I remember a time not that long ago where $500 billion ($500,000,000,000.00) was a LOT of money.

Today... it gets a "so what". Man we're in for a rough ride.

Deep79's picture

"...overly focusing on the banks as "the problem" is misguided and until or unless deeply deflationary policies are altered, the Spanish banks will be back for another bailout before too long."


so trying to cut back 30 years of debt accumulation is a deflationary policy. he sounds like all the idiots spouting "WE need to get back to Pro-Growth Policies". What the fuck does that mean.


If we can't even cut a little debt and live within our means, we are more fucked than I even thought, and my target on S&P is 550






Sudden Debt's picture

A bailout.... 1.....
But what about a dozen bailouts?

zerotohero's picture

Where's Superman when you need him?

Cthonic's picture

Taking a hit off a kryptonite crack pipe

Plymster's picture

...although the banking sector was indeed damaging the economy via a credit crunch, the banks were not the problem but a symptom of the problem: the true problem was deflation and the lack of stimulative policies. Indeed, Japanese banks did not start underperforming the overall market until 1997 as they became the victims of the economic weakness;

-- Albert Edwards from Soc Gen

Why was there economic weakness?  Was it because all capital had been consumed by mis-priced assets and accounting games? 

Has the collapse of the Tech sector in 2000, and Housing in 2008 taught us nothing? was not overvalued because there "was not enough stimulative policy in place", but because Wall Street (Investment banks, and prop trading banks) were placing speculative bets.  Housing did not crash because the Fed was not accomodative enough, but because banks were regularly handing out 125% LTV loans to anyone who could fog a mirror. 

If the banks are not accountable for their speculative practices and risky lending, then who is?  Oh, that's right:  The taxpayers of The US, UK, France, Germany, Spain, Greece, Italy, Ireland, etc.

disabledvet's picture

This is about interest rate risk...nothing more. "how do I start a new business" is the sales pitch. Yet that interest rate risk always remains. Hence "we need growth." forget the numbers..."read between the lines."

No Euros please we're British's picture

No problem, just start trading bailout ETFs. Paper is easier to manipulate than physical.

Hedgetard55's picture

Edwards =  shit for brains "economist".


Yea, it's all the German banks fault.

zrussell's picture

I think some reporter in times passed copied a bankster elite's memo and instead of "bail out", it was incorrectly written "bailout". Hence the bankers see it one way and the (victims) investors see it another way.

ACP's picture

Looks like he gave Spain the ol' Prince Albert, ouch.

kito's picture

i wonder if mr. edwards will feel the same when soc gen gets bailed out shortly...............

Plausible Deniability's picture

I'm still AMAZED by the insistence of the powers that be, and many on this very site, that Europe needs "stimulative" policies, i.e. lower rates and more government spending. Is everyone going insane?? Keynesian policies do work, in a vacuum, and are dependent on governments cutting back and running a surplus during good times. How often does that happen? We are witnessing a sovereign repeat of the housing collapse. When there is an exponential divurgence between economic growth and credit growth, which relies on real growth to avoid the ultimate margin call, collapse in certain. All things, including credit, revert back to the mean. Credit has continued expanding while growth has receded. Its over people. Only a matter of time. THERE IS NO WAY OUT besides restructuring (bankruptcy). Everything else is a band aid on a bullet wound.