Egan Jones Cuts Spain Again: From BB- To B, Outlook Negative
The little rating agency (or is that former, now that it is public knowledge that Egan-Jones missed a comma in their NRSRO application?) that just refuses to go away, has done it again, and downgraded Spain from BB- to B (negative outlook of course), and on the edge of the dreaded triple hooks, mere days after it cut it from BB+ to BB-.
Spain contnues to be weakened by the government deficit of 9.6% (based on the first quarter results), an estimated decline in GDP of 1.7% (per the Economy Ministry), the 24.4% unemployment, the IIF's recent estimate of additional bank loan losses up to EUR260B, and possible depositor withdrawals. (Over the past three fiscal years, that is from 2008 to 2010, Spain's GDP declined from EUR1.09 trillion to EUR1.07 trillion.) Meanwhile, its debt mushroomed from EUR381B to EUR563B. The recently-reported quarters are of little comfort since the debt has risen to EUR 641B while GDP has been more or less flat resulting in a 67% debt to GDP as of 2010 (near 88% currently) and are rising. Social benefits are a major problem; while payments to the govt have been more or less flat over the past four years (up EUR 8 billion), payments from the government have been up EUR 44B). As a result, Spain is short about EUR50B per year for social payments, EUR20B per year for interest, and an additional EUR 30B for asset growth; hence the EUR100B per annum increase in debt.
Spain will inevitably be faced with payments to support a portion its banking sector and for its weaker provinces. Assets of Spain's largest two banks exceed its GDP. We are slipping our rating to "B"; watch for more requests for support from the banks and money creation.
As explained repeatedly before, once the other rating agencies follow suit, two of which still have it at A, Spanish repo requirements at the ECB crank up by another 5%.