As rumors and chatter circulate across trading desks, European equity and credit markets are starting to lose their giddiness. European sovereigns are leaking back wider and financials starting to underperform and it is being noted that, as reported by The Hill, that conservatives say they will try to block the IMF from bailing out Italy and Spain. Pointing to the huge bill this could leave at US taxpayer's feet, Republicans are concerned at the secrecy with which Geithner has acted. Sen. Tom Coburn appears to be at the helm of this legislation, noting:
"We're throwing good money after bad down a hole that I think is not a solvable problem. Europe is going to default eventually, so why would you socialize their profligate spending."
Of course, this is beyond obvious, because as we have been saying all along with every reincarnation of the idiotic "IMF to bailout [XXX]" rumor, there always is just one snag. A rather substantial one at that: US congressional approval for expanded IMF bailout capabilities.Specifically, when discussing the latest iteration of the IMF rescue we said: "La Stampa forgot to mention one thing: any changes to the IMF, which currently is massively underfunded and is why the organization was forced to create two new liquidity facilities: a Precautionary and Liquidity Credit line, since it is unable to fund its New Arrangements to Borrow, have to go through US Congress when it comes to expanding funding capacity. Yup, the most dysfunctional, corrupt and criminal thing in the world - the US House of Representatives, where unless everyone is short Italian CDS, this will never pass. In other words: this rumor is dead in the water." And so it is.
From The Hill:
Conservatives craft bill to prevent IMF bailout of crumbling eurozone
Conservatives say they will try to block the International Monetary Fund from bailing out Italy and Spain, which they say could leave U.S. taxpayers with a huge bill.
Republicans on both sides of the Capitol complain that the Obama administration has refused to share details of what Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner is discussing with European leaders amid reports the IMF could intervene.
Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) says he is planning legislation directing the U.S. government to veto an expanded role for the fund.
Senate Republican Steering Committee Chairman Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) and Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (Wash.), a member of the House Republican leadership, also have legislation to curb the proposed intervention.
“I’m adamantly against the IMF being involved in this,” Coburn said.
“We’re throwing good money after bad down a hole that I think is not a solvable problem,” he said.
“Europe is going to default eventually, so why would you socialize their profligate spending,” he added.
Coburn estimates the U.S. could be liable for as much as $176 billion if the IMF shores up Italy and Spain and the European Union collapses.
President Obama this week said the U.S. “stands ready to do our part” to help resolve the crisis, and Geithner in October said using U.S. tax dollars through the IMF to shore up Europe’s efforts was appropriate.
DeMint offered an amendment to the defense authorization bill instructing the U.S. executive director of the IMF to use the voice and vote of the United States to oppose funding of the European Financial Stability Facility, the bailout fund that would be used to stabilize countries at risk of default.
“We need some transparency about what’s really going on,” said McMorris Rodgers. “It’s hard to get information. We’re talking about U.S. taxpayer dollars being involved in the European bailout. The administration needs to be honest with the Congress. I believe Congress needs to be involved in making this decision.”
At least this will halt the idiotic rumormill for a day or two.