SocGen, Unicredit On "Brink Of Disaster"?

Tyler Durden's picture

Over the past 48 hours we had heard pervasive rumors that at least one, maybe more, banks in Europe are on the verge of collapse. Our thought was, naturally, Dexia, which is the modern equivalent of AIG, not to mention the bank most rescued by none other than the Federal Reserve. Well, we were wrong. And if the Daily Mail is correct, the two banks about to kick the bucket are French SocGen and Italy's UniCredit. While the fact that these two banks are in trouble has not been lost on the market, which has been sending their CDS to near record highs, the speculation that they are far closer to implosion likely means that the equity value of the European banking sector is about to be decimated. As the News reports: "The merest hint a major bank might fall is likely to reignite panic tomorrow in the stock market, which is already feared to react badly to the credit downgrade of the U.S. by rating agency Standard & Poor’s." Well, it's now tomorrow.

More from the UK mag:

Fears are growing this weekend that two of Europe’s largest banks may require a bailout, having been hugely damaged by the worsening crisis across the eurozone.


In France, President Nicolas Sarkozy is having to confront the possibility that the country’s second-biggest bank, Societe Generale -commonly known as SocGen - is on the brink of disaster after huge losses over loans made to Greece.


The chilling possibility of the largest bank in Italy, UniCredit Banca, suffering a similar collapse if a bailout is not implemented comes as Silvio Berlusconi already faces an increasingly dangerous national economic situation.

Next up: bank runs.

In Britain, a senior Government source described the position of the two banks as ‘perilous’, although an official Treasury spokesman declined to comment. Should either bank collapse, British customers with deposits of up to about £85,000 would be protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.

Naturally, no depositors will wait for this to happen, or for these news to be confirmed or denied. They will merely walk up to the teller window, submit a withdrawal ticket and proceed to close their accounts.

And here is where the story gets downright surreal:

David Cameron last night broke off from his holiday in Tuscany to talk to President Sarkozy about the crisis in the markets.


News of the planned talks emerged as Business Secretary Vince Cable appeared to back calls from China for the dollar to be eventually replaced as the main global reserve currency by a new international currency unit to be based around the IMF.


He said: ‘It would be a sensible way for the world to move but it’s not something to do overnight.’


But Mr Cable added: ‘In the short run, the U.S. dollar is the key international currency and although, frankly, the American legislators made a terrible mess of things a few weeks ago, they have now got back on track. They have undertaken to manage their debt in a prudent way.’

Remember where we said that the last thing left is for China to float the CNY? Well, pushing for the SDR is pretty much the same thing.

In the meantime, keep an eye on the price of Unicredit and SocGen tomorrow. Despite SocGen's and UniCredit's repeated statements that the article in Mail on Sunday was “false, irresponsible” the damage may have already been done. And something tells us the downside limits will be hit very quickly, leading to a Lehman-like self-fulfilling prophecy.

We wonder if in addition to PIIGS bonds, the ECB is ready and prepared to buy stocks of insolvent European banks...

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janus's picture

i would try to make a point about how shitty the whole voting thing was, but i bet some der speigle readin mofo is gonna slip in under my nose...sneaky little huns!  just a blond blur -- a featureless pink mass.

Quintus's picture

I wouldn't believe much that I read in the Daily mail, to be honest.  It does tend to be a little sensationalist.

Nevertheless, sometimes even a blind squirrel stumbles across a nut.

Dismal Scientist's picture

Quite, the Daily Mail is a low quality rag, written to appeal to the kneejerk right wing fearmongers (ie: the British middle class). Not very high quality reporting Tyler, just to rehash this bollox.

Try harder.

Crab Cake's picture

Try harder? Fuck off twerp, and then go make a gratis to the website.

Some people.

Dismal Scientist's picture

How erudite. Once again, the inability of ZH faithful to countenance even the tiniest criticism, is indicative of the need for quality control.

Most of what the Tylers post is good, but this article was a waste of time, in my opinion, and I reserve the right to say so.

In other news, just lick my left one buddy.

PaperBugsBurn's picture



lick my left...




Quality control?  Sounds like Rothscum/Rockefeller eugenics!

janus's picture

i like crits...i can give em too.

TD is an indivisible ONE. 

yes, you must atone.  but, still, you do have a point.

you've comma spliced, buddy (i do it, too...just thougt i'd pass along a tiny one).  "...the tiniest criticism, is indicative of the need for quality control. (sic)"  no comma needed after criticism -- maybe you were going to finish out an independent clause.  point is, you didn't.  now, atone again.

You're welcome,

The Radical Subjunctive

Dismal Scientist's picture

Now that was funny, thanks for playing. As for an indivisible Tyler, I think not. We all know there are many, and some are more Tyler than others. This one was clearly still wearing training wheels...

janus's picture

this whole unity concept evades you -- i would reference you to the catechism...but i'm not catholic -- but the point is catholic in a very specific and secular's all ONE.  TD doesn't sleep...TD doesn't blink.

and how can you blame we americans -- our press is so miserably horrid that anything is esteemed in proportion to its relative degree of seperation from the american press (direct relationship).


Dismal Scientist's picture

Perspective is everything. Btw, its 'separation'. Couldn't resist ;-)

MadMonkIvan's picture

Sensationalist certainly, and they aim to entertain. But I would not dismiss a paper that has Rees-Mogg as a regular columnist.
When most of the "serious" media (FT, The Economist, ...) are in the business of telling the plebs what to think I am happy for any scraps of information that at least are not blatant disinformation.

chump666's picture

Money on a dumb ass french bank.

Crab Cake's picture

and your chicks for free.

honestann's picture

We wonder if in addition to PIIGS bonds, the ECB is ready and prepared to buy stocks of insolvent European banks...

Of course they are.  The governments work for the gangster banksters, and will do whatever they wish, without limit, period.  The people can go screw themselves as far as the politicians care.


Mongo's picture

But... But... But... The stress test showed that they were in good shape?....


EscapeKey's picture

I would be in pretty good shape, too, if the ECB bought worthless Club Med bonds off me at par.

pendragon's picture

usd weakness or euro strength?

Spitzer's picture

USD weakness.

The Eurozone has no trade deficit.

And the SDR is a joke. It is a product of Bretton woods.

EscapeKey's picture

I had an argument on reddit some days ago, about the Dollar being the "historical" safe haven during financial turmoil. I pointed out that this was really only since 1944, and possibly only even since 1971 considering the US defaulted on her gold promise.

Despite posting facts, I got downvotes to oblivion, by a bunch of pasty faced anemic Keynesian economics students. I mean, fuck me, what does it take for those thick headed shits to notice that their high priests have been consistently wrong over the past <n> years?

Oh, and I was also told that APPARENTLY Peter Schiff was wrong - in fact, "only 1 out of 80 calls of his has been right". That takes some hardcore denial to come to that conclusion.

Jumbotron's picture

As Zorba the Greek stated in the previous story, Bernanke is already promising to back-stop any moves by the Germans and the ECB with our money funneled through our banks as before.

QE3 has just started.

AssFire's picture

I cannot sleep tonight in anticipation of the collapse. I am not afraid of it- I am ready to ebrace it. I have wanted it for 10 years, the collapse of the parasites of Washington & Wall Street. All real power is local and I am sick of those cock suckers getting half of my efforts.

Impale them on spikes leading into those cities. OK, nite nite.

Jumbotron's picture

"Impale them on spikes leading into those cities"

I whole heartily agree.  Nite Nite...Vlad.  Sleep tight in the coffin....the sun will soon be rising.  :)

PY-129-20's picture

The Vampire Union recommends not to walk around in broad daylight.

terryfuckwit's picture

scuse the expression .. but you know what really boils my piss.. the MSM and all  that pure bullshit abot stress testing banks.. not one msm or news channel or government official has ever suggested buying gold or silver to people in the UK.. Average joe proper left out to dry..3 cheers zero hedge.. i told a friend very seriously 3 times in the last 2 months to cut his losses and pull out of banks.. fell on deaf ears .. he thinks zero hedge is the tin foil hat briggade... where do you start with that brainwashing machine ... i just zip it now

Klaatu's picture

Lead a horse to water and all that shit. Really I gave up tring to get the sheeple on board, but I fear they be the ones beating my door down the hardest when the real shit hits the fan.

Withdrawn Sanction's picture

When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.

That process cannot be reversed, and sadly, some will nevery be ready. As Im sure most know from their own encounters w/those who are dismissive, it's not that they DONT know, it's that they DONT WANT to know.

Inexorably, however, the lessons will be learned no matter what people want. Unfortunately, for many, the teacher that appears will be cold hard reality.

AUD's picture

Do they still print VIZ Magazine?

I miss Sid the Sexist, Spoilt Bastard, Modern Parents, Brown Bottle etc etc

alexwest's picture


#They have undertaken to manage their debt in a prudent way.’

so.. let me get this straight.. budget cuts for 2 years 2011-2012 are around 50 bln, but debt will increased by 3-3.3 trln..


litoralkey's picture


__________________________ A BANKER SPEAKS OUT________________________
In Sept. 2007, fourteen months before Ireland's bank bailout, I resigned from my position as the Risk Manager of UniCredit Bank Ireland. I did that in order not to incriminate myself. I have spent the last 3 years seeking justice. Finally, on Feb. 23rd., 2010, I was fortunate to have Senator David Norris raise the matter in Seanad Eireann (the Irish Senate), and request a response from the Minister of Finance, Mr. Brian Lenihan. Senator Norris concluded by stating that:
"...there is ministerial responsibility in this matter. This is a grossly serious matter which has been reported to the Financial Regulator. A man has lost his job as a result. He honourably resigned. The degree of breach was 40 times the accepted margin. This is a disaster. If we are not prepared to face the issue and investigate it when it has been laid before the House, there is absolutely no hope for the financial system or its reputation worldwide.
I have made very clear requests that this matter should be examined. How can the Financial Regulator investigate himself? He was in breach of his responsibility. That is the first point. The second is that the bank must be pursued and that the honour of the man whose reputation has been traduced must be restored. It is not too much to ask in this Parliament that this should happen. I want the process to start tonight."

“I resigned in order not to incriminate myself. We were breaking liquidity regulation by 1,900% (YES, one thousand and nine hundred percent). The Financial Regulator knew about it and did nothing. The regulation stipulated a possible 5 year prison sentence for violations of the law. However, even though a sweeping bank guarantee was required in Sept 2008 due to the fact that ALL the Irish banks ran completely dry of liquidity, not a single Risk Officer has been charged at any of the banks. We, the Irish taxpayers are footing the bill. What did the Financial Regulator do about it? He re-issued the regulation in 2009, making sure to cite Banking Acts as far back as 1942, but never mentioning the fact that this was law in Ireland in 2007. Problem solved, no-one is guilty.”

Withdrawn Sanction's picture

"...traduced" Word of the week for world financial markets.

Sequitur's picture

Smell the fear. I'd need medication to sleep this weekend if I had many open long positions.

lolmao500's picture

Unicredit : Worth 929 billion euro or 1.4 trillion $US...
SocGen : Worth 1.1 trillion euro or 1.54 trillion $US...

AIG and Lehman? LOL they are NOTHING compared to that.

zorba THE GREEK's picture

Add in the CDS's and you are talking big bucks. Too big in fact. Therefore there is no choice but to bail

out banks before they fail, otherwise, GAME OVER. That lesson they did learn after Lehman.

j0nx's picture

Should be interesting trying to bail out those hulks when they are pushing austerity on the euro people themselves.

gwar5's picture

Reggie Middleton has been saying a French bank was going under soon but wisely avoided mentioning any names. 

Never thought it could be SocGen though. Must have some bad stuff on those books.

TBT or not TBT's picture

These days anything on your books will do that

lolmao500's picture

And... is the ECB doing the ECFC deal anyway, even if Germany says no? What the hell....

ZeroPower's picture

So far only a few trades in SocGen CDS (senior) so market doesnt seem to believe it. 200/209, down about 8% on the day.

No trades at all yet in Unicredit CDS.. but indicative b/o down as well.

THE DORK OF CORK's picture

Maybe these banks are going south , maybe not - but the Daily Mail is a rag - just saying.

M.B. Drapier's picture

It's always funny, isn't it, when Americans discover the /Daily Mail/ - a paper which has been despised in Britain for a century, but which Americans have no antibodies against.

Withdrawn Sanction's picture

This is the second time this point has come up in this thread.

Perhaps the Mail is a rag, but is what they're saying true, or is the suggestion that whatever they say it should routinely be ignored because THEY are saying it?

I suppose the next step after ad hominem is to mix in a a bit of invective. Mmmmmm, logical fallacies w/invective.

THE DORK OF CORK's picture

Yeah Drapier I am open to most views both left & right but when I see the Daily Mail I get the Bejeebers.

Coldfire's picture

[T]he U.S. dollar is the key international currency.

Oh yeah, it's the key alright. To bankruptcy.

boattrash's picture

Thanks to all at ZH. Ithink I'll take a ride to the ATM again with my and my wife's cards. $400 should buy 50 lbs more rice when stores open today.

Id fight Gandhi's picture

I really don't think tonight is the night it fails. Still more time.

Qe3 on the way, especially after the market craters.

Long night all get some rest you'll need it.

dervish's picture

I am working currently at UniCredit Germany and I just got my contract extension approved on the project I am working on. internally no budget cuts for projects in sight, so everything looks perfectly normal on the inside from here. sounds like disinfo for me, since all other big banks are in the same state of corruptness

problemfixr's picture

Not disinfo- Unicredit is toast.