For instance, it’s just beginning to dawn on the MSM that Austria’s decision to cut bondholders of Heta adrift means perhaps €2trill of EU debt once thought triple-A now carries a health warning. After Greece and Cyprus and haircuts and subordination, it’s pretty clear you can’t put any value on the promises of a Belgian bureaucracy and an Italian central banker.
Talking of Italians meanwhile, toxic loans at Italian lending banks rose €185.5 billion in the month of January alone. That really is a truly astonishing number: 10% of the entire Italian gdp is now bad debt. But loans to business have been falling every month for nearly three years. Poor Signor Renzi, he must be in a frenzy.
Gideon Rachman at the FT, meanwhile, insists that there’s “a strong recovery” in Ireland. But he failed to point out that Ireland has contingent liabilities equivalent to 32% of its economy. As it happens, the same relationship shows Austria with 35%….and Germany with 18%. Just apply those percentages to the size of economy involved: German guarantees, encompassing $512bn, are the biggest in the eurozone….by almost three times. Quick, change the national anthem:
Deutschland Deutschland uber alles, uber alles in der Welch.
But in the only reassuring outbreak of truth today, Conservative Party Chairman and serial internet lying fraudster Grant Shapps seems to be descending into deeper and deeper ordure. Having lied about who he was and what his products could ‘do’ for investors, it now transpires that the contention he had abandoned the business by the time he became an MP was an equally big fat greasy whopper.
Even worse, he used Tory ambulance chasers Hill Dickinson to perpetuate the lies – and shut up a constituent. Ever worsererererer, the Conservative Party declined to comment on who had paid the bill. Which we can take as a “We did”, I’d imagine.
Even betterererer, Health Secretary Jeremy Rhyming-Slange went out on a limb for Schnapps yesterday, and had it promptly hacked off.
So there we are then, Eds: another open goal for you to miss from two yards out.
And finally, when it comes to gold, the truth will out, but there will be all kinds of blind alleys and dead-end crescents along the way.
This morning, it swept down close to the $1140 mark, leapt up a sheer cliff like Spiderman…and is as I close back to $1150. But it’s just a feint: it’s going down, down, down.