Monday, February 21, 2011

Europe: ECB Lending Spike due to Irish Banks and other topics

by Bill McBride on 2/21/2011 08:56:00 AM

A few European notes and stories ...
• From the WSJ: Irish Banks Behind ECB Lending Surge

An unusual surge in overnight lending from the European Central Bank last week was connected to Ireland's effort to wind down nationalized lenders Anglo Irish Bank Corp. and Irish Nationwide Building Society ... The two banks moved collateral from the ECB's longer-term refinancing facilities to the more expensive overnight-lending program as part of a plan to auction off deposits and certain other assets on their balance sheets, the person said
The fear late last week was that some large European bank was in trouble, and now it appears this is just related to winding down the Irish banks.

• From AP: Ireland's Leading Party Wants New Bailout Terms. What a surprise (Not). The Irish election is this Friday, February 25th.

• From the NY Times: Greece’s Efforts to Limit Tax Evasion Have Little Success
Various studies have estimated that Greece may be losing as much as $30 billion a year to tax evasion — an amount that would have gone a long way to solving its debt problems. ... But payments have only trickled in.
Another surprise. Tax evasion is an art form in many countries.

• From Bloomberg: German Business Confidence Unexpectedly Rises to Record Unexpectedly?

• Note: There is a meeting of several EU leaders, apparently including Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy, in Helsinki on March 4th, and then a special eurozone debt crisis summit on March 11th.

• The Ten Year yields for certain European countries declined slightly today. Here are the Ten Year yields for Portugal, Spain, Ireland and Greece.