Sunday, January 11, 2015

WSJ: Banks Stress Test for Grexit

by Bill McBride on 1/11/2015 10:41:00 AM

The European policy makers have dragged their feet (especially the Germans), and Grexit is back in the news.

From the WSJ: Banks Ready Contingency Plans in Case of Greek Eurozone Exit

Banks and other financial institutions in Europe are stress-testing their internal systems and dusting off two-year-old contingency plans for the possibility Greece could leave the region’s monetary union after a key election later this month.

Among the firms running through drills are Citigroup Inc., Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and brokerage ICAP PLC, according to people familiar with the matter.

The firms’ plans include detailed checks on counterparties that could be significantly affected by a Greek exit, looking at credit exposures and testing how they would provide cross-border funding to local operations.
And from Business Insider: Here's What A 'Grexit' Would Cost Europe
A snap election in Greece on January 25 could bring to power the far-left Syriza party, which wants to abandon the austerity policy imposed by the EU and IMF as part of the country's 240-billion-euro ($282 billion) international bailout.

The market selloff was triggered by media reports indicating that if a new government in Athens reversed course, Germany was ready to let Greece leave the European club of common currency users.

Most analysts doubt it would come to that, but if it did Athens would be hard pressed to repay its bailout loans and would likely default.