Friday, June 18, 2010

European Capital Flight (aka Bank Run)?

Honegger on the 1996 Swiss 20 franc note.

Image via Wikipedia

Tyler Durden

A few months ago we drew the ire of RBS for suggesting that Greek savers are pulling their deposits out of Greek banks and expatriating assets, in other, less polite words, consummating a bank run. Today we risk that anger again, by taking the very same logic we used logic to the next degree, namely that there could well be a capital flight out of the entire continent of Europe. Some pundits have already suggested this, by looking at March and April TIC data, which however is sufficiently delayed to be irrelevant as the real European festivities only started in May. A far better proxy is the surge in Swiss FX reserves, which took these from 28% to 43% of GDP in one month! Obviously, this was due to intervention actions meant to moderate the rate of increase in the CHF, due to conversion of Euros into Francs as foreigners were depositing tens of billions into the country's banking system. With the EURCHF now back to 1.3743, or a level below all previous interventions, either the SNB has thrown in the towel or, as we wrote yesterday, another round of EUR buying is due any minute. In either case, the underlying problem continues - the broader public is buying CHF and selling EUR in droves, threatening to push the EURCHF to fresh all time lows, certainly signifying a capital flow out of the so-called European core, and into the little country by the alps with lots of cheese, chocolates and bank vaults. Below are Goldman's relatively more moderately noted, but just as troubling, thoughts on the matter.

European Capital Flight (aka Bank Run)?

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