Thursday, June 7, 2012

it's been a while - anything much happened?

Ok, so I've been away for a bit, had a week in Portugal where it felt like the locals were of a much friendlier and sunnier disposition than the Spanish. A colleague reminded me though that in Andalucia the Spaniards are all "pikeys".....if any of them decide they want to kill him I'll happily pass on contact details! So, is the Spanish banking house of cards about to come tumbling down? I remind myself that it was way back in early 2008 that we began to notice changes in the way they looked at mortgage business in Spain, and there was clearly a large number of unsold properties and the signs of problems for clients trying to complete on off-plan purchases that they had possibly put deposits on 3 or 4 years previously. And still there seems to be a high level of denial coming out of Spain. Surely the Spanish Government can't place all the blame for the construction boom on the banks ? - I presume all the 7% IVA and purchase taxes that they collected was pretty good in the boom years? So, the Govt would prefer that the banks received some direct bail out money, which the Germans don't want, as it would then look like the eurozone was directly guaranteeing Spanish banks, and opening up a precedent for all banks in the eurozone to feel they were too big to fail. On the Greek front, had a chat with a Reuters analyst who thinks they definitely won't leave the euro, and a chat with an Italian private banker less concerned about Greece, but worried that an Italian debt default would be armageddon.....

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