The Eurozone crisis is about to flare up over the course of the summer as political clashes, indecisiveness over bad bank market assets as well as growing doubts in the ability of the ECB in keeping markets flaccid all begin to underestimate the confidence build up in the previous year.
The Deutsche Bank analysts are apprehensive over a weak commitment to austerity which would send the markets stiff and frightened. The past two summers have both seen the crisis solidify with Greece getting a second bailout in 2011, with the Italian and Spanish governments almost facing the similar fate last year as their respective borrowing costs surged.
In the past week, Portugal’s government was struggling to come up with an effective plan to cut its deficits which could end up requiring them to need another bailout. Spain is still in the marsh over its recession and its government is facing several corruption scandals while the Italian government is accused of being indecisive its commitment to get a proposed budget in order.
The ECB chairman announced that his outright monetary transactions (OMT) policies in stabilizing markets by promising to do whatever it may take to save the Eurozone. The OMT at present has not been used but it has acted as a strong backstop to reassure investors. However, its effect may already be wearing off as economies have not been reformed and have not shown any signs of recovery. Similarly, several analysts fear that the OMT is simply under the guise of a potential problem.
Despite the protection of the OMT, the risk is certain that political infighting and self assessment detracts attention from all the necessary economic modification. With Italy in particular fears that the government considers potentially counterproductive policies thereon.
New figures from Eurostat reveal that the Eurozone debts are indeed getting worse despite the governments’ efforts. In the first quarter alone, the Eurozone government debt rose to 92.2% from its previous 90.6% in the past three months. The highest is still seen in Greece, at 160.5%, with the Italian government trailing behind at 130.3% followed by Portugal on 127.2%.
A review of a bank’s assets reveals that a large number of Eurozone lenders are still under the intense pressure. The European Banking Authority (EBA) announced some of its preparations for the possibility of future bank failures, citing national regulators to be vigilant in monitoring bank capital levels more closely. It wants lenders to submit plans for their capital buffers to help in regulating contingencies by the end of this year, especially for those authorities to stress test plans and to work on recovery plans for banks whose capital levels are very slow.