I thought it is worth sharing few thoughts on a superb article bySatyajit Das"Debt shuffling will be a self-defeating exercise" in July 12 Financial Times (sorry - no link) concerning the European bailout fund. All quotes are from the article, with some of my additions/explanations etc.
European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) “…structure echoes the ill-fated collateralised debt obligations (CDOs) and structured investment vehicles (SIVs). …In order to raise money to lend to finance member countries as needed, the EFSF will seek the highest possible credit rating – triple A. But the EFSF’s structure raises significant doubts about its creditworthiness and funding arrangements…”
“Major economies have over the last decades transferred debt from companies to consumers and finally onto public balance sheets. A huge amount of securities and risk now is held by central banks and governments, which are not designed for such long-term ownership of these assets. There are now no more balance sheets that can be leveraged to support the current levels of debt.
Of course, much of this criticism is pretty close to heart for Nama - an SPV with even lesser transparency, accountability and capability of management. Irony has it, the SPV has no insurance 'cushion' provisions and instead becomes a direct liability of the Irish state as its guarantor. Then again, we already know this much...