Sunday, September 19, 2010

Economics 19/9/10: Irish banks - Government intervention still has no effect

Returning to my old theme - let's take a fresh look at the Government and its policy cheerleaders success rate with repairing our banking sector. Here is a quick snapshot of history and numbers as told through the lens of Irish Financials index.
So clearly, we have some really powerful analysts out there and keen commentariat (actually one and the same in this case) on the future prognosis for our banks.

But what about recent moves in the index itself?
Take a look at the chart above, which maps the Financials Index for two subperiods:
Period 1: from Guarantee to March announcement of the 'final' recapitalization of our banks,
Period 2: from Guarantee to today.
Now notice the difference between two equations. That's right, things are not getting any better, they are getting worse.

Next, let's put some historical markers on the map:
Surely, our financials are getting better, the Government will say, by... err... not getting much, much worse. The reality, of course is, any index has a natural lower bound of zero. In the case of Irish Financials Index, this bound is above zero, as the index contains companies that are not banks. As far as the banks go, there is a natural lower limit for their share values of zero. Our IFIN index is now at 80% loss relative not to its peak, but to its value on the day of Guarantee!

Having pledged banks supports to the tune of 1/3 of our GDP already, the Government policy still has not achieved any appreciable improvement in the index.

Forget longer term stuff - even relative to Q4 2009, Government policies cannot correct the strategic switchback away from Irish banks shares that took hold:
A picture, is worth a 1000 words. Unless you belong to the upbeat cheerleaders group of the very same analysts who missed the largest market collapse in history, that is.
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