Saturday, July 2, 2011

02/07/2011: Was banks Guarantee 2008 a subsidy to foreign lenders?

Please note: the figures below are estimates, based on Table A.4.2 data from the Central Bank of Ireland for 6 covered banking institutions liabilities as of September 2008. These charts illustrate the comment I provided to the Quarterly Journal of Central Banking - forthcoming issue for Q3 2011.
First, straight forward composition of liabilities as shown in the chart above.

Next, the same expressed as percentages of total liabilities:
Finally, assumptions and calculations of total implicit subsidy from the Irish taxpayers/Exchequer to foreign liabilities holders:
Click on the chart to enlarge and see assumptions and calculations. Euro area residents accounted for €39.572 billion of our banks' liabilities or 6.42%, while non-Euro area residents accounted for €218.836 billion or 35.5% of total Ireland-6 liabilities at the time the Guarantee was issued. Thus, Euro area residents received an implicit subsidy from the Irish taxpayers to the tune of €5.5-6.7 billion over the time of the Guarantee - well in excess of the life-time cost of 1% reduction in the interest rate on our EU loans.

Of course, this is a crude estimate based on official provided and expected default rates on assets held by the Irish banks - excluding Anglo and INBS. Which means it is likely to be an under-estimate. Expected losses at INBS and Anglo are multiples of those assumed for the Ireland-4 covered in the main PCARs. With Anglo & INBS thrown into the mix, subsidy to Euro area residents rises to ca €8 billion.

Another issue here is that I am using estimates through 2013 only. This means that, like the CBofI I am assuming (ad hoc) that post-2013 IRL-6 will be able to cover their own losses without resorting to taxpayers capital injections. This assumption, in my view, is absolutely unrealistic.

Finally, no allowance is made here for the Irish Government underwriting of the funding debts incurred by the banks vis-a-vis ECB and CBofI - the debts which, at least in the case of Anglo & INBS, should be treated as largely reckless lending to insolvent institutions and which should not be a liability of the taxpayers.

In the end, in my opinion, Irish Government had no business underwriting a Guarantee for any of the liabilities in excess of €130.2 billion of domestic deposits and €2.813 billion of its own deposits with the IRL-6.

Note - another issue not addressed in these estimates, but also likely to increase the implicit subsidy extended to Euro area residents is that Monetary & Financial Institutions deposits figures cover IRL-20 banks regulated here, which include a large number of deposits from Euro area banks that are within IRL-20.
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