A quick quote from the recent Citi report on euro area economics, relating to ESM (emphasis is mine):
"Of the €500bn, €100bn is earmarked for future Spanish bank recapitalisation. If Ireland retroactively gets full mutualisation of sovereign debt issued to recapitalise its banks, that would require another €64bn. Equivalent treatment for Greece would cost €45bn and for Portugal €8.5bn. That would leave €282.5bn, a pittance compared with the likely future funding needs of Spain and Italy, unless the ECB
does most of the heavy lifting through the OMT."
Puts matters into perspective: Irish banking mess would cost EZ more funds than Greece and Portugal combined. Put alternatively, Irish taxpayers have done more to underwrite risks within the EZ banking system than Greek and Portuguese taxpayers combined. Take your pick of the option for interpreting...
To wet your appetite for explicatives further, here's another quote:
"We are still likely to see multiple sovereign debt restructurings of EA periphery sovereigns, starting possibly with Greece and probably lasting into 2015.
- We expect Portugal will likely require sovereign debt restructuring, possibly in 2014-15, but could happen even earlier, both through OSI and through PSI (Private sector involvement).
- Unless Ireland benefits from major OSI, say in the form of a mutualisation through the ESM of up to €64bn worth of sovereign debt – the counterpart of the capital injection into its banking system provided by the Irish authorities between 2008 and 2010 – we believe it too is likely to see sovereign debt restructuring.
- The Spanish sovereign and banking sector taken together are most likely insolvent. The relevant question then becomes what combination of mutualisation, bank debt restructuring and sovereign debt restructuring will occur...
- Italy should never suffer a sovereign default due to inability to pay in our view. It is a rich country with massive private wealth and, by the standards of the periphery, is in a relatively good economic shape, although massive structural reforms are required to get out of the swamp the country now finds itself in."