First, consider the EU statement (available here):
"Anglo Irish Bank needs a third emergency recapitalisation to meet its obligations. ...there is no doubt that Anglo Irish Bank has to restructure profoundly in a way that effectively tackles the weaknesses of the past business model and ensures a sustainable future without continued State support."
Sadly, no Irish commentator noticed the irony that the EU is calling for a profound restructuring of the Anglo after 3 episodes of approvals of extraordinary funding for the bank by the taxpayers. Surely, if the Commission were to do its job and properly police national decisions relating to financial institutions stability, after the second call for capital from Anglo, Mr Almunia should have said something along the following lines: "Don't come back for any additional funds approval until you first provide a clear map as to how you are planning to shut down this insolvent institution."
Second, consider the timing of the approval. For some days before the approval, Irish 'analysts' and policy officials have been massaging public opinion. Various leaks and speculative statements that the bank will need more cash were floated around. Some of the Irish brokerages suggested that Anglo will need €2-4bn more in funding. Of course, while this circus was ongoing, the Government has been quietly labouring away at the submission to the EU Commission. The approval was issued on Tuesday, suggesting that the request for emergency funding extension was filed at the very latest - on Friday. This request was not subject to any parliamentary debate or other procedures that should have been deployed to ensure democratic participation in disbursing of the public money was adhered to.
Third consider Irish media and 'analysts' response to the Anglo call for cash. Of all stockbrokers, only NCB managed to comment on the Anglo call, despite the fact that Anglo's capital demands are indicative of the sector-wide problems. NCB guys actually did a good job in their morning note, saying that:
- "We had added €23bn to our General Government Debt to GDP ratio as a result of Anglo to leave it at 98.1% at year end 2011. This additional €1.4bn now needs to be added and will add approximately 0.7% to our debt to GDP figure at year end 2011." Yeps, with Anglo latest request for funding, Ireland Inc sovereign debt is set to be 99% by the end of 2011.
- The NCB guys are also aware, unlike, it appears Davy and Goodies, that Anglo can end up costing us (taxpayers) of sovereign bonds side as well: "The NTMA announced that its next auction on Tuesday August 17th it will tap the 4.0% 15 January 2014 bond and the 5.0% 18 October 2020 bond. The NTMA will be hoping that the Anglo issue is cleared up sooner rather than later and that clarity is given on the final requirement by the State. The uncertainty surrounding the exact amount of the transfer into Anglo is weighing on the Irish sovereign. The Irish 10 year is currently at 5.16% which is 274bps over the equivalent German bond and wider than the benchmark Portuguese 10 year which is yielding 5.079%."
- Sovereign risk rising due to Anglo uncertainty, and
- Corporate risk is also rising due to spillover from sovereign uncertainty to corporate assets valuations.
If Nama were to be believed in its LTEV estimates, Anglo's book is roughly 55% under water. This means that its post-Nama book is somewhere closer to being:
- 1/7 of the total book (€10bn) under water to Nama or better than Nama levels - say impairment of 30% due;
- 35% (or €25bn destined for the 'Bad' bank) is under water more than Nama haircuts - say 60-70% impairment due.
Let me explain the above numbers: €10bn recoverable at 70% and 25bn recoverable at 30-40% implies 14.5bn recovery on 35bn of assets left post-Nama, adding to it Nama haircuts implies recovery rate of 43-47%, ex-costs). This, in turn, implies across the book impairments of €37.6-40.5bn. Take the lower number - total through restructuring cost of Anglo can be expected to reach ca €37bn in the end or higher. Take 10% off for risk-weighting and restructurings of funding etc to boost regulatory capital.
End of the Anglo affair cost comes to roughly speaking €33bn. That's the amount we can expect to pay in the end. The latest €24.4bn count is, therefore, only less than 3/4 of the saga. So here's my forecast - by end 2011 Anglo will ask for ca €10bn more in our cash and by the end of 2012 - for up to €13bn more than the amounts already advanced. The only way these figures can be made smaller is if Nama grossly overpays Anglo for Tranche 2 and 3 loans.
Anyone noticed that? Not really. Just as no one noticed that Anglo is going to, in the end, cost every working person in this country something of the order of €19,600 - a hefty bill for rescuing Anglo's bondholders for every household of two trying to pay a (negative equity) mortgage and get kids through school.
Instead, our media keeps on asking Minister Lenihan rhetorical questions along the lines 'How much more?' and lamenting 'unexpected Anglo demands for more cash'. Per all publicly available information on this site, Peter Mathews' site and Irish Economy site, all I can say: "Expect more of the 'unexpected', folks".