Friday, November 15, 2013

15/11/2013: Beware of German (KfW) Bearing Gifts?..

As reported in today's press, Ireland has secured a sort-of backstop to its exit from the bailout via an agreement with Germany's state- and local authorities-owned KFW Development Bank (see: and This was blessed by Germany ( And it may or may not qualify as a backstop for the Exchequer (see speculative analysis here:

One can only speculate as to the possible conditionalities imposed by Angela Merkel and her potential coalition partners on Ireland under the exit deal, but here's an interesting parallel development that has been unfolding in recent weeks.

Per reports (see for example this: and this: and this: and this: and this:
  1. Germany is clearly stating and re-stating its position on use of EU funds to recapitalise the banks (forward from the stress tests to be conducted). The position is 'No Way!' Wolfgang Schauble is on the record here saying "The German legal position rules out [direct bank recapitalisation from the ESM, the eurozone bailout fund,] now…That's well known. I don't know if everyone has registered that." So it is 'No! No Way! I said so many times!' stuff.
  2. Euro area Fin Mins are moving toward using national (as opposed to European) funds to plug any banks deficits to be uncovered in the stress tests.
  3. SPD Budget Spokesperson clearly states that his party is firmly, comprehensively against use of euro area bailout funds to retrospectively recap banks (the seismic deal of June 2012 is, in their view, not even a tiny wavelet in the tea cup).

Now, Ireland is the only country seeking retrospective recap and it is bound to have come up in the Government talks with Germans and the Troika in relation to bailout exit.

Put one and one together and you get a sinking feeling that may be retrospective recaps were the victim of the Government 'unconditional' solo flight from the Troika with KfW sweetener to comfort the pain of EUR64 billion in possible retroactive aid in play?..

Note: I am speculating here. It might be just that the Germans (KfW) decided to simply recycle their trade surpluses into another property err... investment bubble inflation in the peripheral states cause they just were so delighted with the way we paid off their bondholders. Or it might be because they are keen on burning some spare cash. Or both. Or none. If the latter, the reasons might be that it bought them cheaply something they want... How about that retroactive banks debt deal? It's pretty damn clear they want that off the table, right?

You can read my analysis of the exit here: and see Ireland's credit risk score card here: and fiscal risk assessment here:

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