Njihov problem je naš problem

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Daniel Gros na VoxEU.org blogu piše o težini i posljedicama problema Istočne Europe za “jezgru” Europe. Ističe kako su manji problem deficiti na tekućim računima platne bilance zemalja Istočne Europe; tečajni padovi bi ih mogli ispraviti za neke zemlje. Po njegovom mišljenju, čak i pretjerane deprecijacije valuta velikih zemalja ne bi stvorile nesnošljive probleme za bankovne bilance i kućanstva izložena valutnom riziku. (Hrvatska se tu nigdje ne spominje illi uklapa u rad.) Tako umjesto potpomognutih financiranja tekućih računa, zalaže se za uspostavljanje fonda za financijsku stabilnost koji bi kreditirao korporacije i kapitalizirao banke Istočne Europe jer za njihovu stabilnost, i tako čitave europe po mišljenju autora, protok kredita je nužno potreban.

As if core Europe did not have enough problems of its own, a new threat has arisen – collapse of the European periphery. The deteriorating foreign exchange and financial conditions of satellite countries in the euro area – from the Baltic region to Eastern Europe, Turkey and Ukraine, not to mention the imploded Icelandic financial system – add yet another source of uncertainty.

Their problems are our problems

The problems in Eastern Europe weigh particularly on the financial solidity of EU banks. EU banks provided the backbone of the banking and financial system in those countries and therefore they are now much exposed to the consequences of mounting capital flights and currency attacks in those countries.

EU banks are not yet strong enough to face additional losses from this front since, despite huge government rescue plans; they have in aggregate received little new capital (less than €200 billion for the entire euro zone). The Bank of International Settlements estimates that European banks hold somewhat more than $600 billion of cross-border claims on emerging European economies (probably 90% of the reported total of around $700 billion).1

When all European banks run for the exit (e.g. by refusing to roll over credit lines that come due or to extend further credit to their subsidiaries), they will be increasing their own losses.


Systemic stress requires a systemic response by the EU: The EFSF

In this environment of continuing systemic stress on the banking system, the case-by-case approach at the national level must be abandoned in favour of an ambitious EU-wide approach. The EU should set up a massive European Financial Stability Fund (EFSF). Given the scale of the problem facing European banks, the fund would probably have to be of substantial scale, involving about 5% of EU GDP or around €500–700 billion.2 This is more than might be needed for Eastern Europe, but the crisis is certain to get worse before a recovery begins, and it would be better to have such an instrument ready to face further emergencies. Most of the funds (say, 80%) would probably be used to provide credits (or buy existing ones at a discount), the remainder would be for capital injections, which would make the European Investment Bank (EIB) a major shareholder in the Eastern European subsidiaries of EU banks and probably also a major shareholder of in those EU banks most exposed to Eastern European risk. Eastern European banking systems would effectively be ‘Europeanised’.

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