Genauso wie ich wundert er sich darüber, wie wenig in den Nachrichten heute über die Situation der Banken gesprochen wird.
"My main thought: what about the banks? The minute Greece reopens its banks, it's a fair bet that every person in Greece will immediately head to the bank and get every cent out. The banks' assets are largely Greek loans, which many aren't paying -- why pay a mortgage to a bank that's already closed and will probably be out of business soon anyway -- and Greek government debt; mostly Treasury bills that only roll over because banks hold them. They can't sell either, so the banks will instantly be out of cash.
The deal reported in today's papers really barely mentions that problem. But that is the problem of the hour. [...]I've read with interest some proposals that the EU take over the banks. The EU takes on the bad assets, gives or sells the rest to large international banks, and these operate under EU rules -- not Greek regulators; they can't buy any Greek debt, and Greece can't tax them. It's expensive, yes, but it's basically as shoot-the-hostage approach. A functioning economy would help Greek finances. And then the EU can let the Greek government default if it wishes. Saving the banks might be a lot cheaper than saving the Greek government and the banks."
Außedem wiederholt er einen Punkt, den auch ich immer wieder zu machen versuche: Eine Währungsunion braucht in erster Linie keine Fiskalunion, um langfristig zu funktionieren, sondern eine Bankenunion, die den Namen auch verdient:
"There are two original sins in the euro, neither having to do with fiscal union. The first is that each country has its own banks, and each government uses its banks as piggybanks to stuff with government debt. [...] The second is the endlessly repeated fallacy that government default means the country must change the units of its currency. [...]
A currency union needs a banking union, or at least banks that are not stuffed with government debt. A currency union needs to let sovereigns default without changing currencies or paralyzing the banking and payments system."
Die zweite "Sünde" resultiert aber dabei natürlich einzig aus der ersten. Insofern würde eine Supranationalisierung des Bankensystems (vorzugsweise auf Basis höherer Kapitalquoten) einen Großteil der Funktionsprobleme des Euroraums lösen.
Hoffentlich sehen wir in den nächsten Jahren auch ohne akute Krisen eine Bewegung in diese Richtung ...