Let’s Cross the Pond and Revisit The Weakest Link

The Washington Post is running a lead article today about the concern that the European Union in general, and the United Kingdom specifically, may derail the global recovery. Let’s cross “the pond.”

European Slump May Stall Global Rebound

Some countries, such as Ireland, are so cash-strapped that they’ve raised taxes in the middle of a deep recession, making things worse. In addition, European leaders have only recently signaled their willingness to conduct broad, systematic stress tests on their financial institutions, similar to the ones on major U.S. banks already concluded by the Treasury Department.

This is not news. Nothing of substance has dramatically changed in Western or Eastern Europe from my writing, The Weakest Link and The Weakest Link Is Weakening in late February and early March.

The media, government officials, and market pundits have been been attempting to talk the economy up more than the actual reality would dictate. The equity markets rebounded from an oversold condition in early March. For short term traders and those focused on technical analysis, I hope you caught the move. For those focused on the long term fundamentals of the economy,  the risks remain very high.

While, Wapo and other media outlets may voice concerns now or report developments as new, the “strains in the European chain” remain very real. Along these lines, I had written on April 30th in my April 2009 Market Review: Brave New World,

I believe it is a question of when – not if – in terms of a major European country defaulting on its debt and requiring a rescue from the EU and/or IMF.

The Washington Post should be a little more rigorous in terms of checking their facts. They report,

While U.S. banks have already written down about half the estimated $1.1 trillion in troubled loans and toxic assets on their books, Europe’s financial institutions have thus far written down less than 25 percent of their $1.4 trillion in bad debts related to the crisis, according to a report from the International Monetary Fund.

In actuality, the IMF has forecasted that U.S. banks have upwards of $2.8 trillion in troubled loans and toxic assets and have written down approximately 40-45% of it. That’s bad reporting. At least the reporter is diligent enough to highlight that Western Europe’s major concerns relate to the financial exposure to Eastern Europe. Although, this is not new news, they report,

Many major Western European banks are also heavily invested in hard-hit Eastern Europe, where the risk of a fresh wave of corporate and consumer defaults is considerable.

With all due respect, tell us something we don’t know.

About Larry Doyle 522 Articles

Larry Doyle embarked on his Wall Street career in 1983 as a mortgage-backed securities trader for The First Boston Corporation. He was involved in the growth and development of the secondary mortgage market from its near infancy.

After close to 7 years at First Boston, Larry joined Bear Stearns in early 1990 as a mortgage trader. In 1993, Larry was named a Senior Managing Director at the firm. He left Bear to join Union Bank of Switzerland in late 1996 as Head of Mortgage Trading.

In 1998, after 15 years of trading and precipitated by Swiss Bank’s takeover of UBS, Larry moved from trading to sales as a senior salesperson at Bank of America. His move into sales led him to the role as National Sales Manager for Securitized Products at JP Morgan Chase in 2000. He was integrally involved in developing the department, hiring 40 salespeople, and generating $300 million in sales revenue. He left JP Morgan in 2006.

Throughout his career, Larry eagerly engaged clients and colleagues. He has mentored dozens of junior colleagues, recruited at a number of colleges and universities, and interviewed hundreds. He has also had extensive public speaking experience. Additionally, Larry served as Chair of the Mortgage Trading Committee for the Public Securities Association (PSA) in the mid-90s.

Larry graduated Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa in 1983 from the College of the Holy Cross.

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