We haven't checked in with Ambrose Evans-Pritchard in a while, here goes:
It is the European Central Bank that should be printing money on a mass scale to purchase government debt, not the US Federal Reserve.The last time Ambrose brought up Credit Anstalt was in February 2009:
Unless the ECB takes fast and dramatic action, it risks destroying the currency it is paid to manage, and allowing a political catastrophe to unfold in Europe.
If mishandled, Ireland could all too easily become a sovereign version of Credit Anstalt - the Austrian bank that brought down the central European financial system in 1931, sent tremors through London and New York, and set off the second deeper phase of the Great Depression, the phase when politics turned ugly.“Does the ECB understand the concept of contagion?” asked Jacques Cailloux, chief Europe economist at RBS. Three EMU countries have already been shut out of the capital markets, and footloose foreign creditors hold €2 trillion of debt securities issued by Spain, Portugal, Ireland and Greece....MORE
Creditanstalt Redux?: Failure to save East Europe will lead to worldwide meltdown
I've been feeling far too chipper so I decided to check in with Ambrose Evans-Pritchard. Yikes.
From the Telegraph:
The unfolding debt drama in Russia, Ukraine, and the EU states of Eastern Europe has reached acute danger point.Well, other than that Generalfeldmarschall Paulus, how's the weather?
If mishandled by the world policy establishment, this debacle is big enough to shatter the fragile banking systems of Western Europe and set off round two of our financial Götterdämmerung. Austria's finance minister Josef Pröll made frantic efforts last week to put together a €150bn rescue for the ex-Soviet bloc. Well he might. His banks have lent €230bn to the region, equal to 70pc of Austria's GDP.
"A failure rate of 10pc would lead to the collapse of the Austrian financial sector," reported Der Standard in Vienna. Unfortunately, that is about to happen.
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) says bad debts will top 10pc and may reach 20pc. The Vienna press said Bank Austria and its Italian owner Unicredit face a "monetary Stalingrad" in the East....MORE
Creditanstalt failed in May 1931. From Kindleberger's "World in Depression: 1929-1939":
In 1929, the Bodenkreditanstalt was fused overnight with the Creditanstalt. The Bodenkreditanstalt brought to the Creditanstalt large loans to industrial concerns which could be maintained only by the device of ignoring market values...*Hmmm, sounds familiar.
Unicredit now owns Creditanstalt.