Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Taking Out Insurance

Lloyd's of London is pulling cash from European banks.

First it was US money markets; then it was various European industrial concerns (which somehow double down as banks); then it was China; now the bank runs shift to insurance institutions when, as Bloomberg reports, Lloyd's of London has decided to pull peripheral Euro bank deposits. What next: complete collapse of European interbank market as bank runs become a daily thing at both the retail and institutional level? Well, we already anticipated that. But it is something totally different to see it happen in practice.

From Bloomberg: "Lloyd’s of London, concerned European governments may be unable to support lenders in a worsening debt crisis, has pulled deposits in some peripheral economies as the European Central Bank provided dollars to one euro-area institution. "“There are a lot of banks who, because of the uncertainty around Europe, the market has stopped using to place deposits with,” Luke Savage, finance director of the world’s oldest insurance market, said today in a phone interview. “If you’re worried the government itself might be at risk, then you’re certainly worried the banks could be taken down with them.” Lloyd’s, which holds about a third of its 2.5 billion pounds ($3.9 billion) of central assets in cash, has stopped depositing money with some banks in Europe’s peripheral economies, Savage said, declining to name the countries or institutions. “We have a very conservatively positioned balance sheet,” Savage said. Lloyd’s also holds about a third of its assets in mainly U.S. and U.K. government bonds and a third in corporate bonds, he said." As usual, the biggest threat for European banks are not short sellers, not even naked CDS traders: it is precisely this - a deposit run, which saps the liquidity lifeblood out of any bank, hence making its collapse a matter of time.
"Europe" is coming apart at the seams.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

No comments: