Europe;Europe's banks; The fear factor; Preventing a big European bank run;
In continental capitals and bank boardrooms there is a common fear. It is that the slow jog of deposits leaving banks in Greece and, more recently, Spain, may turn into a full-blown run that quickly spreads from bank to bank, and then from country to country. There have already been some warning signs, such as a sudden acceleration of deposit outflows from Greek banks in May.
在欧洲大陆各国首府和银行的董事会议室里弥漫着一种担忧。 希腊各大银行的存款量正在平缓流失, 新近西班牙各银行也陷入同样境况, 这很有可能会转变成一场全面的银行挤兑风暴, 并迅速在银行乃至国家之间传播。 对此已早有征兆, 五月份希腊各银行的存款外流骤然加速就是例证。
A fierce debate is now taking place as to the best way to avert a run that, if it started, might be difficult to contain and could lead to massive capital flight from the euro zone's peripheral countries, which have 1.8 trillion Euro(2.2 trillion Dollar) in household deposits (see chart). Increasing numbers of people think the answer is greater financial integration. On May 30th the European Commission said there ought to be “full economic and monetary union, including a banking union; integrated financial supervision and a single deposit guarantee scheme”.
目前, 关于如何最为有效地防止一场全面风暴正引起一场激烈争论。 因为挤兑一旦开始蔓延, 可能难以遏制, 而且可能导致欧元区边缘国家出现大量资本流失, 而这些国家家庭存款拥有量达1.8万亿欧元(即2.2万亿美元)。(如图所示)。 越来越多的人认为应该加强欧元区金融一体化。 5月30日, 欧盟委员会指出应建立"全面的经济与货币联盟, 包括银行业的联盟; 以及完整统一的金融监督和单一存款保障计划"。
The first step is to shore up confidence in the region's banks by making sure they have enough capital to withstand a crisis. It is far cheaper to recapitalise banks, after all, than to stand behind all of their deposits. Yet such efforts have been bungled time and again. Europe has twice over the past two years tried to reassure depositors and investors that its banks are sound by subjecting them to “stress tests” that were supposed to mimic an economic downturn. In each case the tests were soon followed by revelations of deep capital holes in some banks (newly nationalised Bankia among them). Since some national regulators have lost the confidence of markets, they are having to bring in outsiders to assess how much capital their banks need.
第一步, 要通过确保区域内各银行有足够的资金能够抵御一次经济危机, 以此增强银行的信心. 毕竟, 调整银行资本结构相比保障各银行的存款量, 所需代价要小的多。 然而这样的努力却一再以失败告终。 在过去两年中, 欧洲曾两次尝试让各银行在一场摹拟的经济危机中接受"压力测试", 证明这些银行都运作良好安全可靠, 试图以此恢复储户和投资者们的信心。 但紧接着这两次压力测试之后均有消息曝出某些银行存在严重的资金缺口(其中包括一些新近被收归国有的银行)。 因为一些国家监管机构已经失去市场的信任, 他们正被迫请一些机构外的人士来参与评估这些银行所需资金量。
Actually raising the capital is the next big problem for countries such as Spain or Italy, which are already struggling to convince markets that their public debt is sustainable. Ideally it should come from the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), Europe's new bail-out fund, as a direct capital injection into banks rather than as loans to governments, which then use the money to recapitalise their ailing lenders.
实际上, 募集资金是西班牙, 意大利等国家面临的下一个大问题, 他们已经在费尽心思希望说服市场相信其国债的可持续性。 理想的办法是, 他们所需资金能由欧洲稳定机制(ESM)提供, 作为欧洲新的紧急财政援助基金给银行直接注资而非贷款给政府部门, 然后再利用这些资金对其陷入困境的银行进行资本结构调整。
Injecting capital is politically difficult. Core countries such as Germany fret they will lose a lever of influence over government policies in peripheral countries by handing over equity. They also stand a greater chance of losing money if the ESM takes on the risk of bank investing, not least because they know even less about the balance-sheets of individual lenders than those of national governments. Peripheral countries are less than keen on handing ownership of important banks to bureaucrats in Brussels. And unless the capital is accompanied by supervisory reforms, local regulators may encourage banks to lend more freely at home since the risk of loss will have been exported.
直接注资从政治上讲很难实施。 德国等核心国家担心一旦转付资金他们就会失去其在边缘国家政府政策制定方面的影响力。 如果ESM冒险给银行注资, 他们面临经济损失的风险会更大, 相当重要的原因是他们本来对各银行资产负债表的了解比对各政府的资产负债表的了解还要模糊。 各边缘国家也不想将他们重要银行的所有权交给布鲁塞尔的官僚们。 并且注资同时如不进行监督机制改革, 当地监管机构可能会鼓励银行更多地为本国个人或机构提供贷款, 因为损失的风险会被输出。
Recapitalising banks would not put the catch on every trigger for a run, however. The worry among depositors is not just that their bank will go bust, it is also that their deposits in euros may overnight turn into a less valuable currency. So savers in the periphery would need some additional reassurance that their money is safe.
尽管如此, 银行的资本结构调整不会触发挤兑危机. 储户们担心他们的存款银行会破产, 同时也害怕他们以欧元为计算单位的存款会在一夜之间贬值。 因此, 要让边缘国家的储户相信他们的存款是安全的还需要一些其他的安抚措施。
The job of providing this extra comfort usually falls to national deposit-insurance funds, ideally ones that are prefunded with assets worth about 1.5% of insured deposits, as is the case in America and Europe. If a medium-sized bank goes bust, prefunded schemes can usually pay depositors immediately; European countries insure qualifying deposits up to 100,000 Euro. For big banks, or for systemic crises, funds are usually backed by their governments.
这项额外的安抚工作通常是由国家存保机构来完成的. 按照美国和欧洲的当前情况, 最好是预先拨款资金额等同于承保存款额的1.5%. 如果一家中等规模的银行倒闭, 预先拨款计划可以立即启动, 对储户进行偿付, 欧洲国家对符合投保要求的存款承保上限为10万欧元。 至于大银行破产或涉及整个金融系统的危机, 则由政府出资解决。
Such schemes are fine in normal times, but do not do much to reassure people that their deposits won't be repaid in a different currency (or that their money will be safe if their own government cannot stand behind the scheme). That has prompted calls for a European insurance fund which would guarantee repayment in euros. The idea is appealing, but the politics and logistics of a credible guarantee are daunting.
这样的计划在一般情况下是没有问题, 但要使人们相信他们的存款不会通过另一种货币来偿还则作用不大.(如果他们的政府都无法支撑起这样的计划, 他们也就很难相信他们的存款是安全的). 这就使得必须有一种欧洲保险基金能够担保在存款偿付时使用欧元。 这种想法是十分吸引人的, 但实施一项可信的担保计划涉及的政治事务和组织工作却令人望而生畏。
Household and corporate deposits across the euro area total some 7.6 trillion Euro. Assuming you wanted to limit the insurance to household deposits only, the figure is still 5.9 trillion Euro. Not all of this would be covered by a guarantee. A European Commission study in 2010 reckoned that 72% of deposits (and 95% of deposit accounts) fall under the 100,000 Euro limit. What's more, a European fund would not have to be big enough to deal with simultaneous deposit runs across all of Europe but only with ones in the periphery, since money would presumably flow to banks in core countries such as Germany. So the fund would have to be big enough to cover only some 1.3 trillion Euro in insured deposits in the periphery.
整个欧元区的家庭与企业存款总和达7.6万亿欧元。 假使你只为家庭存款提供担保, 承保金额也达5.9万亿。 这些存款不会都得到担保。 欧盟委员会2010年的一项研究推测有72%的存款(95%的储蓄账户)在10万欧元承保限额的范围之内。 更重要的是, 欧盟基金无需庞大到足以应付欧洲各国同时发生存款流失危机,仅需足够应付边缘国家发生的此类情况即可。 因为存款应该是流向德国等核心国家银行的。 如此一来, 欧盟基金就只需足够担保边缘国家大约1.3万亿存款。
The question then is how much of that amount a prefunded scheme would have to set aside. Economists at Citigroup reckon that a fund ought to start with a baseline of 2% of insured deposits, and then top up that amount with an additional premium to reflect the risk that peripheral countries may leave the euro and that their currencies would then depreciate. Assuming a less-than-10% chance of all the peripheral countries leaving, and that when they did their currencies would fall by 30%, a prefunded scheme would need 154 billion Euro-198 billion. Such a fund should ordinarily be financed by a small insurance premium on deposits, but since the money is needed to restore confidence now, it would have to be backed by the ESM.
问题在于这项预先拨款计划需要拨出多少资金。 花旗银行经济学家认为这笔资金必须以承保存款总额的2%为下限, 再在此基础上加上一个风险溢价, 用以反映边缘国家可能退出欧元区及其货币随之贬值的风险。假定所有边缘国家都退出欧元区的可能性低于10%, 且他们一旦退出, 他们的货币会贬值30%, 那么这项预先拨款计划将需要1540-1980亿资金。 这样一笔资金通常是由小型存款保险费来支付, 但现在正需要钱用来重塑储户信心, 导致这笔资金只能由ESM来提供。
Again, none of this is easy to achieve. Banks and voters in core countries (let alone Britain, whose position in a more integrated European banking system is very muddy) would be reluctant to insure peripheral deposits. Without beefed-up European supervision, it could lead to banks taking too many risks. Critics say that even a prefunded scheme would soon be depleted were a run to take hold. But a flawed scheme would be better than nothing.
不过, 这一切完成起来都是困难重重. 各核心国家的银行和当权者们(英国更不用提, 在日益完整统一的欧洲银行体系中, 其地位十分扑塑迷离)都不愿意为边缘国家的存款提供保障.不增强欧盟的监管职能, 可能会导致银行承担太多风险。 批评家们称形势一旦恶化, 即便是预先拨款计划也会被迅速耗尽。 但是一项有缺陷的计划总要好过什么都不做。