Germany fact of the day

In essence, the Germans have already tried a lending bailout of Greece:

Add this to the list of reasons German taxpayers are unhappy about having to lend Greece money to ease its debt crisis: In effect, they already have.

Germany’s financial institutions hold some 28 billion euros, or $37 billion, in Greek bonds, according to estimates by Barclays Capital, extrapolating from International Monetary Fund data.

Germany’s regulators and many of its banks do not disclose precise figures, but an informal survey on Wednesday of the largest banks indicates that about half of that debt – rated as junk by Standard & Poor's  since Tuesday – appears on the balance sheets of institutions that are owned or controlled by the German government.

And so Germany’s exposure to Greek debt already exceeds, by far, the $11 billion the country would lend to Greece as part of an initial European Union plan to help the country avoid default on its debt…

The full article is here.  On a related note, EU officials are complaining about the downgrades coming from the credit rating agencies; at this stage of the game that is a stunning and instructive development.  A lot of regulators simply do not want "honest" credit rating agencies and never will want that.


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