The pivot, across the Atlantic

Euro-zone countries would still have to guarantee the loans their banks receive from the region’s permanent bailout fund, the European Stability Mechanism, even if it directly recapitalizes them, a senior European Union official with direct knowledge of the situation said.

The remarks Friday cast doubt on what was seen as a breakthrough at a euro-zone leaders’ meeting last week, where it was decided that once a central euro-zone bank supervisor was in place, the ESM would be able to directly recapitalize banks.

“I need to make clear what the ESM can do: The ESM is able… to take an equity share in a bank. But only against full guarantee by the sovereign concerned,” the official said. He added that while the member state’s guarantee wouldn’t directly show on the government’s official debt burden, the loan “remains the risk of the sovereign.”

Here is more, from the excellent Matina Stevis, and I suspect next time the markets won’t be tricked so readily.  Not good.


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