gainspainscapital.com / By Graham Summers / November 30, 2012
I believe we are at a major turning point for the financial system.
For nearly four years, the entire financial system has been held together (just barely) by extraordinary interventions on the part of the world’s Central Banks.
These interventions have resulted in capital fleeing the markets (hence the low trading volume), moral hazard becoming the norm and a marketplace in which hope of more intervention has a greater impact than the actual intervention itself.
The problem with this, from day one, was that eventually we would reach the point at which additional intervention no longer had any effect. This would come about due to:
1) Investors having grown so accustomed to Central Bank intervention that they no longer respond to additional measures.
2) Central Banks facing a problem so massive that it is beyond their power to stop it.
Few people understand just how close we came to #2 early this past summer. Indeed, there was a brief period there, where we were literally on the verge of systemic collapse courtesy of the Spanish banking system imploding.
It all started with the collapse of Spain’s Bankia in May 2012. Bankia was formed by merging seven smaller bankrupt banks. In early May 2012 Bankia had to be nationalized. This was a potential Lehman moment that kicked off a massive bank run and resulted in the ECB putting the entire Spanish banking system on life support to the tune of over €300 billion Euros (the entire equity base for every bank in Spain is only a little over €100 billion).
At that time, the Spanish Ibex (stock market) broke out of its 20-year bull market and nearly took down all of Europe with it.