I have to apologize for being a little off topic here (away from credit cards). But I think these are unprecedented times and so I’m giving a little update that has caught little attention. Over the weekend, a couple of European Banks have been nationalized.
Firstly, Fortis, the Dutch financial conglomerate has kinda gone under. The governments Belgium, Holland and Luxemberg has injected about $16bn in capital into subsidiaries in each countries, thereby owning 49 percent. Fortis will also sell ABN Amro. With this capital injection, the three governments will own approximately 30% to 40% of the combined entity.
Meanwhile, over at UK, the authorities have nationalized Bradford and Bingley, one of the main building societies in the UK. In a deal hammered with Banco Santander, B&B 21bn (in pounds) deposits will be bought for 600mm!
There are fears about other European Banks like Dexia and Commercebank that have come under pressure from the stock market. It appears that the subprime crisis is speading globally. Guess it can’t be all Bush’s fault in the last eight years? What we are seeing is a classic result of easy global monetary policy which led to the housing bubble. And bad assets on banks books are unravelling right before our eyes.
But watch out. There is more to come.