Swings and roundabouts

In Banks on 13/10/2011 at 6:46 am

When the Americans and British saved their leading banks in 2008, the Europeans (especially the French) were sneering at them for allowing their banks to overlend or overinvest in AAA mortgage securities. The Europeans (read French) knew better.

Now the European banks, especially the French ones are in deep trouble, over lending to the PIIGS (five weak European countries). And the French government is afraid to help them because giving them state aid will threaten Frances’s AAA ratings.

Poetic justice.

Gets better still. The sub-prime crisis blew-out in 2007 because a French bank (can’t remember which one) stopped issuing the daily valuations of two of its mutual funds that invested in US sub-prime mortgages. It said it couldn’t establish a market value for these securities.

That forced other banks to revalue downwards their holdings of mortgage securities. This affected the Americans most.

  1. It was BNP Paribas for 3 of its mutual funds. Besides suspension of NAV calculation, the bank also suspended redemptions by investors. Announcement was made on Singapore’s national day. 🙂

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