Banking & Finance

European Cure on Hold, Austerity Protests Add Pressure Again

Yesterday we said that Spain was looking more like Greece due to a Madrid protest that took place outside of parliament against all of the budget cuts and entitlement cuts coming down the pipe. Well, the Greeks are back in the streets today protesting and with a 24-hour general strike against the austerity measures. Spain has a deadline of Thursday for whether it will seek a formal bailout from the European Union and European Central Bank as Spanish provinces are in need of assistance from the Spanish government.

This is just one more example of how the Europeans can telegraph that things are getting fixed and can even believe things are getting fixed when in reality it only takes a short uprising by the people to keep the needed measures from happening. If you can get a no-confidence vote and can call a new election at any time, how long will it be before ultimately the antiausterity parties and the anti-euro parties finally win?

Spanish bond yields are on the rise today as that 10-year Spanish note has reportedly hit 6%. The reaction has been negative across the board. France’s CAC 40 is down 2% and Germany’s DAX is down 1.6%. The banks and ADRs are taking it on the chin so far.

Deutsche Bank A.G. (NYSE: DB) is down by 4.4% at $39.59 in its New York ADR trading, and the banks in the lands of the PIIGS are down: National Bank of Greece S.A. (NYSE: NBG) ADRs have not yet traded; the Bank of Ireland (NYSE: IRE) ADRs have not traded yet but shares are down 4% in London trading; Banco Santander S.A. (NYSE: SAN) is indicated down at $7.65 to $7.70 after the ADR closed at $7.84; Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria S.A. (NYSE: BBVA) ADRs are indicated down about 3% after closing at $8.20.

The Brits and Swiss are not in the euro but their banking ADRs traded in New York are still closely tied due to large business exposure. Barclays PLC (NYSE: BCS) is down almost 2% at $13.86 in ADR trading; Lloyds Banking Group PLC (NYSE: LYG) is down 3.4% in London trading; and the Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC (NYSE: RBS) is down about 4% in London trading. UBS A.G. (NYSE: UBS) is down 3.5% in local trading and Credit Suisse Group (NYSE: CS) ADRs are down by almost 3%.


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