Monday, 29 September 2008

Bank Bailouts Come to Europe

Though just recently the European Central Bank said smugly that Europe would never see the kind of bailouts currently going on in the US, as many as predicted it now seems clear Europe will not be immune from the crisis. Yesterday brought the news that Belgian-Dutch group Fortis is being nationalized by the Benelux nations and British mortgage lender Bradford & Bingley is being nationalized by the UK government.

Though the UK was the first country to see a big bank bailout with the nationalization of Northern Rock, since the US institutions such as Lehman Brothers and AIG started started dropping like flies, Europe's banks had held firm. But no longer. Fortis is the first major continal European bank to falter.

Now analysts are saying the next phase of bank bailouts are likely to be seen in Europe. Joseph Kraft, head of Japan capital markets at Dresdner Kleinwort, told Reuters today,"It's definitely moving towards Europe. It's the beginning of the end and a necessary step, so we should see more institutions nationalised, absorbed or going into default."

At the same time it appears the US congress has been able to work out a deal with which they can approve the $700 billion bailout plan for the struggling banks.

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