Just over a month ago, on March 1, the Austrian financial world was shaken by news that the first bank bail-in following Cyprus would not take place in Greece as many had expected, but in Vienna: judged by the rating agencies to be one of the safest places in the world, where the bad bank that was created to help with the wind-down of the defunct Austrian lender Hypo Alpe Aldria, would itself be unwound, with creditors suffering the bulk of the pain in the form of the first official “core Eurozone” bail in.
Truly a “black swan” event.
This, together with the revelation of the sordid state of Heta’s books which was only revealed after the bail-in fact, was certainly a shock to bondholders, who had been treating Heta bonds as money good as recently as last summer, only to face losses as large as 50%.
The European Union must be able to wind down failing banks within a weekend, according to Sabine Lautenschlaeger, Germany’s candidate for a vacant seat on the European Central Bank’s governing council.
“So we need a structure where it is possible to start a resolution on Friday night and to finish it on Monday morning at 1 o’clock because then Japan, Tokyo opens. That is a really important requirement,” Lautenschlaeger told a European parliament committee in Strasbourg. Continue reading