Randomness (r_ness) wrote,

This will tell you why the European authorities are so desperate to rescue their banks.

I didn't see this when this went around the first time. John Talbott, writing in Salon in May:
It turns out that the size of the banking systems in many wealthier European countries far exceeds the total GDP of the country. Here is some summary data for the countries (most of them OECD members) in which the total of all bank assets exceed 100 percent of GDP.

Bank assets as a percentage of GDP

Luxembourg 2,461
Ireland 872
Switzerland 723
Denmark 477
Iceland 458
Netherlands 432
United Kingdom 389
Belgium 380
Sweden 340
France 338
Austria 299
Spain 251
Germany 246
Finland 205
Australia 205
Portugal 188
Canada 157
Italy 151
Greece 141

(For comparison, total banking assets in the U.S. are equal to approximately 82 percent of GDP.)
So it's no surprise that the Europeans are collectively willing to throw everyone else under the bus in order to save their bankers' asse(t)s. Why the Americans are so willing is left as an exercise to the reader.
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