Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The new IMF facility Is no bazooka

The IMF announced a new facility today to deal with the eurozone crisis. The member states will be able to borrow short term funds in the amount that is ten times their "member quota". That seems like a big number, but here is the estimate based on recently published quotas. The numbers published are in the IMF's currency called XDR (based on the IMF Special Drawing Rights). Here are the numbers in EUR billion:

Austria        18
Belgium        40
Greece          9
Ireland        11
Italy        68
Portugal          9
Spain        35

This will definitely help, but it's a far cry from the 1 trillion "bazooka" the EU has been working on. Below is a chart of debt maturities for Italy, France, and Spain. The IMF facility limits will be reached fairly quickly.

Source: Barclays Capital

In addition there will be resistance from the US to commit significant incremental capital to Europe's "bailout" - effectively putting the US taxpayer at risk via exposure to the IMF.  It would not be a good move in an election year.
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