Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Europes' financials balance sheet scam hits the press in Oz!

Doublespeak and dishonesty is so much the order of the day within the EU of today that it passes barely without notice. Hence I read, but thought little of today's item on page 17 of the print edition of today's IHT, pointing out that Europe's financial institutions had been apparently deciding for themselves how to account for losses on Greek debt, according to the International Accounting Standards Board.

Some banks and insurance companies in Europe, have written down the value of Greek debt by 21% others by 50%, thus making a mockery of their balance sheets AND the information they contain, in so far as forming investment decisions are concerned.

Situation normal when it comes to finance in the cloud-cuckoo world that Europe has become. But on the other side of the globe, common sense still prevails, thus in the Sydney Morning Herald of tomorrow morning, now out and linked here, the EU is further justly denigrated at the start of the report as follows:

EUROPEAN banks may have inflated their balance sheets and profit and loss accounts by not taking full write-downs on distressed Greek debt, according to the International Accounting Standards Board.

If only it were just Greek debt, but being the EU, of course that cannot be the case, as this extract from the IHT makes clear:

Some investors said the matter was serious, even if the Stoxx Europe 600 bank index was trading higher Tuesday. "The Greek debt issue has been treated very lightly," said Jacques Chahine, head of J. Chahine Capital, a Luxembourg-based fund that manages€320 billion in assets. "And its not just Greek debt - all of it needs to be written down, Spain, Italy."



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