By Satyajit Das
“Major economies have over the last decades transferred debt from companies to consumers and finally onto public balance sheets. A huge amount of securities and risk now is held by central banks and governments, which are not designed for such long-term ownership of these assets. There are now no more balance sheets that can be leveraged to support the current levels of debt. The effect of the EFSF [European Financial Stability Facility] is that stronger countries’ balance sheets are being contaminated by the bail-out. Like sharing dirty needles, the risk of infection for all has drastically increased.
The reality is that a problem of too much debt is being solved with even more debt. Deeply troubled members of the eurozone cannot bail out each other as the significant levels of existing debt limit the ability to borrow additional amounts and finance any bail-out.
The EFSF is primarily a debt shuffling exercise which may be self defeating and unworkable. The resort to discredited financial engineering highlights the inability to learn from history and the paucity of ideas and willingness to deal with the real issues.”
Full article on http://www.ft.com