For those still unsure why Spain PM Mariano Rajoy is fighting tooth and nail to avoid requesting an official activation of the ECB’s SMP reincarnation: the OMT, which is a conditional bond buying program supposedly pari passu with the private market (but not really) here is an explanation. While Spain already requested, and received, a bailout of its banking system, which according to eronous analyses by firms such as Oliver Wyman will be at most €60 billion, and which according to others (such as us) will eventually end up costing orders of magnitude more once the green light for extortion is open for the New Normal modified vigilantes, said bailout would come with full conditions. Today we learn what a major condition of the first bank bailout tranche disbursement will be. It should come as no surprise to our readers- recall that in May when discussing the absolute lack of any actual austerity implementation we said, that “In fact, the epicenter of the current meltdown – Spanish banking – has seen only de-minimus headcount reduction over the past few years – so who is tightening their belts?” It seems someone at the Troika was paying attention, because as El Pais reported, European condition number 1 will be an epic bloodbath of pink slips come Monday, with Spanish banks expected to fire thousands of bank workers immediately and shut down 1,000 branches.
European authorities will transfer 35 billion euros to Spain’s state bank rescue fund on Dec. 15 in exchange for massive layoffs at Spain’s four nationalised banks, including state-rescued Bankia, El Pais newspaper reported on Sunday.
The cash injection from European bailout funds will be disbursed to troubled Spanish banks two weeks after it is paid into Spain’s bank restructuring fund, or FROB, the paper said.
Bankia, which sought a 23.5 billion euro bailout from the state in May, is expected to be forced to lay off up to 6,000 people from its current 20,000 staff, while NovaGalicia Bank is seen laying off 2,000 of its 5,800 workforce, said El Pais, citing European and banking sources.
Bankia and NovaGalicia Bank declined to comment on the report, which also said the banks would have to close 1,000 branches between the two of them.
Catalunya Caixa (CX) and Banco de Valencia, the other two nationalised lenders, are currently being sold off, and conditions would be imposed on the buyers, the paper said.
Spain’s economy ministry also declined to comment on the date the aid could be disbursed to the state rescue fund, or the exact amounts the lenders would finally need.
This is the chart of bank employees we showed back in May:
So, the “massive” headcuts at the 4 nationalized banks will lower total bank headcount by… 3%. Surely this will fix Spain.
But the immediate problem for Spain is that these soon to be former 8000 workers at least used to collect paychecks, quite higher than average at that, and pay taxes on said earnings. That will soon end, and the immediate result will be even less government tax collections, even as the ongoing persistence in cutting any spending means the budget will continue to soar, and only pulling a Groupon, and revising the budget to exclude this, that and the other line item, will make Spain appear even remotely viable.
But the best news from today, and one we can’t wait to witness first hand, will be Spanish cops and bankers protesting side by side against evil, and largely non-existent (sorry, the cut of the 13th annual salary is not belt tightening), austerity starting in 5… 4… 3…