Lots more bad news today, after Friday's rotten Q4 banking results in the USA.
Royal Bank of Scotland, as expected, is saying it made a £28 billion ($42 billion) loss for 2008. The loss comprises a trading loss of £7-£8 billion ($10-$12 billion) plus a write-off on ABN AMRO of £20 billion ($30 billion).
That was a bad buy.
Peak of the market pricing of $100 billion in cash, just before the crash.
They could have bought Barclays Bank, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley for that much today … if they had the cash in the bank of course.
Then you have concerns over regulatory structures with Francisco González, chairman of Spanish bank BBVA, calling for a single European financial regulator to manage the
risks of cross-border banking. That's something I have anticipated for years and, thanks to this crisis, an EU Financial Services Authority is far more likely than ever before.
Then, as mentioned, you aren't going to find any more sympathy with the Sovereign Wealth Funds as the BBC reports that the crunch has cost the Middle Eastern countries in the oil-rich GCC countries around $2.5 trillion.
I always like to spell it out just to see how many zero's there are in these numbers. It kinda shows how big this stuff is.
But at least the GCC survives, as do BBVA and even RBS – thanks to the government's bailout in the latter's case – unlike Australia, where economics consultancy Access Economics say that Australia's budget is "buggered", the nation's economic boom will "unwind scarily fast" and the outlook for the next year is "ugly".
Strewth mates, can you not just tell me how it is?
Actually, that does sound a bit like the banks after all.