Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Free Money Festival: European Banks Take In New Record $712B In Cheap Money To Flood The Markets

European banks outdid themselves  and borrowed a new record from the  ECB's LTRO "in an operation that may boost bond and equity markets" (you think?).

The ECB said today it will lend 529.5 billion euros ($712.2 billion) for 1,092 days  800 financial institutions.

Economists predicted an allotment of 470 billion euros, according to the median of 28 estimates (Bloomberg). In the ECB’s first three-year operation in December, 523 banks borrowed 489 billion euros.

 “The astonishing number this time is the number of banks participating, which signals that a lot more small banks looked for the money and it is likely they will pass it on to the economy,” said Laurent Fransolet, head of fixed income strategy at Barclays in London, who estimates about 300 billion euros of the total is new lending. “So the impact may be bigger than with the first one.”

“There’s a big difference between stopping the rot and starting a recovery,” said Steve Barrow, head of Group-of-10 research at Standard Bank Plc in London. The loans “might have done the first, but they won’t do the second,” he said.

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