The euro area’s bailout fund could at some point issue bonds denominated in the Chinese currency, Chief Executive Officer Klaus Regling said in Beijing today.Financial Suicide
“We are authorized to use any currency we want if it seems efficient so we may one day issue in U.S. dollars or renminbi,” said Regling, head of the European Financial Stability Facility, using another name for the yuan. “It depends whether the Chinese authorities would approve of that. I could imagine that over the years that might happen, maybe not immediately but maybe one day,” he said.
European leaders are seeking financial support from China, holder of the world’s largest foreign-exchange reserves, for an enlarged rescue fund aimed at containing the region’s sovereign- debt crisis. Vice Finance Minister Zhu Guangyao said yesterday his government wants more details about the “technicalities” before making any decision on investment.
Regling said yesterday that China, which has been a “good” and “loyal” purchaser of EFSF bonds so far, hasn’t set any conditions for buying more of the securities.
Issuing bonds in another currency risks financial suicide. Currency movements add to the already massive potential risk of huge fluctuations because of leverage.
Argentina blew up when it could no longer hold a peg in US dollars. While not a peg, imagine the losses on long-term bonds on a leveraged fund were the Yuan to rise by 33% vs. the Euro.
Many homeowners in Eastern European countries have housing loans in Euros or Swiss Francs and have paid a severe price as the value of their currency has dropped vs the Euro and even more so vs the Swiss Franc.
Perhaps the yuan would sink vs. the Euro, but anyone entertaining the risk is severely lacking in financial competence.
Moreover, that Regling would even suggest such a foolish thing says the EU not only expects this crisis will linger for a long time, and it does not believe it has buyers for the debt it issues.
Mike "Mish" Shedlock
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