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May 9, 2009

Bankruptcy Outsourcing!

A disturbing trend in a global economy is the bankruptcy outsourcing we are starting to witness in the world.

Global companies are taking bail-outs from different countries and in some cases from more than one at the same time. Bail-outs are becoming for some companies a new form of revenue. GM for example has been bailed-out from the Canadian government after scaremongering plant closures in Ontario. Unicredit the Italian bank which has invested and lent heavily in Eastern Europe has been supported by the Polish and Austrian government. Greek banks have asked contributions to Eastern European countries to leave their capitals in the country and after some weeks moved back to Athens a big bulk of their assets.

Wherever corporations have employment and financial leverage with the local government a bail-out request is being put forward. It is not always a request for money but also a request for favours and deregulation, economic crisis is allowing companies to obtain advantages that until 1 year ago were considered serious infringements. Eastern European governments not notoriously rigid in their supervision are in this period closing not one but both eyes. Companies are threatening that if ad hoc measures are not undertaken their financial situation could be deteriorating and they would be left with no choice than moving their assets and capitals to different location.
Taxpayers are effectively paying a bribe to corporations for the luxury of keeping inefficient, corrupt and broke companies in their backyard. If a company is broke should be allowed to fail, we are delaying the inevitable buying some time with our savings.

Though the interesting scenario especially in Europe will be to assist to the collapse of one of those corporations, which country will take the paternity of a fiasco and will make its citizen pay for this? how fast and how seriously the economical infection will spread to other involved countries?

Unfortunately we have a monetary union in Europe but we do not have yet a single reference for crisis like this, ECB cannot and will not cover the losses leaving to local central banks such issues. The Iceland-England quarrel on the lost assets of UK councils who invested in the failed Icelandic banks teaches us a lesson on how this issue can bring to a fracture or collapse of the European cooperation. If countries will start to freeze each other investments and assets to cover the losses we will have a Great Depression 2.0 in a matter of weeks.

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