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November 27, 2011

IMF voiced to prepare an emergency 600 billion loan to Italy

Some stories in European press suggest that Italy is working on a very big loan package from the IMF according to the newspaper Repubblica a loan of 600 billion euro is being considered for Italy.
I'm very curious to find out what kind of tricks the IMF will resort to find this amount of money which is much larger than the current EFSF allocation.
If this option is being considered it means that there is zero possibility that Italy can refinance any portion of its $300b of 2012 maturing debt. If there is anyone who think that Monti can pull off a miracle, they are deluded, he is simply in charge of seizing the private wealth accumulated by Italian citizen to cover for the enormous Italian public debt and compensate foreign investors and banks in the process. There is a zero chance for a market solution for Italy. Either the ECB (aka Germany) steps in and underwrites the debt with some form of Euro bonds or the IMF (aka the USA) steps in with some very serious money.
Italian bond yields more than doubled in a month and this has left banks and financial institutions scared to death.
Either this gets fixed or Italy defaults in less than six months. The default option is not really an option that policy makers would consider. If Italy can’t make it, then there will be a very big crashing sound. It would end up taking out most of the global lenders, a fair number of countries would follow into Italy’s vortex. In my opinion a default by Italy is certain to bring a global depression; one that would take many years to crawl out of. The policy makers are aware of this too.
Something is brewing. If there is a plan in the works it must involve the IMF and it’s going to be big.

In the real world of global finance the reality is that any country that is forced to accept an IMF bailout is also blocked from issuing debt in the public markets. IMF (or other supranational debt) is ALWAYS senior to any other indebtedness of the country. That’s just the way it works. When Italy borrows money from the IMF it automatically subordinates the existing creditors. Lenders hate this. They will vote with their feet and take a pass at Italian new debt issuance for a long time to come. Once the process starts, it will not end. There will be a snow ball of other creditors. That's exactly what happened in the 80's when Mexico failed; within a year two dozen other countries were forced to their debt knees.
There is unfortunately not anymore a safe exit from this mess. The liquidity crisis in Italy is scaring us to death, the solution will almost certainly kill us.

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