Feeling the bite of Euro billions loans

David CameronThe UK might only have blown around £12bn on loans and commitments to struggling Eurozone economies so far but our pledges elsewhere mean things could get worse.

A lot worse.

Because behind closed doors the David Cameron and his cronies have been bigging themselves up at the negotiating table by promising unsecured loans worth billions more should they be needed. And it's not just top-up amounts, we're talking a commitment to the European Investment Bank of an extra €35.7bn over and above the €1.8bn we've already given it.
If that money is drawn down, it will add up to around 2% of our country's GDP. That doesn't bode well for any growth estimates and a hit of that magnitude would be devastating to the efforts being made to pump some life into deflated Britain.

Nice, shiny credit rating
Thank heavens the EIB, which is the world's largest non-government borrower, seems to have a lid on things. The bank, in which the UK, Germany, France and Italy (yes, I know!) all have a 16.2% stake is well capitalised and has a nice, shiny AAA credit rating.

So far, the EIB has spent only €11bn of the €232bn committed to it in total by the 27 European Union member states, though it has dipped into the €20bn reserve fund it had built up.

Which is more than you can say for some of its owners. Italy, we're looking at you!

Our big concern should be the state of some of the bank's creditors. Greece! Portugual! Step forward! The EIB's exposure to those two accounts for more than half of its €40bn in capital and if they and others start to default on that, the bank's all-important credit rating will be hit as will its ability to make further loans.

Then what happens to the value of that 16.2% ownership stake held by the good folk of Great Britain?

Well, the giving doesn't stop there because the UK can be called on for further monetary help through its stake in the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and even be asked to pitch into the European Financial Stability Mechanism.

Nope, the giving just doesn't stop. It just seems to be a bit one-way, that's all.
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