Tuesday, May 31, 2011
BlackRock’s Fink Says Europe’s Financial Problems Go ‘Way Beyond’ Greece
May 31, 2011
Europe’s financial problems aren’t confined to Greece and a reorganization of the continent’s banking system is necessary, Laurence D. Fink, chief executive officer of BlackRock Inc. (BLK), said in a Bloomberg television interview today.
“The European problem is way beyond Greece,” Fink said in the interview in Hong Kong. “Greece is the most immediate problem. I find it very difficult to restructure Greece without the understanding that we’re probably going to have to restructure Ireland and restructure Portugal.”
Inspectors from the EU, International Monetary Fund and European Central Bank are set to wrap up a review of Greece’s progress in meeting the terms of last year’s 110 billion-euro ($157 billion) bailout in coming days. The EU will then formulate its plan for further aid to Greece, which remains shut out of financial markets a year after the rescue package.
Many smaller banks in Europe will need to be recapitalized, said Fink. The largest banks on the continent are well capitalized, though devaluation of some of the sovereign credit will put stress on them, he added.
“The banking system in Europe owns all this debt,” Fink said. “If we restructure one country, we’re now basically putting huge capital stress on these banks. Before we restructure any country, we’re going to have to restructure the banking system in Europe.”
Europe is going to need a “giant TARP,” Fink said, referring to the Troubled Asset Relief Program that the U.S. introduced to rescue financial firms. BlackRock advised the Federal Reserve on illiquid debt portfolios during the height of the financial crisis.
Posted by Yulie Foka-Kavalieraki at 6:39 AM