显然政府领导人很清楚要做什么。问题是怎么做，这也是为何他们需要这么长时间才能作出反应。本周日若能达成协议，将是一个重大的胜利，但这只是可能。法国希望重组银行救助基金，参照美国问题资产救助计划（Troubled Asset Relief Program）的设计，将EFSF作为填补银行业资本金缺口的主要融资工具。德国则希望市场能够提供帮助，而仅仅只是把EFSF作为一旦出现银行挤兑时的后备力量。法国模式已经得在实践中得到了检验，而德国模式对于已厌倦了救助的欧洲人而言可能更容易接受些。
短期内，EFSF的4,400亿欧元看来足以应付银行业的注资需求，并填补希腊和葡萄牙的财政缺口。国际货币基金组织（IMF）8月份曾估计，削减主权债务和提高资本金储备后，银行业需要2,000亿欧元来填补资产负债表中的缺口。虽然国际货币基金组织的数字接近欧洲银行管理局（European Banking Authority）3个月前进行压力测试时宣称所需金额的8倍，但这一数据可能还不够高。摩根大通（JPMorgan)的一项分析显示，若采用新的减债比例，希腊、葡萄牙、爱尔兰、意大利和西班牙的债务分别削减60%、40%、20%、15%和10%，同时要求欧洲银行业将资本充足率上调至9%，总救助额将飙升至2,800亿欧元。
What needs to be done is clearly understood by government leaders. The question of how it will be done is why it has taken this long for them to respond. It would be quite a feat for them to hammer out an agreement by this Sunday, but it is possible. France wants the bank bailout fund to be structured similar to how the Troubled Asset Relief Program was designed in the U.S., where the EFSF is used as the primary funding vehicle to fill the capital holes in the banks. Germany wants the market to help fund the bailout with the EFSF acting as a backstop to any further bank runs. The French model has been tried and tested while the German model would be more palatable to a populace that is suffering from bailout fatigue.
In the end the French model should win out as the EFSF money is already there and ready to be deployed. The money could be handed over to the various euro zone governments which would then be doled out to the banks. Creating some totally new market-based investment scheme now seems way too late.
In the short term, the 440 billion euros in the EFSF appears adequate to recapitalize the banks and fund fiscal gaps in Greece and Portugal. The IMF estimated back in August that the banks would need 200 billion euros to plug the holes in their balance sheets after writing down their sovereign debt holdings and boosting their capital reserves. While the IMF number was nearly eight times the amount that the European Banking Authority claimed was needed when it conducted its stress tests three months ago, it still may not be high enough. When taking into account a haircut on the debt of Greece, Portugal, Ireland, Italy and Spain at the new calculations of 60%, 40%, 20%, 15% and 10%, respectively, and at the same time requiring European banks to have a 9% capital ratio, the total bailout number swells to 280 billion euro, according to an analysis by JPMorgan.
The EFSF could be used now to wipe the slate clean but it will quickly be tapped out if the banks need further cash or if the revenue shortfalls in the peripheral countries grow. That would leave the euro zone defenseless, which would raise market anxiety. To that end, the leaders will probably need to draw up a plan to eventually increase the size of the EFSF, forcing another round of voting in national parliaments. That could present problems given how difficult it was to pass the current upgrade the first time around.
The market is pricing in a happy outcome in Europe with the EFSF used to recapitalize and stabilize Europe's banking sector. A resolution that falls short of that outcome this Sunday will put the current market bounce in jeopardy. Eventually, the markets will have to contend with what happens after the EFSF is tapped out. Failure to expand the EFSF could raise anxiety levels once again, putting Europe back at square one.