订阅

多平台阅读

微信订阅

杂志

申请纸刊赠阅

订阅每日电邮

移动应用

投资理财

西班牙新政府遇上老问题

Cyrus Sanati 2011年11月23日

西班牙目前还没有马上破产的危险。但如果经济开始萎缩,银行开始倒闭,西班牙就将变得更加类似于其挥霍无度的南部邻国:希腊。

    但过去10年来,由债务驱动的繁荣创造了一种人为的经济,让西班牙的失业率在2006年一度降至7%。即便失业率高企,西班牙也正常运转了好多年,但这样的体系现在已经行不通了。过去,西班牙的民众和企业并没有背负多少债务,因此,如果某个人无法找到工作或某个企业倒闭的话,由此造成的危机也相对独立。

    比如,在1989年,西班牙的家庭债务约为GDP的31%,公司债务约为GDP的49%。如今,家庭债务占GDP的比率几乎增加了两倍,高达85%;而非金融企业的债务则猛增至GDP的140%。大约80%的家庭债务是抵押贷款,因而跟房地产泡沫密切相关。公司债务与西班牙公司从事的减损盈利的大规模收购项目,以及众多可疑的基础设施交易存在关联。合计下来,西班牙的私人债务总额现在仅次于爱尔兰和葡萄牙,位列欧元区第三。

    在助推投机性繁荣的资金当中,有许多来自肆意挥霍的西班牙银行。政府通过好几轮救援行动,支撑起摇摇欲坠的银行体系。迄今为止,政府的救助行动已耗费了1,050亿欧元,相当于西班牙GDP的10%。但即使接受了这么多的救援资金,西班牙的银行依然处境危险,濒临倒闭。比如,政府声称,银行业持有的约50%的房地产贷款敞口是“问题资产”;它们手头的储备只够弥补30%的损失。随着房地产市场危机开始显露,银行将开始承受巨额损失。这个过程慢得令人痛苦,因为这些房屋大多数是人们的主要居所。这会迫使政府投入更多的银行救助资金,从而将私人债务转变为政府债务。

    西班牙的一个优势在于,政府债务占GDP的比例(70%)相对温和。这一比率低于欧元区的平均水平(91%),是希腊(140%)的一半,远好于意大利(120%)。但投资者担心的是私人债务占GDP的比例——240%。一旦银行倒闭,这份债务就会转嫁给政府。如果经济萎缩,债务攀升,整个国家的债务占GDP的比重就将以惊人的速度开始增长。瑞士信贷集团(Credit Suisse)估计,倘若西班牙经济陷入严重衰退,政府债务占GDP的比重将在2020年之前升至100%,这么高的水平势必难以为继。

    周四,西班牙政府以6.975%的利率出售了价值36亿欧元的主权债券,这样的利率水平非常危险,已经逼近迫使希腊、爱尔兰和葡萄牙等国向欧洲中央银行(ECB)求助的利率门槛——7%。虽然西班牙还没有正式寻求欧洲央行的帮助(即紧急援助),但它实际上已经受惠于欧洲央行从二级市场购买数十亿美元西班牙债券的行动——此举是为了压低该国的借贷利率。倘若欧洲央行终止这项债券购买计划,西班牙国债收益率将很快冲破7%的关口。

    西班牙的主权病弱,但跟邻国希腊不同的是,它还没有马上破产的危险。但如果西班牙的银行开始破产,经济开始萎缩,它就会变得跟南面这位挥霍无度的欧洲邻居没什么两样。拉霍伊现在要重建一个从未真正存在过的经济基础,这份任务可不怎么令人艳羡。

    译者:任文科

    But the debt-fueled boom of the last decade created an artificial economy, sending Spain's unemployment rate down to as low as 7% in 2006. Spain functioned for years with high unemployment, but such a system won't fly now. Back then its citizenry and businesses had little debt, so if a person couldn't find work or if a business failed, it would be a relatively self-contained crisis.

    For example, in 1989, household debt was around 31% of GDP while corporate debt was 49% of GDP. Today, household debt has nearly tripled at 85% of GDP while non-financial corporate debt has soared to 140% of GDP. Around 80% of household debt is linked to mortgages and is thus intimately tied to the housing bubble. The corporate debt is linked to huge dilutive acquisitions taken on behalf of Spanish companies and a multitude of questionable infrastructure deals. Together, Spain has a total private debt ratio that is the third highest in eurozone behind Ireland and Portugal.

    Much of the money that fueled the speculative boom came from profligate Spanish banks. The government has propped up its creaky system through several rounds of bailouts, which have totaled 105 billion euros so far, equivalent to 10% of the nation's GDP. But even with all that bailing, Spanish banks have still come perilously close to failing. For instance the government said that around 50% of the total exposure that banks have to property are considered "problem assets" and that they only hold enough reserves on hand to cover 30%. As the housing crisis unfolds, painfully slow as most of these houses are primary residences, the banks will start to take tons of losses. That forces the government to pledge more cash to bail out the banks, turning that private debt into government debt.

    The one thing Spain has going for it is that its government debt to GDP ratio is a relatively tame 70% of GDP. That compares to the eurozone average of 91% and is half that of Greece at 140% and much stronger than Italy at 120%. But it's the private debt ratio of 240% of GDP that has investors worried. As banks fail, that debt gets passed on to the government. As the economy contracts, and as debt rises, the debt to GDP ratio for the nation starts to increase at breakneck speed. If the Spanish economy stays in deep recession, Credit Suisse (CS) estimates that the government's debt to GDP ratio would reach an unsustainably high 100% by 2020.

    On Thursday, the government sold 3.6 billion euros in sovereign debt at 6.975%, dangerously close to the 7% threshold that forced Greece, Ireland and Portugal to seek assistance from the European Central Bank. While Spain has not sought formal help, i.e. a bailout, from the ECB, it has benefitted from ECB buying up billions of dollars worth of Spanish debt in the secondary market in a move to keep borrowing rates low. If the ECB were to end that bond buying program, Spanish debt would shoot well past that 7% threshold.

    The Spanish sovereign is sick but unlike neighboring Greece, it is in no immediate danger of going bust. But as those banks start blowing up and its economy shrinks, Spain will look more like its spendthrift southern European neighbor. Mr. Rajoy now has been handed the unenviable task of recreating an economy that never really existed.

上一页 1 2

我来点评

  最新文章

最新文章:

500强情报中心

财富专栏