The Cryptocurrencies

The Crypto Currencies:

A cryptocurrency is a digital asset or a virtual currency used as a mean of exchange through encryption in order to make transactions secure and to control the creation of a new currency.

A definitive feature of cryptocurrency, and arguably its most captivating allure, is its organic nature; It is not issued by any central authority, and this feature makes it theoretically immune to government interference or manipulation.

The Crypto Currencies are mainly characterized by four traits: decentralization, anonymity, immediacy and dynamism.

They exist in a network created by thousands of people operating on online platforms and can not be controlled by governments and banks because the system doesn’t allow to disclose any information regarding the owners and users of Bitcoin.

Bitcoins are not related to personal data, and as a simple set of alphanumeric characters, it is not possible to identify the owner or user. Thanks to the Bitcoin’s structure and organisation, transactions are much faster than the ones use in traditional banking.

These transactions are faster because there are thousands of people in the system that contribute to approve and control them.

Nevertheless, the cryptocurrencies’ market is very unstable even though an expanding one. Short-term gains can be very high but the same applies to losses.

As a precaution against digital counterfeiting, a “proof-of-work” scheme is used, which is a mechanism built to discourage denial of service attacks and other abuse of service, such as spam on the network. The technologies used are of peer-to-peer (p2p) type on networks whose nodes are the users scattered around the globe.

“Proof of work” is a protocol whose main goal the deterring cyber-attacks such as a distributed denial-of-service attack (DDoS): it has the purpose of exhausting the resources of a computer system by sending multiple fictitious requests.

The “Proof of work” concept existed even before bitcoin, but Satoshi Nakamoto applied this technique to his digital currency revolutionizing the way traditional transactions are set.

In fact, the idea was originally published by Cynthia Dwork and Moni Naor back in 1993, but the term “proof of work” was coined by Markus Jakobsson and Ari Juels in a document published in 1999.

Proof of work is maybe the biggest idea behind Nakamoto’s bitcoin white paper – published back in 2008 – because it relies on trustless and distributed consensus.

 

Most crypto coins have been designed to gradually introduce new currency units, to avoid hyperinflation.

 

Below are the most important currencies in circulation:

Source: coinmarketcap.com

  • Bitcoin (BTC), founded in January 2009, based on the “proof-of-work”protocol, is the first crypto currency for value, the first to be known in bulk and to be recognized as a form of payment by various websites, including those in the deep web.
  • Litecoin (£) reached $41m in December 2013, uses scrypt as a “proof of work” system and blocks every 2.5 minutes instead of every 10 minutes as Bitcoin does.

A scrypt is a memory hard key-derivation function. Memory hard functions require a large amount of RAM to be solved. This means that a standard ASIC chip used for solving the Bitcoin SHA-256 Proof of Work would need to reserve a certain amount of chip space for Random Access Memory instead of pure hashing power. 

 

  • Peercoin (PPC), born in August 2012, it is the first crypto currency based on the combination of proof-of-stake (PoS) and proof-of-work (PoW) protocols. As of November 30, 2013, it is the third with a capitalization of $8.2m.
  • Quark (QRK), born in July 2013.
  • Namecoin (NMC), born in April 2011, it acts as a decentralized DNS that avoids censorship of domain names by creating a new domain level outside of ICANN’s control.
  • Feathercoin (FTC), born as a Litecoin clone in April 2013, with MIT / X11 license. Use scrypt as a proof-of-work system. In December 2013 it had a value of 1.03 million dollars.
  • Primecoin (PPC), established in August 2012, it uses a mixed proof-of-work and proof-of-stake system.
  • Dogecoin, (DOGE) based on scrypt.
  • Coinye, based on scrypt.
  • Titcoin, based on scrypt.
  • Primecoin (XPM or Ψ), based on the Cunningham Chain.
  • Datacoin (DTC), based on the Cunningham Chain.
  • GlobalBoost-Y (BSTY).
  • Ethereum (Ξ), released in July 2015, its concept is to provide small decentralized applications or smart contracts to the blockchain.

 

“Proof of stake” is a different way to validate transactions and achieve the distributed consensus.

It is still an algorithm, and the purpose is the same as the “proof of work”, but the process used is quite different.

Proof of stake’s first idea was suggested during the BitcoinTalk forum in 2011, but the first digital currency to use this method was Peercoin in 2012, together with ShadowCash, Nxt, BlackCoin, NuShares/NuBits, Qora and Nav Coin.

Unlike the “proof-of-work”, where the algorithm rewards miners who solve mathematical problems with the objective of validating transactions and creating new blocks, with “proof of stake”, the creator of a new block is chosen in a deterministic way, depending on its wealth, also defined as stake.

The cryptocurrency market has already exceeded $ 100 billion in capitalization and in particular the crypto currency that has been so far the most successful is Bitcoin, which represents 40% of the market counting about 45 billion capitalization. Undoubtedly, Bitcoin is the gold standard in the crypto currency industry but despite that the competition is very aggressive.

 

THE FUTURE OF CRIPTOVALUTE:

This sector has attracted the attention of several banks, governments, investors and even universities. The potential expressed by the Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) transaction system is huge, but most of the traditional institutions haven’t realized yet the real benefits that can derive from this sector. First of all, we must remember that this system:

1 – Reduces or eliminates all transactions that were previously carried out manually

2 – allows you to monitor all transactions in real time

3 – Reduces the time of all clearing and settlement processes

4 – Reduces the counterparty’s risk by verifying the validity of the counterparty

5 – It contributes to the increasing capital circulation through the boosted speed of transactions

6 – This coin type is fully traceable and as a consequence the risk of fraud is minimized.

From the business point of view, the benefits of this technology include:

1 – the improvement of trade finance operations

2 – the reduction of bureaucracy-derived waiting time

3 – the improved speed in making payments

4 – Improving the use of capital through greater efficiency

Most likely, the future of crypto currencies will depend on the collaboration that will be established between all market-based institutions and legislative decisions.

 

CRIPTOVALUTES DO NOT REPRESENT A SOLUTION:

Despite the benefits of using this technology, blockchain is not the solution to all the problems that affect our financial system. Currently, the world is discovering a new financial instrument and this boom is leading to the creation of a huge bubble that will burst soon. Given the speed with which this phenomenon is spreading, the traders of new currencies haven’t even had time to study the limits, problems and opportunities of these tools. According to some industry experts no crypto currency is safe outside of Bitcoin and the success of all competitors is only due to current market excitement. Several experts found obvious correlations between the tulip bubble and the alleged crypto currency one.

According to Sole 24 Ore, the most important Italian business and finance newspaper, despite these tools being virtual, they are damaging the real economy and fuelling a recycling phenomenon. The independent intergovernmental body that develops and promotes policies aimed to protect the global financial system against money laundering, terrorism financing and proliferation of weapons has not set half-measures on Bitcoin.

“Virtual currencies and bitcoins in particular are the wave of the future for payment systems – says the report – and provides a new and powerful tool for criminals, terrorists, financiers and evaders, enabling them to circulate and keep illegal funds outside the scope of law. ”

Claudio Clemente, Director of Banca d’Italia’s Financial Information Unit (UIF) reiterated what was stated by the independent intergovernmental body. According to the Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering (Fatf Gafi) by 2140, 21 million bitcoins will be recorded (but each unit can be divided into small parts) and in April 2014 it had calculated more than 12.5 million bitcoins a counter value of more than $ 5.5 billion.

The National Antimafia and Counterterrorism Directorate has been following the evolution of the situation for a long time and has indicated that there are still many barriers to information exchange, while organized crime is getting closer to modern Communications technology.

“Financial investigations – recalled the deputy national antimafia and anti-terrorism agent Filippo Spiezia – must take into account these developments, such as the spread of virtual currency. Above all, is needed a shared improvement of the quality of response in cases requiring a coordinated approach involving multiple jurisdictions. It is in this context that the possibility of creating a new Interpol Notice specifically aimed at facilitating the exchange of information in investigative procedures focusing on tracing and identifying the proceeds of crime has been specifically examined.

 

ETHEREUM CASE:

Ethereum can be considered as an emblematic example of the risks that these new technologies may have. Unlike other crypto currencies, Ethereum is not only used for currency exchange but also represents a network for contract transactions to perform many operations such as: electoral systems, domain name registration, financial markets, crowdfunding platforms, intellectual property and much more. The success of Ethereum is due to the unexpected increase in value of about $ 392 in just 6 months.

It was thought that Bitcoin could have been far from over but this did not happen, today the value of Ethereum is about $ 200 and that value is set to go down.

The worsening of expectations was due to a flash crash that led to a variation of $ 310 to 10 cents. Today, oscillations are frequent and of considerable magnitude.

These financial instruments are for experts only, value changes are sudden and worrying. Nonetheless, if properly used, investors can become millionaires in no time. The case of the anonymous digital portfolio holder number 0x00A651D43B6e209F5Ada45A35F92EFC0De3A5184 has been emblematic, which has managed to pass, through Ethereum, from $ 55 million to $ 283 million in just a few months and announced it through Instagram in Bahasa, an Indonesian official idiom , One of the world’s tax havens.

 

SHOULD YOU INVEST IN CRIPTO CURRENCY?

To invest in crypto currency you need to be aware of what might happen given the risk that these financial instruments entail.

It is often possible to read that anyone who starts investing in Bitcoin or its competitors will become rich in little time or that these tools must absolutely not be used given the high probability of losing its own capital.

Both theories are wrong, the best advice is to study before beginning to invest but above all it is very important to invest small amounts of money whose loss would not affect your financial situation.

The future of monetary technology will also be this, but now it is too early to determine which will be crypto currency’s future given the rising of problems involved with it.

 

Matteo Spiller

Venetian Banks: The Final Solution

In the end a final decision has been taken for resolving the problem regarding the Venetian Banks (Banca Popolare di Vicenza and Veneto Banca), the Italian Government and the ECB have approved the acquisition from Intesa Sanpaolo for 1 euro.

The requests from Intesa Sanpaolo for saving the North-East Italian economy are many but the government didn’t have another solution because of rigid European regulations and the critic situation.

The most important Italian bank, Intesa Sanpaolo, will buy the good bank, while the bad bank with the non-performing loans and all the riskiest assets will be managed by the government.

Moreover, many billions has been given to Intesa from the government for managing the performing assets of the Venetian banks, with the aim to reach profitable revenue in only two years.

An amount equal to 17 billions of public money is available to solve this issue, but it is estimated that only 10 billions will be actually used.

On the other side, Pier Carlo Padoan, the Italian Minister of Economy and Finance, believes that the Treasury will recover these investments thanks to the risky assets coming from the bad bank, if managed in the right way.

Many Italian citizens are not satisfied with this solution, as their money is being used to resolve problems concerning private banking companies.

Despite this, it is really important to remember that without this solution and with the bail-in the macroeconomics damages to the Italian economy would have been around 30 billion euro. We shouldn’t forget the Lehman Brothers’ case and that the Noth-East is one of the most productive areas in Italy.

Since banks are connected with the economic and financial environment and for this reason it is impossible to make use of the bail-in without a reliable industrial plan.

This could save thousands of jobs and isolate the bank from the economic and financial environment. This means that the management of all the transactions, services, credits and loans would be entrusted to another institution, which could operate in the place of the insolvent bank.

By doing so, it could be possible to save the real economy and the interests of all citizens.

Nevertheless, the solution adopted by the Italian government is without doubt effective and for sure better than the liquidation hypothesis.

The other possible solutions

In this scenario the other possible solutions could have been another intervention form Atlante but in many cases, though, Atlante’s investors claimed that they were not available to contribute anymore, as earlier their participations had been devaluated several times.

Now, with the acquisition from Intesa these participations will be worth nothing.

Another possible solution could have been the investments of Poste Italiane but it the end this institution did not do a reasonable offer.

Finally, the most interesting solution could have been the precautionary recapitalization and the merger between Banca Popolare di Vicenza and Veneto Banca.

In this way the government could have spent less than the hypothesis adopted, around 5 billion euro, but the ECB asked at least 1 billion of investment from the private sector before allowing the government recapitalization.

This is really difficult to realize because even if it is necessary to respect the rules, these should be connected with the real economy and it is obvious that it is quite impossible to ask such a huge investment to the private sector to save two banks in difficulty. In fact, no investors offered to join in this operation.

For this reason Pier Carlo Padoan tried many times to ask to the BCE a reduction of the required investment but the request has been rejected.

This is a clear example of the scarce coherence between regulation and real economy, rules should be contextualized to the environment.

A better solution

The support of the whole Italian banking system, as Intesa Sanpaolo suggested, could have been a better solution. Although it could have been risky but in this way every bank could have contributed depending on its importance in the banking system.

The problem was that only a few banks were available for this solution.

With this solution Banca Popolare di Vicenza and Veneto Banca could have continued to work independently, the competition in the banking system would not have decreased and now there wouldn’t be the problem of the redundancies.

Moreover, the Venetian economy needed its own banks, these two banking institution are part of the history of the Venetian economic and financial environment, as they contributed to the development of many companies and today is the end of an epoch.

Conclusion

At the present moment, the Italian banking system is reliable and healthy because the most important issues have been solved and the financial markets will probably react well because now there are better future expectations regarding the profitability of this sector.

Intesa Sanpaolo will certainly earn a lot from this acquisition because they bought the health part of the two Venetian Banks for only 1 euro while the riskiest assets will be managed by the government. The market trend can confirm the expectations of the shareholders and it is highly probable that the market share will continue to growth.

The decree law has been approved by the chamber and with a high probability will be approved also in the Senate.

In the matter of the negotiations between Intesa Sanpaolo and the trade unions (Fabi, First Cisl, Fisac Cgil, Uilca , Unisin-Sinfub and Ugl) there will be 4000 voluntary retirements. At least one thousands in the perimeter of the former Veneto Banca and Banca Popolare di Vicenza (completed in one year) and the other three thousands in the perimeter of Intesa Sanpaolo.

Exits will be managed through the Solidarity Fund with a maximum stay of 7 years for workers of Veneto banks and 5 for those of Intesa Sanpaolo. The first exit window is fixed on 1 October 2017. The pre-retirement age in Intesa and the Veneto banks includes all those who mature their pension requirements at December 31, 2022 and December 31, 2024 respectively.

Exits will be voluntary for all banks involved and for those of Veneto banks it has been decided to maintain welfare benefits for supplementary pension, health insurance, good meal and corporate agreements in force up to 30 June 2017.

For trade unions this is one of the most important agreements made in the sector because, as Mauro Bossola explains, “we have avoided layoffs and workers who until yesterday saw hard work compromised, obtaining in their favour guarantees on voluntary exits and even on second-tier bargaining, without leaving the employees of the Intesa Sanpaolo group. ”

Despite this, the question that people should ask themselves is not whether it is better to bail-out a bank with public money or not, but rather if our economy is a sustainable one because there are many other larger problems than the singular banking case.

Surely, the financial bubbles are an example of the inefficiency of our economies. The Dow Jones reached record values and now it is worth three times the capitalization that it reached before the housing bubble.

It is inevitable that another bubble will burst soon, this time generated not by banks, but by social media and students’ loans.

Comparing the balance sheet of the most famous app with their values in the Stock Exchange it is obvious that the markets doesn’t reflect the true value.

Moreover, the competition between students is always fiercer and for this reason they decide to go in the most famous and expensive Universities of the world, even if they cannot afford the University fees. They are convinced that with their work it will be easy to repay loans.

And what about the unemployment rate of our economies? Maybe with the right regulation all problems could be solved or maybe the problems come from the pillars of our economies.

What is sure is that, with the robots there will be soon a new industrial revolution, for surviving we must change our way of thinking and, most of all, how we organize the economic and financial environment.

The structural problems of the Italian and European economy are still numerous in addition to the banking problems. Cyclical crises are hard to contrast, and the whole system needs to be rethought from the point of view of its logic to ensure greater stability, efficiency and, partly, also development.

 

 

 

Matteo Spiller

Poor Credit Policies and Italian Non-Performing Loans

The term Non-Performing Loans (NPLs) refers to impaired loans granted by lenders and represent exposures to entities unable to wholly or partly fulfil their obligations under the contract due to a worsening of the Their economic and financial situation.

According to various Bank of Italy analyses, what has hit the Italian economy most is the recession and the length of credit recovery procedures. The problem of impaired loans is a significant but certainly manageable problem and does not represent an emergency that afflicts all lenders.

As the Governor of the Bank of Italy said in the recent final considerations, this is a generally overstated phenomenon that needs to be properly framed.

Impaired Loans Criteria

To define impaired loans, it is necessary to consider the criteria published in 2013 by the European Banking Authority (EBA) that have been adopted by the Bank of Italy and harmonized at the level of the Single Supervisory Authority (SSM).

In particular, it is possible to further subdivide impaired loans into three sub-groups deriving from more severe situations: non-performing, probable defaults and overdue and/or overdue exposures.

Analysing in detail the three different categories it is possible to define the sufferings as exposures to insolvent subjects or in substantially comparable situations.

Probable defaults are exposures for which the bank considers unlikely that the debtor will fully comply with its contractual obligations without resorting to actions such as collateral security.

Exposures

Expired and/or overdue exposures can be defined as exposures that have expired or exceeded the limits of reliance for more than 90 days and beyond a predefined threshold of relevance.

In December 2016, NPLs amounted to €173 bn and were subdivided into non-performing loans of €81bn, probable defaults of €85bn and expired and/or overdue exposures of €7bn.

Between 2008 and 2014, there was a double recession that had a significant impact on the balance sheets of Italian banks, and in particular on the quality of their loans.

Recession in Italy

The considerable amount of impaired loans is the result of an exceptional recession that has hit the Italian economy in recent years and procedures for recovering bad debts.

In analysing the Italian banking system, it is evident that the recession caused by US subprime mortgages and structured finance products did not affect the financial system as the banks in the territory were under-exposed.

What has been significant has been the general deterioration of the client’s economic and financial situation, which has led to a significant increase in the rate of formation of new impaired loans and their consistency in the balance sheets of banks.

Sovereign Debt Crisis

Following the sovereign debt crisis in 2011, the client’s ability to repay debt has further reduced, resulting in a further increase in the rate of formation of new impaired loans and an increase in their consistency.

Finally, there was a negative relationship between credit growth and impaired loans between 2008 and 2015. This was mainly due to changes in the economic and financial conditions of the companies and the contraction in their demand for credit.

For lenders, the high stock of impaired loans has adverse effects on their financial statements as it tends to reduce revenue and raise the cost of the collection.

Consequently, the emphasis placed at international level on the subject, while being excessive, is not entirely unjustified, and is, in any case, a fact which cannot be considered pragmatically.

Fivefold Increase in Bad Debts

Between 2007 and 2016, the increase in bad debts recorded by significant intermediaries was on average more than 500% and was particularly high among the most virtuous intermediaries. In other words, the increase in consistency has affected almost all the intermediaries with a traditional business model.

Similar considerations can be made even if the analysis was carried out with reference to the trend of the relationship between the total of impaired loans and the loans to customers.

Analysing the situation at the start of the weaker banks’ crisis, i.e. with a ratio of gross impaired loans to total loans below average, it can be seen that they recorded data between two and three percentage points. The weaker ones, that is, with a higher than average ratio, stood at around seven percentage points.

High Non-Performing Loan Ratio

This report has peaked for the least of the weaker between 2014 and 2015, standing at 15-17%. For the latter, it has exceeded 35% between 2015 and 2016.

What can explain this latter negative is the shortcomings in credit policies and management practices.

Nevertheless, one should not overlook the effect that led to the contraction of assets in the evolution of these indicators. Harvesting capacity on markets has dropped dramatically due to the crisis of confidence.

Procedural Slack

In Italy, the time needed to close a bankruptcy is twice the average of other European countries, and this has compounded the effects of the economic crisis and the mismanagement practices of some banks.

If the time of civil justice had been in equal to the average European average, Italian banks would have a ratio between abnormal claims and jobs similar to the average recorded in European territory.

In other words, the problems related to the procedures accentuate during periods of economic recession.

Dealing with Impaired Loans

During the phases of strong growth in impaired loans, it is necessary to strengthen the courts, increase the number of magistrates and change the working methodologies.

If the characteristics and number of these organisms remain unchanged, the number of recovery procedures that will be possible to close in one year will be more or less constant. However, regardless of its causes, they are pushing it on the agenda at the European level.

This problem is daunting and difficult to understand to an outside observer because no measures have been taken to deal with it definitively. Recent steps taken by the government are helping to improve the situation, but are not a definitive solution.

Conclusion

So far it has to be said that the growth of abnormal games was also favoured by the modus operandi and the organisational behaviour of lenders who underestimated the complexity of the credit recovery process.

Matteo Spiller

Why Fintech Startups Are Finally Toppling Big Banks

Due to the unprecedented technological revolution, banks are rethinking the way they offer services. The smartphone has revolutionised people’s lives, and it now has central importance in the financial brokerage services. Giuseppe Vegas, an Italian politician and economist, delineated a system of disintermediating relations between those who demand money and those willing to lend. In a few years, it will be possible to carry out all banking operations through the internet thanks to fintech startups. Peer to peer lending is one example. The underlying idea behind this tool is disintermediation. That is, giving the possibility to private individuals to lend to other private individuals via corporate or social lending sites without going through the traditional channels represented by authorised financial intermediaries under Article 106 of the Single Bank Act, Legislative Decree No. 385 of 1993 (banks, financial companies, etc.).

This type of operation was initially developed in England by the Zopa website, which in 12 years has provided $800m in loans without resorting to bank credit. In this scenario, there are new opportunities, but also risks arising from insufficient regulation.

Keep Up or Be Left Behind

In a few years, all banks will have to rethink their business, which is already unprofitable, especially for Italy compared to other European Union countries. Consob President has repeatedly expressed his view on this. His opinion is that revolution could pose dramatic bankruptcy problems if adequate and rapid adaptation aren’t made. Moreover, fintech’s network moves into a sort of regulatory limbo that promotes action. This represents the exact opposite of what is happening in the traditional credit system that has been the object of regulations many times.

For these reasons, it is imperative to regulate all the new phenomena that are occurring. This must be done gradually and proportionately to accompany the emerging companies in their development through specific rules. If this principle will not be adopted in the regulation and if the same discipline applied to the financial system were applied today in the fintech, it would mark the end of all fintech companies. Shortly, fintech’s new reality with the old financial intermediaries will have to coexist, and this represents a vital challenge for the country and the industry. Any delay could result in a loss of competitiveness.

The Evolution of Fintech

According to Goldman Sachs’s Global Head of Fintech, Jeff Gido, three stages of fintech can be identified.

The first is the stage where startups are offered the services required by customers that were not offered by lenders. This occurred in the aftermath of the financial crisis and saw authorities, new technologies and consumer habits as protagonists. Also, after the financial crisis, the new regulations have made the bank businesses less lucrative, while large cloud and wireless service growth have allowed easier access to the banking world for startups.

In the second phase, banks realised that without innovation they could not survive in the long run due to the threat posed by startup businesses. They realised that fintech companies are trying to enter the core banking business, that is, banking, after having won the PayPal. That’s why they started to innovate using their brand and infrastructure to remain competitive on the market. Recently, Bank of America, Capital One, JP Morgan Chase, U.S. Bancorp and Wells Fargo have created Zelle, an instant payment service. Goldman Sachs has instead launched GS Bank, an online banking service.

Lastly, in the final phase, companies and banks will have to cooperate and not compete to avoid being crushed by tech titans like Google, Amazon and Facebook. Startups have the advantage of being able to innovate much faster than a bank can, but they cannot easily access data held by lending institutions and do not have the necessary financial resources. Banks’ weaknesses, on the other hand, are the main strength of startups, that is being able to capture new generations of clients. For this reason, many incubators are being promoted by the big financial institutions.

In addition, collaboration could be beneficial for both parties, such as cost savings for banks to build new technologies and the possibility to access to more resources for the startup.

Fintech in Europe

At the European level, this subject has already begun to be regulated. Recently, the European Union has amended legislation regulating the payment market allowing startups to access customer data from financial institutions. This legislation will enter into force in 2018, legitimising fintech as a respectable financial competitor to traditional institutions.

According to the Financial Times, most banks are concerned about security and the increase in their responsibility towards customers. The European Commission President Valdis Dombrovskis, on the other hand, believes that this will bring more competition, innovation and consumer benefits. Conquering millennials is the real challenge for lenders for the coming years because they are the main customer of the future due to the generational change.

Conclusion

Nevertheless, according to the American magazine Time, the behaviour of financial institutions concerning young people is still ambiguous. Jamie Dimon, the CEO of J.P. Morgan Chase has repeatedly tried to warn the banking world by saying, “Silicon Valley is coming up with innovative solutions in the thinking for a new consumer audience.” According to research conducted by Viacom, a multinational entertainer, 75% of American millennials would prefer to entrust their savings to companies such as Google or PayPal rather than depositing them at a traditional bank. Despite this, through mobile banking, the situation is changing, but startups continue to innovate faster and not allow banks to recover the gap. To do so, it is necessary to raise awareness among credit institutions on these issues so that they are more willing to invest in fintech. Resources, capabilities and tools are already available, now there is the only need of the willingness to understand the new ways to create value.

Changes could be introduced through mergers, acquisitions and incremental innovations that would help the gradual diffusion of the phenomenon without excessive upheaval. Issues such as turnover and redundancies have to be tackled and banks’ technological delays must be met in order to present more attractive plans for institutional investors.

Matteo Spiller

Tesla Stock: Investing In The Future

The recent performance of Tesla stock suggests that shares in the Silicon Valley company will continue to rise as the market rewards its innovation.

With global warming, fossil fuels and pollution at the centre of many debates, investors are increasingly interested in Elon Musk, who seems to be an entrepreneur with all the answers.

Musk dominates the industry not only due to his visionary ideas, but also because he has created one of the most important brands in the world, which further reinforces its position at the top. Tesla is ranked third, after Apple and Google, in the world’s Top 50 Most Innovative Companies. Consequently, Tesla enjoys near-monopoly status, although rivals are attempting to compete with the company.

Overpriced?

As this chart shows, Tesla already has the fourth largest capitalisation in the world. Elon Musk has revolutionised thinking about the future and in doing so created a company, which in just 10 years has reached a capitalisation equal to Ford Motors.

However, it should be noted that Tesla is a loss-making company and posted a loss of $397 million last year. Some economists think it is a financial bubble, citing the fact that although Ford and Tesla have equal capitalization, the former produced 76 million cars in 2016 while Tesla produced only 84,000, indicating that sales did not justify the exponential rise in share value. Perhaps the market is rewarding the brand and its innovative ideas. On the flipside, if the market loses confidence in Musk there could be dire consequences.

Tesla’s Energy Storage

In addition to these projects, others are equally striking. Examples include the Uber bus, and providing energy for entire cities through renewable energy. This last project was realised on Kauai Island, Hawaii where using 55,000 panels, they are providing the energy needed overnight with the largest storage system ever built. The next challenge is to increase energy storage capacity worldwide.

According to Bloomberg, Tesla has launched 5 different projects in the Pacific on Ta’u in American Samoa, Monolo Island in Fiji, and Kauai and Oahu islands in Hawaii.

Lyndon Rive, president for global sales and service at Tesla’s energy division, recently said it makes perfect sense to convert every island to a solar storage facility. Indeed, island micro-grids currently represent 36 percent of Tesla’s total power storage capacity.

In 2016, a total of 157 megawatt-hours of energy storage capacity has been installed and a further 17 megawatt-hours in the first quarter of 2017.

The Donald

Despite professing his support for fossil fuels, Trump is aware that sooner or later they will be replaced by renewable energy.

As a businessman, he will surely not try to interrupt a process that is already happening. However, he will probably ignore the Paris deal as he seeks to stimulate the American economy and prioritise energy jobs over environmental concerns. The US has invested heavily in oil reserves and the increase in renewable energy could cause billions of losses for the nation.

From an economic point of view, Trump will try to milk the economic benefit of these resources before they lose their value as the energy revolution takes place. He wants to remove regulation and bureaucracy so as to reduce energy costs. In addition, environmental constraints and climate policies that are seen as slowing the economy will be removed as he seeks to engage in energy policies that cut costs and boost energy security. The Environmental Protection Agency will be refocused on the core mission of protecting air and water.

Above all, Trump has set the goal of achieving energy self-sufficiency and no longer depending on OPEC or hostile nations.

Matteo Spiller

Are Private Companies Ushering In An Age Of Guided Democracy?

The term ‘democracy’ refers to the system of government in which sovereignty is exercised, directly or indirectly, by all citizens who resort to a vote. But if anyone could control this consensus, it could of course no longer be called a democracy.

It would probably be called Guided Democracy, as defined by Nigel Oakes, who developed the secret weapon of Donald Trump – a democracy governed and managed by those who can manipulate consensus.

“Not everyone knows how to think big but almost everyone is attracted to who does it. That’s why a bit of hyperbole never hurts … […] I call it ‘hyperbole truthful’. It is an innocent form of exaggeration – and even more effective than promotion. ”

Donald Trump, The Art of the Deal

The Age of Guided Democracy?

This quote comes from Trump’s best-seller. The techniques used during Trump’s election campaign have been developed over recent decades by Nigel Oakes, a British citizen that define himself “a pioneer in the field of influence and soft energy”. These methods have not only had civil implications, but also military implications. They have been implemented by the Pentagon, NATO and ministries of different nations.

According to some Sole 24 Ore surveys, Nigel Oakes has been an extraordinary seller in recent decades and his company (Cambridge Analytica) has earned extraordinary profits. Cambridge Analytica was created by SCL Group (Strategic Communication Laboratories), whose techniques have been used in the past in the developing world to study and manipulate public opinion. For providing insight into the thinking of the audience it used  “psy-ops”, one of the methods developed.

SCL affirms that it has influenced elections in many countries, but it asserts that these techniques have been approved by the agencies of the United Kingdom and United States. Cambridge Analytica calls itself a behavioural research and strategic business communication company, defined as “a global election management agency”. They try to combine data mining, data analysis and strategic communication regarding the electoral process.

It was founded in 2013 by the billionaire family of Robert Mercer. In 2015 it started to work for Ted Cruz’s presidential campaign but the results wasn’t the expected one. In 2016 it decided to work on behalf of the pro-Brexit campaign, and for Trump’s campaign, receiving $ 16 million from the now-President. According to The Guardian, the Trump team has signed two more contracts with Cambridge Analytica. The first is to negotiate the image and consent to Trump’s administration, and the second to handle the private business of the President.

The Limit of Legality

What turns out to be really interesting is that the psychology and technology behind these techniques are at the limit of legality. They can be considered as misleading advertising in certain aspects, because they do not fully respect the privacy of consumers. In a time like this, where legislation is struggling to keep pace with social media and technology, it is very difficult to determine what the limits that should be imposed to protect citizens’ rights.

But how does manipulation of consensus work? This technique is based on Big Data. Though this is a broad term, it can mostly be boiled down to four aspects which are relevant here: volume, speed, variety and verity.

The first feature refers to the vast amount of information, particularly that which is stored through the Cloud and virtualisation. The second term refers to high speeds of data generation. Variety indicates the millions of data types that can be analysed. Finally, the last feature refers to the high reliability of these information.

Through these data, people are “catalogued” – not just regarding their preferences but psychological tendencies too. Through these data it is possible to influence, involve and anticipate an individual’s decisions.

The next step is the segmentation of citizens, and people who have similar traits are put together – a sort of market segmentation. The last step of this process is the persuasive communication that induces certain thoughts, feelings, emotions and, consequently, opinions and decisions.

A Murky Future

In this epoch, the epoch of social media, this strategy could not find a more fertile period. But, as Michal Kosinski, a social scientist that studies organisational behaviour at the business school of Sandford, argues: “there’s a thin line between convincing people and manipulating them.”

To go even further: Simon Moores, an expert on cybersecurity, argues: “Behavioural modelling involving big-data analytics has arguably passed an inflection point, thanks to the growth of predictive analytics, algorithms and big data-mining businesses you can now look forward to a future that’s made up of equal parts Orwell, Kafka, and Huxley.”

It seems that George Orwell’s prophecy is being accomplished. The doomsayers would seem relatively few, but it is important to bear in mind that such a thing was unimaginable in the past.

Matteo Spiller

The Italian Banking System: Have The New Reforms Worked?

In recent years, the Italian banking system has been subject to numerous reforms. The main ones are the reform of cooperative credit banks, the reform of popular banks, and the founding of bank foundations. In addition, the Guarantee on Securitization Securities (GACS) mechanism and a system for speeding up the recovery of claims have been introduced. These measures have strengthened and renewed the Italian banking system.

Government Intervention

The government has intervened in this discipline with three objectives: consolidating the banking system, reducing credit recovery times and setting new funding channels for banks. For the development of this latter goal, IVASS and the Bank of Italy have issued rules that allow new players to enter the credit market. Lastly, no deposit withholding is required on medium to long-term loans to all investors located in the European Union.

According to the analysis of the Ministry of Economy and Finance, the Italian banking system is solid and has been able to adapt to changes and withstand the spread of the financial crisis as it is unfurled in both the real estate sector and derivative financial instruments markets in other countries. In other words, it has demonstrated good resilience.

Bad Debt and Fragmentation

Despite this, the prolonged and profound financial crisis has worsened the amount of bad debt on bank balance sheets. This is the main problem facing Italian banks. However, it must be borne in mind that the coverage rates guaranteed by debtors are much higher than other EU countries.

Another problem is the excessive fragmentation and a high number of small banking entities. The reforms introduced to consolidate the banking system aim to facilitate the aggregation of small banking entities, so they are stronger and more transparent when supporting families and businesses.

To reduce the recovery time of claims, the telematic civil procedure and the business courts have been implemented to help bankruptcy reforms. All these interventions also favoured the re-valuation of impaired loans and their sale on the market.

What Next for the Italian Banking System?

In 2017, the total of the amount of bad debt is estimated to reach the pre-crisis level according to the Abi-Cerved outlook that was published in May 2016. One of the factors that are favouring this process is the economic recovery.

In the fourth quarter of 2015, gross impaired loans declined by €2bn for the first time since 2008, according to Bank of Italy estimates. At present, they amount to €360bn, whereas bad loans amount to €200bn, while the remaining €160bn corresponds to exposures where the counterparty is able to repay.

Also, most banks have already made the write-downs and allocations required in the financial statements. Guarantees and hedges of €122bn were provided for net debt of €122bn.

The reforms are therefore contributing to the improvement of the index that measures the profitability of the Italian system, in fact, this increased from 33.2 in 2014 to 47.8 in 2017. This analysis was carried out by the Italian Association of Foreign Banks and Censis on a panel composed of managers of multinational companies, law firms, qualified foreign press members and institutional investors.

Matteo Spiller

La globalizzazione e il rallentamento del commercio globale

#ROADTOINVEF

 

L’economia globale sembra ormai aver intrapreso un percorso accidentato, e la globalizzazione è sempre di più il capro espiatorio della crisi dei mercati.

 

Una visione storica d’insieme è stata oggetto di un report realizzato da Credit Suisse: secondo gli analisti l’economia mondiale ha attraversato due importanti ondate di globalizzazione. La prima iniziò nel 1870, con la rivoluzione industriale che accompagnò una forte crescita del commercio derivante dall’apertura del canale di Suez, fino allo scoppio della prima Guerra mondiale. La seconda ha avuto luogo con la caduta del muro di Berlino (1989), la fine della Guerra fredda, il processo di integrazione europea e l’affermazione della Cina come potenza economica e commerciale. Questa seconda ondata di globalizzazione ha subito una battuta d’arresto con la crisi finanziaria del 2008/2009, che ha causato un brusco stop alla crescita del commercio globale, gelando la crescita degli scambi, e il tutto si è intensificato lo scorso anno con il referendum sulla Brexit e la vittoria di Trump alle presidenziali americane. Nel 2016 gli scambi sono cresciuti addirittura meno dell’economia (+2,2%): è la prima volta che succede dal 2001 e la seconda dal 1982.

 

Secondo il Fondo Monetario Internazionale, la mancata conclusione di nuovi accordi commerciali e la ripresa del protezionismo di alcuni leader politici, insieme alla contrazione delle catene di fornitura e distribuzione delle merci, hanno sottratto alla crescita reale degli scambi mondiali 1,75 punti percentuali all’anno a partire dal 2012. “Evitare misure protezionistiche e rivitalizzare la liberalizzazione degli scambi – scrive l’Fmi – darebbe impulso al commercio di beni e servizi e quindi a cascata all’intera attività economica”.

 

Il premio Nobel per l’economia del 2015 Angus Deaton, sostiene in un’intervista che è sbagliato e, soprattutto, pericoloso considerare la globalizzazione come il capro espiatorio dell’attuale decrescita dell’economia mondiale. Se, infatti, si guarda anche a una prospettiva di lungo periodo, non si possono non evidenziare gli straordinari risultati che la crescita economica ha prodotto in tutto il mondo: riduzione della povertà globale per un miliardo di persone, crescita del reddito, maggiori aspettative di vita, migliori condizioni di salute e più elevati livelli di istruzione.

 

Ma oggi nessun leader politico globale è disposto a difendere la globalizzazione. Non lo è la nuova premier britannica Theresa May e non lo è certamente Donald Trump, che ha tra i suoi punti più chiari la rinegoziazione del North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta), ossia l’accordo di libero scambio che coinvolge Stati Uniti, Canada e Messico, e il ritiro dalla Trans-Pacific Partnership (Tpp): uno dei primi atti firmati dal neo presidente americano è stata infatti la firma di un ordine esecutivo per fare uscire gli Stati Uniti dal Tpp, l’accordo commerciale che coinvolge 12 economie tra le due sponde del Pacifico.

 

E se questo sarà il trend dominante nei prossimi anni, la globalizzazione è destinata a cambiare faccia e questo processo potrebbe avere conseguenze importanti sul nostro futuro.

 

Quali sono gli scenari futuri più probabili?

 

Cercheremo di trovare la risposta durante Invenicement Economic Forum, dove esperti internazionali, esponenti del mondo accademico e figure provenienti dal mondo del business potranno confrontarsi liberamente su questa tematica, insieme agli studenti. Seguiteci per aggiornamenti riguardo l’INVEF nella nostra pagina Facebook, e ci vediamo il 6 aprile presso il Campus San Giobbe.

Giacomo Chinellato

 

#ROADTOINVEF

Vicenza e Veneto Banca verso la proroga

‘’Vicenza e Veneto Banca verso la proroga’’ – ‘’sarà l’Antitrust europeo a decidere se le banche sono meritevoli della ricapitalizzazione precauzionale’’ –  ‘’l’ipotesi di fusione è sempre meno scontata’’

(Il Sole 24 Ore)

‘’Veneto Banca e Pop Vicenza in bilico tra ricapitalizzazione e Bail in’’ ‘’BCE: chiusura di alcune banche necessaria’’

(Wall Street Italia)

Le notizie che arrivano ogni giorno ai lettori sono moltissime e a volte molto diverse fra loro. Spesso i giornali cercano solo di fare notizia e di conseguenza danno un’immagine sbagliata di ciò che sta succedendo.

A livello europeo stanno lavorando per risolvere tutte le problematiche riguardanti il settore bancario attraverso la modifica delle normative (Basilea III, Solvency I) ma anche con nuovi criteri per stabilire i requisiti patrimoniali e la valutazione del rischio[1]. Un esempio di nuovi requisiti per tenere sotto controllo il rischio di liquidità sono: l’indice di copertura della liquidità (Liquidity coverage ratio – LCR) e l’indice di provvista stabile netta (Net stable funding ratio – NSFR). Il primo indice è dato dalla divisione tra le attività liquide di elevata qualità e i deflussi di cassa netti nei successivi 30 giorni. Il secondo invece, è il risultato della divisione tra l’ammontare disponibile di provvista stabile e l’ammontare obbligatorio di provvista stabile. E’ previsto che il requisito in termini di NSFR entri in vigore entro il 1° gennaio 2018.

Da un lato la BCE sta cercando di far ripartire l’economia spingendo le banche ad erogare maggiori prestiti, ma dall’altro lato quest’ultime sono poste sotto sempre maggiori restrizioni patrimoniali e di rischio che si riflettono sull’erogazione dei prestiti.

Recentemente con l’operazione Tltro-2 le banche italiane hanno incamerato 62,8 miliardi[2] nonostante le numerose opinioni contrarie alla concessione di ulteriori finanziamenti.

Spesso le banche vengono viste come degli strumenti per far arricchire le solite persone con denaro pubblico, ma in realtà non è sempre così. Esse infatti rappresentano un anello fondamentale per la nostra economia e senza il loro aiuto saremmo ancora nella recessione.

A livello europeo si è di fronte ad un dilemma, da un lato non si può far fallire una banca perché il danno macroeconomico sarebbe superiore di almeno 20/40 volte il denaro necessario per ripianare le perdite, ma dall’altro lato ci si scontra con la politica dell’austerity e con il liberalismo. Insomma, gli aiuti di stato non sono permessi perché falserebbero la libera concorrenza ed in inoltre si vuole fare in modo che i dirigenti ed i manager non continuino a ricevere premi milionari nonostante la disastrosa gestione.

L’opinione pubblica si è mossa molto a tal proposito e le notizie dei giornali non hanno fatto altro che far crescere il mal contento rappresentando un quadro sbagliato e facendo leva su ciò che sta più a cuore ai cittadini in tempo di crisi. Il loro denaro.

I giornali non spiegano dell’interdipendenza finanziaria, le esposizioni finanziarie e i legami che hanno le banche con l’economia reale. Esse possono essere considerate come l’anello che collega il mondo finanziario all’economia reale. Se uno di questi anelli si dovesse spezzare il danno che ne deriverebbe a tutto il sistema sarebbe enorme. Soprattutto in un periodo in cui la liquidità è diventata lo strumento finanziario più importante dopo il Credit Crunch.

La storia può testimoniare questa realtà, il caso Lehman Brother ci ha insegnato molto.

Nonostante ciò non è neanche giusto che il denaro pubblico venga utilizzato (in una piccola parte) a finanziare i compensi dei manager. Per questo motivo le normative stanno cambiando, ma come si sa, il modo per raggirare la legge lo si trova sempre. Soprattutto a livello finanziario[3].

Tornando alla questione delle banche venete, gli interessi in gioco sono troppi. Troppi azionisti, troppi clienti, troppa realtà territoriale e troppe esposizioni da parte di altre banche.

Atlante ha investito miliardi e probabilmente verranno erogate altre risorse. In questo schema si possono osservare le esposizioni delle banche nei confronti di Veneto Banca e Popolare di Vicenza.

Principali Sottoscrittori di Atlante

L’ipotesi di liquidazione comporterebbe miliardi di perdite e migliaia di posti di lavoro andrebbero in fumo danneggiando l’intero territorio. Inoltre, difficilmente Penati permetterà che l’investimento di Atlante venga azzerato e con esso tutti gli interessi dei finanziatori.

Il fabbisogno di 5 miliardi circa per ristabilire i parametri di sicurezza patrimoniale non sono nulla se confrontati con i miliardi necessari per ammortizzare il colpo che ne deriverebbe a livello macroeconomico.

Ovviamente questi due istituti non possono essere mantenuti con risorse pubbliche per sempre, ma bisogna dargli la possibilità di tornare ad essere competitivi.

La strada che verrà scelta è la fusione e la ricapitalizzazione precauzionale (o una forma simile di aiuto di stato volto a raggirare il divieto degli aiuti di stato).

Ciò che non sta permettendo di ristabilire la fiducia è l’informazione pubblica. Notizie su notizie e dichiarazioni che non vengono contestualizzate o che vengono modificate attraverso il linguaggio per creare scalpore. Possono sembrare poco importanti le notizie dei giornali ma in realtà non lo sono perché vanno ad incidere sulla FIDUCIA, asset di fondamentale importanza per una banca.

Ciò può essere testimoniato dal caso della Northern Rock e dalla dichiarazione che fece il redattore capo dell’area economica della British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) Robert Peston.

Un estratto del libro “Risk management e istituzioni finanziarie” di John C. Hull’

Certo l’informazione deve essere tutelata, ma essa non può andare ad influire così prepotentemente sulla situazione di una banca o di una istituzione perché in questo modo non sta danneggiando solo la banca in questione ma anche l’intera economia reale. Una riforma anche dal punto di vista della comunicazione sarebbe auspicabile. Nel caso delle due Banche Venete, si è creato un vero e proprio buco nero di liquidità dovuto all’imposizione della BCE di bloccare la riserva acquisto azioni proprie. Le notizie hanno comportato il fenomeno dello herd behaviors, ovvero un comportamento a mò di gregge. In queste situazioni tutti vogliono effettuare simultaneamente lo stesso tipo di negoziazione. Ciò ha comportato irreversibilmente un liquidity black holes. In questo caso dovuto ad un crowded exits. Se ciò fosse successo a Unicredit, Intesa o a qualsiasi altra banca, sarebbe riuscita a ristabilire la situazione soltanto con le proprie forze? Guardando al passato ed in particolare ad altri casi simili la risposta sarebbe no.

Quando avverrà la fusione e l’intervento pubblico sarà stato effettuato, il rischio con cui ci si dovrà confrontare è la stessa spirale che ha coinvolto la Northern Rock. Se non si troverà una soluzione o se non si permetterà alla nuova banca di tornare ad essere competitiva, dopo gli svariati miliardi necessari per ricapitalizzarla e per ripianare le perdite (inferiori al danno macroeconomico derivante da un’ipotesi di bail in), lo Stato sarò costretto a cedere la nuova banca per un importo di gran lunga inferiore rispetto al capitale investito.

Il Bail in è uno strumento che serve per intimorire i manager ed i dirigenti, ma che sarà applicato molto difficilmente a meno che non venga contestualmente attuato un piano che vada ad ammortizzare i danni che ne deriverebbero all’economia da una ipotesi di liquidazione, come la riallocazione dei dipendenti in altre istituzioni.

L’Unione Europea ed in particolare la BCE sta facendo moltissimo per rilanciare l’economia e per trovare una soluzione a queste problematiche. La crisi dei mutui subprime è stata una delle più gravi crisi se non quella di maggiore entità. Sicuramente, come ha affermato Mario Draghi: ‘’l’euro ci ha salvati dalla crisi’’, senza tutte le istituzioni e gli organismi che vigilano e studiano l’andamento dell’economia in questo momento avremmo un debito pubblico che non saremmo in grado di restituire.

Nonostante ciò, i problemi strutturali della nostra economia sono ancora molti, le crisi cicliche sono difficilmente contrastabili e tutto il sistema ha bisogno di essere ripensato dal punto di vista della sua logica per garantire maggiore stabilità, efficienza e in parte anche sviluppo. (Recentemente alcuni economisti hanno confutato la necessità di avere perennemente un’economia in crescita).

Matteo Spiller


[1] Risk Management e istituzioni finanziarie, John C. Hull

[2] Il Sole 24 Ore

[3] Risk Management e istituzioni finanziarie, John C. Hull

Il crollo di Deutsche Bank: problemi e futuro della banca tedesca

Il 2016 è stato sicuramente uno degli anni più duri per il colosso bancario tedesco. Le sue azioni quotate a Francoforte hanno perso più del 50% da inizio anno e la capitalizzazione della banca è scesa da 30 a 16 miliardi di euro. Ecco le 3 principali domande (con risposta) per capire cosa sta succedendo.

 

Qual è il problema attuale della banca?

 

Al momento, l’istituto è immerso in una tempesta legale dovuta alla richiesta delle autorità Usa di un risarcimento di 14 miliardi di dollari per la vendita di obbligazioni garantite dai mutui sub-prime, il cui collasso durante la crisi finanziaria del 2008 ha trasformato tali finanziamenti “tossici” in carta straccia. Deutsche Bank nel 2007 era tra gli emittenti più prolifici di questi titoli tossici e la colpa che il Dipartimento di Giustizia americano imputa alla banca è di non aver informato adeguatamente la clientela e il mercato della loro rischiosità.

Ora secondo indiscrezioni gli Usa potrebbero ridimensionare la richiesta a 5,54 miliardi, ma comunque la notizia sopracitata ha portato il titolo a crollare a minimi storici nel mese di Settembre, scivolando per la prima volta in assoluto sotto l’importante soglia psicologica di 10 euro, e scatenando il panico a livello globale. Finché non si arriverà a un’intesa, l’incognita della multa americana continuerà a pesare sulla banca tedesca.

Un successivo crollo è arrivato in seguito alle concordanti indiscrezioni di stampa secondo cui un crescente numero di investitori rilevanti e fondi speculativi americani, soprattutto hedge fund, avrebbero deciso di ridurre o chiudere le loro rispettive esposizioni sulla banca, ritirando i loro fondi (Bloomberg ha riportato che sono circa 10 gli hedge fund che stanno attaccando Deutsche Bank).

 

figura-1

Fig.1 – Deutche Bank’s Share Price | Source: Bloomberg

 

Chiusa la vicenda americana, quindi, Deutsche Bank è a posto?

 

No, per niente. Vi sono sicuramente altri due grossi problemi per DB. Il primo è un problema di derivati, ossia quegli strumenti finanziari generalmente tossici o comunque altamente strutturati il cui valore viene attribuito direttamente dalla stessa banca con ampio margine di discrezionalità, in quanto il prezzo dei suddetti si basa sul valore di mercato di un altro strumento finanziario, definito sottostante, come possono esserlo tassi d’interesse o quotazioni di titoli. Una voce, dunque, di difficile valutazione contabile che mette in fuga gli investitori. L’enorme esposizione a derivati dell’istituto, stimata dalla Banca dei Regolamenti internazionali come superiore ai 50 mila miliardi di dollari, superiore a 15 volte il Pil tedesco, lo rende estremamente vulnerabile. Per questo motivo il Fondo Monetario Internazionale ha considerato potenzialmente DB la prima fonte di choc esterni per il sistema finanziario: in dettaglio, il FMI ha dichiarato che Deutsche è “il più rilevante contribuente netto ai rischi sistemici tra le banche di rilevanza sistemica globale, seguita da Hsbc e Credit Suisse”.

 

figura-2

Fig. 2 – Globally Systemically Important Banks (GSIBs) | Source: IMF – “Germany Financial Sector Assessment Program”

 

Infine un problema che DB condivide con le banche europee: la redditività. I bassi tassi d’interesse e soprattutto i tassi negativi applicati ai depositi delle banche presso la Bce comprimono i margini d’interesse e quindi la capacità di fare ricavi degli istituti di credito, ma Mario Draghi ha respinto tali accuse affermando che la banche europee dovrebbero cambiare radicalmente il modello di business. Sostiene il n.1 della Bce che il più importante fattore che incide sulla redditività non è la politica di bassi tassi d’interesse ma il fatto che l’area euro ha troppe banche, troppe filiali, troppi sportelli, una mattonata di costi fissi i quali con l’avvento della tecnologia che permette di operare da casa incidono inutilmente sul bilancio. Solo nel primo trimestre del 2016 i ricavi aggregati del settore in Europa sono scesi del 9,8% sul primo trimestre del 2015 e i profitti in media hanno subito un calo del 27% (quasi il triplo degli Usa).

 

C’è il rischio che Deutsche sia la Lehman europea?

 

Se c’è è un rischio molto remoto. La banca è ben più sviluppata di quanto fosse Lehman Brothers, ha quasi 2mila miliardi di asset, è molto interconnessa a livello globale e vista la sua indiscutibile rilevanza sistemica, in casi estremi con ogni probabilità la Germania interverrebbe.

Ma la posizione dichiarata di Angela Merkel di non bail out, ossia di non correre in soccorso della banca con un aiuto statale, pur essendo forse una posizione di principio date le nuove regole di bali in di inizio anno e la linea dura che la cancelliera ha avuto con Monte dei Paschi, ha aumentato l’incertezza. Si aspettano news da Berlino.

Notizia non rassicurante è invece l’impennata del Credit Default Swap di Deutsche Bank, ovvero il derivato che indica la possibilità di fallimento della banca.

 

figura-3

Fig. 3 – Deutsche Bank 5-year CDS | Source: Thomson Reuters Datastream

 

La storia è ancora lunga, tutti siamo coscienti delle tremendi lacune che si trovano nel bilancio di DB, ma sappiamo anche che far fallire DB significherebbe avere una Lehman elevata al quadrato, motivo per cui il fallimento è ancora molto lontano.

Giacomo Chinellato


Biblografia

 

[1] Hedge funds pull business from Deutsche Bank – James Shotter, Martin Arnold and Laura Noonan
[2] Understanding Deutsche Bank’s $47 Trillion Derivatives Book – Mike Bird
[3] ECB President Says Crowded Banking Sector Hurts Profits – Todd Buell
[4] No way Merkel can bail out Deutsche Bank, German media say – CNBC
[5] Germany, Financial Sector Assement Program – IMF