Wednesday, December 02, 2009

European Banks Growing Bigger. ~wild capitalism failing. Euro governments provided $5.3 trillion of aid to banks in 08 and 09.

15 European banks now have assets larger than their home economies. Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc’s assets ballooned 2,914 % in the 10 years through 08 as it made acquisitions, boosted trading and increased lending.

Edinburgh- based RBS spent $140 billion on takeovers during the period. that triggered the world’s biggest bank bailout- 45.5 billion-pound rescue of RBS.

Paris-based BNP Paribas, the world’s biggest bank by assets, increased its balance sheet by 59 percent to 2.29 trillion euros ($3.5 trillion)London-based Barclays jumped 55 percent to 1.55 trillion pounds ($2.6 trillion), or 108 percent of U.K. GDP.

Santander’s rose 30 percent to 1.08 trillion euros, about the size of Spain’s GDP.Britain, with an economy one-fifth the size of the U.S.’s, faces widening budget deficits, rising unemployment and increased taxes after four bank bailouts, including the 45.5 billion-pound rescue of RBS.”

Zurich-based UBS AG has reported 57.5 billion Swiss francs ($57.8 billion) of losses and writedowns since the credit crisis began, the most in Europe, and received a 6 billion-franc bailout from the Swiss government. The bank has reduced its assets by 37 percent since the start of 2007..

The five biggest U.S. lenders -- Bank of America Corp., JPMorgan Chase & Co., Citigroup Inc., Wells Fargo & Co. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. -- held $8.3 trillion in assets as of Sept. 30, an amount equal to about 60 percent of GDP and more than three times the $2.5 trillion in assets held by the top five financial companies in 1999.

European Banks Growing Bigger ‘Sowing the Seeds’ of Next Crisis -

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