zerohedge.com / by Tyler Durden / Mar 6, 2017 12:13 PM
While debates over the significance of the Eurosystem’s TARGET2 imbalances may have faded into the background now that sovereign yields in the Eurozone remains broadly backstopped by the ECB’s debt monetization generosity, and fears about an imminent European breakdown fall along the lines of populist votes more than concerns about lack of funding, the BIS has finally chimed in with the truth about what the TARGET2 number really showed.
As a reminder, in mid 2012, financial pundits “discovered” the gaping imbalances building up within the Eurozone, as a result of a huge increase in TARGET2 claims at the Bundesbank, offset by a matched surge in liabilities across the European periphery, most notably Italy and Spain.
At the time, most conventional economists and analysts, especially those based in Europe, and certainly the ECB, said to ignore the divergence as it was irrelevant. Others, such as Hans Werner Sinn, and this site, warned that TARGET2 is a “less than thinly veiled bailout for Europe’s periphery” as the stealth fund flow amounted to a financing of peripheral obligations, illegal under European rules.
Then, at the end of January, it was none other than Mario Draghi who, almost 5 years later, made the first tacit admission that the skeptics were right when he explained to Italian lawmakers that a country could leave the euro zone but only first it would need to settle its debts with the bloc’s TARGET2 (T2) payments system.
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