Credit Dries Up for Spanish Banks

Spain may be required to accept a bailout soon as the country’s Treasury Minister told Spanish radio listeners today that it’s “technically impossible” for Spain to bail itself out. Spanish banks are suffering from an overload of debt from the country’s bursting housing bubble that was fueled by cheap interest rates after Spain joined the eurozone. Bond yields on Spanish sovereign debt have tipped near the 7% mark that signals markets are anticipating a default, and have been trading at 5.48% premium to safe-haven German bonds, indicating reluctance to loan the government more and more money. Spain will attempt to issue $2 billion more euros in debt on Thursday, which will be a test of market sentiment.

Famed hedge fund manager George Soros estimates Europe has three months to address the crisis. “The heavily indebted countries need relief on their financing costs. There are various ways to provide it but they all need the active support of the Bundesbank and the German government,” Soros said. “Nothing can be done without German support.” While he does not expect a full-blown collapse of the euro, Soros expects Germany’s economy to weaken and the resolve of German citizens to soften to the point that they will be increasingly resistant to assist with further bailouts. Soros, a noted gold bug, rose to fame in the early 1990’s by betting against the British pound, earning him the title, “The Man Who Broke the Bank of England.”

At 5 p.m. (EDT), the APMEX Precious Metals spot prices were:

  • Gold, $1,617.60, Up $4.20.
  • Silver, $28.57, Up $0.48.
  • Platinum, $1,437.20, Up $7.90.
  • Palladium, $624.30, Up $10.30.
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