Fragile International Banks

The international banking system is at great risk in the current environment.

This week Fortis shareholders rejected a takeover offer. This puts the whole country of Beligium at risk. Fortis’ assets are more than 200% of the GDP of Beligium.

I know that Iceland gets a lot of press — but that country is tiny.

If you combine UBS and CS, they represent 700% of Swiss GDP. RBS assets are about 140% of U.K. GDP.

Fortunately, the U.S. is no where near as exposed. The largest banks assets, like Bank of America and Citigroup, each represent less than 20% of U.S. GDP.

My BNN interview explores these issues in more detail. I argue that no bank is safe in today’s environment. Previously thought of safe assets are not necessarily safe.

Watch BNN Interview.

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