Germany's financial regulator BaFin has warned that the toxic debts of the country's banks will blow up "like a grenade" unless they take advantage of the government's bad bank plans to prepare for the next phase of the crisis.
Jochen Sanio, BaFin's president, said the danger is a series of "brutal" downgrades of mortgage securities by the rating agencies, which would eat into the depleted capital reserves of the banks and cause broader stress across the credit system. "We must make the banks immune against the changes in ratings," he said.
The markets will "kill" banks that try to go it alone without state protection, warning that banks have €200bn (£176bn) of bad debts on their books. "We are pretty sure that within a month or two our banks will feel the full force of the sharpest recession ever on their credit portfolios," he said, speaking after the release of BaFin's annual report last week.
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Crisis deals Germany worst blow in 40 years :
By Agence France Presse (AFP) Saturday, May 16, 2009 - Powered by FRANKFURT: The global recession has struck exporting giant Germany the biggest blow since records began 40 years ago, with data on Friday showing a first-quarter output slump of 3.8 percent. The quarter-on-quarter contraction in Europe's biggest economy, accounting for a third of eurozone output, was even steeper than the 2.2-percent fall recorded in the final three months of 2008, the statistics office said.
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