Its M.A.D. (Mutually Assured Destruction) to not do so. The UK is the centre of the world's Ponzi Debt Bubble.
Psssst France: Here Is Why You May Want To Cool It With The Britain Bashing - The UK's 950% Debt To GDP
While certainly humorous, entertaining and very, very childish, the recent war of words between France and Britain has the potential to become the worst thing to ever happen to Europe. Actually, make that the world and modern civilization. Why? Because while we sympathize with England, and are stunned by the immature petulant response from France and its head banker Christian Noyer to the threat of an imminent S&P downgrade of its overblown AAA rating, the truth is that France is actually 100% correct in telling the world to shift its attention from France and to Britain. So why is this bad. Because as the chart below shows, if there is anything the global financial system needs, is for the rating agencies, bond vigilantes, and lastly, general public itself, to realize that the UK's consolidated debt (non-financial, financial, government and household) to GDP is... just under 1000%.
That's right: the UK debt, when one adds to its more tenable sovereign debt tranche all the other debt carried on UK books (and thus making the transfer of private debt to the public balance sheet impossible), is nearly ten times greater than the country's GDP. To call that "game over" is an insult to game overs everywhere.
So here's the bottom line: France should quietly and happily accept a downgrade, because the worst that could happen would be a few big French banks collapsing, and that's it. If, on the other hand, the UK becomes the center of attention (recall this is the same UK that allows unlimited rehypothecation of worthless assets, and the same UK that unleashed the juggernaut known as AIG-FP's Joe Cassano - after all there is a reason why the UK has 600% its GDP in financial liabilities - financial innovation always goes there where it is least regulated), then this island, which far more so than the US is the true center of the global banking ponzi scheme, will suddenly find itself at the mercy of the market.
At that point the only question is whether the vigilantes will dare to take down the UK, as said take down will result in an implosion in the very fabric of modern finance, much more so than what even a full collapse of France could ever achieve, or if due to the certain Mutual Assured Destruction that would follow a coordinated UK onslaught, the market will simply very quietly proceed to ignore the elephant in the room.
PS Australian Bank Exposure to Europe?
Australian Banks Given One Week To Prepare For European "Meltdown"
Not prepare for a meltdown within a week but report on preparation and response scenarios if (when?!) Europe goes into financial meltdown.
The issue isn't losing $87.2B, its about a credit freeze bringing our Antepodean Ponzi scheme to an end and thats about $600B in nett overseas debt the banks are exposed to.
- Australian Prudential Regulation Authority envision worst-case scenario of 12% unemployment, 30% drop in house prices, 40% fall in commercial property values, AFR says
- Banks will assume that write-offs, other mitigation measures are unavailable; later stress tests might allow for such steps, AFR says
- Australia’s banks have A$87.2b of exposure to Europe, or 2.7% of assets, with A$74.6b of it mostly tied to bank borrowers in France, Germany, Netherlands, AFR says, citing RBA statistics
Hmmm 2012 could be quite a year.