Just a few hours ago, I posted an article about European toxic asset exposure based on a Telegraph article. The crux of the Telegraph piece was that European banks have a shed load of bad debt on their books. A secret European Commission document allegedly put the exposure of the European banks to 'toxic' assets at £16.3 trillion, which is reported to represent 44% of total European bank assets (this equates to a total asset base of $53 trillion assuming an exchange rate of 1.4355 for GDP/USD). Leaving aside the question of just what qualifies as a dodgy or toxic credit, it bears understanding just how large (and leveraged) European banks are.
Below is a list of the largest European banks by assets at the end of 2007. You should notice RBS is so large in relation to the UK economy t...
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Edward Harrison is the founder of Credit Writedowns and a former career diplomat, investment banker and technology executive with over twenty five years of business experience. He has also been a regular economic and financial commentator in print and on television for the past decade. He speaks six languages and reads another five, skills he uses to provide a more global perspective. Edward holds an MBA in Finance from Columbia University and a BA in Economics from Dartmouth College.