After weeks of being beaten around the ears by the Obama administration, the IMF, the gathered Eurozone Finance Ministers, and the London-run international banking community, the Spanish government of Mariano Rajoy today finally agreed to "request" a bailout package from the EFSF (or the soon-to-be-created ESM), to the tune of some EU100 billion. The money will be lent to Spain's FROB bank bailout facility, which in turn will use it to try to stop the massive run on Spain's bankrupt banks.
Desperately trying to avoid the kind of bloody conditionalities which the IMF-EU-ECB Troika have imposed on Greece, Spanish Economy Minister Luis de Guindos told the press after the Eurogroup meeting of Eurozone finance ministers today: "This has nothing to do at all with an absolute bailout. It is financial support aimed and given to the Spanish bailout fund and the Spanish bailout fund will inject this capital to those Spanish institutions that require it as stated by the IMF."
The British cabal were desperate to get Spain to cave in this weekend. As the New York Times put it, the Spanish announcement came "following increasingly desperate calls from world leaders to accept the money before Greek elections next week, that they fear could cause havoc in the markets." Spain's announcement was met with plaudits from the IMF, the EU bureaucracy, and of course U.S. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner—no newcomer to hyperinflationary bailouts.
The EU100 billion figure is of course meaningless in the face of the size of the actual blowout underway. The Financial Times earlier this week estimated that the amount required to bail out the Spanish banks was probably closer to EU475 billion. EIR's conservative estimate is in the EU600-700 billion range.
Even before De Guindos had finished crying "uncle," the markets escalated the attack on Spain. Moody's rating agency said the agreement will probably spur further downgrades of Spain's credit rating. And Bloomberg quoted investment banker Nicholas Spiro stating: "Market reaction is unlikely to be favorable, given that the bailout places even more strain on Spain's creditworthiness."