“We lost because we didn’t win.”

Posted on April 04, 2013 | , , ,

This quote came from a world famous footballer, but it could also  apply to the financial  ministers of the eurozone. To continue the football analogy, they scored one of the worst own goals ever seen.

The own goal was  of course how they handled the Cyprus situation, what with haircuts , levy’s etc . Even Mario Draghi said “It was not smart”, quite a understatement.  The EU minister, Jeroen Dijsselbloem who said this could be the way forward that the EU will handle future financial crisis’s was Dutch.

But the Dutch have their own problems, although almost under the radar . Their consumer debt is about 250% of available income. Compare this with Spain where in 2011, the debt ratio was 125%. Even though the Dutch have instigated €46 billion cuts, they will still break the EU deficit criterion of 3%. We are always told that it is the Southern Europe that is the problem, perhaps the problems are heading North.

When a  politician of Europe says ” banks must save themselves” people should take note, especially when that politician is Angela Merkel. There appears to be a shift in bailout policy, which will become more apparent as this year will show. It is not just the eurozone countries that are fumbling along, the report on some of the UK bank’s was very critical. With a further £24 billion required by our banks, we are in no position to say anything at all.

So how does this affect the normal SME’s or “Mittelstand’s ” in  Europe. The answer is very simple, with the banks still in a financial  mess, lending will not be their main priority. That has resulted in lending to companies being reduced, and that in turn holds back growth. Even Germany’s economy was close to near stagnation last month, whilst France suffered the biggest contraction for four years.

Oak Leasing is being asked to assist in more  European Equipment Leasing programmes this year, than in any time in the past. From large vendor leasing programmes with US companies wishing to use leasing into Europe, to substantial one off equipment leases.  It is crucial to have a “switched on ” European leasing partner, who knows the whole picture,rather than just by country to country. If you are thinking of leasing in Europe, just give us a call.