4/17/2013: Federal Republic Of Germany: EJR lowered A+ to A (Neg.) (S&P: AAA) (3413Z GR)
Although Germany's credit metrics are respectable, the country has exposure to its banks and the weaker EU members. Deutche Bank has adjusted shareholders' equity to asset near 2% and might need EUR 100B of support. Via the ECB's Target 2, Germany is owed EUR700B of which perhaps 50% is collectible and then there is the banks' southern EMU exposures. Germany's debt to GDP was 80.6% as of 2011. However, increasing Germany's debt by EUR500B raises the adjusted debt to GDP to 100%. The deficit to GDP of .8% is reasonably strong. Unemployment is 6.9% but will probably rise as global economies continue to show weakness. The positive (EUR16.8B) balance of trade (per GFSO) and the positive EUR5.59B current account (per the OECD) help. Inflation has been moderate at 1.4% (per GFSO).
Chancellor Merkel continues to resist calls for EU bonds (shared liabs.) and money printing and is pushing for fiscal controls and the seniority of bailout funding. Germany is likely to be outvoted by other ECB members and therefore will have greater prospective exposure. Watch for the EFSF and the ESM morphing into banks (thereby depressing eventual recoveries) and a rise in the number of euros. Watch progress on the EU banking union. We used the IMF's data for Germany's debt which is greater than Eurostat's data. Downgrading.