Haro on the bankers!  - Finance

Haro on the bankers! – Finance

Responding to demagoguery with square demagoguery has never been of much help.

Belfius is the “cashier” bank of the Walloon and Brussels Regions and of the Wallonia-Brussels Federation. According to an indiscretion published in L’Echo, the bank, which has just renegotiated its contract with Brussels this month and which is in the process of renegotiating that with Wallonia, would like to reduce its Walloon exposure a little, because Belfius is also financing a maximum municipalities and hospitals in the south of the country. The bank would therefore like to reduce the duration or the amount of its new cashier contract starting next year. Especially since it is said to be worried about the height of the Walloon indebtedness as well as, some add, the rise of the PTB.

Belfius is the “cashier” bank of the Walloon and Brussels Regions and of the Wallonia-Brussels Federation. According to an indiscretion published in L’Echo, the bank, which has just renegotiated its contract with Brussels this month and which is in the process of renegotiating that with Wallonia, would like to reduce its Walloon exposure a little, because Belfius is also financing a maximum municipalities and hospitals in the south of the country. The bank would therefore like to reduce the duration or the amount of its new cashier contract starting next year. Especially since it is said to be worried about the height of the Walloon indebtedness as well as, some add, the rise of the PTB. We could stop there. That Belfius reviews its risks is nothing but good management. After all, a bank’s primary function is to assess the credit risk it takes in order to protect its depositors’ money. We therefore fall from our chairs when we hear the Walloon Minister-President Elio Di Rupo say that “it is not up to the banks to pass judgment on any political party whatsoever” and that “Wallonia respects its trajectory reduction of deficits, namely 150 million savings in current expenditure”. As we know, a bank is willingly or unwillingly caught up in political games when this game determines the ability of its customers to repay. If a party wants to abandon the market economy, a bank must take this into account. As for saying that Wallonia is respecting its trajectory, by turning blue its exceptional expenditure for the floods, the covid and now the energy crisis, it is still grossly hiding the dust under the carpet. Need we remind you that the Walloon debt should go from 30 billion in 2021 to 50 billion in 2030? We are barely seated when we fall back from our chair listening to Jean-Claude Marcourt. “I am shocked,” he said, “to see a bank giving lessons, which exists only through the sacrifice of the Belgians who lost their savings there, which, through the negligence of its leaders, led Wallonia to losing hundreds of millions of euros and which was saved by public money”. Should we remind the former Walloon Minister of the Economy that it is precisely because the parent company of Belfius had turned a blind eye to its risk policy that trouble arose? Need we point out that the Walloon Region did not shine with its management skills either when it created the Caisse d’investissement de Wallonie, an institution fed by the savings of Walloons which was to finance the sustainable economy and ended up with a portfolio of Greek bonds? Should we remind, finally, the one who chairs the office of the Walloon Parliament that regional governance, already nailed many times to the pillory, does not seem to be improving. What, build a tunnel of 3 million to allow parliamentarians to escape the sight of voters? What, not looking at the expenses of a clerk who returns a mobile phone bill of 24,000 euros on his return from vacation? It is probably anecdotal in terms of amounts. But it is terribly indicative of a state of mind. So yes, we understand these outings. We understand that some politicians, especially on the left, are worried about the rise of the PTB, which plays very well on the fear of the population. We understand that it is easy to shout “haro on the bankers”, a breed that few voters carry in their hearts. But responding to demagoguery with square demagoguery has never been of much help. Nor to help a Region, which we would like to be happy and prosperous, to get out of difficulties. Nor even, we want to believe, to win the elections.

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