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April 1, 2016 | Capital Flight in Eurozone Continues

Mike 'Mish' Shedlock

Mike Shedlock / Mish is a registered investment advisor representative for SitkaPacific Capital Management. Sitka Pacific is an asset management firm whose goal is strong performance and low volatility, regardless of market direction.

Capital flight from one Eurozone country to another, continues to rise. That capital flight is a measure of trust of of a nation’s banks.

Capital flight is ongoing in Spain, Italy, Greece, France, and Portugal in that order. The recipient countries are Germany, Luxembourg, Finland, and the Netherlands in that order.

Some charts and tables will help provide a clear picture.

Data for the following charts and tables is from ECB Target Balances, a measure of capital flight. Neither the ECB nor Eurozone officials likes to discuss these numbers for obvious reasons.

The ECB-generated chart below shows Target2 changes over time. However, tracking 20 lines by colors is more than a bit problematic.

Here is the ECB’s chart with my annotations in blue. My charts and tables follow.

Target2 Balances Over Time

Target 2 balances 2016-04-01

February Target2 Balances

February Target2 Balances

The above chart shows where the money is coming and going, and by how much.

Cyprus actually has the 5th largest positive balance (thanks to capital controls and forced bail-ins). A few other countries have positive balances, and there are other countries with smaller negatives.

Monthly Changes in Billions of Euros

CountrySymbolJan Target2 BalanceFeb Target2 BalanceMonth-Over-Month Change

Aggregate Changes

Feb Sum of Positives and NegativesJan Sum of Positives and NegativesMonth-Over-Month Change


  • The six-country negative sum for February is -€841.04 billion.
  • The five-country positive sum for February is +€885.78 billion.
  • Since the numbers total zero, the rest of the imbalance is spread out over the remaining eurozone countries.
  • In the last month, another +€52.37 billion fled the deficit entities to creditor countries.

Note the ECB itself sports a negative balance to the tune of -€98.16 billion. I don’t have an explanation for precisely how this happens.

Those needing a further explanation of Target2 may wish to consider Discussion of Target2 and the ELA (Emergency Liquidity Assistance) program; Reader From Europe Asks “Can You Please Explain Target2?”

The key point is the deficit banks and countries are insolvent. German taxpayers are going to bear the brunt of this mess when it implodes.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock

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April 1st, 2016

Posted In: Mish Talk

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