Insider: Banking on a Euro collapse

by BN17 May 2012

A Eurozone collapse could play hell with the Aussie banking system, but brokers could make a bit of money on the side if they're willing to take a punt.

Betting site Tomwatehouse.com has put odds on the first nation to withdraw from the Eurozone before 2015, and Greece is far and away the favourite. The betting site has set $1.25 odds on Greece saying goodbye to the Euro.

For those who like to play longer odds, the bookmaker will pay $15 if Spain is the first to ditch its Eurozone companions, $21 if Italy flees first and a whopping $101 for dark horse Slovenia. But it appears a fairly safe bet that someone will flee the beleaguered fiscal alliance, with the odds on no one leaving the Eurozone before 2015 set at only $7.

Former Treasury secretary Ken Henry evidently agrees with the punters. Henry has told the ABC that it is "almost impossible" for the Eurozone to survive.

"Personally, I've never seen how the euro would work. I've never seen how it could be expected to work without a genuine fiscal union," he said.

Should the Eurozone suffer a meltdown, Australian banks could find wholesale funding markets closing, resulting in a major credit squeeze, according to SQM Research managing director Louis Christopher. But, if the worst should happen, at least brokers stand to make a bit of coin from the TAB.