The ECB and the Bank of England are giving out loans to banks at near zero interest rates.
Why can't I have a loan like that? Why can't you? I could use it to pay down credit card debt, or invest in high interest risk free Italian and Greek bonds. I have collateral to offer. I have a TV, and a car. I can't imagine that these assets are any less risky than those taken by the ECB or the BoE to support loans to ailing European banks.
Why should banks receive such preferential treatment from Europe's central banks?
Of course.....I know the answer.....